Americans are heading the way of the Europeans during the Enlightenment (alias the Age of Reason, lasting roughly from 1685 to 1815), Rousseau's Second Discourse on the Inequality among Mankind of 1754, and the resulting French Revolution of 1789. Russell Kirk sized up the 'long 18th century' with these words: "Rousseau and his disciples were resolved to force men to be free; in most of the world, they triumphed; men are set free from family, church, town, class, guild; yet they wear, instead, the chains of the state, and they expire of ennui or stifling long lines."
As the beneficiaries of God's marvelous works, followers of Christ acknowledge how infinitely beyond measure He is. Yet, over the last century American Christianity has adopted a model strongly deviating from the Christian Founding Fathers' original design for America. Because Christians have been in large part absent from the public square over the last hundred years, religious secularists now domineer America's cultural mountains of influence.
But why? With the technology, affluence and knowledge we have today, why are we less effective than the first-century Church—which didn't have social media or fancy buildings or professional pastors or even religious freedom? [Still and all], the early Church was a radical, counter-cultural force of people who transformed the hostile, pagan places in which they lived. —Ed Silvoso, Ekklesia
Fearing conflict with religious secularists, 20th-century Christians by and large have kept silent in discussions on the ideas and values of American culture. Relinquishing the playing field and fleeing to safety behind the four walls of the church building, Christians have become a self-effacing cultural subgroup in contemporary America. Rather than being the essence of Christ in the marketplace, as called for by Jesus in Matthew 16:18b, "I will build my ekklesia, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it," quite the opposite is achieved by making oneself inconspicuous.
Although we have in modern America ever-present Christian radio, Christian television, and Christian press broadcasting God's majestic works, Christians have hardly more than an itty-bitty stick to swing in the contemporary culture of religious secularism. The pertinent corrective takes shape in Jesus not only having paid the price for our souls and eternal salvation, but also redeeming "everything that was lost: people, business, education and government. And there is nothing the devil can do to reverse it." —Ed Silvoso, Ekklesia
With that in mind, the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board opinion piece of Jan.19, 2019, is worth studying: "Harvesting Democratic Votes, Liberals want to impose the California voting model on all 50 states."
"Democrats in Congress are making election reform their top legislative priority, and we've criticized it as a majority protection act. To understand why, consider that Democrats are trying to do for the country what they've done with election laws in California.
"The Golden State is where Republican candidates went to bed on election night in November with leads in most of their competitive House races, only to lose in the ensuing weeks of vote counting. In Orange County, Young Kim was poised to become the first Korean-American woman in Congress, with a sizable lead on Election Day over her Democratic opponent. She lost by three percentage points. Republican Rep. Mimi Walters's 6,074-vote lead on Nov. 6 turned into an 11,866-vote loss to Democrat Katie Porter.
"California has become a one-party state, and Democrats have used their dominance to make it even harder for Republicans to compete. Now they want to use their new House majority to do the same for the rest of America. The Senate can stop them for now, but look out in 2021."
And why wouldn't religious liberals—who champion abortion, euthanasia, same-sex intercourse and marriage, transgenderism and coercive redistribution of wealth—want to impose the California model on all 50 states? That model is part and parcel of their belief system and in a democratic republic somebody's values are going to reign supreme. It is Politics 101 to understand that evangelical and pro-life Catholic Christians, by staying home on Election Day, empower religious liberals to rule and codify legislation into law.
Commenting on the issue of democratic vote harvesting, Dr. Linda Johnston, M.D., writes: "In the past few years, a disturbing trend is emerging in our country's voting systems. Under the guise of helping make voting easier for the allegedly disenfranchised or the excessively busy, changes are being made that undermine the integrity and reliability of the electoral process. With each change, there is less accountability and greater potential for fraud and corruption."
Voting in the United States doesn't have a smooth history. In the 1600s, Colonial America tried various methods, policies, restrictions and exceptions. "By modern standards, the right to vote was narrow, messy and littered with periods of expansion and retraction. Excluded were most African-Americans, Native Americans, women, men who had not attained their majority and white males who did not own land."
Yet, as we work through the process of dealing justly with illegal immigration, human lives and secure borders, it seems fair to say that those breaking laws should not be entitled to cast ballots or exercise an opinion influencing governmental policy.
For all that, there is good news. Gideons and Rahabs are beginning to stand.
David Lane is the founder of American Renewal Project.
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