After months of one of the most controversial election cycles in US history, Donald Trump has been elected as President of the United States. The nation was firmly divided over who would be the best for this job as illustrated in this set of exit polls from the New York Times. These divides– shown across political, racial, and demographic lines– shine light on a clear division we face in thinking regarding the political process across our land.
So here we are now the day after the election. Just over half the nation is excited with the prospects provided by our new president, the other half today depressed and concerned for their future. So much hope has been placed historically in the president of the United States, but it seems that no matter who we elect, the problems continue to get worse and the situation deteriorates. Consider that both the Republicans and Democrats have controlled the office of the president and the congress over the years, yet things have failed to improve in any meaningful way.
Our challenges have never been greater, and some of these challenges seem staggering. For example, children are still legally murdered in the womb to the tune of hundreds of thousands a year, our national debt is approaching 20 trillion dollars, and our economy has nearly stagnated. However, as dark as things may seem, and no matter which side of the political isle you find yourself on, we still have a number of freedoms available to us in which we can operate in order to improve the world around us regardless of who’s elected president. The time is now to begin working to bring one another together, and do our best to improve our communities within our spheres of influence.
Here’s a very important idea to consider: the elected government that we took part in empowering yesterday is one of four different spheres of authority and government that are in place in this nation. These four spheres of government are self government, family government, church government, and finally civil government. Each of these four spheres of government presides over a specific portion of our culture, and has a limited sphere of authority given to it by God from the Bible. These levels of government are directly intertwined, and when you have trouble at the lowest levels, the impact of said trouble will work it’s way back up the chain to the civil government.
Let’s consider the implications of this idea: If we fail to be a self-governing people, we should expect our families to be struggling for stability and unity. We can see this in the numbers that measure the health of our families, such as the divorce rate indicating that a high number of marriages end in divorce, or the alarming rate at which women are victims of sexual assault from members of their own families. If our families are struggling and broken, we should expect our churches to be struggling to stay together and weak in terms of engaging the culture in any meaningful way. And if our churches our weak, we absolutely should expect to see our state government weak and struggling to perform it’s God-given duty to commend the righteous and punish evil doers. (Romans 13) If we don’t value and pursue justice at the first three levels of government, we shouldn’t expect justice from our civil government. Again, these levels of government are directly intertwined and problems at the lowest levels affect the levels above them.
Instability and dysfunction is exactly what we’re seeing right now on the national stage. I postulate that the way we fix this is to start with ourselves, and make an effort to be a self-governing people. There’s literally no way around this. If you try top-down solutions without fixing the lower levels of government (self-government, family-government, and church-government), any progress you make will be undone and last for a very short period of time. Want an example? Just look at how effective the pro-life movement has been attempting to solve the abortion issue on the federal level. Nearly 1,000,000 children have been murdered in the womb so far this year, and the number is still growing. Simply electing conservative legislators and presidents hasn’t stopped this nightmare– We have to try something else.
So back to the original question in this editorial. Where do we go from here? The answer is to play the long-game, and humble ourselves admitting that it’s possible our own conduct has put us in the position we’re in. We have to admit that the trouble we’re facing nationally is simply symptomatic of the same trouble we’re facing locally, and that until we reform ourselves, we don’t have the smallest chance at reforming anything else. To get started, we could begin studying the Bible to see what it says about how we should live, and live according to what we learn. Ask ourselves the question: “What does God require of me in this situation?“, and apply the answer we find to every scenario we encounter. This simple change will strengthen our marriages, families, and churches and we’ll see the blessings of obedience follow our efforts. Some questions are hard to find the answer to, but the quicker we get the discussion going, the quicker we can start to make a positive lasting impact on our communities and neighborhoods.
Let’s take some time to do some soul-searching after this election and consider how we can begin to be part of the solution locally in our community. Let’s take some responsibility for ourselves and obey God in the areas we can affect (ourselves, our families, our churches) before we spend anymore time worrying about the federal government or the presidency.
I love y’all, fellow residents of Bibb County. My heart hurts for the brokenness around us, but I believe the future is bright. I’m going to work to improve my corner of the world, and hope y’all will too.
Until another day, this has been an article from the desk of Josh Lambert.
Disclaimer: This article is an opinion piece written for the BibbVoice.com online news website. It does not necessarily reflect the views of Bibb Community Media, Inc and/or it’s staff and affiliates.