But how, in the face of all these overwhelming facts of social and economic breakdown, can you be so optimistic for our generation? How can you be so confident in turning the tide in the face of today’s corrupt politics, rising influence of liberal media, scores of Americans dumbed down by public schools and TV, and more and more government control?
I ask you, because you seem not worried about the stupidity of our electorate and those that we elect. You seem more annoyed, yet confident in the promises of God. I desire that myself as my husband’s job seems to be downsizing and I have three kids to homeschool. I would like to see my spirit soar in trust in my savior in a very uncertain time.
These are statements from two letters written to me in the last couple of months. It’s so easy to lose hope these days, if one is a Christian.
On one hand we have the enemies of God who have taken the reins of power in our nation and seem to be unstoppable in their imposition of their agenda on the American public. The Federal government is ever more intrusive and open about its power to control our lives, liberties, and property. It takes years to undo what takes the socialists in power just a few hours to sign into law. Our money is not money anymore, our economy is not an economy anymore, and our communities are not what they used to be. A man is not safe even in his own home.
On the other hand we have what I call the “Denethor ministries”: Christian ministries that have given up all hope for this nation, leading us to accept escapism as a “Christian” ideal.1 Don’t have hope for America, some of them proclaim, but have hope “in Jesus,” that means, have hope only for the salvation of your own soul, not for your nation, your communities, your economy, or your family. “America will lay in ruins,” one of these Denethors declared these days, “but we should only look to Jesus for our hope”; forgetting, apparently, that his grandchildren will have to face the reality of America abandoned by their grandfather who was way too “spiritual” to care for the world they will spend their lives in.
Pagans say there is no hope in God. Christian ministers say there is no hope for the world. Both groups agree in principle that hope IN God and hope FOR the world are separated by a chasm. One cannot have both. If you have hope in God, you cannot have hope for our generation. But if you hope for good things in our generation, you must have abandoned your hope in God.
So where should Christians find hope? Should we just remain content that our little souls are saved and forget about the world? But even if we want to do something about the world and about the life of our children and grandchildren, what hope can we have, given the obvious defeat of everything we believe in, in the cultural arena?
But true Christian hope is always comprehensive. It’s never only a hope IN something. It must have a goal bigger than ourselves, otherwise it is simply baptized selfishness. And it is never only a hope FOR something; it must have a supernatural source, otherwise it is simply paganism.
Therefore my hope is IN and FOR: in God, for the world. And my confidence is IN and FOR: in God, for our generation. And contrary to all claims, and all alleged “evidence” to the contrary, I believe this and the next generation will be the last generations of triumphant secular humanism in history. There is no end of the world in sight; there is the end of secular humanism as we’ve known it for the last 120 years. There is no Second Coming of Jesus in this generation or next. There is the return of Christianity as the dominant cultural force in the world. And there is no Great Tribulation in sight. There is only the collapse of the social and economic order created by secular humanism and the rebuilding of civilization by Christians who have rejected escapism and have embraced the comprehensive Gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, in history.
But how can I be so confident?
I read my Bible. And I try to discern the times, like the sons of Issachar (1 Chron. 12:32). I know not to be dismayed by the power of the enemy, because I know the Lord laughs and scoffs at them (Ps. 2:4). I know not to trust those Christian “leaders” who say there is no hope for victory over cultural evil in our own generation; that would be equivalent to believing the report of the ten spies (Num. 13-14). I know that discouragement usually comes right before we reach the goal. I am realistic about modern Christians, and modern Americans, and modern Europeans. I am realistic about the limits of the modern political system, and I am realistic about the products of the modern public school system in America. I am realistic about our politicians, and I am realistic about our conservatives.
But I also have another dimension of realism added to my experience that most Americans don’t have: I saw Communism fall. Christians weren’t better in Eastern Europe, nor were voters any better than voters in America today. (Even if they were, voting didn’t matter under Communism.) The political system wasn’t better. The products of the State school systems weren’t better. The government had all the guns, and it had all the food. There weren’t any politicians other than the Communist Party functionaries. And there was no hope, humanly speaking. In fact, with a few precious exceptions, observers on both sides of the Iron Curtain believed Communism was here to stay. For us living under it, we certainly believed it was here to stay – not that it worked but who would challenge it?
And yet it fell. This taught us a lesson: Systems collapse under their own weight.
The system of secular humanism in the United States today is collapsing under its own weight. One hundred years ago it was young, vibrant, resourceful, optimistic in its assault against traditional Christianity. Today it rather resembles the last days of the Roman Empire; or the last days of the Communist regimes in Eastern Europe.
Politically, it is losing the battle. For many years secular humanists have worked to shift the focus of the political debate from the moral issues of Christianity to the pragmatic issues in the secular “right vs. left” paradigm. And indeed, for a couple of decades the Christian heritage in the American politics was nowhere to be seen. But it’s back again. Pro-life is a badge of honor for politicians these days. Even those who aren’t pro-life are trying to fake it in order to win votes. No politician these days in America dares declare publicly “I am an atheist.” They are either sincere believers, or at least fake some kind of religion. (Yes, even the Clintons.) There is no hope for the liberals to bring the political discourse back to its non-religious ground. And there is no political ideology that can help them do it in the long term. All politicians on the left are only using recycled slogans of the past, all of them empty, all of them failed.
Economically, secular humanism is a failure. It tried to create wealth without God. For that reason secular humanists created the Federal Reserve: Once the Federal government had a firm grip on the money supply, nothing could get in the way of achieving a government-created cornucopia. No one objected to it. After all, man could achieve anything, including overcoming the obstacle of limited money supply. But it failed. And its failure is more obvious by day; and voters are uneasy about it. And the world is uneasy about it. The statement of the the President of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, about the necessity of creating world currency based on gold went largely unnoticed in the US. But it was an admission of defeat. Man’s attempts to create wealth from nothing failed. Money can’t be used as a tool for government policy anymore. The economic and financial events of the last two years sent a clear message: The Planners are helpless.
Socially, secular humanism failed to create the “Great Society” it promised a century ago. It failed spectacularly in Eastern Europe and China: The “Great Society” was great for a small number of party apparatchiks, and it was a nightmare for the masses. It is failing now in Western Europe with the insolvency of the welfare, healthcare, and pension systems. It promised “something for nothing,” it promised an ideal society where no one would have to sacrifice and everyone would be protected and cared for from cradle to grave. It turns out now someone would have to sacrifice, but there is no ideology of sacrifice in secular humanism. Therefore when the governments are trying to introduce pay cuts, and lower spending, and fewer entitlements, no one wants to be the loser. Secular politicians are now in a dilemma: In order to preserve the social order, they will have to make everyone sacrifice. But this very act will make people revolt, which will destroy the social order. And there isn’t much time left, because the money is limited. The only solution is another Weimar Republic over all Europe. We know what follows after that. The “Great Society” in America is not in a much better condition, with Social Security bankrupt, and the Federal government and all the state governments bankrupt.
In terms of human resources, secular humanism in America is bleeding to death from a thousand cuts. In the last decades it has been systematically destroying its own social base by encouraging the murder of its own unborn. Those that made it through, it sent to its own government schools that made sure the future liberal humanist leaders of America have no critical thinking skills, no reasoning skills, and no initiative or creativity whatsoever. Predictably, while politically the Left commands a significant army of voters, there aren’t too many reliable leaders available. Obama’s failure to “keep the magic” of attracting the voters is only representative of a larger problem among America’s secular humanist elite: Secular humanism, when developed to its logical end, cannot produce cultural leadership.
We as Christians think of the liberal establishment in this country as all-powerful people with unlimited resources and a perfect plan to push their agenda. They are not. They are a weak, limited, and confused bunch who are dismayed by the failure of their plans despite the billions of dollars thrown to put those plans to work. They know their time is limited, and they don’t know what to do. “Hopelessness” is the best word to describe the current state of secular humanism in America.
Their system is running out of political power, out of money, out of promises and hope for the future, and out of human resources. No matter what and who stands against it, it will collapse very soon. It can’t produce an ideology that would rejuvenate it anymore. It can’t produce the “world leader,” the Antichrist that Christian dispensationalists are waiting for. It is doomed. Communism collapsed without any attack from outside or inside. Secular humanism in America is about to do so, in this generation.
The power of the God of Hosts will accomplish this. I will be the worthless servant who will watch it happen.
When the Roman Empire collapsed, it wasn’t the strength of Christians, and it wasn’t the moral courage of the voters that brought it down. When Communism collapsed, it wasn’t because of the strength of its human enemies. It was God Who fought against both Rome and Communism. God has been fighting against secular humanism even while the church was still buying Left Behind by the millions. God has been defunding secular humanism’s agenda while the church was still debating whether economics is a legitimate part of our Christian message. God has been undermining their political power, and God has been dumbing down their leaders and followers while Christian parents were taking their children to the government schools. God has been in the business of fighting the world when we were in the business of withdrawing from the world.
And that’s the basis for my optimism. Not by the might of the churches, nor by the power of the voters. I have seen God work in history, and I will see Him work again, one more time. History – not the end of history – is His battlefield. He doesn’t need us, and He doesn’t need American voters to destroy the humanist system that raises its head against Him. He has those for breakfast. He fights them by making them achieve perfection on the basis of their own ideals. When an anti-Christian system achieves such perfection, it is ripe for collapse. And then He just pushes it.
A new beginning is coming.
Denethor II is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Return of the King. In the novel, he is the 26th and last ruling Steward of Gondor.
- Denethor II is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Return of the King. In the novel, he is the 26th and last ruling Steward of Gondor.(↩)