I’m often asked what American Vision’s “vision” is and how we can best continue to be of service to the country. I’m not AV’s top theorist by any stretch, but I have my beliefs and I trust they aren’t too far off from what God wants. A boring essay won’t do, so I’ll just list the major points as I see them. This “vision” is in 4 parts.
Part 1. AV’s most fundamental desire is to see the U.S. and the world absorbed in the process of turning to God; to see active advancement of the Cultural Mandate and the Great Commission; the Church (the Body of Christ) being reformed and transformed; towns being changed for Christ, and the earth on its way to being filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the seas. This dream is shared with an unknown number of other Christians and groups. Hopefully, a growing number.
The main impediment to this grand vision is an out-of-sync, seeker-sensitive, purpose-driven, rapture-driven, “missional” (?), feminized, new-age, and humanist-tinged, nearly spiritually defunct assortment of individual churches that barely qualify as being part of the “big-C” Church. Youth are abandoning ship in droves and culture is collapsing. AV goes about fulfilling every part of its “vision” with this set of challenges clearly in mind.
Part 2. Christians are born to do more than just consume, “get saved,” and die. That’s not the chief end of our time here on earth. Obedience is (Ecc. 12:13; John 14:15), and with it comes the duty of kingdom advancement via cultural impact. This task demands a reformed Church, thus each individual church needs obedient, reformed leaders. Only by first becoming reformed themselves will they be qualified to reform the Church and the culture. Thus, by all means possible and because of its desire to serve, AV is using all of its resources to help create leaders-to-be; awakening, inspiring and educating them to reformation, transformation, biblical worldview thinking and—ultimately—24/7 cultural activism: Activism to make glad the hearts of Luther, Knox and Calvin. And we want to set the bar of expectations high. Ask much, expect much— and we’ll get it.
We’ll train x number of inspired, Bible-knowledgeable, “converted” members of God’s remnant in x number of denominations so as to create little squads of activists. They’ll lead the way to societal renewal in thousands of towns and counties all across the land. They’ll lead patiently by kindly, service-oriented, Christ-like example until town and county majorities voluntarily yearn to join with them. See 1 Peter 2:12 for details.
The churches, the Church, and communities—these three—will be hearing from AV inspired leader-activists as they arise from across the entire spectrum of society. Leaders in finance, media, business and medicine. Farmers, pastors, elders, engineers, truck drivers, architects, computer folks, housewives, students, entrepreneurs, pilots…the lot.
AV’s calling is not mere evangelism… That’s primarily a task for individual Christians and the church at large. But we’ll always encourage on-your-knees prayer and personal Bible study because without them our cause is sunk. Our specialty is to spread the vision of cultural renewal and, as we can, to give practical examples and evidence (from submitted testimonies) for how renewal can best be achieved. But, most important, AV also knows that even our best efforts can only lead people to water. The rest is up to you and the Holy Spirit and to what extent you’re willing to exert your own spiritual muscles and inventiveness.
Part 3. Here, our vision is to encourage more of the “right thing.”
Christians must get more involved politically, starting modestly at the local level with future, larger offices in mind. And yet politics is not the answer for what ails a weak Church or for an imploding culture in moral free fall. Reformed, transformed, obedient activists, willing to apply their Christianity 24/7 is the answer. This is an expectation that goes against current culture’s popular, secular grain. Therefore, this caliber of dedication must be taught from youth by parents; ideally in the God-dedicated homeschool setting.
If IRS tax deductions for tithes and donations weren’t possible, the half-hearted would decrease giving or even stop. Even so, it’s time for courageous pastors to convince their flock to disengage from 501(c)(3) (or even “incorporated”) thinking so that political, spiritual, and biblical truth can be preached and Caesar challenged. There exist learnable ways to speak truth from God-honoring pulpits without risking Caesar’s disapproval. Our friends at the Alliance Defense Fund are at this very moment challenging the unconstitutionality of these prohibitions.
AV’s vision includes praying for bold pastors to rise to the top, and for young men to become pastors even as their brothers elect to become Christian entrepreneurs, etc.
As the federal leviathan grows ever more powerful, we favor, with Rushdoony in his Politics of Guilt and Pity, a nation-saving shrinkage of Washington via a return to county emphasis. We want 3,000 U.S. counties acting in zealous competition for Scripture-based governance. Impressed citizens will either vote with their feet or change the rules.
Part 4. There are a host of national myths that block Church growth and kingdom advancement. Here’s where AV’s vision is critical in treating these problems.
Popular but false views about the “end times” and “evolution” harm would-be warriors, interrupting their readiness preparation as Christian soldiers in the battle for the mind and for cultural renewal. Teaching truth in these two areas is an AV specialty.
Other areas needing AV’s continual emphasis and review include the sovereignty of God, presuppositional apologetics, the application of God’s law in its appropriate spheres, the myth of “group rights,” class envy, class warfare, historical revisionism, covenant theology, the sanctity of contracts and property, personal liberty, free market principles, strict constructionism, the separation of church and state myth, the hows of training to attain personal self-government and many more.
Parents go to great lengths to protect their young from needless harm, teaching them to “look both ways,” learning to swim, immunizations, keeping curfews, picking the right friends, etc. Most would even sacrifice their own lives if necessary. Yet during life’s most critical years of 5 to 18, Christian parents (and even pastors!) are agonizingly famous for, daily, sending their children into physical, academic and spiritual harm’s way. AV’s view is that homeschooling (and no-nonsense Christian schools) is the best paradigm shift and that public schools must be shunned lest they keep on gobbling up our kids. If not, the full extent of reform needed, especially of the Church, won’t happen.
AV envisions the day when single moms who want to homeschool will receive support from stirred-up churches. Volunteers (often retirees) will handle the academic and spiritual duties through the day at the church until mom returns to take over at home.
The family, on hundreds of fronts, has never been under such intense attack as today. That’s why AV supports covenantal fathers becoming strong family leaders; even willing to cut back materially as needed to see that his wife and children—after God—remain the vital center of his life. We’ve become so feminized in 2008 that “conservatives” even found it necessary to pick a mother of five to lead them to the political Promised Land. What of her children during her 4–8 years of travels? Where are the men? Where are the old principles? These are hard sayings but AV, for your sakes, won’t shirk the truth.
So, fathers (and pastors), you have young men and Proverbs-31 young women in your homes (and in your congregations) with the potential to change nations. A faithful God observing your obedient heart will honor your efforts to honor Him. This is not a vision, this is the truth. And it’s also close to much of American Vision’s vision. . . . in my opinion.