So, November has been quite a month for the history books and a number of thoughts occurred to me:
With the appearance of a supermoon and a series of three significant earthquakes in the same week, some old thinking patterns were dusted off. After all, it isn’t every day that you have three significant earthquakes and a supermoon. And I know that it’s not just for my academic amusement because at least two people lost their lives in the earthquake in New Zealand, but the news did hearken me back to my early Christian years…I remember that the local churches here in Cape Town put together an ad campaign called ‘Are you ready?’ which was screened in movie theatres before the main attraction and Christians wearing ‘Are you ready?’ T-shirts stood ready to engage movie-goers in conversation afterwards. The Second Coming seemed a lot closer then, at least in terms of possibilities and I got that same feeling for a few minutes this week.
The political earthquake called Trump struck America on Tuesday just past and is it just me or did liberals insane with fear look like vampires running from the sign of the cross? Acted like it too with all the hyperventilating, anger, shouting and working at volume through the 5 stages of grief as observed by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. Being as it was so unexpected, I began to wonder of there was some God-angle to it all. Trump faced the most opposition imaginable and still won. Now, don’t get my musing as an endorsement of Trump in terms of his personal morality, but I read via an opinion in www.charismanews.com that Trump represented what some Christians believe to be a modern day Cyrus, as referenced in Isaiah 45:
1 This is what the Lord says to Cyrus, his anointed one,
whose right hand he will empower.
Before him, mighty kings will be paralyzed with fear.
Their fortress gates will be opened,
never to shut again.
2 This is what the Lord says:
“I will go before you, Cyrus,
and level the mountains.*
I will smash down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.
3 And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—
I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.
4 “And why have I called you for this work?
Why did I call you by name when you did not know me?
It is for the sake of Jacob my servant,
Israel my chosen one.
5 I am the Lord;
there is no other God.
I have equipped you for battle,
though you don’t even know me,
6 so all the world from east to west
will know there is no other God.
I am the Lord, and there is no other. (NLT)
- I will raise up Cyrus to fulfill my righteous purpose,
- and I will guide his actions.
- He will restore my city and free my captive people—
- without seeking a reward!
- I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!” (NLT)
Well, that’s what someone has observed and I for one cannot absolutely refute it as I do get the distinct impression that something beyond the rational and political has been going on.
And, I’m not scared in the least.
I’m an old fashioned guy and I literally subscribe to quaint notions like freedom of speech, acting with honour and behaving with manners and it seems like I’m part of a dwindling fellowship. I think the country and the world would be a better place if we had English manners (saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’), had priorities like proud US Marines (God, duty, honor, country – in that order) and were serious about freedom of speech. It seems like many in the world don’t want the mess that comes with free speech; too many snowflakes are getting hurt feelings and so we must tell Christians that they cannot talk about sin, or righteousness, or the salvation in Christ.
Is there such a thing as American exceptionalism? The idea that God has a covenant with America, the idea that America has a unique part in the history of nations, the idea that turning their backs on God will cause God to remove his blessing…a lot of people in America think that the notion is ridiculous, but if a sizable portion of Americans pray and live like it is, well I think they might be on to something. The only other country that seems to take God seriously, if only in terms of a distant national muscle memory, is Israel.
Kingdoms and countries inevitably rise and fall. There is no easier example than asking whether one can pay a visit to the Roman Empire. Thankfully, God’s kingdom of heaven (which Jesus announced 2,000 years ago) is still near today and the articles of its citizenship have not changed in all that time.
The only real unity is in Christ. All other associations, clubs, religions and political parties inherently have a message that has a finite shelf-life. If you take the Scripture at face value, the gates of hell could very well prevail against the Democrats or Republicans (or both), or Liberals or Tories or Social Democrats, or Springbok supporters or Taoists or Scientologists.
Not that I think it would be required knowledge in heaven, but I would like to know who shot JFK and what really happened on that ‘grassy knoll’ at Dealey Plaza in Dallas in 1963.