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So back to the subject at hand: The death of the country as we know it.
Okay, okay. I know that sounds dire and dramatic. But what if that’s true? What if we really are looking at a slow motion implosion of our freedoms and liberties? What if what we fear–or at least what I fear–is actually upon us: the ushering in of some totalitarian state? What can we do? Where do we go from here?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
Yesterday, I recorded a podcast with a fellow Christian who read my blog about Jan. 6th and wanted me to share my perspective with his audience. You know I’m all about sharing my perspective, so it was a pleasure. One of the questions he asked me was what do I plan to do moving forward and what would I say are societal steps in the right direction. I think this is an important question, and one we need to discuss in earnest. Now, I don’t claim to have all the answers, that’s for certain, but as a three on the enneagram it’s in my nature to come up with a plan–a goal–and make a move.
Before I wade into the waters of my opinion on forward movement, I have to touch on something else he asked me during the interview. The question was something I hadn’t heard before, but it came up again today so I feel the need to comment.
If you read my previous blogs, you know I described the scene at the Capitol as one reflecting my Christian values. There was lots of prayer, lots of worship, lots of evangelizing. I wasn’t expecting that, but I was pleased. What I’m hearing, and what he asked me on the podcast, is about the term Christian Nationalists. I’ve been called a lot of things since Jan. 6th, but that’s not one of them (yet). But I understand why people are asking these questions.
So, first of all, a Christian Nationalist–as I understand it–would be someone who believes that we need to “take over” the country and restore it to its foundation of Christianity. Such a person would love to see their Christian values reflected in this Republic, starting but not ending with, our politicians and policies.
Okay. It bothers and worries me that this is already being portrayed as a hyper-negative thing. I don’t think there is a person on this planet that wouldn’t hope to see their own personal values reflected more in politics and policies. I can’t imagine why on earth specifically Christians would be vilified for desiring such a thing, but I am barely surprised by much these days, Friend. Just because someone would like to see things move a certain direction doesn’t mean it’s a “take over.”
Although I would very much love to see this country head towards truth and Christianity (and although I can’t speak for a crowd of millions, it’s probably safe to bet there is a general agreement to that sentiment coming from Christians), in no way would I describe the protesters in D.C. as having that motivation on the 6th. No one I spoke to that day was there to “take over” the country. We were largely there due to election irregularities and the constitution.
I say all that to say that one of the first steps I’m planning to take, and I would encourage others to if they’re looking for an action step, is to become more involved in local politics. Or in the very least, more aware. I do want my values heard and considered and reflected in my elected officials. That doesn’t make me a Christian Nationalist, it makes me a person with values. And nothing was more clear to me on Jan. 6th than the fact that my voice meant absolutely zero to the people inside that building. They don’t know me and they don’t care about me.
But I can stand in the office of my state rep and I can shake his hand. I can introduce him to my children. And although he may not end up caring about me, I plan to make sure he knows me. I am well aware I am not the only person with values and ideas that he is representing, but I might be the only person to come and share them with him. I know for certain if I don’t speak out, no one is going to do it for me.
Share your ideas. State your values. Understand the stance of your local officials because you elect them. They’re picked by you. And if they don’t plan to align with and fight for what matters most to you–obviously no one is going to agree on everything across the board–than next time around get out there and actively support the candidate that will.
This is coming from the girl who didn’t even know there was a state and federal Congress, nor could I actually tell you who “Congress” referred to just a few months back. I’ve learned a lot through all the shenanigans, and you can too. It’s not too late to start paying attention. But there will come a day when it will be too late to make a difference.
As I’ve stated before, I’m a Libertarian. As such, I would absolutely include myself in the “silent majority.” But what good does that do anyone? I remember my grandpa swearing and yelling at the tv–Clinton if I’m not mistaken–and although those memories still make me smile, a lot of good they did the future me, huh? I know it’s easy to point at and lay the blame on the other side of the isle, but if we’re all planning to sit on our couches and complain for another 2-4 years, than the shame of what we’re leaving for our kids and grandkids shall fall squarely upon our shoulders.
This next part is going to sound crazy coming from someone who is utterly convinced this election was a :::several bad words::: but we have got to VOTE. Yes, I’ve been heard saying over the last few months I will never vote again. Yes, I am aware of the phrase “fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Yes, I know the evil that prevails is astounding and there are no limits to that which they will go. But despite all that… we’ve got to risk it. We’ve got to be willing to participate bigger and better than we ever have before. We have got to start paying attention and understanding what is happening politically. And don’t wait four years to show up. 2022 is going to be an incredibly important mid-term.
Next order of business, and I hate to beat a dead horse, but we’ve got to stick it to Big Tech by actually sticking it to them. No, crazy Karen, I don’t mean violently, I mean in a peaceful mass exodus of these platforms. Stop kidding yourself, you’re contributing to forty kinds of evil by staying on. I would love to see us–as a country–move entirely back into reality and kick the virtual to the curb. How’s that for virtue signaling? I think we should talk to each other face to face (or in the very least voice to voice). No more hiding behind screens and weaponized words. No more leaving a nasty comment and then blocking someone like we’re five years old. And for goodness sake, no more screen obsessed, self-deprecating, isolated, insecure, and depressed youth. We’ve got to stop being that example for future generations. Tell me how limiting screen time for your child while staring at your phone 24/7 is protecting them from anything (she says to herself in the mirror).
What we tolerate, the next generation embraces. Let’s just let that one sink in for a minute…
While we’re getting off facebook and Insta, let’s start talking to people–in real life–who don’t think the way we think. Let me warn you… this can be incredibly difficult. And I don’t just mean because it can be frustrating, or even offensive. I’m warning you about something much scarier. In order to do this successfully, we’re going to have to know what we think about things, and we’re going to have to be willing to be wrong sometimes (don’t worry, it almost never happens but just in case it does). So long as we allow for the algorithm to sort us into our various echo chambers where all we can hear is our own opinions and self-righteousness repeated back to us, we’ll never actually become wise. That only happens through evaluating all kinds of information, hearing different ideas, and critically thinking. This has been wiped out of our culture as a practice. I actually heard someone say yesterday that the news is there for us to be told what to think about what’s happening. I mean, that’s not wrong… that’s alarmingly accurate. The shock comes from the apathy to such surrender. If we’re not willing to think for ourselves, and then stick up for our actual, authentic thoughts, we’re doomed.
I’m reading a book called Live not by lies: a Manual for Christian Dissidents by Rod Dreher. It’s great so far–I’ve only just begun–but it’s hard to swallow what might be headed our way, I’m not gonna lie. In the book, Dreher so wonderfully captured the reason I decided to start blogging again, and perhaps the biggest step I’m planning to take as we move forward. You’re for sure invited on this step.
As a Christian, I know truth is black and white. There are definitive answers to certain questions (not all, but a lot). This greatly influenced my vote this election as a matter of fact. There are a lot of things I don’t know, but there are a lot of things God tells me very clearly in His word. I can’t keep pretending those truths are subjective when they’re not. And I can’t align with a party that opposes God’s truth.
On page 17, Dreher writes:
On the day of his Moscow arrest–February 12, 1947–Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn published what would be his final message to the Russian people before the government exiled him to the West. In the title of the exhortation, he urged the Russian people to “live not by lies!”
What did it mean to live by lies? It meant, Solzhenitsyn writes, accepting without protest all the falsehoods and propaganda that the state compelled its citizens to affirm–or at least not to oppose–to get along peaceably under totalitarianism. Everybody says that they have no choice but to conform, says Solzhenitsyn, and to accept powerlessness. But that is the lie that gives all the other lies their malign force. The ordinary man may not be able to overturn the kingdom of lies, but he can at least say that he is not going to be its loyal subject.
“We are not called upon to step out onto the square and shout out the truth, to say out loud what we think–this is scary, we are not ready,” he writes. “But let us at least refuse to say what we do not think!”
Whatever you do… live not by lies.
And one final thing about gaining perspective before I wrap: this entire blog is birthed out of a conversation my husband and I had today. We’re not exactly in agreement as to where to go from here. The afore mentioned ideas are all mine. Those are my steps. Well, those things and this thing–this platform of wildly risky truth telling. Thanks for allowing me some influence on your thoughts btw.
My husband is a “realist” which translates in my brain to a Negative Nancy. As a one on the enneagram, he’s very black and white. There is a right and a wrong. And in his mind–and he’s not wrong–the system is just too broken to fix. There is no longer a point in voting or participating in a system that is rigged. I absolutely see where he’s coming from, but in my opinion, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for God to move.
I understand the stakes are high. I have heard and read the stories of far too many immigrants warning about “what it looked like when Communism hit my country” to sleep well at night. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid of what’s happening. It does feel a little hopeless.
But if my husband were diagnosed with cancer, my first prayer would not be “Lord, prepare me for life without my husband.” My first prayer would be, “Lord, heal my husband completely, tonight, in Jesus’ mighty name.”
I know the power of God, and I believe in the power of prayer. I will pray for God’s intervention. I will pray for divine rescue. I will pray for forgiveness. Like on Jan. 6th, I will pray for options I’m not even aware exist because God has promised He’s “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Eph. 3:20, emphasis mine)
In Ephesians chapter six Paul tells us to put on the Armor of God, the belt, the breastplate, the shoes, the whole get up. We need to do that more than ever before. But verse 18 tells us of an often forgotten, but fierce piece of that armor… the activating piece, if you will. The piece that turns on the protection.
Paul says, “And pray…”
Meet your representatives, ditch the social media, talk to people, stick boldly to truth. Do the hard things. But do not minimize, nor forget, to pray.
As I was reading in Exodus this week something stuck out to me that I hadn’t noticed before. This is the part of the story where Moses has just–through the power of God–basically terrified the Pharaoh with a number of horrific plagues in an attempt to get Pharaoh to let the Israelites (God’s people) leave their enslavement in Egypt. The final plague leaves every Egyptian home mourning the loss of their first born son and Pharaoh says “enough is enough.” He lets Moses and the Israelites leave.
As God is leading them out of Egypt–starting chapter thirteen verse seventeen–it says, “God did not lead them along the road to the land of the Philistines, even though it was nearby; for God said, “The people will change their minds and return to Egypt if they face war.” So he led the people around toward the Red Sea along the road of the wilderness.” (emphasis mine)
First of all, God knows when we’re faced with an enemy we’re not prepared for, we retreat. We fall back on what we know and what we’re comfortable with. In this example, God took them the long way–the harder way through the wilderness–to protect them from themselves, from complacency. To protect them from running back to what is comfortable… even if that comfort is enslavement.
God wants them to be free.
But don’t miss the bigger miracle in that passage. Yes, the long way is sometimes harder, it’s farther, it’s a steeper climb, that’s true. But it leads to the Red Sea. And we all know what happens there.
I know we’re facing some scary times, guys. I believe God is taking us the long way right now. But I wouldn’t want to miss what He’s got planned at the end just to have an easier road, would you?
Holy Moly, I love you! You speak what I think! So glad we’re friends… Now, I just need you to hold me accountable! Let’s chat tomorrow at church!