Well, the elephants were dancing this morning (see THIS previous post). I saw one headline this morning that asked if the GOP would remember to dance with the ones who “brung” them. I believe the reference was to the Tea Party and those who want to limit government growth. While I certainly hope that the new congress will dance with those who want to reduce growth, I am even more concerned that the GOP has the wisdom to dance with the Lord who watches over our nation. That would be a worthy dance.
So, why was yesterday important? Yesterday’s election was important because I believe, along with our nation’s founders, that we must limit the power and control of our government. This position is traditionally known as a conservative position. I also believe it is the biblical position.
In Revelation 13 we are given explicit insight into Satan’s long term plans to make war against the church. The chapter portrays Satan as a dragon standing by the sea calling forth a beast from the water. In the Bible, and in the book of Revelation in particular, the sea represents the teeming masses who do not know the Lord (see Revelation 17:15). So Satan’s plan always involves calling forth a beast from among the unsaved.
As the chapter develops, we notice that the beast Satan calls forth from the sea is portrayed as a type of government authority. This government authority then makes war against the church and attempts to usurp the church’s role on the earth (see 2 Thessalonians 2:4). When Jesus ascended into heaven, he called forth his Church to release the Kingdom of light. When Satan was cast to the earth, he called forth his Beast to release the Kingdom of darkness and act as a rival to the Church.
From Nero’s day to our own, Satan has attempted to replace the body of Christ with government. The Roman emperors even went so far as to claim divinity, and proclaimed that they were the source of prosperity and security. Modern day governments are not often as bold (though North Korea is the exception that proves the rule), however, they certainly blasphemously arrogate the same role to themselves. In that way, they become competitors of Christ and his Church.
That is Satan’s current modus operandi, his mode of operation. He does not want people looking to Christ’s body, and thus to Christ. He desires to marginalize the Church by using government to fulfill the Church’s functions. The Holy Spirit, through the apostle John, outlines this Satanic strategy for us in Revelation 13. History shows us the fruit of this strategy.
The second thing we are shown about Satan’s plan in Revelation 13, is that it includes a second, religious beast. This second beast performs as Satan’s agent to shill for the first beast. The second beast creates an image or shadow of the first beast. Satan recognizes that religious people will never worship the government beast outright, however he uses clever religious manipulators to get adherents to grant more control of their lives to the first beast for a supposedly righteous cause. As a result of Satan’s plan, every generation in the Church has to deal with those who shill for the first beast. Preachers of righteousness do not lead their flocks to depend on the government for prosperity and security. The government is not our answer. Christ and his body must remain the answer.
Every time I hear a church leader on the left proclaim visions of social justice backed by government intervention, I hear whispers from the second beast, “Let the government take care of your problems. Let the government make you prosperous.” Every time I see a church leader on the right decide not to address a political party’s evil for fear of the I.R.S., I see the influence of the second beast over them. I hear the second beast whisper, “Don’t oppose the government. It will steal your prosperity by taking away your tax exempt status.” The actions of both sides echo Revelation 13:4,
“Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?”
The religious left looks to the beast as an answer to its social justice problems (Who else can do this work? Who is like the beast?) The religious right fears the beasts ability to destroy the financial viability of their churches by revoking tax exemptions (Who can make war against him?). Both responses put those who espouse them uncomfortably in alignment with the religious beast who supports Satan’s anti-Christ government system.
So, for biblical reasons, I like limited government. I also like it when preachers of righteousness preach a gospel of the Kingdom that does not rely on government provision, and does not fear its intervention.
You can understand why I liked yesterday. Our current administration, perhaps with good intentions, has been increasing the power of the first beast in our lives. Yesterday our nation put up a stop sign. For now the beast’s advance is slowed. Satan will do everything in his power to move the beast forward. If we stop praying for those who believe in limiting government, they will fail. They cannot possibly oppose the dragon and his beasts without our prayer coverage and support. We must continue to pray earnestly for them.
We must also pray for the Lord’s power to be released in the Body of Christ. In that way we will demonstrate a godly alternative to the government beast.