“Clearly everything created was Biblical before it could be deemed political.”
Woman in Gold, a 2015 British film based in fact, employs flashbacks showing a young Jewish newlywed, Maria Altmann, bidding a tearful goodbye to her parents in pre-WWII Austria—her childhood home. “When our family came to Vienna, Maria, they were not rich people. We worked hard. We did everything we could to contribute and to belong,” explains her father.
Good efforts meant nothing to those bent on destruction. The family waited too long, heart-wrenchingly forcing Maria to leave her parents behind in Nazi Germany. If they could have seen the bitter future awaiting them, her father realizes, they would have all escaped before Hell came calling.
Christians arriving in America displayed a high work ethic, as well. For generations, the Church has tirelessly offered aid and comfort both at home and abroad. Alarmingly, America is growing increasingly hostile to our efforts. In fact, the concept of assimilation—fitting in, and making a contribution—is itself under attack.
“The (California) College Board’s latest AP U.S. History framework drastically downplays, omits, and distorts the significance of the assimilationist ethos in American history,” writes Stanley Kurtz in a June 2016 article in National Review.[i] Kurtz further surmises, “I think it’s fair to characterize California’s new curriculum as openly anti-assimilationist.” He argues the authors of the framework “insist that the ideal of immigrant assimilation is no longer appropriate, and was probably based on some combination of bigotry and selfishness when it flourished.”
A good portion of the Church continues business as usual thinking honeymoons last forever. Only about 50 percent of Christians in America are registered to vote. Of those, only 50 percent show up at the polls. As 75 percent of all Christians remain silent, conveniently unaware the rules are changing, the hour turns more desperate, and our efforts to promote the Gospel are increasingly threatened.
What keeps Christ’s body on earth moving on a road leading to revisionism? It’s common to hear cries about “separation of Church and state,” falsely suggesting it is Biblical to exempt ourselves from anything having to do with governmental authority—with politics—and many churchgoers seem to agree.
Contrary to popular opinion, every book in the Bible documents a “political” push and pull. Wherever there are people, there are issues of governmental authority and control. Yes, God puts governmental powers in authority. They are to rule justly, however. And, if the Good Book means what it says, believers in the Bible are not meant to “lie down on the ground to be trampled on” (Isaiah 51:23). To the contrary, God shows clearly in the New Testament the grit of Christians unwilling to give up.
Read Hebrews 11:7 where Noah stays the course and becomes the gold standard by which the world is judged. That’s pretty heady stuff. Or, verse 22 where a dying Joseph foresees the departure from Egypt, one of the most politicized events in human history!
And, look at Moses forsaking Egypt, “not fearing the wrath of the king” (v. 27). Or, see the walls of Jericho fall (v 30). Hebrews 11 is replete with spies, intrigue, the subduing of kingdoms, valiant deeds done in battle, and “turning to flight the armies of the aliens” (v 34).
In the sovereignty of God, the Biblical overrules the political. Before making marriage a political football, it was clearly Biblical. It is still Biblical. Same for human sexuality and issues of life including abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and more. Clearly, everything created was Biblical first.
The Founders intended politics as the means by which virtuous citizens would properly administrator Biblical principles. The pilgrims who drew up the Mayflower Compact in 1640 called their actions “a civil body politic.” They weren’t referring to political parties—they were drawing up a set of laws based on Holy Writ, by which they could advance the Christian faith and create a colony governed civilly.
Separated from our Creator and His precepts, people in control misuse politics. They aim to recreate society in their own images, doing what seems right in their own minds. They lord it over the common good. In America, these forces are joining hands across the disciplines. Powerhouses in media now build myths around vain imaginations. Educators rewrite history to reshape mindsets, and the political state legislates the revisions into “law.”
The battle for Maria Altmann did not end at the close of WWII. She found herself decades later in a tug-of-war with her native Austria, trying to regain custody of artwork stolen from her family by the Nazi regime, and later confiscated by the Austrian government. With the help of a young Jewish lawyer, the case escalated all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court before moving back to Austria.
Maria won. A small victory in light of the Holocaust, but significant nonetheless, and played out in the courts. Today, the battle for the Gospel in America includes all three branches of government—executive, legislative, as well as the courts. Aggressively attacked on each front, we can fancifully continue to expect a different outcome than the current trajectory, or we can push back, storming the realm of the political with Biblical truth. It’s the “push and pull, the “tug-of-war,” of our generation.
Are we as a nation to be Biblically correct or, in the humanistic, revisionist, sense of the word, politically correct? Ultimately, Biblical inerrancy stands on the revisionist chopping block. Will the body of Christ activate and engage or—taking its cue from Isaiah 51—passively avoid its day in court? America hangs in the balance.