No Further

I have done my best (not well, all the time) to remove the stream of news and nonsense that has been ebbing and flowing this past half a year. There’s no benefit for your mind, your body, or soul to wade into a pool of fear-mongering and resentment (even potentially justified resentment). I will look for a general update every once in a while, to find prayer points or things to journal about quietly and privately.

But not today.

Yesterday had some really encouraging news, state elections going surprising ways and people legally and boldly standing up for freedom — Virginia’s win for freedom is significant. I celebrate it, even though whoever wins or loses an election is not remotely my source of hope or joy. That was a win, and there are many other wins that happen all over the place, if you take the time to find them.

But there is still work to do, today.

I do not want to be over-dramatic or too angry or volatile with my wording. However, I will not stand to be quiet over evil, bull-headed government ignoring the rights of the people it serves, not rules. Christians are called to be the best kind of citizens, so far above reproach that the enemy has to invent wrongs against us. American citizens choose who lead them, and they choose when it is time to move on.

There is not a single line in the Constitution of the United States of America or in any constitution across these States, nor any right delivered by Congress, for the office of the executive branch to make unreasonable, arbitrary and intrusive demands of private enterprise and private companies. You can look really hard, but you will not find an ounce of support for the continuation of these so-called “emergency provisions”.

This new “mandate” is not the end of the world, and will not go without extreme challenge. The conservative media outlet The Daily Wire has partnered with the Alliance Defending Freedom, in a lawsuit against the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and the Biden administration’s joint effort to infringe on the medical and personal and spiritual and economic rights of the American people. They are only one such group taking up the legal arms of an empowered citizenship: their voice.

One of their lawyers had this to say:

“The federal government lacks the legal authority to compel private employers to play the role of vaccine or COVID police, lack the police power to force private employees to undergo medical treatment, and may not ignore constitutional limits on its ability to regulate every aspect of our lives […]”1

As I said before, they are only one voice in a surging tide that has shown itself in recent election results and in bold stands against government.

Let me be clear: if you or anyone you know has chosen to get any of the COVID-19 vaccinations, you were (and are) free to do that as an American citizen and a human being made in the image of God. No one has any right to shame you for it. But nobody has the right to make medical demands of any person, especially when every other effort, treatment, and discussion comes under attack or is vilified. Renowned, Nobel-prize winning medication that has been discovered as being effective against all kinds of viruses is senselessly, stupidly mocked. Doctors with different opinions or concerns are demonized and stranded away from any platform where they can make a difference.

Are we, as Christians, really going to stand by and be silent? Are we going to forget to use our voices to protect the freedoms that men and women have bled and died to pay for? King Hezekiah, a great king and servant of the God of Israel, had his entire legacy and rule tarnished because he selfishly ignored a call to action. Why? “Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?” (2 Kings 20:19) Things are uncertain for the generations after me, but, at least MY generation will continue to experience the joys of a flawed, but free government.

Hezekiah may have damned his children, his great-grandchildren, and generations after him. Are we going to rob the generations after us of the freedoms we have because we were too dense or too afraid to plead with the Lord in repentance, to long for change and to fight for it with humility and faith? That seems dramatic, especially because there are plenty of folks fighting for the continuation of freedom and personal responsibility.

That’s all well and good, but what about the Church? Where is her fire?

Daniel was a man with great fame and a position of power and influence, which he carried out with integrity and honesty. He was loyal to his God, and never faltered in doing good. But he did not sit back and say “Will there not be peace and security for me? Those who come after me can fend for themselves.” No! When he read and understood that generations of sin and indifference forced his people into an exile of their own making, he turned to the Lord in repentance, throwing himself on the mercy of God. He was not at all responsible for the sins of his ancestors, but he did not remove his responsibility to leverage his relationship with Yahweh on his people’s behalf.

“Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws.” (Daniel 9:4–5)

The world is desperate for the humble voices of Spirit-filled prophets who grab hold and do not let go until they see Heaven move with their own eyes. And guess what? Daniel did. He saw Heaven move not just in his situation, but was privy to a view that spanned centuries, just because he prayed.

What the President and his ilk are doing is wrong, wrong, wrong. It is the kind of leadership Jesus forbids His church from emulating. The kind that lords it over others to prove its superiority and power. That is not real leadership, only a twisted shadow and a bad act.

Real leaders serve.

Real leaders spend a lifetime in service and excellence, giving of themselves for those who chose them.

Real leaders are not bullies who make demands and ignore those who resist or even walk away.

Real leaders recognize that their steps create shock-waves that can last for generations.

Real leaders revere God and respect those they serve.

It’s time for Christians in America to admit that our President is no leader — just a bully. A bully with decades of experience in the craft, no less. I’m not calling for revolution or violence or anything absurd like that. I am talking about good citizens taking their stand, and drawing a line in the sand. I am talking about Christian leaders and servants publicly calling out injustice and encouraging prayer and repentance for the sake of our country.

In an intense conflict against Starfleet’s long time enemy, the Borg, Captain Jean-Luc Picard faced many demons and inner conflicts that he had spent years burying. Though his emotions at the time were wrong-headed, he said something that rings loudly when faced with over-reach that stinks of potential injustice, injustice that almost mirrors the horrors of history. When faced with the idea that he must run from the Borg, who stood for a way of life devoid of freedom and choice, Picard declares:

“Not again! The line must be drawn here. This far, no further!”

He was being driven by outrage, and not thinking clearly, but there is a bright grain of truth in this simple line from a Star Trek movie. There are times where the Church must take a stand, with gentility and humility, with smiling faces and vulnerable souls, and say the same.

This far, and no further.

The tide of corruption and bloated human arrogance? This far, no further.

Flimsy excuses and empty platitudes from Christian leaders? This far, no further.

Mean-spirited and sarcastic complaints on social media, in place of hope-fueled action? This far, no further.

There can be no more room for an attitude that shrugs and meanders into the future, being careful not to offend or talk too loud. We are not a people who use violence or anger, or stoke the fires of fear and outrage. We are a people who leverage our relationship with Jesus, with the Savior, with the Son of the Most High God. Like Aaron, we rush with our incense to take a stand before the living and the dead, and put a stop to plague.

We are the line in the sand.

Will we take a stand in the face of plague, injustice, and tyranny, in whatever way God enables us? Or will we ignore the power we have as Christians and citizens of our flawed, beautiful, unique nation?

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