IN THE NORTHWEST WHERE I LIVE the mayoral and school board races are dominated by liberals. Why is this the case? Where are the conservatives? Why are so few politically engaged? The answer lies in the Christian worldview. Our hope is not in this world. It is in the world to come.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise, we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.2 Peter 3:10-13
Most conservatives are Christians, or at least share a Christian worldview. In the Christian worldview, the world to come is ultimate. This present world is not. It is penultimate. This world is fallen. It is under God’s curse. Humanity cannot perfect it. Only God can do that. Therefore, most conservatives are “waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God,” fixing their spiritual eyes on the world to come. Their orientation is heavenly. They are otherworldly.
Liberals or progressives are just the opposite. Their hope is in this life. They have no other. For them, all hope ends with death. If there is going to be a heaven, then, it must be in this world. Politics is their religion.
This problem is compounded by pride. They have no concept of Original Sin, so they believe that both people and the world in which we live are perfectible. Remember, atheistic Communism promised both Russia and China a “workers paradise.” To get there, however, a bit of social engineering was required. Mao justified it this way. “To make an omelet you need to break a few eggs.” The omelet was the worker’s paradise. The broken eggs were the lives of the eighty million Chinese who objected to Mao’s paradise.
Here is the lesson. Every attempt to create heaven on earth has inadvertently created hell instead. Only the Christian worldview produces political happiness. It works because it is in contact with reality. The Christian worldview accepts the limitations caused by sin in a broken world. It doesn’t pursue perfection. Instead, it seeks to limit the effects of sin by bringing happiness to the greatest number of people, realizing that in Jesus’ words, “the poor you will always have with you.” This is the genius of capitalism. It accepts the world as it is. The results are never perfect, but it harnesses human greed and acquisitiveness to bring the most good to the most people.
America’s progressives share Mao’s idealism. If they get their way, the end result will be hell on earth—Orwell’s Brave New World—the collapse of freedom and poverty for the masses. As Margaret Thatcher famously said, “Socialism works until it runs out of other people’s money.” What then? Poverty for the people but massive wealth for the elites.
How Should We Respond?
What can conservative Believers do? First, understand what motivates liberals. Politics is their religion. This world is their heaven. They are fundamentally utopian. You are not, and that is a Grand Canyon divide over which no one can leap. Those worldviews cannot be reconciled. It explains the liberal energy and fervor that has gained control of our universities, the press, Hollywood, the media, and our corporate boardrooms. Exhorted by Italian Communist, Antonio Gramsci, they have successfully made a “long march through our institutions.”
Second, even as you reject liberal utopian ideals, get politically involved. We will not win without a renewed effort. That begins by understanding our enemy. Despite its fallen condition, “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.” He wants the best for the most people. Some Christians have a political calling. Is that you? God has called some Believers to run for mayor, the local school board, and Congress. If that is you embrace your gift and calling. Exercise it for the good of mankind and the glory of God. If this is not you, it is no excuse for political illiteracy or apathy. Get educated. Read the news. Pray. Get involved in the political process.
In conclusion, although this world is penultimate for Believers, it would be a massive mistake to surrender it to liberals because the political process is their religion.