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After the failure to put Mitt Romney in the White House in the election of 2012, conservatives were seeking answers. The defeat of their candidate caused conservatives to come to this shocking truth: In a democracy, the majority rules, and the majority of people in this nation voted for a man that many thought was a socialist who was actually trying to bring down this nation, a man who promotes gay rights and abortion. It seemed to be a surprise that this was the man the culture wanted, but if this was the man the culture wanted, the answer is to change the culture, they say.

Change the culture, huh? Good luck with that. But I don’t believe in luck. It’s a superstition, like keeping your fingers crossed, hoping that gesture will somehow change the outcome of something. God is sovereign, not luck.

We’re not going to change the culture via a political process. I think most Christians know this, but I suppose they were all hoping against hope that somehow Romney would at least keep us from bankruptcy and uphold conservative family values, in particular traditional marriage and protection of the unborn. However, Romney’s traditional Mormonism would have done nothing to stop the slide of morality in the country. If Christians thought so, they were deluding themselves.

Here are two brutal realities, no matter who had won the election of 2012:

Reality one: Traditional values in the United States were strong enough to hold for a while, but they have fallen to the onslaught of sinful culture change.

Reality two: The majority of people in the United States have turned away from God. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that we have turned away from Jesus.

Now, I know that Christians are quite willing to blame the Church for this decline. We’ve failed to reach the culture, we say. This is a strange position to hold, since our megachurches are doing, it seems, all that is worldily possible to engage the culture—emphasis on worldily, if that’s even a word. But the church has always been worldly. When I read commentaries from a century or more ago, those authors also lamented how carnal the Church was. It all sounds very familiar. And check out Paul’s letters to the Corinthians and the Galatians, as well as Jesus’s letters to the seven churches in the book of Revelation. Keep in mind that this had happened within less than sixty years after Jesus walked the earth. Didn’t take long, did it?

So has the Church failed to “hit the sweet spot” in engaging this culture? Maybe. I have huge problems with the Church. If you’ve read any of the posts on this blog, that is evident. Nevertheless, the evangelical church is still populated by very many born-again believers. These are good folk who are trying their best to spread the light of Christ to the people of the United States. Are they doing a great job? I don’t know. Are you?

Is it the Church’s fault that the majority of people in the United States are falling away from the Lord? No. It’s more accurate to say that people are sinful, and they would rather remain in that condition than come to the knowledge of salvation through Jesus. This culture is hugely strong. It’s tsunami strong. For just one contemporary example, try resisting consumerism this Christmas season, and let me know how it works out for ya.

So, Jim, Mr. Smart Guy, what’s the answer, you may ask. Well, Jesus told us the answer. “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Many years ago, Laurie and I were part of a fellowship that used to sing a song with this verse: “Disciples first, then fishers of men—that’s what Jesus said. Disciples first is still the call today.” So, I suggest we read Luke 14, where Jesus laid down the criteria for discipleship. After being challenged by it, ask for His grace and help to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Then tell others about the liberating joy of following Him and having all their sin and guilt erased by the blood of a Savior who gave His life for them. After they have repented and come to Christ, disciple them according to the truth of Scripture. Simple, huh? Simple—but not necessarily easy.

May the Lord bless you as you endeavor to follow Him—and make disciples.

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