Posted by: amylamb | November 11, 2012

Moving Forward: The Future of Conservatism

Election results are in, and the shocked silence of election night has transitioned to confusion, indignation, and even despair from citizens of faith. But we must not despair, instead we must act. And we must act quickly.

It’s no surprise that conservatism — politically and theologically — is losing ground in America. The election results are not a nail in the coffin of conservatism, but yet another reminder that we can not expect to gain ground by sitting still.

Election results show that citizens of faith remain politically conservative, but rising numbers of religiously unaffiliated citizens are theologically and politically liberal. This is not a political issue; it is a spiritual issue. Our spiritual disillusionment is causing unprecedented moral decline. This moral crisis is the root of the economic, political, and social crises our nation now faces. Clearly, our religious convictions — and lack thereof — carry consequences of national proportions.

So what must we do to expand the influence of the culture of Christ in America? First, we need to focus on our own behavior.

Let’s be honest: The legacy of conservatism is not necessarily one of Christlikeness. Instead, much of the world perceives conservatives as those who seek to separate themselves from the culture — and from the appearance of sin — as much as possible. Though that may have been effective in past generations, young people especially aren’t buying it. Perhaps it is time to approach the culture of secular relativism instead of sheepishly backing away from it. Perhaps it is time to reevaluate how we apply and share our beliefs in a culture that no longer accepts easy, “because the Bible tells me so” answers.

We should hold fast to the values we champion, but we must present credible arguments on their behalf. We should continue to advocate for the culture of responsibility that leads to “abundant life,” but we must also evaluate ourselves to determine whether we are truly living examples of the truth and grace that we profess.

Allow me to speak clearly: Our identity as Christians cannot be found in tradition because tradition is not necessarily truth. If we do not reflect the character of Christ, then our traditions and religious standards do far more damage than good. We must find our authenticity only in objective truth: that which remains unchanging in a dynamic culture.

I am convinced that we must take action if we wish to chart a clear course to a healthy future for conservatism, for the Church, and consequently, our nation as a whole:

  • Evaluate how we express and share our convictions. If not in love, then our efforts are futile.
  • Develop a culture of responsibility first within ourselves, then within our circles of influence.
  • Humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face, and repent of our self-righteousness.
Only then will the world see and confess the hope that we have. Christianity as usual is losing this nation, but truth — when lovingly and consistently displayed — wins.

Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
(Matthew 6:10, NKJV).
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Responses

  1. It was very encouraging to see states like Alabama, Texas, and others who are still carrying the banner for the American founding principles. Jesus reminded His apostles to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto the Lord what is the Lord’s”.I believe that as long as we remember where our citizenship is, we will never really feel at home in this world. As Joni Erickson Tada often reminds her listeners as you have “hope is a good thing”!


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