The whole world has gone mad.
That’s what people are saying. It’s the only way to make sense of what is happening in our nation at this moment. People must be crazy.
The temporary insanity plea is handy, and comforting, in a way. Madness is for a moment; one bad election season, we console ourselves, and people will wake up. They will get this madness out of their collective system, and the pendulum will swing back the other way.
Insanity provides us with a reason for the unthinkable while conveniently releasing us from any semblance of responsibility or taint of participation.
Madness is convenient.
It is easier to think there’s something in the water than to accept the truth that there is something in our souls that could be causing a nationwide outbreak of recklessness in regard to our national elections.
It is far more difficult to face the reality that what we’re witnessing is not madness at all, but the inevitable outcome of a chronic disease. Our nation has been sick for a long time. But not only have we neglected the symptoms, we have contributed to the decline.
Decades of unchecked sin and selfishness and a gross abdication of roles and responsibility have led to where we are today. People are not crazy. They are infected. We are infected.
Our nation, far from being mad, is symptomatic. We are plagued with wrong thoughts about ourselves, our leaders, and our God. Wrong thinking, left unchecked, quickly solidifies into wrong beliefs, and wrong beliefs lead to wrong expectations, and wrong expectations become the demands that shape policy.
That is where we are today. It is not madness that infects us, but something much longer in the making and much harder in the healing: we have allowed our minds to become darkened.
We have forgotten Who is on the throne, and like God’s people of long ago, we have clamored for a king when we had a Sovereign. We have begged man to do what God has done while smugly calling ourselves a Christian nation.
We have no intention of being a Christian nation.
We do not want God’s truth, we do not want his righteousness, and we do not want his responsibility.
We have given the government the job of the church and given the church the job of the individual. With nothing left to give away, we have collected our rights about us and horded them with jealous suspicion. Those who do not think like us—worse, who do not vote like us—are enemies because they threaten the thin livelihood we hide behind.
Rage boils up in our mouths and blisters our speech. Differences are as unthinkable as a civil debate. We do not know how to have a conversation with someone who differs from us because we view those differences as a threat to our very existence. Instead, we throw around hate and justify it by talking about how much is at stake.
After all, we say, no one stopped Hitler.
In truth, we are afraid. We are afraid because we have forgotten that the Lord in heaven laughs—he knows what is to come. And he is in control of all of it.
We crouch about in our fear because that is all we have that is truly ours—fear. We fear what will happen if so-and-so is elected, or if so-and-so does not. We worry over the policies of the leaders we demanded to have and the politics of the neighbors who do not think like us, as if God is not still on the throne. We spend more time watching the news so we can remember what to be afraid of than we do reading the Word so we can remember why we should not fear.
We fear losing even one of our self-proclaimed rights as if anything we have is ours to keep, as if in any way we deserve the right to speak or think or live as free men.
We are not free men. We are slaves to our own flesh, and we cannot do better for ourselves in and of ourselves. We are sick.
We are incapable, except by the grace of God, to choose well. We are incapable, but by the grace of God, to do well. We cannot even watch and pray long enough to raise up the next generation. We have abdicated our responsibility to captivate our own minds and teach our own children because there is something on Facebook that needs our immediate attention.
If we spent half the time conforming our minds to Christ as we do worrying over politics, we might have a hope. If we spent but a moment meditating on the truth of the Word, we would not fear. If we understood the reality of eternity, we would beg for God’s refining fire and the singe of sanctification because we would know how much we need it.
It is easy to chalk this election up to madness. But oh, that we would see it for what it is. It is sin-sickness, and it will not change with one election season. It will not change until we let go of the fear long enough to pray, “Come, Lord Jesus. Make us holy. Keep us humble. Be our Sovereign. Let your kingdom come and your will be done no matter what it costs me.”
That is madness, of course. But then, the world has gone mad.