The Hopelessness of a Melancholic Gospel

Not bowing or capitulating to the hopelessness of a melancholic gospel.

As an example, in the name of neutrality, we analyze ad nauseam our modern predicament with arguments from social science, history, philosophy, physical science, statistics, and other such supposedly areas of academic expertise — all, of course, from an allegedly neutral position to maintain respect among the intellectual elite.  Sadly, nobody is listening to our intellectuals. They are preaching to the choir, and even the choir is asleep.

 

The Christian Church is full of pessimism. Over nearly a decade we have watched a United States President dismantle what is left of a Christian civilization.  We now have two new candidates who are saturated in the gospel of statism.  America is at war — white against minorities, male against female, and homosexuals against heterosexuals.  In the name of liberty, the federal government has become a tyrant and is intentionally seeking to destroy every last vestige of biblical Christianity. The future looks dismal. The conservative pulpits of America are preaching the twin gospels of pessimism and escapism.

One reason for this condition is that most of our forefathers bought into (hook, line, and sinker) the false gospel of neutrality in politics which was woven into a theology that can be traced back in seed form to the Baptist Roger Williams.  He was banned from the puritan colony of Massachusetts and led in the formation of Rhode Island.  His theology of neutrality became a prototype for our founding fathers.  We have lived in an American Baptist Culture for a couple of centuries now, and we are reaping what we have sown.  I love my dear Baptist brethren, but their neutral political pluralism has come to maturity.  America is broken.

As an example, in the name of neutrality, we analyze ad nauseam our modern predicament with arguments from social science, history, philosophy, physical science, statistics, and other such supposedly areas of academic expertise — all, of course, from an allegedly neutral position to maintain respect among the intellectual elite.  Sadly, nobody is listening to our intellectuals. They are preaching to the choir, and even the choir is asleep. Seldom do we hear the thunder of men like John Knox who proclaimed to the Queen of Scotland “Thus sayeth the Lord.”

Modern religious and political pluralism is an offense against a holy and sovereign God.  Either Jesus rules over all or he is no ruler at all. It’s time to recover our Puritan and Calvinistic heritage.

There is today a revival of the old Calvinistic culture occurring behind the scenes. I see it every day in Reformed church families and their covenant children.  It’s sinking deep roots into the minds of our children, and it will offer an alternative in the future to a world that is suicidal. Like Israel prior to the Exodus and like Luther before the Reformation, we cannot conceive as yet what glorious things God has in store for this world before Jesus comes again.

Let us not bow before the hopelessness of a melancholic gospel.  We need to remember the promises of God. They ring as true today as they did thousands of years ago, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea (Hab. 2: 14).  “For he must reign until his has put all his enemies under his feet.  The last enemy that will be abolished is death” (1 Cor. 15: 25-26). Let us continue to pray as Jesus taught us “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Mt. 6:10).

Larry E. Ball is a retired Minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and is now a CPA. He lives in Kingsport, Tennessee.