from Andy Ragon
Over the last few years, I have found myself writing from a place of relative neutrality. After some soul-searching, I’m not sure I quite like that. I want to give room for people to think and have differing opinions. However, in my writing, I want to share my genuine thoughts. Here we go.
This year has been a bit weird, and the weirdness continues. The presidential election has come, and we find ourselves in the throes of civil unrest and political upheaval. Corruption has been found flagrant; yet the media remains silent.
In June 2015, President Trump announced his presidential candidacy for the 2016 election. The moment I saw the announcement, I heard God speak, “He’s the one.” Amidst all the ups and downs leading up to Election Day, I had an unwavering confidence in what I heard God say. It was a bit strange because almost everyone I spoke with didn’t just disagree – they often disagreed vehemently.
It was even more strange to me when people in prophetic movements around the nation voiced their adamant opposition to Trump’s campaign. How was it that the church could not see? How was it that the prophetic voices in our nation could not hear? I had many questions.
After his inauguration, President Trump quickly got to work. Through his actions, he slowly won over many within the church who initially opposed him. I was happy to see that, but I was still concerned with what I saw.
I could write many things regarding Trump’s accomplishments during his presidency thus far, but those things can wait. My interest for this article lies elsewhere. Instead, I will tell you what I see.
The United States of America is a beautiful land full of promise. Even though she’s broken my heart numerous times, I love her with all my heart and will for all my days. Our steps as a nation have not always been perfect. We’ve been clumsy and at times naïve.
But she’s learning. She’s growing. She’s maturing. She’s still beautiful.
Recently, I heard America described as a benevolent superpower. I think that’s a good summation. Although we’ve made many mistakes, our intentions have largely been noble. Americans fundamentally want to make the world a better place. We want to help people. We want to make a difference.
Sadly, we’ve often seen injustices in foreign lands before we have seen it in our own. I think it has perhaps been easier to right wrongs in other nations before having the courage to address the wrongs at home.
A nation is much like a family. There are many dynamics at play, and it’s beautifully complex. Sometimes, it’s harder to see the beauty than others, but it’s still there. Our greatest strengths are often found in the midst of our difference. Do not be discouraged. To fly requires two wings.
I have seen the absence of fathers plague this land for decades and now generations. This alone creates repercussions that far-outweigh any issue raised from any political platform.
Fatherlessness has created a bitter root in the heart of this nation toward leaders and any in authority. And what I have seen over the last four years is much like a father being introduced to a fatherless nation. The children rebel. There is no trust. They push back because their heart does not know how to receive. Bitterness and distrust causes every act to be felt as vinegar on a wound.
The role of president acts as the father to this nation. The church too easily forgets where the nation was heading before Trump. I remember a time when pastors and Christians were indicted and jailed when unwilling to violate their conscience by officiating homosexual weddings. The church was afraid to use its voice. Trump became our voice even before he became president, and our freedoms were quickly restored.
How does the fatherless choose a father? I’m not sure we know how. It is through bitterness and resentment we see. We side with whoever gives voice to our frustration. This only further solidifies the foundation of our hatred. How can anyone lead when all they bring is the furtherance of victimhood to the masses?
I have been praying since before the election. God has asked me to pray for unity amongst His people and a steadfast resolve to see God finish what He has begun. The truth is we, as the church, give up far too easily.
In the past few days, I have heard Christians endlessly recite, “Regardless of outcome, Jesus is still on the throne.” I could not agree more. However, I sometimes question if this is not a simple stale expression to escape the moment we find ourselves. Is it an excuse to give up and settle back into apathy? After all, “God is in control.”
Yes, make no mistake. Jesus is Lord. However, we have our part to play. This is not the time to disengage. There is a belief within many churches that whatever happens is God’s will. I respectfully but wholeheartedly disagree.
The Bible describes the road to both blessings and curses that can come upon a nation. If a nation honors God and His ways, they experience blessings. If they turn away from God and do what He detests, they experience curses. This showcases the freedom and responsibility attached to our choices.
I do not believe God chooses leaders who support the very things He says will bring a curse upon a nation. His heart is to extend mercy and allow opportunity for His people to turn back to Him. He is a good Father and very patient.
The Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20 says we are to make disciples of nations – not only save souls. I’ve often wondered if we’ve gotten things backwards. Evangelism has sought to save souls while the church has disengaged from influencing nations. However, in discipling nations, we will save souls.
Evangelism has always been a big question mark for me. I am in no way judging people’s efforts, but I have wondered if there is a better way. It seems the church has relegated itself to a perpetual defensive approach. We wait until every governing institution has failed people and then we approach them with the Gospel. We surrender our authority and allow the government, education system, and every other industry to lead first. And when they fail people, we come to the rescue. But is that all the Gospel is? A last resort when all else fails?
Obviously, when a person is in need of rescue, it is saving grace. I absolutely love and celebrate that. But surely, it is far more than that. Is the Gospel not powerful enough to lead the way? Must we forever pick up the crumbs? Should we not work toward having more influence? I believe evangelism should look like leading from government, education, media, and so on.
Maybe, my questions will become your own. What does it look like from God’s perspective when we declare “Kingdom come”?
I don’t know if you are familiar with the prophecies about Trump. Trusted prophets across the nation and the world have prophesied Trump will be re-elected going back as far as 2007. God has spoken the same to me. The road getting there may be a bit bumpy; but perhaps, the bumps are a blessing. They’re waking us up.
The church has done a great job of becoming innocent as doves, but we have fallen very short in becoming wise as serpents. 2020 has revealed, for many, how woefully unprepared we are. If the church is to represent God on the Earth, we must recognize the season and act accordingly.
I’ve poured my heart and soul into praying for this nation for most of my life. Over the years, God has spoken many things to me about America. I refuse to give up now. On the contrary, I have more hope for this nation than ever before because I have seen where we are going.
Many I know in church have no interest in government or politics. I have never cared for politics, but I love government. For all those in the church who do not find interest in government, I would like to challenge you to look deeper. Government is God’s idea. The church is government.
If you speak with most Christians about the passions of their heart, it normally entails helping people. It’s beautiful. My heart beats for the same. But we must understand, we can spend our entire lives focused on helping those in need and not create lasting, effectual, change. In order to create sustainable results, we must influence the structures and governing agencies that create culture. That is often government.
I’m concerned we as the church have fallen into the same trap as our culture. We believe the government or those in leadership are the enemy. They are inherently evil and irredeemable. If we view government as either evil or of no concern, we lose influence within our culture because we isolate ourselves within our church buildings. The same buildings we coincidentally are unable to meet within presently because our state governments forbid it.
As the church, we must wake up and engage. It is not enough just to pray. We must do something. We can no longer complain about our government, our education system, or our police departments. If you see a problem, I invite you to become part of the solution. We are to be the visionaries who pioneer what God wants to release to the world.
Revival and awakening are coming, but it may not look like what we have thought or expected. It may look more like reformation. I believe racial reconciliation, exposure of corruption within our government, and justice will play a very large part.
Let freedom ring.