This country has seen some dark days. There have been moments of unbelievable despair, like we witnessed at the Capitol, when everything seems to come apart at the seams. Those are the hours when the hopelessness we see looks nothing like the nation we thought we knew. Yet, in almost 250 years, even the worst of times have never defined us. And we can’t afford to let this one either.
What happened Wednesday wasn’t America. We are not a bitter, desolate, violent people. We are a hurting people. A frustrated and divided people. But we are not a people broken beyond repair. I know that, because the vast majority of men and woman at yesterday’s rally weren’t there to shatter windows or trash offices. They didn’t come to make congressmen crouch behind desks or run down the hallways in terror. They came peacefully — to air their grievances and ask for justice. Unfortunately, both will be harder to come by now.
There are those who will say that the real villains of the siege were Antifa or some other fascists in disguise. And that may be true. Over the next few days, it’ll be up to law enforcement to make those determinations. But there are conservatives who condone the lawlessness that took place yesterday as a means of obtaining justice. To my friends who hold such a view, I ask: How can the rule of law be restored by lawlessness? Violence and destruction are wrong no matter whose side is responsible. I denounced the lawlessness of this past year, when Democratic leaders watched in silence as our cities burned to the ground — and I denounce it now.
Whatever yesterday’s nightmare was meant to accomplish, the peaceful protestors and other conservatives are the ones who will suffer. They’re the ones, the Federalist’s Emily Jashinsky laments, “the decent [Trump supporters, who have been] continually ignored and smeared, [who are] now saddled with the baggage of violence they did not commit.” Like every other conservative, they’ve been “lied to by the media for years. They have been [marked] as racists by elites and peers alike.” Their faith and values have been marginalized — or canceled entirely. “With no other sources to turn to, they turn to the man who seems to hear them.” Now, the case of so many — election honesty, integrity, and transparency — is in jeopardy, because of the instigators of this attack.
Of course, this is not a place they — or any other mob of the last seven months — arrived at overnight. This is a sowing, Pastor Jack Hibbs shook his head on “Washington Watch,” that’s gone on in America for a long time. It’s what happens when God is ejected from schools, courts, politics, and polite conversation — and you allow rioting and looting and burning to take over our cities unchecked. It doesn’t matter if your cause is just. Order never comes from chaos.
Do I understand the devastation and frustration? Absolutely. This was not a fair and free election in many corners of this country. People feel like they’ve been robbed, and in some places, rightly so. But from a biblical worldview, Pastor Jack urged, we need to galvanize ourselves in light of what’s happened. That doesn’t mean we shrink away — and it doesn’t mean we pick up a brick. “It means that we, as believers, go to our knees in prayer. We seek the Lord honestly like never before, because we’ve got kids, we’ve got grandkids, and we’ve got a nation to defend.”
“I know that there’s a sense [of devastation],” Jack empathized. “I saw a man walking down the street this afternoon, well into his 70s, carrying an American flag by himself. And he was crying. And I don’t know what that man was thinking, but it gripped my heart. And what I want to say is: there’s hope. There’s hope because Jesus Christ is on his throne. There’s hope because we’ve seen, even in this last election, [what our movement can accomplish]. The church cannot be criticized in this last election for not getting involved. The church did get involved. The church did vote. And I want to [say this to] all of you out there: You cannot be discouraged right now. Is it not going the way that we had hoped and prayed for? It appears that way. But God is on his throne. He knows exactly what’s going on. Heaven is not shaken by this. The word of God is not thwarted. What we need to do is find out what the Lord wants us to do next. But whatever that is, it will be honoring to the Lord Jesus Christ and honoring to scripture. But we need to know the heartbeat of God, because violence like this, this is not it.”
The last election may have been manipulated; it may have been corrupt. But Jack is right. We cannot give in to the turmoil we saw at the Capitol. For starters scripture makes it very clear that when we live by the law, we rebuke those who are lawless. We have to work within the confines of our Constitution. As distorted as things have become, I don’t believe we’re at a point yet where we can’t work within the system to reform the system.
Unfortunately, some people will still throw up their hands and say, “Oh, it’s all over. I can’t believe it.” As Jack said, “Get your eyes off of man and understand something.” God used President Trump in many ways, but he isn’t the last or only person God can work through. There’s a wave of young, smart, godly leaders who ran for office and got elected in November. And more are coming.
“It’s not over. We still need to be stewards over this nation of ours. And if we don’t stand up and take courage and hold the line, then what’s the option? Surrender? No, we’re not going to do that. Jesus knows nothing about surrender. He didn’t surrender in the Garden of Eden. He didn’t surrender at the cross. And we’re going to do the same thing. I understand it’s a time to wipe the blood off your nose, catch your breath. I get that right now. You feel a little punch in the stomach, but tomorrow’s going to be a day with new mercies for the believer. And we focus on the word of God like never before. And you and I pray that God would awaken America…”
We’re living in a challenging time. What’s going to unfold in the weeks and months ahead under a Biden administration is going to challenge us to our very core — and fast. They’re coming for religious freedom, for the unborn, for everything that we’ve seen this administration advance. We have to stand for these things no matter how difficult or demanding it gets. If you begin to get frazzled, you begin to get anxious, or you begin to feel fear creeping in — that’s a trigger to get on your knees and pray. Don’t lose heart, don’t step back, and don’t disengage. Because God needs a people who are bold in their faith, with no fear of man, regardless what lies ahead. If we can keep standing, it won’t just set the truth free — it will set America free.