"As Ronald Reagan said in his farewell address to the nation, 'I've spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.'"
“During the last 60 days I have been engaged in the task of constructing an administration…. I have been guided by the standard John Winthrop set before his shipmates on the flagship Arabella [sic] 331 years ago, as they, too, faced the task of building a government on a new and perilous frontier. ‘We must always consider,’ he said, ‘that we shall be as a city upon a hill—the eyes of all people are upon us.’ Today the eyes of all people are truly upon us—and our governments, in every branch, at every level, national, State, and local, must be as a city upon a hill—constructed and inhabited by men aware of their grave trust and their great responsibilities.” John F. Kennedy
"For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us; so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall shame the faces of many of God's worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses . . ."—John Winthrop, aboard the Arbella, 1630
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."—Jesus, from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:14-16
How far the nation has come. Yes, we have cast wide the net of freedom, but at what cost. We have foregone any consideration of God to placate humanist expediency. We have granted favor to the abhorrent for an illusion of moral equality. We have diminished the covenant of marriage as an image of Christ and the Church to exalt sacrilege. We have allowed "love" to trump holiness. Isa 5:20 says,
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!"
The Supreme Court's decision shouldn't surprise us, the compromise of moral irrelevancy has permeated the church. The Churches lax attitude toward sexual sin in general and the acceptance of homosexuality in its congregations has led to this next step.
The GOOD NEWS. The light of the gospel shines brightest in the darkest of places. A time is coming where the immoral decisions plaguing our country will cast a dark shadow and the distinctions between the world and the gospel will be sharper. Believers will have to make tough choices between convenience and truth, between money and God.
Already there is a call for the LGBT community not to insist that a pastor, rabbi, or priest perform marriage ceremonies. But history has shown that evil is not satisfied until everyone bows to its desires. Religious institutions will be threatened by the IRS. Pastors will be sued for being bigoted and intolerant. Religious freedom has already been tested against small businesses. We should not be surprised.
The GOOD NEWS. "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." Jesus (John 16:33)
The great experiment of a democracy founded on a Biblical foundation may have eroded, but the gospel hasn't. As long as the light of Christ shines there is hope. We impact culture best when we speak the truth in love. Truth is our foundation, love is our motivation.
Politically we must press on to influence our culture at every level. Encourage strong believers to enter the public arena. If believers shirk this responsibility then we will reap what we sow.
Spiritually we need to pray that the Gospel will shine as people see how we deal with the political defeat, and gain strength in our victory in Christ.
Even with everything that has happened, I still wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the world. May God not forsake us, but grant us boldness to speak the gospel, to shine brighter, and once again be that shining light on the hill. I'm just saying.