In the biblical story of the prodigal son, a headstrong and foolish young man leaves his father's home for "a far country" where he soon squanders his entire inheritance on "harlots" and other unspecified "riotous living."
But that's not the end of the story.
With the father's money gone, the son's good times quickly turn bad, especially when "a mighty famine" arises in the land. What seemed at first to have been a life of newfound freedom and personal gratification has become one of tribulation and suffering. Yet because of that suffering, he at last comes to his senses. Starving and remorseful, yet too ashamed to return home as a son, he determines instead to journey back and offer himself to his father as just another hired servant. That way, at least, he won't starve.
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It's easy to imagine this young man's shame causing him to want to turn away as he approached his father's house, the pain becoming greater as he got ever closer.
"But," Jesus tells us, "when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him."
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And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. (Luke 15: 20-24)
A joyous ending, to be sure. But what about our story? We live in a time of great tribulation, and it's going to get worse.
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Let's not sugarcoat anything. The re-election of Barack Obama is rightly understood to be a monumental national disaster by the tens of millions of Americans whose minds and hearts haven't been captured by the deceitful seductions of the left. To many, it seems that we may have, at long last, lost our country.
My 23-year-old daughter called me mid-evening on Election Day, right after it became apparent that the unthinkable had occurred – that Team Obama would have another four long years to transform and dismantle all that Americans loved, all that we fought for, all that we "built."
"Dad," she said urgently, "what the hell just happened?"
I confirmed the bad tidings she was hearing on Fox News and explained the vexing electoral math. And then, after dialoguing briefly about the implications of this election, I was moved to more-or-less apologize to her: "I always wanted to leave behind a good country for you and your brother to grow up in, but it isn't looking that way right now. This is really bad. I'm sorry."
"It doesn't matter so much for me," I added. "I've lived most of my life in the real America. It's for young people like you that I'm heartsick." And of course, I reassured her that all was not lost, that there was hope, and that I would continue to "fight the good fight" as a journalist – though I couldn't promise what the outcome would be.
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Since the election, every right-thinking American has been asking the same sorts of questions: How could this have happened? What do we do now? Is there even a way back to the America of our youth?
As a nation – and I'm speaking now of the voting majority, not all of us, obviously – we have squandered the priceless inheritance of our forefathers. We have wandered off into a far country and wasted our substance on immorality and profligate spending. We mock the faith of our fathers. We ignore the Constitution they bequeathed to us. We spit on the moral code they gave us, on which America and Western Civilization were founded. Our wealth – once the natural reward of the mighty engines of industry and innovation that thrive in a free country – is largely an illusion today, based on debt.
America is broken.
And yet, in this strangely wondrous world of ours, the Good Lord seems to bring us back to Him – back to understanding and repentance, to redemption and salvation – by breaking us. He brings us to our knees and allows us to suffer the consequences of our own folly until, as the "prodigal sons" we all are, we too come to our senses and look for a way back to our original estate.
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Remember, America's problem is not Barack Obama. Our problem is that half of our population, after watching a lying, supremely demagogic president methodically unravel America for four excruciating years, could see fit to elect him a second time. Our problem is that millions of us think it's perfectly fine to rip apart innocent children before they're born, and to steal from those who work hard and "redistribute" their goods to others. Our problem is that millions of us think it's wonderful and proper for men to marry men and women to marry women and to persecute those who rightly point out that this is both immoral and mad.
Our problem is that millions of us – and more to the point, virtually the entirety of government, academia, popular culture and "mainstream media" – embrace the most absurd, preposterous and destructive lies as though they were great and enlightened truths.
Millions of people living in American today are, quite literally, madly in love with lies, deception and selfishness.
That's our problem. Electing Obama is just a symptom.
So the big question: Is there a way back?
Here are my thoughts:
If there were no God, then no, there'd be no way back.
But God is real – despite what the world's atheistic "experts" and "leaders" tell us, and despite what the ubiquitous spirit of doubt inside our own minds often tells us. God is very real, and He can fix anything that is broken – especially us. "With God, all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)
What makes this seemingly obvious point so relevant – and hopeful – to America's predicament is that this is not North Korea, where an entire brainwashed population lives essentially in a huge national concentration camp. In America, we are not one, but two nations. For while half the population is "progressing," almost trance-like, toward socio-economic and spiritual chaos, at the same time, moving on parallel tracks but in the opposite direction, are millions of decent, right-thinking Americans who deeply believe in and fervently call upon an all-knowing, all-powerful Creator for help in this time of great distress.
Remember, the Bible promises us: "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Friends, we cannot save our country, in the exact same sense that we cannot save ourselves. That is, we can't give ourselves salvation through the force of our own will; we need repentance and the forgiveness of God through Christ for that. Just like the prodigal son, if we come to our senses and repent and move toward Him, it is His good pleasure to meet us halfway and bring us home.
Thus there may be a remedy for our country, but only if it is His doing.
So lighten up. Have a little faith. Be a true American. Fly your flag. Share our nation's inspiring history with your children and grandchildren. Tell them about the Pilgrims, about George Washington, about how the young Abe Lincoln walked three miles to return six cents to a customer he had accidentally overcharged.
Live as independently and self-sufficiently as you can. Get out of paper assets because serious inflation is almost certainly coming. Have food, fuel and firearms. Remember Hurricane Sandy. Consider relocating to a safer area, maybe one colored "red" on the electoral map.
Don't drop out of politics. That's what the adversary wants you to do. Rather, fight for what's right, as you are led to. Vote – nationally, statewide and locally. Support worthy candidates and causes. Network with others of like mind.
One more thing: The coming tribulation in America requires, more than ever, that we discover and practice something Jesus commanded of us, and which he exemplified with his life and death: "Love your enemies." That commandment isn't quite as inscrutable and paradoxical as we sometimes think. "Love your enemies" just means don't hate your enemies – don't resent them, don't be upset, enraged, fuming and bitter over their outrages. That's what they want, that's how they win – think about it. As the popular Christian saying goes, "Hate the sin, but not the sinner." Remember, on the deepest level, "they know not what they do."
I'm not suggesting we be passive; after all, we're in the middle of a (mostly non-violent) civil war raging in our country. We can still be righteously motivated to oppose our misguided brethren, yet without hating them. There's a great secret here, and if we can find it we will discover great power to change things for the better. It's a patient energy called grace. It's God's energy, which He quietly slips into us when we practice good-natured forbearance with unreasonable, out-of-control, even malevolent people.
The way we find redemption has a lot to do with how we go through tribulation. We've got lots of that now, and more coming. So let's discover how to endure it with grace. "He that endureth to the end shall be saved." (Matthew 10:22)
Again, by "endure" I don't mean be passive. We need to choose our battles carefully and fight them powerfully and intelligently – with grace.
Who knows? If we "endure to the end" in a way that is pleasing to God, maybe He'll reward us by opening up a way to yet take our country back. At the very least, we'll grow in character and have lived a blessed life of obedience to Him. That's not bad either.
But if we think we're going to take back the reins of power in America with the energy of hate and frustration, ego and revenge, just forget it. The war will have been lost before it's begun.
So give up the rage – just give it up. Smoldering, suppressed resentment is a major factor in depression and many other problems, both psychological and physical. Give it up. It doesn't help anything.
I wrote something about this in "How Evil Works" that may be helpful:
If such forbearance is desirable and even vital to our ultimate happiness, why then is it so hard to stop being angry and to exercise real patience, which is pretty much the same as real love? Because letting go of hostility feels as though we're giving up something very important, something we need and deserve to feel, something necessary and justified. In reality, the reason our resentments feel so justified, so righteous, is that they're feeding our pride, which feels like life itself to us. Yet, whether we recognize it or not, we're just nourishing everything that's wrong with us.
Oddly, our own anger virtually always appears (to our pride) to be righteous, offering us a strange and shadowy illusion of genuine nobility. Thus, irritation and snapping at our children is a perversion of firm but patient correction. Resentment at injustice is a perversion of genuine righteous indignation.
We need grace, more than ever.
Armed with grace, we can make plans to make our family and our home more self-sufficient, and we won't do it out of fear, but it will be an enjoyable adventure instead.
Armed with grace, if we fight to take back control of the Republican Party from pathetic and treacherous RINOs, we'll have the best chance at succeeding.
Armed with grace, we can work our hearts out to take back Congress in 2014 (especially the Senate) and probably prevail – with a little help from the mid-term pendulum effect.
Armed with grace, if we focus on presenting conservative ideas more effectively, we'll discover the necessary insight and skill to neutralize crazy left-wing myths and lies.
Each of us needs to exemplify the real America, which Lincoln rightly called "the last, best hope of earth." The "melting pot," that lovely metaphor for the cloning of the American spirit, made clear that Americanism was never an ethnicity, religious denomination or skin color, but a magnificent Judeo-Christian value system. That's what America still is. So let's live it, and keep that torch burning brightly.
Excerpted from the December 2012 issue of Whistleblower magazine, "THE AMERICAN TRIBULATION." Learn more about or subscribe to Whistleblower.