Worldviews have consequences.
A worldview that excludes God leaves a massive void, and people naturally look to someone other than Him as their ultimate authority. And when people look to fallible humans (and bureaucratic systems made up of fallible humans) it’s a recipe for disaster.
Right now, more people are filling that void with politicians such as rising Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. Here’s what she tweeted to her followers in the wake of the horrific New Zealand Mosque attacks:
At 1st I thought of saying, “Imagine being told your house of faith isn’t safe anymore.”
But I couldn’t say “imagine.”
Because of Charleston.
What good are your thoughts & prayers when they don’t even keep the pews safe?pic.twitter.com/2mSw0azDN8
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 15, 2019
After receiving pushback, she attempted to clarify: “‘Thoughts and prayers’ is reference to the NRA’s phrase used to deflect conversation away from policy change during tragedies. Not directed to PM Ardern, who I greatly admire.”
Offering prayers isn’t solely an NRA slogan — it is something hundreds of millions of people of all different faiths do and offer on a routine basis and especially when incomprehensible evil and tragedy occurs, like what we just saw in New Zealand. Prayers should be appreciated, not mocked — especially when the very people who were attacked are the praying kind of people.
But let’s take a closer look at what her tweet is really conveying. The clear implication is that a higher power cannot possibly keep people safe from guns — only action from the federal government can do that.
This is what many people believe today. Beto O’Rourke announced his candidacy for president yesterday, and he closed his announcement by saying, “We are truly now, more than ever, the last great hope of Earth.”
I am running to serve you as the next president. The challenges we face are the greatest in living memory. No one person can meet them on their own. Only this country can do that, and only if we build a movement that includes all of us. Say you're in: https://t.co/EKLdkVET2u pic.twitter.com/lainXyvG2n
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) March 14, 2019
Of course, he’ll say he’s talking about the people of the country — but this is an announcement for his own presidency and the rallying cry isn’t for anything other than a grassroots campaign about getting himself elected president. If he truly believed people were the answer, he could give this very same message and not be running for anything.
But he, like an increasing number of progressive Democrats, is abandoning faith rather than running to it. A breakdown in The Atlantic examined how secularism is the new norm on the left:
Were a Democrat from the Clinton, Bush, or Obama eras to watch the presidential-announcement video that Beto O’Rourke released on Thursday, they would likely be struck by how it ended. Or, more specifically, by how it didn’t end. O’Rourke did not close with any mention of God.
O’Rourke exemplifies a new normal. None of the other major white progressive candidates—Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, or Kirsten Gillibrand—invoked God in their presidential announcements either. (Amy Klobuchar, who is running as a comparative moderate, did.)
As culture moves further and further away from God, as they increasingly view God as a problem rather than the solution, it stands to reason they will begin to place more of their hope in human hands. Politicians feed into this mindset and volley back and forth, playing off people’s worst fears.
Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, for example, recently suggested the world will end in about 12 years if we “don’t address climate change” soon. Fringe elements around the globe, particularly in Europe, unleash similarly exaggerated claims on the topic of immigration. From Financial Times:
“Give us France back, damn it!” the far-right candidate (Marine Le Pen) demanded at a rally in Paris on Monday night as her supporters chanted: “This is our home!”
What are people to think, then, when their side of the political aisle is losing the fight? What if we’re 11 years in and there has still been no Green New Deal? What kind of desperation will people be feeling, as the world is nearing the end of the line (according to AOC)?
Playing to extremist, alarmist fears while removing the sovereign God of the universe from the picture is a dangerous combination. The more politicians project themselves as the ultimate hope and the last line of defense, the bigger the fear and hopelessness will be when they inevitably don’t deliver on their soaring promises.
If we’re in “maximum peril” as Beto O’Rourke says, it would be arrogant, selfish and foolish to consider anything else but prayer. Maximum peril is precisely the time to pray more, not less. And that is why it is offensive that AOC mocks prayer as some meaningless platitude that we should be embarrassed to offer up in times like these.
We are at maximum peril — but not for the reason Beto or AOC think we are. They think we’re in trouble because we’re placing too much trust in God, when in reality we’re not placing enough trust in Him. The country He so very blessed for making Him the center of its founding is turning its back on Him.
And as we’ve seen throughout history, it never ends well for countries who decide they know better and run from Him. So I would encourage you to not listen to the likes of AOC and Beto, and pray.
Pray, now more than ever, for revival in this country and around the world.
Pray we turn back to the God of the universe, who is sovereign over all.
Pray we run back to Him rather than walk.
Pray pray pray pray pray — and then pray some more.
Because there’s a movement that’s actively trying to push God off to the sidelines and make him an afterthought — and God will not be mocked.