The cultural climate of our day often makes the politically engaged Christian feel isolated.
So many issues are beyond us. Safe schools, parent’s rights, conversion therapy, abortion, euthanasia, religious freedom, moral decay, children’s innocence, political apathy, weakened churches… You get the drift.
The voices seeking to redefine truth, justice and morality are very loud and increasingly effective.
It looks as though they won’t stop until everyone falls in line – no, celebrates – the new normal.
And all the while it seems that everyone is numb to the problem.
How bad will it get?
Some days you wake up and wonder whether it’s just you. Often, you self-censor, feeling uncomfortable to declare your beliefs publicly. You look for bold leadership but it’s lacking.
Elijah faced an infinitely more desperate set of political and cultural circumstances. He was finally overwhelmed.
He cried out to God in desperation, “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.”
But the astonishing answer was this: “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”
Compared with the overall population of Israel at that time, 7,000 would not have been an insignificant number.
I am certain that it shocked Elijah. He thought he was alone. But look how many others God had preserved from that culture!
Those 7,000 were oppressed under a regime that was effectively totalitarian. Their queen led the people in idol worship. They were invisible for good reason.
What’s our excuse?
Roughly 1.8 Million Australians attend church weekly. Weekly attendance is a reasonable indicator of serious faith.
I did some number crunching on ACL’s supporter base and was hugely encouraged.
We are now a grassroots movement of over 125,000 supporters.
The largest states by absolute numbers are New South Wales and Queensland.
But by head of population, the Australian Capital Territory wins (1 in every 108 Canberrans). Tasmania is second (1/109), and Western Australia third (1/128).
Lest you think Victoria is under-performing, it contains more electorates with over 1,000 ACL supporters than any other state: 8 in total.
There are now 22 federal electorates home to over 1,000 ACL supporters. Groom (QLD) is the largest with 1,407.
The average federal electorate is home to over 800 ACL supporters.
Our weakest seats are the Melbourne CBD (no surprise) and Wentworth (Malcolm Turnbull’s seat, curiously).
One of the more astonishing things I’ve seen is a feature called “map view” that is built into our database. I click it and it overlays a map of Australia with black dots representing ACL supporters. Zoom in on the major cities and there’s a supporter or two in every other street. Neighbourhoods are covered in spots.
I do not say this to boast – whilst politically significant, numbers really are not everything. This is especially true with God.
Rather, I say it to encourage you. It sure gave Elijah a boost and we who are in far less serious circumstances should also be buoyed by the fact that we have company.
God has preserved a great many in Australia who have not bowed the knee, so to speak.
We should therefore engage more vigorously and confidently. If only we all did so, it would make an enormous impact.
Don’t underestimate the power of a petition that everyone has actually signed.
Over 800 emails from their electorate will always make a politician stop and have a think.
Hundreds of people volunteering for our Victorian state election campaign during the coming months will make a tangible difference to the outcome.
This is why I see ACL engaged in far more grassroots action into the future, especially around election time. By God’s grace, we can have a loud voice. Be ready.
But a word of caution (for myself, too). Numbers are not everything:
“Unless the Lord build the house, those who build it labour in vain.” (Psalm 127:1)
Please pray first. Even if that’s all you do.
These are God’s times. He will accomplish His plans in them. I pray every day that this growing collection of ACL supporters can be useful to Him as He does so.