Ok back to the “Constantinian Cataract”. For any of you who have no clue what this is referring to, it’s the term made known in the book Mere Discipleship by Lee Camp. He refers to a cataract or film that covers the eyes of the population that has no clue they’re being misled by a “wrong color” or film. They see as clearly as anyone else, but it’s looking through a rose-colored lens (reminiscent, obviously of rose-colored glasses). The Constantine part is a reference to emperor of 4th c. Rome, who in the name of Christ conquered, ruled, and converted to “Christianity” – although he remained immoral and personally full of defilement in his character. Christianity was merely the facade of “Rome”, and if one converted, he converted to Rome and Constantine.
One of my concerns – not, by the way, a serious challenge yet to my faith – is the Constantinian cataract that may be on the lens of the eyes of Americans. As I mentioned before, I am not anti-patriotic; I am proud to be who I am, and thankful for the freedoms I have; much less the men and women who have died to preserve that. However, I know I had no control over the country in which I was born and the LORD did. He has indeed blessed the existence of peace and faith in North America for a reason, yet I can’t help but question our government making decisions based on “holiness” or “righteous” motives. How are we to know if God is behind what we deem righteous or holy? Could it be that our straw man of righteousness or being the world’s policeman of what is right and good is merely the expression of power with justification? Is it different than Constantine’s power and political decisions? I hope so.
Yet at the same time, I know the nation who comes to God will see his mercy. I guess more than anything – for me – this book on discipleship is a wake-up call to personal holiness. I know there were German men in WW1 who wrote “God Bless Us” on their helmets? I’m sure there have been men and women everywhere around the world who fear God and call on him – yet serve under the uniform or commission of an unholy leader? God’s people must practice counter-cultural values and behavior because it is the way Christ did it. If I keep that in perspective, the big decisions seem to be easier to make. That doesn’t make it any easier to consider the big issues David Lipscomb dealt with about the Christian and civil government, balanced with his Christian character. But a modern-day Crusade of “Christianity vs. Islam” or whatever we wish to call it may not be far away. For God’s people to demonstrate Christ-likeness is the most powerful demonstration of the Gospel. More powerful than bullets, more powerful than politics. So I must absolutely pray for our President. He is a man who proclaims faith in God and his decisions are being made (ideally) through that lens, not a Constantinian one. LORD be with the man who is in the seat of decision, and truly desires to serve you and do what is right. And silence those who believe him assinine or ridiculous. As David said in the Psalms, the enemies of the Lord are too numerous to count, and they believe the friends of God to be stupid.