The Short and Long of It

Published by John Bingaman on

One of the fruits of understanding Reformed Protestant theology is the adoption of a generational view of the future.  It’s a long view – one that expects our progeny to inherit our goods, our society, and our ethic.  A long view prompts us to forgo current consumption for future benefit.  Another way of saying this is that we are willing to delay immediate gratification in order to save for a rainy day.

No matter how you might say it, the Calvinistic understanding of hard work as unto the Lord, leads to conservative economic and societal outcomes.  I mean that in the truest sense of “conservative.”  We conserve economic resources for future use and we are hesitant to throw off the “old ways” of morals and ethics in favor of promises of feeling good right now.  “You Deserve It” and “Just Do It” don’t ring true to one with a long-term view.

It’s not universally true, but true enough to point out that it is solid Christians who have a more forward-looking outlook.  And it seems no coincidence that as America has shed its Christianity it has moved from a future-oriented society to a now-centered one.  We can place much blame on the religious schooling (humanist) that most American children receive, but we must admit to our own lack of concern about the future as we’ve been caught up in the ease and abundance that the old ways actually produced.

As I see it, there’s no denying this correlation between the Christian-ness of the society to its time orientation.  The more solidly Christian, the more future-oriented the society.  Also, there’s no denying that most in our society now are concerned about how things are going to affect themselves.

A recent article by Tom Luongo[1] highlighted an aspect of the COVID plandemic that really plays to this worldview.  In it, he says,

“When you buy into fear, you sell your reason….  Your eyes focus on your next step too afraid to raise them to the horizon.

There is no bigger picture, there is only the moment.”

In those three sentences, he revealed the game plan of those running the COVID show:  Pull everyone’s eyes even closer to the feet.  Don’t allow anyone to raise his eyes to the horizon and realize a bigger picture.

Like so many other problems, the solution to COVIDiocy is a reformation and restoration of Christian thought.  Most Americans no longer think God’s thoughts after Him.  Even the American church has gotten so soft and lazy and now-oriented that it didn’t see the big picture when Caesar said, “Stop meeting.”  A timid acquiescence was the response of most churches and with it a revealing of their irrelevance to the world at large.  Even if they’re still preaching the Bible, they are now doing so with Caesar’s permission (and tax advantages).

I don’t like criticizing churches.  But I’m angry that they either couldn’t see or didn’t want to see the idolatry of bowing to Caesar.  Or that they were scared and hid behind an excuse of “loving” their congregants.  Or both.  And I don’t like writing this next part because in the context of the aforementioned criticism it sounds smug and preachy.  But here goes…

Those of us involved with the Mid-Atlantic Reformation Society were not so inclined.  (see: A Death in the Family, March 2020)  At a meeting back in summer of 2020 one of our Board asked, “Why is it we can see what’s going on and so many cannot?”

Because of what Luongo wrote, it’s now easy to appreciate that our optimism for the future, which always has us looking at the horizon, is what cleared the fog of fear so we could see the situation and some of the ramifications.  We try hard to apply Scripture to our world in hopes of transforming it Christ-ward in the future for our children and their children.  This is the essence of Reformed Protestant theology.

So I would urge you to abandon the short-term view for the long-term view.  Look up, fear not, and work hard.  Look up in hope and see the future that Christ desires and what obstacles are in the way.  Fear not for Christ has said He will never leave us or forsake us.  If He is for us who can be against us?  Work hard to clear the obstacles in the way of Christ’s kingdom.  Our labor in and for the Lord is not in vain.

John Bingaman, December 2021

[1] It’s Time for All Good Men to Stop Fearing John Galt,

Categories: The Church