The Case for True Religion and Revolutionary Repentance

The church in America has a problem. Since the mid-twentieth century, confidence in the institutional church has drastically declined, leaving many scrambling to find ways to restore trust. In “The Case for Hard Religion,” conservative commentator Yuval Levin explains why he thinks this decline has occurred and offers a solution. At first glance, his case appears to be on target, but careful reflection and analysis reveal it’s not — at least in part. Flawed premises shake the logic, thus inhibiting formulation of a sound solution — and a proper solution is what America desperately needs. This article aims to offer one.

February 21, 2021

Revolutionary Repentance

The only solution to the crisis of our age is a return to true religion.  The new blueprints need to be ripped to shreds. The new houses need to be “torn down” through repenting of personal sin, resisting groupthink, organizing communities around righteous initiatives, and peacefully participating in political action for the glory of God, not for politics of personal or group destruction.

Systems of education that promote state control and social experimentation must be torn down.  Doctrines within churches that twist the nature of the church must be torn down.  Educational programs that redefine human sexuality need to be torn down.  Laws that demand equality of outcomes and not equality before the law must be torn down.  Constructs that undermine the family — from abortion to redefining marriage to unjust divorce laws — must be torn down.  Political parties that promote equality of outcomes instead of liberty must be torn down.  Scientific systems that are based on ideology and power models, not science, must be torn down.

This sounds radical, and indeed it is.  The house that is filled with rot can’t always be restored.  It must be torn down and then rebuilt.  The revolution America needs is a revolution rooted in repentance, given to us by God’s love and for his loving purposes.

Repentance is change, and people change not by the power of institutions or the people within them merely trying to be upright, but by the power of God changing hearts through the preaching of the gospel.  He lays the preparatory ground for those hearts to be changed by striking the consciences of rebellious people through the proclamation of unvarnished truth and by his judgment of the wicked as he brings a wayward people to their knees, not to condemn, but to save them. This should be the prayer of all of God’s people.

It is only when we as a nation return to the God of the Bible and his truth about reality that we will regain trust in our institutions.  Only by trusting God can we trust one another.  Only when we bow before the God of Scripture and submit to his created order will we find meaning.  This is the only path, and it will likely take a long time to traverse.  It will mean walking through mud, climbing rocky mountains, traveling through valleys, and bearing the bloody scrapes and wounds that come along the way.  This is not a call for violence — it is a call to faith and bold activism in every individual’s particular sphere.

Those in the church who see this revolutionary repentance as the only solution to our problems of institutional illegitimacy will likely face persecution.  We are living in a culture that has purposely rejected God’s truth, not merely doubted it, so when the church speaks truth, those who hate the truth will hate the church.  Conflict, not peace, will be the result.

What we need today is a True Religion of faith and revolutionary repentance.  We as a people, as the American people within institutions and without, need to get out of the pews of our own making and onto our knees, confessing our self-worship before God and giving him alone the glory, honor, and praise due his Name.

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