If I may have the audacity to posit this (and I am really just repeating what I have heard elsewhere), the only real answer to America’s runaway government is a good dose of repentance. Not thinking too hard about Romans 13 at the moment, but taking a look at the Old Testament track record for Israel, one thing is pretty clear — leadership can be a blessing or a punishment, and straying too far from godly precepts means that you just might be led by the Assyrians for a while.

Our problems are less grounded in the reality of politicians who are determined to give us mandatory insurance coverage or trillion-dollar deficits than they are in the fact that we are a faithless people, and we have chosen a faithless representation…and that includes plenty of self-identifying conservative types who talk a good game while in their home districts but can’t in practice keep their sticky fingers out of the money pot or stick to their culture war guns beyond platitudes.

I am not one who buys the revisionist idea that America was founded as or ever was — in any real sense — a Christian nation, and I think our current political situation is the end sum of 200 years of taking the Lord’s name in vain when convenient.

There are many things we cannot reverse without massive, violent social upheaval, but we can start by acknowledging that God is greater than any nation or system of government, and that our nation is on life support only by His great grace. A good deal of the American electorate, of which Christians are a significant portion, are guilty of thinking switching politicians will save us, but real salvation — even in a temporal sense — does not lie with any man or electoral mechanism. Until America takes a backseat to the Gospel in the hearts and lives of Christians (and while many will protest this is the case, experience and just having my eyes open tells me otherwise), America never will be great.

And yes, America does need to repent of its social sins, from its unjust wars to the fact that we have neglected the poor, the hungry, the widow and orphan, and the fact that — while doing so with bald-faced gall — we have turned to the government to take care of the problem.

But all of this is to say that, looking back at the history of Israel, a good dose of sincere repentance did end up in restoration.

And yes, I do have faith that God is bigger than our economy, or the Senate, or the judiciary, or our failing, flat-broke empire.