“Christians should be known for what they are for rather than what they are against” is about as bad as other folk-Christianity sayings like “God helps those who help themselves.”
Sometime I think “winsome” is a get-out-of-jail free card that releases the Christian. Folks like Luther and Kuyper were intense, often a little rude and a bit bombastic, but everyone knew exactly where they stood. Having drawn their lines in the sand they brought about actual change because there was a clear call to action. Indeed, we all need to draw lines. Without a clear target we will miss every-time.
Friendship with the world is enmity with God (and, though you might not be a spiritual “adulterer” fornicating with the spirit of the age and wokeism, many of us are guilty of “innocent flirting” by allowing the woke masses to rub up against us, and instead of holding up our wedding rings we instead offer up a little smile and giggle with passive-approval).
Abraham Kuyper didn’t like the depraved Dutch political system, and so, he did something about it. Not only did he do something about it, but he was pro active. He started a new political party. He united different groups. He started newspapers, a college, and eventually became the Prime Minister. Kuyper was very clear with his program, in fact, he wrote a book that outlined in detail his program. I share a selection from it here because:
1. We can learn a lot from seeing somebody not just being a theorist but an actual doer.
2. We see that his situation was not much unlike our own.
3. He didn’t cave to the myth or “winsome” and failed to repeat the tired old phrase “Christians should be known for what they are for rather than what they are against.”
Granted, there is more durable content in a label that states positively what you are for, than in a term that merely indicates what you are against. Also, the terms Christian and historical [one of the names of his political part was the “Christian-Historical Party”] sound more familiar and positive and speak more to your inner life than the cold foreign term anti-revolutionary [The “Anti Revolutionary Party” was the other name of his part and was used to describe his rejection of the French revolution that sought to put man as the measure of all things and attempted to tell God to ‘hit the road.”]. In addition, the label “Christian-historical” would remain relevant even if the Revolution were vanquished and the term “antirevolutionary” had outlived itself.
The reason why we often prefer the name “antirevolutionary,” as one can readily see, is that it is more energetic and more compelling. When someone tells you, “I am an antirevolutionary” you know at once where you are at with him, whereas “Christian-historical” still leaves you wondering.
Let’s make no secret of it: it takes more courage to be an antirevolutionary.
Oh yes, our day and age will let you have your label “Christian-historical,” provided nothing further is specified about it. You can be Christian-historical without any consequences to speak of. With nothing but that title you will even be admitted to the circle of full-blooded radicals as a person open to change.
But when you declare yourself an antirevolutionary—that is, when you consciously and stoutly oppose the prevailing ideas and trends in legal thought; when you carry forward your Christian and historical convictions onto the political and social domains and consider it an honor to belong to that group in society that is targeted for oppression if not destruction—then your opposition provokes resistance and you are in for a political fight to the death…
We refuse to join the revolutionaries in sliding toward their godlike power state…
And, to put to rest once for all: we ourselves react more strongly than anyone to the idea of re-establishing a Reformed state church. On the contrary, we demand the strictest application of the principle that the state shall not itself promote “the saving faith.”
But the chief goal that is nonnegotiable for us is this: (1) Our country as a state shall not be placed in a hostile position over against the living God…