Final Election Thoughts
Except for a couple of Twitter comments and several private conversations, I have remained mostly quiet about our current presidential election. Now that the dust has settled and people have absorbed the political shock of what actually happened, I would like to say something.
Once the presidential nominees were secured, I was personally disappointed with our presidential options. As I watched the campaigns unfold I became more and more certain that my hope was in God alone. I determined I would educate myself, pray, and vote. I was surprised by the outcome of the election much like the rest of the world. I do not know if President-elect Trump will be a good president or not. I only know that my commitment and service to the Lord Jesus Christ is not emboldened or diminished by who sits in the White House.
Here are some things I observed (and hopefully have learned):
- If God’s people prayed for the Kingdom of God like they prayed for the kingdoms of men, the kingdoms of men would be different.
- The political process is a broken system, but it is a system God can use. All through the Bible we find broken political systems, but God still used the political processes of men (many of them dictators) to accomplish His purposes. I am not saying that dictatorship is a good political system. I believe it to be one of the worst, but even in spite of that God moved, worked, and redeemed people. I do not think our current political process with all of its faults; weaknesses and corruption will stop God from moving, working, and redeeming people in the United States.
- On a similar note, the Bible mentions several political leaders. Some of those leaders had character (like Joseph and Daniel) and some of them had serious character flaws (Agrippa and Herod come to mind). If you notice, God used both types of individuals to carry on His plan of redemption. I have been a bit shocked by the reluctance of God’s people to accept God’s sovereignty in who our presidential candidates where (myself included). God can use the flawed heart or change the heart of any current political leader. This does not mean that we should not care about who is running for office. However, our disagreement with a particular political candidate (or party) does not give us permission to promote fear or hatred if our desired candidate (or party) is not being accepted by society. When we engage in this type propaganda we make our God small and turn government into our god.
- Without a doubt there is a divide in America. Those who hold to Judeo-Christian values are lining up against those who hold to post-Christian values. The divide has always existed, but it is growing and accelerating. God’s people must remain true to the very values that are helping create the divide (a divide that must exist). This past election was a moment of celebration for the conservative church. However, this is not a moment to gloat. Now is not the time to tell someone how they should feel or that they should not be afraid (those who lost in the vote are feeling what we in the conservative church would feel if the shoe was on the other foot). They are afraid their rights are in danger (by the way that is what I heard many of my conservative friends predicting for conservatives before the election). Patriotic posts with a hint of self-righteousness from the victory seat are not a welcome sight right now. If our words cannot be laced with humility, kindness, and encouragement then maybe we should be quiet for a while. Not out of fear, but out of respect for the common good. Just because we have the freedom to say something doesn’t mean we should.
- Last, I believe the Church has an awesome opportunity to shine in this moment of history. What is ahead of us is two roads we can walk down. One road is the staunch path of victory. From that road the Church can sing songs and smugly smile burning any chance of building bridges with those whose values are different from ours. I hope we don’t walk down that road. The other path, a tougher but more productive way, begs us to roll up our sleeves and do the hard work of building a bridge so we can place ourselves in a position to be a witness for Christ. Our values implore us to love our enemies, to be good to those who are mean to us and to pray for those who don’t see the world the same way we see it. The very values that have called us to choose a side also call us to love all people no matter their race, social status, political views, or sexual orientation.