While each of us may have our opinions or personal convictions about America and the policies that we want to see instituted, the undermining separation that the 2016 election has caused among Christians has forced me to step back and re-evaluate a lot of things.
This country is more than Trump and Hillary. Our values and our principles run deeper than this election. Our responsibilities and convictions as Christians are not and will not be defined by our next President. This election is temporary; our unity as one body is eternal.
Scrolling through social media over the past few months, especially the last couple of weeks, has been absolutely infuriating. Christians attacking each other’s beliefs and policy stances, even questioning each other’s salvation. Not just disagreeing with another person’s views, but completely degrading their competency and attacking personal characteristics, even physical appearance.
Church, we will never reach people with the Gospel with this approach. What do you believe outsiders looking in on our disunity see?
Brothers and sisters, the genuineness of our faith is being tested. 1 Peter 1:7 says, “You have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” The division and destruction that this election has caused among the Church should break out hearts and lead us to our knees.
“We may be troubled with the individual thing, but in reality we are missing the whole thing if we do not see each of these things and many more as only symptoms of the deeper problem. And that is the change in our society, a change in our country, a change in the Western world from a Judeo-Christian consensus to a Humanistic one. … I want to say to you, those of you who are Christians or even if you are not a Christian and you are troubled about the direction that our society is going in, that we must not concentrate merely on the bits and pieces. But we must understand that all of these dilemmas come on the basis of moving from the Judeo-Christian world view — that the final reality is an infinite creator God — over into this other reality which is that the final reality is only energy or material in some mixture or form which has existed forever and which has taken its present shape by pure chance.” – Francis Schaffer, A Christian Manifesto (Emphasis mine)
Yes, our temporary citizenship is here in the United States, and we must be good stewards of this time, but we must look at this in light of eternity. Yes, it is an absolute privilege to live in this country where we have the opportunity to elect and vote for our leaders. Yes, the SCOTUS appointments, the e-mail scandal, the corruption, the sexual comments, the grotesque histories, the media bias, all of these things should be discussed and addressed.
But the President of the United States of America is under God’s authority. God knows exactly who will lead this country. God is still in charge. He is sovereign over all. We need not hurt one another because of the election.
So GO OUT AND VOTE in full confidence! Be sure to align your politics with your theology, and not the other way around. What policies or what candidate will promote your values and convictions? Which candidate for the House or Senate will stand up for the sanctity of life and your freedom to exercise your religion?
Again, this election is important and you should vote. But if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, everything looks different. Things should look different.
Practice the politics of grace. Remind yourself and those around you that salvation is not found in a President, a political party or in government. As the old hymn reminds us, Our “hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” Our home is not of this world. We must continually remind ourselves not to build up our treasures here on earth, but in Heaven. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
God is just as good, sovereign, holy, just, and worthy to be praised today as He will be on Tuesday and on Wednesday, no matter what the outcome is.