Thursday, October 20, 2016

Our election, and our Election

You may have seen a meme floating around, quoting John Calvin:  "When God wants to judge a nation, He gives it evil rulers."  (That's not strictly a quote from Calvin, more of a paraphrase: but it gets his point right.)

I currently have the pleasure of being in Denmark for work during the political insanity, so I am somewhat insulated from what is going on back in the States. Nevertheless, the newsfeed does keep me somewhat up to date, so I have I think a pretty good read on everything going on right now.

And based on what I have seen from these two candidates, I think that one of two things is happening. Either:

  1. God is not really "judging" us per se, but is allowing America to choose her leaders (as He did when Israel wanted a king), and we reap what we sow for choosing two bad nominees, or
  2. God is actively judging America, by giving us two aggressively bad options.

That both are bad options are, to my view, undeniable. Dangerously so.

Below are not a list of personal attacks, but rather a list of facts:
  • Mr. Trump is a thrice-married, adulterous, hypocritical owner of strip clubs and casinos--all of which are anti-Christian actions. He has publicly said that he doesn't ask God for forgiveness, because he needs none. He is easily angered, lacking the temperament of wisdom that the Scripture asks for in a leader. He is sexually broken, committing adultery many times and admitting that he grabs women and forces himself upon them in sexual ways.
  • Mrs. Clinton is aggressively pro-abortion, as she again confirmed last night (side note: a recent article suggested that this was a 'recent' position of Christianity...not so! See my series on The Didache and you will find it is one of Christianity's most ancient positions). Her leaked emails show that she lies reflexively and frequently, as a matter of habit: lying to her President, lying to Americans, lying under oath. Publicly she denounces Wall Street and bankers, while in paid private lunches with them, she says that she must maintain "both public and private positions" and in truth she supports them. She is not an honest person.

Again, this is not to say whether I like either personally, or who I think would do a better job of running the country. I'm not talking Supreme Court or Russia or nukes or anything else. I'm just talking about character.

And understand--I'm not saying that our leaders must be Christian. Far from it! Some of our greatest leaders in history were Deists (like George Washington, for example). 

What I am saying is that when you look at what Scripture says--or my experience in business says--make good traits of leadership, neither of these have them. Trust is the basic foundation of leadership, and neither of these can inspire trust to any but the blindest followers.

And so, either God is letting us hang ourselves, or He is actively judging us to wake us up.

What, then, shall we as Christians do?

I think a few things.

(1)  Remember this election is not our Election.  The Scripture says that we are elected by Christ into a new Kingdom--we don't choose the leader, He has chosen us as followers! We have an eternal security. As such, this election holds no hope for us...and it never did.  Let me be clear:  a good government on Earth does nothing but minimize sin, it doesn't eliminate it. We will still be a broken, sinful country. A good President might be able to make our sinful lives more comfortable, but sinful they remain.  Our hope has never been in the GOP or the Democrats, it has always been in our Election to eternity.

(2) Because of this, we can be different.  Unlike the lost among us, we need not fear whoever is in charge. Whether Clinton or Trump is elected, whether we end in feast or famine, whether we end in war or peace...we need not be disheartened.  If you become angry or disheartened at our leadership, it is because you were looking to them as a Messiah-figure. If your hope is in Christ and Him alone then you can pray for and honor any king--no matter how horrible--because you know that God reigns and can use even the worst among us to bring about His Kingdom in the end. 

As a result, we have the opportunity to be VISIBLY, NOTABLY DIFFERENT from our peers. We can be kind and loving. We can show hope. We can cross aisles. We can be friendly. We do not get disheartened. Why? Because our election was never about 2016 anyway. Our King already reigns! Internalizing this allows us not to be one of the millions of shrieking voices online or despondents at the office, but rather to be the priests to this world:  to offer hope and healing in times of crisis.

Christians, regardless of who gets your vote (or doesn't), make no mistake:  we are going to have evil leadership for at least the next four years. And there is going to be hurt and pain among the people as a result.

It is our job to remember where our Election hopes really lie, who our King really is, and be the light for a dark time; to be the salt in a tasteless environment.

My prayer for all of you back home this election season is that you will be kind; that you will be positive; that you will love others; that you will serve others; and that you will not seek from Clinton or Trump the things that only Christ can provide.

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