How to Act Like a Christian this Election
How to Act Like a Christian this Election
The Scriptures tell us that God ordains the seasons. I hope you are enjoying God’s good and beautiful gift of fall! The colors are spectacular.
Unfortunately, fall also means ”Election Season”- still a good gift, but not nearly as attractive or enjoyable. It is a time when Christians need to think and act uniquely according to their God-given status, identity, and calling. In other words, this is a time for God’s people to think clearly and to intentionally distinguish themselves from the world in several specific ways.
Our culture is increasingly divided and angry over politics. Democrats and Republicans used to be able to debate and disagree with some varying degrees of cordiality because there was a willingness to trust that each were seeking the common good of the community and country. But that trust is gone, along with any agreed upon “common good”. What seems good to one looks thoroughly evil to another. The loss of a shared Judeo-Christian worldview has led to dramatically different version of “the good life” and an increased willingness to use any means necessary to attain it. The cultural loss of the Christian doctrines of sin, grace, forgiveness, heaven, and a future judgment has produced a society desperately and angrily demanding to have their best life now, on their own terms, God and everyone else be damned.
We are seeing precisely what Paul prophesied in 2 Timothy 3 where he says that in the last days people will be
“heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God..”
Election season is an opportunity for the world to reveal its true colors: its lust for power, its hatred of those who disagree, its rejection of reason and discussion, and its delusional conviction that their future well-being is wholly dependent on the outcome of the next election. The whole scene is the sad spectacle of a world that has lost its way because it has lost its sense of God.
That is our current cultural context - and it is a tremendous opportunity for the church to be visibly different. It’s a chance for us to show our true colors.
- We don’t put our trust in princes (rulers) or horses (military might). We trust in the name of the Lord our God.
- While we care about political realities, we do not pin our hopes on political leaders and therefore are not anxious about political outcomes. Our hope and trust is in the sovereign reign of God.
- While we strive to be good citizens of this earth, we identify as citizens of heaven and we have set our hearts on that kingdom that cannot be shaken and that city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
- While we disagree completely with everything that is opposed to God and are eager to see goodness and truth prevail – we do so with grace, with charity, with patience, and even with love.
Our challenge this election season is to not despair as if we do not have a Loving Heavenly Father but to live with joy and peace as if we have a Reigning Savior who truly has all power and authority in His hand.
Our calling is to exercise our earthly citizenship as citizens of the world to come. In Jeremiah 29:7 Jeremiah tells those who were being sent into exile in wicked Babylon,
”But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
As “elect exiles” (I Peter 1:1), we also are called to seek the welfare of our country. We need to exercise our earthly citizenship in a way that is fitting of citizens of heaven. Consequently, we need to:
- Think carefully and biblically about the votes we will cast.
- Refuse anger and outrage as the first and necessary reaction.
- Reject slander as an appropriate response.
- Remember that while our votes matter – our prayers and caring engagement with our community will be much more effective for the transformation of society and the gospel cause of Christ.
- Rejoice that we have the privilege of living in this lost world as ambassadors of Christ.
Let’s be different. Let’s be the church, the people of God. Let’s be beautifully, notably, graciously engaged in this world with our eyes fixed on Jesus and our hearts set toward the world to come.
One of the most important issues facing Michigan voters this year is Proposal 3, which seeks to enshrine abortion in our state constitution. Abortion is a great evil in the eyes of God and every believer should care about the outcome of this Proposal. Please make yourself aware of it. You can easily find information online.I found these two sites helpful (here and here). I’m sure there are others.
Kevin DeYoung has written a couple of excellent pieces here and here on the unique relationship between the church and the state and the importance of the church, as the church, to properly understand its role and use its power. Would love your thoughts on this!