I have had many discussions, debates, and down right arguments about the election of our next President of the United States. You have read and heard more than you care to, I’m sure. We can agree that both candidates reflect our secular, post-Christian cultural values in which we now live. Among those are that business and political acumen outweigh character and the right of the individual is the final arbiter of right and wrong. Christians should not be as worried about who is the next President but more about the values they represent and how we embrace those values or live differently from them.
One question keeps coming up in all of my conversations,
What if _________ wins? What do we do now? My answer is always the same:
We who follow Jesus will do what we have always done. We will love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, minds, souls, and strength, and we will love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
I get a
yeah, but… from many, but let me point out some realities we cannot forget. No matter who is our President or how he or she shows favor or disfavor toward the church we must remember these truths:
Our citizenship is in heaven. Paul reminded the Christians living in the Roman Empire that
our commonwealth is in heaven.(Philippians 3:20) We who live in the US are a blessed people. No country on the planet is like ours, and we must do what we can to protect the sacred trust we have been handed. But, in the end, our politic is a kingdom politic. We are citizens of heaven first. We are
foreigners and resident aliensin a land not our own. (1 Peter 2:11-12)
The church is God’s mission to reconcile the world to himself in Christ Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:17-19) God has ordained government, and his people are to respect it—but not worship it. (Romans 13:1-6) Dr. Christopher Wright, who will speak at our next colloquy, put it this way:
Our mission, in participation with that divine mission [God’s creation, ruled over by redeemed humanity, giving glory and praise to its Creator], and in anticipation of its final accomplishment, is to work with God in exposing the idols that continue to blur the distinction, and to liberate men and women from the destructive delusions they foster. (The Mission of God, 165)
God ordains governments, but the church is the living
body of Christthrough which the world experiences the hands and heart of Jesus.
Our global brothers and sisters shake their heads as we wring our hands over who leads government. Ask our global students who serve in atheist, secular societies how they are the church in their country. Hostile governments have imprisoned some. Others accept the lowest paying jobs in their society to be a pastor or church leader. Yet, the church thrives where they live and serve. The church will be the church wherever
Christ crucifiedis preached and the Holy Spirit rules in the hearts of God’s people regardless who lives in the White House.
Our goal is not a majority in Congress but to love as many Christ-like followers of Jesus as possible into every walk of life. Some are called to public service, but we are all called to be bold witnesses wherever God leads us. We must enter the public square of debate and the halls of government, but most of us are woven into the fabric of business and education where we must engage evil and speak and act boldly so that
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
I am convinced if God’s people will be Christ-like salt and light servants where they live, learn, work and play, God will accomplish his eternal mission of reconciling the world to himself through his Son, Jesus, the Christ.
This election like few others will set the course of our nation for decades to come. Your involvement is a privilege paid with the lives of others. Few people on earth have this privilege. Vote. Pray. Proclaim the hope we have in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I voted early, and, yes, I will accept the results of the election. I will also continue to do the work God has called me to do alongside you at this place and time in our history.
God has placed us in the arena of Christian, private theological education. We are committed to our God-given mission to equip church leaders in whatever political climate we find ourselves. We will face public policy battles, and the threat to our freedom to teach and lead biblically is real.However, we will not worry nor cry out in anguish. We will continue to trust the One who called us on this mission, and we will be about what he has called us to do until he returns or calls us home.
In partnership with you,