Election 2016 may go down as the most depressing election in American history. Because I believe in the sovereignty of God, I am not worried about the future even though I am concerned for the future of our country. This election cycle doesn’t offer much in the way of promise for the next four years, regardless of the outcome. How, then, should our faith guide our actions over the coming weeks and months?
While obvious, we usually miss this step. Prayer is not inactivity. Prayer is the means that God has ordained whereby His people may bring their burdens to Him and intercede for the accomplishment of His mission. Unfortunately, this is where we are most lacking. Perhaps God will use the next four years brings us to our knees in humble dependence.
If we believe that God is sovereign over all things, why do we worry? Jesus commanded us to stop worrying by saying, “which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters” (Luke 12:25-26). Unbelievers have cause for worry because they don’t know the Lord who rules over all creation. We know Him and trust Him. He brings about all things according to His will, so let’s stop worrying and trust Him.
- Engage in the Political Process
The onward trudge of this election cycle has caused many to see this as an opportunity to disengage. However, we have been given the ability to participate in a way that most people have never enjoyed. We should not take this for granted, nor should we place this at the pinnacle of our lives. We should be faithful, diligent citizens who participate.
- Embrace Your Exile Identity
American Christians need to read Jeremiah 29 again. Rather than skipping forward to verse 11, we should pay attention to verses 1-10.
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, . . . Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf . . .
God commanded the exiles to lay down roots in Babylon because He would not bring them out of exile for seventy years. We are no different. As believers in Christ we “reside as aliens” (1 Peter 1:2). We may live here, but this is not our home.
- Prepare for Marginalization
Christians are no longer the moral compass at the center of our country. While we may miss the influence we once exerted, we should embrace the fresh focus that this can bring to our mission. No longer are we under the illusion of a moral majority. Rather, we have the opportunity to stand as a prophetic minority and proclaim truth to a culture insistent on indulging sinful appetites. Cultural Christianity is quickly evaporating and the light of the Gospel may shine brighter in the ever-expanding darkness.
- Seek a Non-Political Definition of Evangelical
Finally, let’s strive to make “evangelical” a meaningful descriptor once again. The term is so unclear that pollsters struggle to define who evangelicals are and our relative numbers.
We have claimed to be a large voting block able to shape the course of American politics for too long. Instead of widening the definition of “evangelical” to inflate our numbers, let’s allow the theological commitments that define us refine our numbers. In reality, our numbers need to shrink because there are probably a number of “evangelicals” who are not evangelical at all.
Lord willing, November 8th will come and go. Changes will come, but our hope is unchanged. We do not believe any political party can solve the world’s problems. We believe that the only One who can do that is Jesus. Let’s place our hope in His kingdom, rather than in the kingdoms of this world.