I’ve been in conversation with friends, family members, and strangers about the election for many months now. There is a lot to say. And a lot has been said. For today, here are a few thoughts that I want to put out there for other Christians to consider:
Living in a democracy is a privilege. We shouldn’t take for granted the incredible blessing of living in a nation where we are allowed to help set the course of government. There are people in many places in the world who are suffering under the weight of tyranny. Believers are called to be good citizens and voting in presidential elections is a fundamental act of citizenship. So take the time to vote.
One of the most discouraging things coming out of the 2016 election was the obvious division ravaging our churches. Christians are a political people. But the politics of the kingdom transcend the American political order. You can help combat a spirit of disunity among believers if you will trust that the same Holy Spirit that is working in you is also working in the Christians around you. None of us will see the election exactly the same way. We will vote for different candidates based on different rationales. Christians need not conscript the consciences of those around us. Feel free to advocate for your beliefs and seek to persuade other people. But don’t sow or stoke the fires of division over politics and the election.
In a sermon yesterday, I heard Pastor Scotty Smith ask a question to the congregation: “Regardless of the outcome, is there anyone here who believes that Jesus will be more or less sovereign the day after the election than he is today?” No one raised their hand. Of course they didn’t. Because as believers, we know that Jesus who rules and reigns is not dependent on the outcome of an election to advance his kingdom of maintain his authority. Do yourself, and everyone around you, the favor of remembering that the outcome of the election (as important as it may be) will do nothing to alter Jesus’ rule over history. Christians often respond to bad news by affirming “Jesus is still on his thrown.” That might sound trite, but whether you are pleased or not with the outcome of the election. It is still true. Jesus is king. And nothing will ever change that.
Elections are important. Christians should be engaged. But don’t let your politics become an idol. And don’t allow your church to be divided, at least as far as it depends on you and your words, rhetoric, and social media posts.
I might have more to say on this topic, but in the meantime here’s some helpful resources for you to consider:
The Ballot Booth Is Not Your Baptism