Someone needs to take 2016’s keys away, because it’s not acting normal.
The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl without an offense. Brexit happened. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series. And now Donald Trump just won the presidential election. What kind of bizarro world are we living in?
Here are 2 thoughts for Christians to consider in light of the election:
1. Our country is divided and we are called to be peacemakers
Here in Boulder County, voters overwhelmingly voted Democrat. 71% voted for Hillary Clinton. The majority of the City of Longmont went for Hillary. Republicans took control of the House and Senate nationally, but Democratic candidates won almost every seat they ran for here in this area.
Nationally, as of right now Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. Right before the election 61% of people said that they considered Donald Trump unfit to hold the office of president, which means that most people in our country are deeply concerned with the results, including some of the people who voted for Trump themselves.
Furthermore, this election was very divisive. I read a post on social media from a young woman today that said, “Every vote for Trump was a direct assault against me, my friends and my loved ones. I will not forget it.”
For Christians, no matter what your political stance, I think we must avoid the “us and them” mentality. Such a mentality encourages people to make value judgments about other people which are often not fair, such as “Liberals think that __________” or “Trump supporters condone __________.” Those generalizations are often, if not usually, untrue, and the reason for a person’s decision for how they vote is usually much more nuanced than people on the other side make it out to be.
I liked what President Obama said during his speech today, “This was an intramural scrimmage; we are all on the same team.”
Jesus taught his disciples, “Blessed (literally: “Happy”) are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). Helping people make peace with God is at the core of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. An “us and them” mentality which divides people over political issues will only hinder that from happening.
Whoever loves God must also love his brother. – 1 John 4:21
Furthermore, resentment towards others hinders people from having a relationship with God. 1 John 4:20-21 says: If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. Yes, even someone who holds different political views than you.
We are called to be peacemakers, between God and people and between people and people. Let us not be those who perpetuate divisions, but those who encourage reconciliation.
2. Getting caught up in politics can hinder your true mission
President Obama said to the nation today, “Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, we are all Americans first.” As Christians, we go one very big step beyond that: We are not Americans first, we are Christians first.
As Christians, we have a calling to be ministers of the gospel. Jesus said to his disciples, “Just as the Father sent me, so I also send you.” (John 20:21) When people think of Christians, we don’t want them to associate us with a politician or a political affiliation or party, we want them to associate us with Jesus and the gospel message of the love and grace of God.
In a country as divided as ours is right now, it is very possible for politics to become a stumbling block and a hindrance to people being willing to hear the message of the gospel from those they disagree with politically. We can’t allow that. Our mission is so much more important.
Christians need to strive to be known not for alignment with a particular party or stances on economic policy or gun rights, but for our concentrated focus on the mission of God and the message of the gospel. This is not to say that Christians should not have opinions on such matters, it is to say that we must not allow these things to be associated with what it means to be a Christian.
May God bless our nation and help us who call ourselves Christians to faithfully follow Jesus, communicate his heart and carry out his mission.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)