A Christian Response To The Election

How do we as Christians respond to all this? America has had an interesting year. These last couple of months have been especially intense. There have been fights. There have been temper tantrums. There has been finger pointing and name calling. There has been the airing of dirty laundry. The truth has come to light despite repeated attempts to bury it. Character has been revealed. Corruption has come to light. These were the things that helped us select our next leader. These were the options we had that reflected our standards as a country. The United States has elected a new President. His primary opponent has conceded. The current President has met with him. It is over.

It doesn’t seem like it, does it? We are still fighting. We are still finger pointing. We didn’t need candidates that threw public temper tantrums then and we don’t need Americans from all over engaging themselves in toddler-like meltdown now. Mud is still being slung, not that either side needs more mud. The truth is still being said, but no one is interested in hearing it.

What is the Christian’s response? Notice I said what is the Christian’s response. The days of the labels Conservative or Liberal Christian should be over. I don’t recall Jesus running for anything, but I sure couldn’t tell considering our behavior. Those who don’t follow Christ should be able to see that we our followers of Christ by the way we treat each other. Scripture teaches that Christ-followers have ONE Savior, baptized in ONE Spirit, and a part of the SAME body. That means that we have something that unites us that far supersedes our petty hobbies. What unites us should make up who are and drive a common vision, aiming for the same target, and running for the same finish line. If we are so deeply divided as Christians, could it be because we are shooting for a different target, seeing a different vision, and running a different race? Could it be that we have competing saviors? Maybe we have invited other spirits to inhabit our lives? Maybe we have tried to build our own church instead of building Christ’s? If we are divided, then we are in sin. If we are divided, then we are not living the heart of Jesus. If we are divided, then we are not following Jesus.

The response of those Christians supporting President-Elect Trump should not in any way represent boasting on your side. We do not know what tomorrow will bring (James 4:13-17). As stated before both sides had a lot of mud. Your boasting potentially sends the message that there is no sin in your candidate or your side. If you say there is no sin, then the truth is not in you (1 John 1:8). Be careful. You are not promoting a Messiah. It is okay to acknowledge faults and weaknesses of your candidate. Ignoring it sends the message that it’s okay and what leaven is there will spread in its unchecked environment (1 Corinthians 5:6-13). In fact, in all human endeavors to boast in, we probably should refrain (Romans 3:27). No, instead we lift up  Jesus Christ. He offers hope. I sincerely hope President-Elect Trump will lead well, and I especially hope that our country and our world will be better as a result of his leadership and service. But he is not Jesus. If I lift up any other kingdom ahead of Christ’s, including the beloved United States, then I know nothing of the heart of Jesus Christ. No, I will boast in Jesus.

What of the responses of those who supported Secretary Clinton? Your response should be one of prayerful support, dignity, and unity (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Will you pray for President-Elect Trump? Will you wish him well? If not, then you know nothing of the heart of Christ. Can someone who knows nothing of the election observe you and say that you are dignified? Are you doing YOUR part to bring peace and prosperity to those around you? Is it clear that your main objective in life is to bring EVERYONE to Christ? Are you presenting yourself with the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Are you gentle in your response? Are you kind? Are you in control? Are you at peace? If you are checking no to these things, then will you consider that you might need to adjust your response? Are you communicating love for all people?

Obviously, each side can look at the admonitions of the other side above and apply it to themselves and I encourage them to do so. But what I encourage more than anything else is for everyone to consider how they interact with one another. We did not get here because of Secretary Clinton or President-Elect Trump. We had plenty of say and these two were the ones that rose to the top. That says more about us than it does about them. We didn’t get here because of Presidents Obama or Bush. We got here because we as a country are broken. We are here because the Church has chosen to prop up another kingdom other than Christ’s. But no matter what we can say, we are here TOGETHER. This, “You are not my friend anymore!” attitude is what I have heard as a child on the playground. The adults in our lives tried to teach us to be better humans than that. What are we teaching our children now? Are we still going to stick with this broken, childish response? Do we actually think that it will work this time? No, let the followers of Christ exhibit the mind and heart of Christ in our response. May we actually demonstrate love instead of the intent to bully others to our point of view. May we build Christ’s kingdom first before anything else.

I was with some friends at a lake one time. One of my friends has an intense fear of snakes. Another one of my friends decided that he would test this fear. She couldn’t possibly be as afraid as she and others are saying. It’s unreasonable. So, he played a joke in a group picture setting by making a hissing noise and running a branch along her arm to simulate a snake. She preceded to react violently and emotionally. My buddy realized that her fear was very real, and while he didn’t personally understand it, he responded to this information with respect and compassion. Can we please respond with respect and compassion to the fears we have, even if we do not understand? Can we please have an aim of trying to understand? Can we connect with others the way Jesus has gone out of His way to connect with us?

One last story. I was a part of group project at one time. We had a smart group. I tried to offer my view on what we needed to do, but it was clear that my contributions were not welcome. I was the dumb jock who was holding the group back. It hurt. It convinced me for a while to not engage. The only thing was my perspective actually got us over the hurdle that we couldn’t get over. Finally, I piped up and offered a solution. The surprise on everyone’s faces was both rewarding and condescending. I wasn’t as dumb as people thought. Now I didn’t have the answers that others had in other parts of the project, but I did have that one. Everyone’s perspective is valuable. Can we agree to look at each other with respect and dignity. Can we assume that the answer just may rest outside of our small minds our outside the ideology we sometimes cling tighter to than Jesus Christ?

Let’s aim to lift up the standards for our country. Let’s vow to be a people where ALL people can feel safe. Let’s pray. Let’s trust that Jesus is not only our Savior, but that He is also our Lord. Let’s love EVERYONE the way Jesus did. Let’s work with each other for God and Country. Let’s teach our children what it looks like to disagree and to reach out to those who are different than us. Let’s lift up Jesus in all that we say and do!

-Pastor Jeff

Jeff Hill