According to some people, the world ended at around 11pm last Tuesday night. Now, these people are depressed, down-in-the-dumps, morose, etc. Many of these people are fellow followers of Christ. I’ve even heard some of these people speculate on whether or not Barack Obama might be the Antichrist. By the way, I’ve been around long enough to have heard the same about other Antichrists dujour.
According to other people, the world began at 11pm last Tuesday night. It appeared to me that many of the people who descended on Grant Park and other places around the country to celebrate Obama’s victory were heralding “good tidings” of “great joy,” almost as if the Savior had come.
I understand that these seem like blanket overstatements on my part. However, they capture the two ends of response on the 2008 electoral spectrum. I voted. I won’t tell you how I voted. Some of my fellow believers would be happy with my vote. Others might think I’m off my rocker. I know because I’ve had these discussions. As I voted, I tried to do so through the lens of my Biblical world and life view. Sure, that perspective informed the issues for me and directed my decision on who to vote for. But even more than that, it gave me perspective. So as the sudden void of a 24/7 barrage of political messages and posturing has left me with more time to think, I’d like to share some perspective. . . for the simple reason that I think our responses to the election are often indicators of a lack of faith and Christian maturity, rather than a sign of faith and Christian maturity.
So. . . . my thoughts. . . .not exhaustive. . . . and certainly not very deep. . .
God’s got this all under control. He’s taking our country and world where He wants it to be. To those who think that it’s all starting to fall apart due to the election results, you need to realize that it was all falling apart a long time ago. And if we are proud enough to believe that it wasn’t all shattered until now. . . well, that’s just a sign that our own falling apart led us to accept and believe a delusion. Which is, of course, proof positive that it’s all fallen apart. In my own humble opinion that’s based on my own personal experience. . . I think we feel good about the country when we feel good. And feeling good is predicated on the chicken in our own pot and the car in our own garage. It’s symptomatic of our deeply embedded North American materialism, which is – by the way – epidemic in the church and our homes. Maybe, just maybe, a crisis that would shatter our idols and force us to our knees in dependence on God is just what the Creator ordered and just what we need for the sake of our own spiritual growth.
If God’s in control, then we don’t need to be afraid. So. . . . why are we? Perhaps we should be spending less time complaining about the change we think is about to come, and more time looking in the mirror at the changes that need to come in our own lives based on our fear. . . . including a little more dependence on God.
Government can’t save us. Numerous societies have been down that road all throughout history, and it’s never worked. Those who think Obama is the Savior are wrong. And those who think that Obama is the opposite are equally wrong. . . . simply because their despair is an indicator of the fact that they have relied on the political status quo to save them (whatever that means), and now that the political status quo has moved them from a place of comfort to discomfort, the world and their lives are doomed. Either way is idolatrous. . . replacing the Creator with something created.
Let’s say Obama is the Antichrist as some Christians believe (and there’s no way of really knowing is there?). Do we really think that our vote could have changed God’s grand plan to redeem His world and work out what He’s had in store for all eternity in His way and His time?
Maybe the most valuable thing to come out of this election is the truth about ourselves. We live in a media saturated world with a media that’s saturated by spin. Fair and balanced? I don’t think it exists anywhere or at either end of the spectrum. Yet, we still buy into it when it caters to our leanings. Truth is, as well, that our world is hungry for the Redeemer. Obama won’t do it. And truth is, as well, that the component of the church that placed their faith in McCain and Palin are equally wrong. Don’t misread what I’m saying so that you hear me say that however you voted you were wrong. I’m simply saying that many on both sides have placed their faith in people and things that don’t warrant our allegiance.
So, for the next two months and some days our responsibility as God-following citizens of this country is to live under the authority of our current leaders as long as they don’t require us to disobey the authority of our Lord. In addition, we should be praying for the President and all others in authority. And, when the new administration takes over, these commitments must continue.
And remember, “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
Finally, I knew my blog title would catch your attention. What are you thinking about the election?