This is based on an article I wrote just after the Brexit vote. Today the US goes to the polls in the US Presidential election. For good or bad the election will affect most of us in some way, all around the world. However, we should keep the result in perspective
If the Gospel is meant to transform the whole of our lives then this should include our attitude to politics and current affairs. This means it should affect how we look at elections and referendums.
The 3rd November is a big day for the US but will also be a big day for the rest of the world too. After any election, there are always votes and supporters who are elated by victory and those who are deflated by defeat. Sometimes the losers can about live with the result but on other occasions the choice is so stark that victory or defeat seems absolute. This is how it felt in the Scottish Independence and Brexit referendums. It’s how it felt for many in December when the UK General Election was about both Brexit again and quite differing ideologies. I suspect that this US election will be similarly polarising.
I’m not going to tell you how you should vote. Nor am I going to tell you that you are wrong to feel those emotions that you will feel when the results come in. Emotion is a natural part of how God made us.
However, I’m reminded again of what Martyn Lloyd Jones said about politics and Christ’s call for us to build up treasure in heaven not on earth.
To the victors
If your happiness at victory turns into a sort of ecstatic delirium where you see this as the solution to all our ills and the dawn of a golden age, then you may well be at risk of putting your confidence in the wrong place. If you find yourself crowing triumphantly over those who voted the other way, then beware the danger of pride and idolatry. Your president and national pride will disappoint you eventually. Do not allow them to take the place in your heart that belongs to Christ
To the losers
If your sadness and disappointment has turned into overwhelming despair and even into rage against those who disagreed with you, if all hope has been extinguished (except perhaps the slim hope of a Supreme Court challenge) then likewise could it be that you have placed your energies and hope in the wrong place. Your candidate would also have failed. All human empires will fall.
Our hope must be in Christ alone.
You see, today is and important day and some things will change as a result of it but others will not.
Today we have many vulnerable people in our society. There are elderly widows experiencing isolation and neglect, asylum seekers struggling to make sense of the immigration system, people facing the prospect of no job, no pay, no food, no roof over their head. Tomorrow, the poor, the vulnerable, the widow, the asylum seeker will all still be there. We still have a responsibility to show compassion and love to them.
Today, our friends, neighbours, work colleagues needed to hear the Gospel. Their greatest need was to know Jesus. Tomorrow June, our friends, neighbours and work colleagues still needed to know Jesus. Our main responsibility is still to proclaim the Gospel.
Today Jesus is Lord. Tomorrow, Jesus will still be Lord. God is still sovereign. Today is a big day but as believers we look more to two other days. We look back to the day when Jesus died on the Cross and forward to the day when he will return and make all things new. Our hope is still in him.
Christ alone is the true source of our hope and security, our joy, our peace, our salvation.