Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Some Things I'm Thinking About Today

I believe what I wrote yesterday.  I also think it would be hypocritical of me not to admit that believing it and feeling it are two different things. I’ll be honest here and tell you I am deeply disappointed with the results of yesterday’s election. I do not believe that the majority chose wisely yesterday. I could write a lengthy political post this morning detailing my frustration and disappointment, but I’m not going to do that. (Tom Chantry has some good thoughts on it, if you're interested.)

I will admit to you that I’m about having to sit on my hands not to make this a much longer post about some of the things I'm thinking through, not least of which is the implications it has on the issue of the sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, and a right understanding of economics. I believe we, as a nation, have gotten what we, as a nation, have said we want. Now all of us get to live with the consequences, and I have to say, I am not at all optimistic that those consequences will be anywhere near what I believe is the direction I want to see our country go. I have so much more I could say, but I’m stopping there. 

I’ll also be honest and admit to you that I’m having some attitudes and thoughts this morning that I have to confess are sinful. I’m praying through it and trusting God to keep my heart and guard my heart and mind and tongue as I seek to honor Him. 

So now let me tell you what I truly, deep down believe. God is sovereign. It is He who sets up rulers and brings them down. If this is the outcome of the election, then I absolutely believe God has a plan and a purpose in it. Someone asked me once if I think we are a nation under judgment. That’s a complicated question. I do not believe our nation has a special covenant like Israel did, and I am not one of those ‘reclaim America’ people who tend to make an idol out of our country and what they think it should be. In fact, while we’re being really gut-level honest here, please don’t stone me if I share that I haven’t felt real comfortable with the idea of placing my hand over my heart and pledging allegiance to this country (or any country) or singing, “God bless America,” for years. How can we as a people enact laws that enable us to kill millions of unborn children, just to name one issue, or daily shake our fists in the face of our Creator in countless ways, give no thought to repentance and holiness, and then have the audacity to think we can ask for God’s blessing on our unrepentant ways? That may be a controversial opinion, but it’s one I’m struggling with and have been for years. Don't take that wrongly, either. I am thankful for my country, I pray for my country, I want what is best for my country and I'm very thankful for the sacrifices others have made so that we can have the freedoms we seem so willing to take for granted and throw away today. But I am also wary of extreme patriotism that sometimes blinds us to the truth. What I pray for is repentance. That is what God blesses, repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. We are just one of the nations. How I answer that question about judgment when asked is that I think we are a nation that has gotten what it has elected and chosen. I do believe that as a nation more closely aligns with righteousness, it will prosper, and as it choses otherwise, it will face consequences. Read Romans 1.

All that said, I am not in despair today. Sure, I’m disappointed, but, honestly, not much has really changed from yesterday. The mission of the Church is the same as it has always been. Granted, it may well become more difficult for Christians to have the freedom of speech we’ve always taken for granted in this country as political correctness and the ‘tolerance intolerance’ mentality gains ever more influence in our cultural discourse, but we need to remember that we are citizens of another Kingdom. Though we are called to be good citizens in the country where we are placed, our final allegiance isn’t ultimately to any country. As Christians, our calling is so much bigger than one nation. Our calling is to be proclaimers of the gospel and to live as salt and light and obedient servants of King Jesus wherever He calls us to be and in whatever time He calls us to live, to love even our enemies and to share with them the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to live peaceably with all men, as much as it is in our power to do so. To be honest, I believe we evangelicals have been too willing to worship at the altar of the political process anyway. The gospel isn’t America first or reclaim America or God Bless America. The gospel is that Jesus has come to save sinners, for God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 

Here’s some things I’m thinking and praying over today, and rather than type out the whole passages, I’ve linked to them so you can read them. I’ll be honest and say some of it is hard:

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