Here we are, Tuesday evening, March 1st, 2016. Super Tuesday, as it is designated in the political realm. The results from a dozen states have been pouring in to the webpage on my iPhone (which is being manually reloaded every few minutes) for over the past hour. I can honestly say what I see disgusts me. I have been hoping and praying that America would wake up from their stupor and somehow vote according to the same Christian convictions that I have. Instead, it appears from all angles that the vast majority of conservative voters in our nation have abandoned morality, honesty, integrity, and just plain good common sense to cast votes for a man who, if elected, could very well be the most tyrannical president our nation has ever seen.
I’m angered by what appears to be the blind and emotional following of those who support this man. His supporters value him as someone who is “outside the political system,” and so doesn’t have to play by the rules of politicians. Regardless of his moral values (or lack thereof) many will support him simply because he is a strong voice who will not relent his opinions nor ask forgiveness (even of God, as he has said). They have fallen prey to the “might makes right” mentality of the middle-ages which has refashioned itself and resurfaced in the guise of a Republican candidate.
I’m also angered by the hypocrisy of those who would claim the name of Christ and yet support such a morally depraved candidate. It is very revealing of the true nature of American “Christianity” broadly and perhaps even Evangelicalism as nominal and surface. It’s also incredibly disheartening to think about the negative direction that our country is destined to take with either this Republican man or his Democratic counterpart at the helm.
This past hour I’ve been wallowing in disgust, sorrow, fear for the future of my children, helplessness. And I’ve realized that I’ve been taken over by emotions that boiled over from a heart that’s been hoping in the wrong things. I’ve been putting my hope, even my faith, in the wrong things. As a follower of Jesus Christ, my hope is not found in human leaders or lawmakers or the American public that would elect them. My hope is found in Jesus Christ, who is perfectly revealed in God’s word. Likewise my faith and trust cannot be centered in the election of a man or woman, no matter how great or moral a leader, as if somehow that act would right all the wrongs of this world. Even if a conservative Evangelical Christian were elected to our country’s highest office it would not be the end of immorality and injustice. Only the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior can accomplish that end.
So I remind myself of a few solid biblical truths that can be firmly grasped on a night such as this:
God is still sovereign when my political candidate doesn’t win. The Lord sovereignly directs human history according to His plans and purposes. Even though it seems to me as if our nation is taking a step backwards on this Super Tuesday, God is not taken off guard. Nebuchadnezzar learned this lesson during his sojourn as a member of the animal kingdom: “For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation. And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What hast Thou done?’” (Daniel 4:34-35, NASB). The sovereignty of God gives comfort in the midst of our nation’s chaos.
My hope and faith must have Christ as the focal point. Any other focal point is idolatrous. I remember in the 2008 presidential election being appalled at the marketing slogan used for one presidential candidate. The ad had a picture of the candidate with one word in big bold letters behind his face: HOPE. Although I remember thinking clearly at that time that the only right object of my hope was Jesus Christ, tonight I found myself falling into the subtle trap of hoping in a politician, a political party, or the people of our nation to find a way forward into the future. The only adequate object of my hope, faith and trust is Jesus Christ our Lord. Hoping and trusting in anything else, I was reminded tonight, brings only empty disappointment. All the promises this world and its desires has to offer turn to ash and dust (1 John 2:15-17).
Whatever the outcome, my [true] life is protected and my [real] future is secure. I worry about the future of my family on this night, particularly the future of my son and daughter. I want them to have the same blessings that I have enjoyed from the Lord’s hand. I’m afraid that if our country continues down this unholy path that it is on my children will have to suffer the consequences. Yet ultimately this thinking too fails to rely fully on the plan of God for both my life and my wife and children’s. If God desires for our family to suffer in the future, our response must not be resentment, grumbling or complaining. Instead we should rejoice that our eternal life is secure in Christ and can never perish, spoil, or fade, and is protected and preserved by the power of God until the end (1 Peter 1:4-5). No matter how depraved or degenerate our nation becomes (and as bad as we are, we must rejoice that we are not as bad as we could be!), our eternal life is protected in Christ who reigns at the right hand of God in glory.
God is going to bring all that is hidden to light with the appearing and radiance of Jesus Christ. It is so frustrating to see so many who call themselves “Christians” and consistently deny the title by their lifestyle and speech. The Bible reminds us that one day every false confessor will be exposed (Matthew 7:21-23). Politicians are notorious for “bending and stretching” truth, as though something as absolute as truth could be pliable. Who said what about whom? Who supported what and who, and when did they support these? What are the facts? Our world seems lost in the bog of a postmodern understanding of relative truth. Yet truth belongs to God, who authored our reality. And one day when Jesus Christ returns all that is murky will be made clear. Everything that is hidden will be exposed. I take comfort on this night that one day “God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus,” (Romans 2:16).
My prayer is that we not get caught up and overtaken by emotions of sorrow, fear, disgust, and hopelessness by the happenings of the political process in our nation, but instead are directed back to focus our attention on Jesus Christ through His word to rest our hope and faith in Him and look expectantly for His soon and glorious appearing.