Election Recap

Photo credit: © Some rights reserved by Stijn Vogels on Flickr

My faith has always informed my voting. There is no question about that and I believe that it should. I honestly strive to have my faith inform every decision I make, though admittedly, I’m not always successful in this endeavor. However, this last election is not so much a matter of faith for me as it was an issue of common sense. The fact is–our American churches were in as much a need of revival on November 5th as they were on November 6th. My American citizenship and my kingdom citizenship are not the same thing and I have to recognize that there is often a tension between these both within myself and within the culture at large.

Republican Revival?

While “morality”, to some extent, can be legislated, (that IS the very nature of law), revival cannot.  Revival is something that springs from the grace of God and a deep inner hunger for Him on the part of His people. I am not so naive to have believed that, somehow, a Mormon would have brought “revival” back to America. As an Evangelical, that thought should seem ludicrous. While on the surface, Mormons and Evangelicals share some of the same family values, we have to be intellectually honest and realize that “revival” was not going to come from a President, no matter how “moral” he may be. If I have believed this, it is illustrative of the fact that I have my spiritual priorities out of order. It did not, however, stop me from enthusiastically supporting a candidate because I believed that his overall values were more in line with what I believed to be the best for the common good. I was not voting for a Preacher, but a President. So this election, while faith-informed, was not a spiritual exercise for me outside of the fact that I believe it is my duty to promote justice, honor life, and work for the common good at every possible opportunity including the exercising of my right to vote.

The End of Personal Responsibility?

With that said, I am disappointed in the American people, not so much for voting for a particular candidate, but for what will most likely be an irreversible move toward greater government dependence. Many mocked Romney for his “47%” comment (I took no offense, though I have been one of them for most of my life), however, the fact is that once that number becomes 51%…it’s all over. There will be no going back to personal responsibility and fiscal sanity in regards to government spending and entitlement programs. The difficulty with this decision is that our finances today are no different than yesterday. Life feels pretty much the same (except for the 312 point dive of the DOW yesterday). And, for the most part, it will be the same because our government will try to alleviate the “pain” of our financial distress by continuing to run up more debt.  Therefore, few individuals will feel the effects of this decision until it is felt nationally, at which time it will be too late. The rest of the world will not allow us to continue fiscal insanity forever and at some point we will be called in check. In the mean time, it will be very difficult for a majority of Americans to vote money out of their own wallets.

We need a better conversation more than better candidates

Candidates are simply a reflection of the constituency from which they are elected. For example, while I believe many Christians may have voted for the President in good conscience and out of worthy motives (such as care for the poor and disadvantaged), they also had to look past the most disadvantaged (the unborn) on their way to that vote.  Personally, I find it difficult to enthusiastically support a candidate that is committed to preserving the “choice” to take another human life. I also believe, however, that we need to find a way to engage our culture regarding these issues on different terms than simply “religious preservationism.” Whether we like it or not the “moral majority” is a majority no more and the rest of the country simply could care less about me or anyone else forcing their own religious beliefs on them. We also need to avoid (like the plague) having middle-aged, wealthy white men appear to be the “authority” on this issue. I mean…really?  There has to be a better way to engage these issues on a public and common good platform in a way to which people may actually listen. I’ve hear it said that it’s difficult to ‘hate’ up close. The opposite is also true–it’s difficult to ‘love’ from far away. As Christ followers, we need to do a better job of engaging our culture in well-informed, faith-filled conversations about the most vital issues of our day. This will not happen by hiding behind “friendly” political candidates, campaigns or church walls.

The most important priorities have not changed

I am a still a kingdom citizen and no one can take that away. Also, there is still “hope” for America, but it will only be realized when the hearts of our people are challenged and changed by the gospel. I do believe that God wants to send us revival (more than we do), however, it will come to individuals and churches long before it comes to a nation. There is no Democrat or Republican that can ultimately bring the lasting change that every soul ultimately longs for. Millions of Christians around the world can testify to the fact that it is NOT necessary to have a “strong America” to be able to worship God and enjoy the fellowship of the gospel. It is MUCH bigger than that. However, in the mean time, let the church to step up, enjoy the freedom we have and get busy about the eternal Kingdom that will never fade away. No one is stopping us–no one can stop us. Let’s quit whining and go get it done.

Disclaimer: These views do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of any institutions of which I may be affiliated. Nor do they comprise an endorsement of any particular candidate. These are simply my own personal reflections concerning recent events and are not typical of the content normally found on this blog. 

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