​Post Election Reflection 11|9|16

We have a New President, so…

After a year and a half of presidential politics and campaigning, we have a President! We’ve gone through 17 Republican nominees, the Bernie phenomena, deleted emails, Access Hollywood ‘hot mic’ outtakes, and more name calling than any person should have to endure, and we’ve lived to see the ‘other side’. A collective sigh may be the pervasive response, but we now face the fact that life does NOT end. The sun came up today, the power grid was still in place, we went to our places of work, and Christ is still Lord of the universe. With that in mind, what do we do now that our immediate political future seems set and we can take a break from political commercials and the predictions of talking heads from cable news outlets? Here are a couple of suggestions from your pastors about how to navigate the days ahead...

Pray for President-elect Trump.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 urges us to make ‘supplication, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings…for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions…’ The text goes on say that this is done unto the end that we may live peaceful and quiet lives, godly in every way, to the end that the knowledge of the truth (i.e., the gospel) may be heard and seen in our lives.

Like him or not, Donald Trump is our duly elected President. Pray that our President-to-be will lead in such a way that these common graces of life and liberty may be ours for the furtherance of God’s kingdom. For that matter, pray for Governor-elect Cooper (should his lead hold), Attorney General Josh Stein, Lt. Governor Dan Forest, Senator Richard Burr, and on and on. Ask for eyes to see and know Christ. Ask for wisdom to lead for the flourishing of the people and the advance of the Gospel.

While you’re at it, pray for those candidates who ran and lost in the electoral process. Lift up Sec. Clinton, Gov. McCrory, Rep. Ross. These persons need to know, understand, and follow Jesus, and the emptiness of this moment for them may be the season that God uses to make their hearts soft, receptive, and full of rest in the good news of gospel.

Think ‘Christianly’ about the Issues of our Times

The issues that we were considering yesterday have not gone away, nor have they been solved. Consider well how a Christian would and should engage our world in the current milieu in which we find ourselves. A few examples:

  • Pro-Life
    • God is the giver of life (Job 1:21). He has made man in His image, unique in relation to Himself (Gen. 1:26-28).
    • As such, we need to have a Christian perspective on the life of the unborn, of the terminally ill, of orphans and the elderly. Let’s think well and broadly about this defining issue.
  • Social Justice
    • This is every bit as important for Christian thinkers as the pro-life issues. The image of God impacts more than just physical life and death, but the life of the image bearer in relation to other image bearers.
    • Let’s think through relational issues such as poverty, ethnic and social inequality, and human trafficking in distinctly Christian ways.
  • The Nations (i.e., ‘Foreign Policy’)
    • Issues like human rights, the crisis in the Muslim world with ISIS, immigrants in our own backyard (legal and illegal), international students in our universities and colleges, relations with foreign powers are more than just security issues, they are gospel issues.
    • Think through how our faith, seen in the Scriptures, comes to bear on these issues nationally and in our individual lives.
  • Humble Courage
    • How can we as believers stand against the cultural drift of our secularized world?
    • How does our tone in discussion bear on the content of our position?
    • How are we addressing the substance of our initiatives or our disagreements with solutions and self-sacrifice?
    • We must stand, all the while identifying as fellow sinners with those before whom our stand is taken. This solidifies resolve and makes the appeal winsome rather than schismatic and self-serving. This postures us alongside our Savior in a problem-solving, forgiving spirit (Luke 23:34; Romans 5:8) that stood by the truth (John 5:16-18; 18:33-38)

Engage the Culture around You

  • A few reminders for us as we go out and rub shoulders with those in the world after this election cycle:
    • In your goings about and in your gatherings, there will be people who differ with you.
      • Care for these persons as Christ would have you care for your brother, your neighbor, and even your enemy – love them (Matthew 5:43-48).
      • Be kind, not belittling. Poking good-natured fun is one thing (we all could stand to laugh at ourselves once in a while!), but doing so with disdain and disgust is another.
      • Consider this in your statements and interactions in your Community Groups and in our corporate gatherings. Baby boomer white evangelicals do not see things the same as Millenial and minority believers, and vice versa. Be mindful of this as you engage the group. Finish your political conversations with no impediment to addressing gospel need immediately afterwards.
    • Discuss issues winsomely and honestly.
      • Our politics and our positions matter. Develop solid, caring, and holistic positional statements. Offer solid, caring, and holistic solutions.
      • Don’t gloss over character deficiencies. We know that many of our most recent candidates are less than ideal in the area of their personal integrity. That said, don’t act as though they are perfect if their positions line up with yours. Don’t demonize them if their positions are antithetical to yours.
      • Respect the person (and the office), even if you don’t value the position.
    • Remember ‘that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.’ (Acts 2:36)
      • Therefore, live confidently. Live humbly. Live for the glory of the one true God of all.

-Your Pastors