Some Post-Election Day Thoughts

In a previous post, I explained why I absolutely refused to vote for Obama or Romney. Today is a brand new day and we have the same old president but, after watching and reading many Christians as they discussed this election, I’d like to explore two attitudes I found pervasive and particularly disturbing. First, most of the Christians I talked to were thinking like Republicans, not Christians. And second, fear seemed to be a greater motivator than faith.

Thinking like Republicans, not Christians
I can’t tell you how many Christians were convinced that our only option—nay, our only hope!—was to vote for Mitt Romney because…well… he was the Republican candidate. Did Christians have no other possible course of action? Based on what I’ve heard and read, we actually don’t! It sounded to me like our only hope hinged on the outcome of the 2012 Presidential Election!

Equally disturbing was the mentality that the last thing we could possibly do was vote for a third party candidate. That might require us to maintain our integrity and do something unpopular and likely to fail! Instead, our only option was to capitulate to the slightly better of two undesirable choices—one a liar, the other a deceiver—for the sake of political expediency.

In short, our goal wasn’t to support the best, most desirable candidate; our goal was simply to knock Obama out of the White House. We weren’t thinking about the Kingdom of God and we certainly weren’t concerned with maintaining our integrity, we were merely concerned about the good ol’ USA.

The truth is, God has not called us to win elections in His great Name; God has called us to transform our culture and that begins in our neighborhoods not the courtrooms. Our faith is to be placed in Christ’s atoning work on our behalf, not the legislative performance of our elected officials. Do you think God cares that abortion is legal or that abortion happens? Do you think God cares that our system is corrupt and greedy or that our hearts are corrupt and greedy? My point is, instead of trying to change the laws of the land, we need to try and change the hearts of ourselves and our neighbors. But what fueled this perception?

Operating from fear, not faith.
The reason we had no choice is because, let’s face it, we are all afraid of Obama—especially because he no longer has to worry about being re-elected and has nothing to lose. (And if Obama doesn’t worry you, then I don’t think you pay very much attention.) None of the Christians I heard or read were reasoning from a place of faith in God. They were arguing from fear of Obama. It wasn’t “in God we trust,” it was “in Obama we fear.”

I never heard anyone say, “I have approached the throne of God with this issue and feel compelled to vote for Romney.” It was more like, “Well, the last thing we want is 4 more years of Obama” or even, “Remember folks, ABO: Anybody but Obama!” We were like Peter when he tried to walk on water (Matthew 14:29-31). We took our eyes off Christ and began to look at the storm and the crashing waves. We got scared. But I don’t think it has to be this way.

Two Questions
Every time I watch a documentary with lions, hyenas, or other predators, I always wonder what would happen if the bison (or zebras or gazelles or whatever) stood their ground or, better yet, stampeded the predators. While it’s certainly likely that some of the bisons would be injured or die, it seems even more likely that the lions would realize they were outnumbered 50-to-1 and retreat. There are entire food chains that are perpetuated by fear and the perception of helplessness. In the same way, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if Christians stood their ground or—*gasp*—actually unified.
So, I challenge all three of the people who will read this to ask themselves two questions when engaging in politics. First, will you maintain your integrity or will you compromise? I challenge you, instead of bending to the pressures of the world around us, to stand firm in your convictions and vote for the candidate you actually believe will be best for our nation. Second, will you walk in faith or fear? Christ calls us sheep; let’s put our faith in the Good Shepherd and stick together. Let’s stand up to the wolves because we trust in our Shepherd’s ability to protect us. And finally, let’s pray for those who have been elected. Let’s pray that God will guide their heart of our president and all our elected officials.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. (Proverbs 19:21)
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord ; he turns it wherever he will. (Proverbs 21:1)

  • Linda Mitchell

    Some powerful points here, Daniel. I truly, heart-deep praise Jesus for keeping me mindful that this is NOT MY HOME; my citizenship is in Heaven, and I eagerly wait to see how things unfold to bring all of us to that glorious place. My heart is sad for the loss of many things to many people, but His kids need to keep their vision focused on what is eternal. Hard times ahead WILL be weathered in His loving care, so I am not worried. Praise God!!!

  • Ken Holt

    Daniel, As one of the three people who faithfully read your blog I contemplated responding to your last offering, and resisted. But now I feel compelled to posit a few of my own thoughts.

    First, I want to thank you for caring enough about an important Christian responsibility to vote and to encourage others to vote unlike other students I have talked to who felt that it conflicted with sharing the gospel or who just didn’t care enough to think through the issues.

    Second, I appreciate your integrity in refusing to vote for a candidate you couldn’t support.

    Third, you sound a needed warning that our hope is not in Obama or Romney or Johnson. Our hope is in the Lord who sets up and takes down kings (and presidents) and who turns the hearts of kings (and presidents) any way he chooses.

    now for some other thoughts…

    First, thinking back to your previous post you accused the two main party candidates of being exactly the same. Perhaps, in motivation. Perhaps, in being part of the political machine. But you are mistaken if you think there was no moral difference between these two men or their parties. One stood for (even if only on paper) God given mandates of life and sexuality while the other, in words and deeds, opposed them. To some of us this matters. As far as I know no third party candidate held a biblical view on abortion or sexuality either. So whether you prefer Romney’s capitalism or Obama’s neo-socialism or Johnson’s libertarianism doesn’t really matter. The truth is none of them can move the course of this nation financially much in four years. But some of us think the moral imperatives are worth standing for.

    Second, I think that there are many of us, democrat and republican, who have prayed and have sought after God in regards to this election. I think that there are even some of us who have held the candidates up to the spotlight of Scripture and while find all of them wanting, made choices based on our best understanding of God’s will.

    Third, while I am not running off to Canada (they are worse off then us) or pulling my hair out and wearing sackcloth and ashes, I am saddened and concerned about the direction of my country. I fear for my granddaughters who will inherit a country that is being led by a man (and his party) who has turned women into reproductive organs whose main concern in life is free contraceptives and unlimited abortion. His effect as spokesman-in-chief and his power in appointing Supreme court justices is worthy of my dismay. Yes, God is in control, and yes my trust is in him, but he is the one who through Paul said to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. He is the one who through Jeremiah told the people to work for the welfare of the country that they were residents of. And, he is the one that told us to pray for kings and rulers so it would go well for us and so that the gospel would be able to advance.

    So here is one of your three readers saying I didn’t compromise my integrity by voting for an unbeliever who stood for godly values on life and sexuality. And yes, I walk in faith in the All-Powerful Creator of the heaven and the earth, my savior. But that doesn’t mean I hold the door open for the “wolves.” My rightful fear of those wolves drives me to trust my Lord, close the door if possible and fall to my knees in prayer for them and yes, for protection from them.