Let’s Face the Facts
If you count yourself as an evangelical Christian in the traditional sense, the 2016 Presidential election has already been lost before a single vote has even been cast. As a matter of fact, we’ve been losing the election for decades with candidates of questionable character and ethics in their policies and practices. Today we find ourselves between two candidates, one who claims to side with the traditional evangelical voter but is clearly and consistently unrepentant in many areas of his life (Trump); the other who sides with extreme liberal policies that are contrary to many of our ethical standards (Clinton). How did we get here? How is it possible that these are our two leading choices in this year’s election?
They Won Over Our Endorsements
We caved. We sold out. We turned away from our first Love to worship and serve idols that promised national security, tax cuts, a robust economy, the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, the protection of the First Amendment, traditional marriage and the assassination of any terrorist or world leader that would threaten our way of life. We gave them our allegiance, our money, our Facebook wall, and our vote. “Have it all”, we said. Be our national savior so long as you claim to “worship God” and will protect my ability to read my Bible, attend church and vote in line with my pastor’s agenda.
Evangelicals have spent more time, money and effort attempting to transform and legislate the morality and ethics of a first-world society that has found its hope, safety and purpose from within the way of life that it has self-created. We assumed that if we could transform the office we could transform the nation. We believed that a top-down approach to politics and a national moral ethic could be legislated and enforced by law and constitution. History is being written before our eyes and the outcome is clear: our leaders have failed us and we have no one left worthy of our endorsement.
The Path Forward
The original founders could reference our famous slogan “In God We Trust” freely on our paper money and founding documents for one reason only: the majority of the new republic had a common faith in God. The founders were representative of the republic to which they served and created – a God-honoring and believing society. The Bible was central to the way of life, in both school and government. The founders built our governmental system on the founding principle that there was still One greater than us all and to whom we were universally held accountable to. However, it wasn’t because of their tremendous faith and their rule of the high offices, it was because the men and women they served believed this universal fact as well.
Our opportunity is not found in the high offices of the land, but at the ground level. The Church must rise up to the challenge. We must redirect our efforts, money and endorsements to our brothers and sisters, neighbors, the poor and the widows. Our opportunity is found in leading others to a new life found in Jesus. We need more churches, not bigger churches. We need discipleship, not programs. We need relationships, not impersonal shows or entertainment.
When we begin to see our cities and towns transformed by the power and work of the Holy Spirit through the message of the gospel, we’ll see the morality and ethics of our culture shift in positive ways. This shift will require boldness, bravery and prayer. It will require leaving the safety of our church walls, homes and anonymous voting booths. Church, it’s time to rise up. Forget about the polls and ignore the pandering voices enticing you for your vote. Instead, walk next door, knock on your neighbor’s door, and share the love of Jesus Christ with them. We have already lost the election, so what else do you have to lose?
If we can transform the individual, we can transform the world.