Regardless Of Who Wins The Election - Part 1

Like moths to a flame, the election season tends to bring out the most interesting, sometimes shocking, and even crazy behavior and beliefs in people who are otherwise sane.  The speeches, debates and promises of progress, pit the populace against one another at home, work and sadly, sometimes church.  As long as civility prevails, it can be healthy and intellectually invigorating.  When our baser instincts take over; however, you find yourself wondering how America makes it from week to week.

This is equally true among the Christians who are politically active.  Just as you have a variety of denominations, a multiplicity of Bible versions and a potpourri of ideological obsessions among the Christian profession, you will also have some diverse political opinions.  The more passionate a group is about their views, the more stringent their expectations can be.

I am routinely dumbstruck by the willingness of Bible-believing pastors to campaign for specific candidates.  All a candidate needs to do, evidently, is proclaim his allegiance to Christ, meet with evangelical groups requesting prayer and talk a lot about faith and hope.  Throw in some bellicose diatribes and some anti-Obama rhetoric and you have a viable presidential candidate.  It is almost as if Christians have not considered that this politician has focus groups teaching him how to appeal to the evangelicals, without which he could never get elected as a conservative.

Probably, the most irritating thing about the election season is the torrent of insipid platitudes and slogans from which believers are prone to drink.  There is constant rhetoric about “the answer for America” as if America is even on the biblical radar.  To assume that you can change the culture through “political muscle and electing the right people into office” is not only naive, it is glaring unscriptural.  You will search the writings of Paul in vain for examples of or admonitions for revolutionary uprisings or political power-plays.  1 Timothy 2 seems to suggest that we all pray for those in leadership (even the ones whose politics we loathe), hoping for a quiet and peaceable life.  Why? Because “He will have all men to be saved… and Paul said, “Whereunto I am ordained a preacher…”  A PREACHER…The point being, we need the government to leave us alone so that we can minister the gospel to the world.  The government, it’s laws and regulations, agencies and programs will never, never has and cannot possibly facilitate or assist in God’s work.  We just need…freedom.

Remember, regardless of who wins the election…

This world is still not my home.

Those who love to sing the old spiritual song, This World is Not My Home, seem seldom to believe it.  They totally miss the location of the body of Christ, which is in “heavenly places” (Ep. 1:3; 2:6; Phil. 3:20; et al.).  The religious expectations of the Old Testament saint included the idea of landpromised land.  Abram was sent to “…a land that I will shew thee” (Ge. 12:1).  The covenant between Abram and God said, “…Unto thy seed have I given this land(Ge. 15:8).  The first mention of the word holy in the Bible referred to…land (Ex. 3:5).  Clearly, throughout the Old Testament, the Israelite is connected with his nation and its land.  God’s blessings are promised for them in relation to the land because Israel is God’s people, God’s chosen people who “…shall not be reckoned among the nations” (Nu. 23:9; also see Ps. 37:3, 29, 34; 85; et al.).  

We understand that God dealt with nations in the Old Testament.  This is why we find the promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people (Israel, period.  Not America, not the church…no not in any sense), which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (The church has no land…this is the nation of Israel receiving her land back, healed and productive after the tribulation.  See Ps. 67; Is. 35 cf. Rev. 8; Zech. 12-14).

Now, we fast-forward to the New Testament where we are told that “He came unto his own and his own received him not” (Jn. 1:11). That refers to Israel’s rejection of Christ, their Messiah.  Then we are told, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (Jn. 1:12).  Once the Old Testament was past, God began to deal with individuals, not nations.  The church is made up of born again individuals, one soul at a time … whosoever will.  Israel is experiencing partial blindness and will be dealt with again in the future tribulation period (Rom. 11:25-27; Dan. 9:20-27).

So, this talk about America experiencing some “revival” and returning to God as a Christian nation is nonsense.  There is no such thing as a Christian nation.  God is calling OUT a people for His name in this age, He is not nation building (Acts 15:14).  Revival is an Old Testament doctrine that relates to God’s people Israel.  It is not so much as mentioned in the New Testament.  The fact of the matter is, the nation can go straight to hell morally, legislatively and politically (well, yeah, it already has), and the church can still be as vibrant as it chooses to be, right up until the rapture.

It is a very irresponsible thing to try and wrap the cross in the flag.  Preachers do it routinely.  They fancy themselves little Limbaughs, Levins or Fox News correspondents and they use their pulpits to flex their political muscles.  To them this seems like a worthy cause - God Bless America! - when all the while the gospel they are called to preach and its glorious exigencies are laid aside for this drivel. The cross of Calvary is not a political message, it is one of personal redemption.  Remember? Paul? “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:17, 18).

As Bible-believing Christians, we are certainly welcome to have our say in the political process.  We must not; however, allow ourselves to become party sycophants, for as we do, we become obligated to endorse an assortment of evils.  The thinking Christian who begins his political meditations with truth and balanced research will most assuredly find himself frustrated with the juxtaposition of choosing between “the lesser of two evils.” This, according to my friend and libertarian scholar, Laurence Vance, is most certainly, “still a vote for evil,” and as Mark Twain quipped, “If voting made a difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.”  To borrow from, Vance, again, one wonders if Christians would think that an election between Hitler and Stalin would still justify our voting.  While a vote for the lesser of two evils might seem quite necessary at times, this unsettling reality should drive every Christian back to where we must all abide in this age, resting in the scripture and looking for Christ’s return.
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