Our Response Matters: Being Christian in light of the Election
The election has come and gone. Now what? It seems that all sorts of pastors, parents, and professionals are claiming that the sky is falling with blog titles like, “The End of America,” “The Tragedy of the 2012 Election,” and other apocalyptic-themed facebook statuses, tweets, and protests. Why? Did the “right guy” not get the vote? What were you expecting? The bottom line is: Barack Obama is President. And according to Romans 13:1-2, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” So now, not only is He president, God “instituted” him. Now what?
Four More Years
Romans 13:1-8: Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for [Barack Obama] is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for [Barack Obama] does not bear the sword in vain. For [Barack Obama] is the servant of God, an avenger who carried out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay all to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
First things first, as Christians we must be done with the whining and complaining. Adults in general, but especially parents and pastors. The reason is because future generation is looking to you to learn how to respond. A standing principle of being an adult, parenting, or doing ministry is that the kids we are around, when they don’t know what to do, they’ll do what they’ve seen us do. So I ask you as I’ve had to ask myself: How are you responding? What kind of attitude have you had about the election? What kind of things did you say on election night? What kind of things have you said about Obama being president? The truth of the matter is that its not about the election. For most kids, they have no idea what is going on, what’s at stake, and are completely unaware of the policies and/or consequences of what happened last Tuesday. What this is about is authority. They are learning how to view, respond, interpret, think, and believe about authority. So slandering the president only teaches them to badmouth authority. Disrespecting the president only teaches them to disrespect authority. Complaining about the president only teaches them to complain about authority. The most ironic part of it all is that you, pastor or parent, are their authority. You are modeling to them how to respond to you. Therefore poor actions are only cutting the knees out from under future leaders and ourselves. Usually we hear adults talking about teenagers as “having no respect for authority these days! They are just so disrespectful!” We must ask ourselves: Where did think they get it from? What kind of model are you providing? Is it one of submission, honor, respect, and love? Or slander, disrespect, discontentment, hate, rebellion and hopelessness? How about to your spouse and family? To your congregation? To your friends and neighbors? Bottom line, do you exhibit the Christian virtue of faith in that you trust that God is sovereign and has put Barack Obama in authority over you and this nation?
The beauty of the Gospel is that it is Gospel of Grace and Mercy of a God who is Sovereign and Omnibenevolent. And therefore despite the areas of which our country is incompetent or inadequate, God is not, and He alone is our Hope. Glory to the Trinity alone! For it is only through the Grace of recreation by the Holy Spirit through the incarnation, life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and second coming of the Son as predestined by the Father. Therefore may no man boast, for as it is an act of Grace and Mercy, we must respond in Grace and Mercy. For who are we to be selective with our Grace and Mercy? Our leaders are just as much men as we are and we are just as much capable of evil as they. May the Grace of God abound in our lives in order that we might be agents of Grace in the name of Christ our Lord, Savior, and King.