Americans Made Their Choice – Now the Church Must Choose a Way Forward

Joe Biden has been declared the president‐elect.  That leaves many Americans (about 70 million) who voted for Donald Trump disappointed, disillusioned, and maybe even depressed. I affirm those feelings, yet I think we have great reason to hope.

God is sovereign.

Daniel 4:34‐35 says, “His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him ‘What have you done?’”

That last sentence convicts me. God is God. His will always triumphs. Nothing surprises Him. He does not operate in “Plan B” status; He is always in Plan A. This truth applies to today just as much as it did to yesterday – or to 2020 just as much as 2016.

I think it is possible to know God is sovereign but not to believe it and live like it. If we do not believe God is sovereign, we will be overwhelmed by worry, fear, and anxiety. If we do believe God is sovereign, we will lay our worries, fears, and anxiousness at the foot of the cross and know that God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will always prevails. We will remember how the story ends – God is victorious; He has already won the battle.

For the past four years, we have been discouraged by the vitriol in political discourse. Most notably on social media, but in mainstream media and on Main Street as well, Americans who disagreed with President Trump – and often with all conservatives and people of faith – were routinely hostile, hateful, callous, and crude. The boundaries of decency and civility seemed to have been thrown out the window in America.

Worse than the discourse has been the behavior of those who took exception with the president. The #Resist movement taught and encouraged people to cause chaos and disrupt American institutions. Organized protests led to rioting, destruction of businesses and monuments, and mass violence.

We reject that rhetoric and behavior. We are different.

If Joe Biden is, indeed, the 46th president of the United States, the shoe will now be on the other foot. For the next four years, men and women of faith, those of us who hold conservative values or align with the Republican party, will have a tremendous opportunity to be different. Depending upon our behavior and rhetoric, we could bring about a return to civility and usher in unity in our country again.

The Apostle Paul told the believers in Philippi, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” (Philippians 1:27)

Whatever happens.

This includes presidential elections that don’t go our way.

What’s before us now is one of best opportunities Christians have had in my lifetime to show the rest of the world what it means to be a follower of Christ. We are allowed to disagree with our president. We have the freedom to speak our minds and offer our perspective.  We can point out injustice, unfairness, and wrongs. But we must “conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel.” That means being respectful in our discourse, rejecting personal attacks, treating other people as human beings, disagreeing without being disagreeable.

I believe that if we do this, not only will we feel more unified with our fellow Americans and like the America we live in more, but we could also draw others to Christ. That, of course, is the Great Commission – the last command Jesus gave to his disciples before he ascended to Heaven and the high calling of every Christian who has lived since.

So, Church, we have a choice. We can be discouraged, angry and bitter for the next four years. Or we can choose to be salt and light in a dark world. America can look different four years from now, and the Kingdom of God can grow. We must simply conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.

Photo from Shutterstock

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