A Word about Election 2016
Where Is Our Hope? A Word about Election 2016
Now that the supposed election “of our lifetime” is concluded let us Christians get back to the work into which we were baptized.
I’ve heard from some of you this week. You’re euphoric over the election results. I’ve heard from some of you. You’re despondent and anxious about what’s to come. Many want all Americans to come together for the good of our democracy while others think the best way now to embody that democracy is by being the loyal opposition. Whomever you are and wherever you fall amongst those categories, I think the best thing we can do as a Church is to remember that America is not the Kingdom.
Christians should not be the ones caught up in their politics. As divided as Americans are today, I can’t imagine 1st Century Roman Christians caught up in some kind of hope whether it would be Nero or Britannicus who would succeed Claudius. Where is our hope?
To be sure, I hope our country solves its international conflicts and I hope we resolve poverty and dissolve our educational problems and racism. And I hope we can create a better economy and protect the unborn. But where does our hope turn when we think of war or poverty or education or racism? Does it focus on our political party? Does it gain its energy from thinking that if we get the right candidate elected our problems will be dissolved? If so, I submit that our theology has become empire-shaped, political, rather than Kingdom-shaped. And it doesn’t matter if it is a right-wing evangelical wringing her fingers in hope that a Republican wins, or a left-wing progressive wringing his fingers in hope that a Democrat wins. Each has a misguided theology. Regardless of whether our candidates win or lose, the results make not one bit of a difference for our obligation to follow Jesus today and embody it as best we can in community. Participation in our election dare not be seen as the lever that turns the designs God has for this world. The Church–we are supposed to be the designs God has for the world.
Remember–some today want to reduce the gospel to personal salvation while others want to convert it into public politics and secularize the kingdom of God. But the gospel is about Jesus the King and the gospel is about Kingdom citizens living under the King in communities called Church regardless of who we elect to the White House or the House.
So now as we all recover from the allegedly “most important election in history” let us regroup and get back to the business of being the People who know that the day the world truly changed was not Election Night 2016 but Good Friday AD 33.