Have you ever wondered why so many religious leaders and Christians in general are interested in presidential elections? After all, Jesus wasn’t very interested in politics. In fact, from what we see in the scriptures, Jesus and the apostles were very disinterested in politics. Of course there is the one exception found in Judas; many believe one of his motivations for betraying Jesus was an attempt to force the hand of Christ and make Him king.
One of the most interesting ways to look at history is through the lens of the collective morality of a people. One of the driving factors for such is often the political and cultural leaders of the day. Our political leaders and pop culture icons seem to drive a narrative which young and impressionable people accept and make their own. But why? Why such power in the “Bully Pulpit” of the presidency? Why does someone like Justin Beiber, Jay Z or the Kardashians have such a powerful voice in the collective moral choices of our nation? What can we do in light of their power and influence?
I believe the reason political leaders and pop culture icons have such moral sway is that the church is living an anemic faith and abdicating her role in the spiritual warfare around us which leaves a spiritual/moral vacuum filled by those willing to raise a voice in response to the moral questions of the day.
Jesus and the apostles had little interest in the politics of their day because they understood the power of the Gospel and the God of the Gospel. When Jesus walked into a room where demons and the devil were playing havoc with someone the demons went completely crazy and were cast out by a word from the Savior’s mouth. Spiritual warfare was a constant for Jesus and the Apostles and they pushed back the gates of hell and expanded the Kingdom at every encounter.
When Jesus and the Apostles preached the Gospel lives were radically changed. People gave up immoral business practices, left lives of immorality and followed Jesus and His ways.
JESUS ALWAYS WINS AND IN HIM SO DO WE
When Jesus and the Apostles were overcome and their life destroyed by the power of the state it was by God’s design and for the glory of Christ. Remember, Jesus told Pilate, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.” The cross was seemingly an instrument of death and defeat but in reality it was one of victory and life.
Whatever happens in this presidential election is of little consequence to the Kingdom of God and the church of Jesus Christ other than the opportunity it gives to glorify God and share salvation through Christ. The real redemption for our nation will never be found in a Clinton or Trump but in the one and only Jesus Christ. It is up to the church to take seriously the responsibility Jesus gave her to be salt and light; a testimony to truth, salvation and righteousness.
GOD IS IN CONTROL
Many cringe and cry over the possibility of freedom lost but freedom was never granted through the state and it will never be preserved by her either. Even our founding fathers spoke of inalienable rights granted by a Creator. God created mankind with a free will and the right to self determination, not the state. Many grieve over the perceived loss of the United States as we have known it but its preservation isn’t contingent on an election anymore than its founding was contingent upon the decision or action of men. God is in control!
The way to preserve the nation (provided God chooses it to be so) isn’t through elections but spiritual warfare and the proclamation of the Gospel.
So many Christians are deeply interested in elections because they have forgotten:
- God is sovereign
- Jesus is Lord
- We are in a spiritual war
- The Gospel is the hope of salvation
- The gates of hell will never prevail against the church of Jesus Christ
The Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit, acting through the church, is the hope for the preservation of ours or any nation. When the spiritual leadership of our country loves God with all of their heart and loves their neighbor as themselves then we will see a revival. It is in that moment that the Gospel will influence the morality and heart of the nation rather than political leaders and pop culture icons.
Our hope is Jesus Christ.
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