I have always believed in voting but I have never been a political geek. I get the basics information about the causes I care about to see how I wish to vote or, on topics I don’t understand or know enough about, I abstain. However, this presidential race was different. I wasn’t glued to the TV like some (though I did finally get to see “The Incredible Hulk” on DVD last night), but my lap top was open the whole time I watched the movie as I hit refresh every five minutes or so to get the latest results.
I think my peeked interest had to do with the fact that I was conflicted this election. I struggled with if I was going to vote for the guy that I thought was the best for the economy, health care, the war in Iraq, and so forth, then I must admit I was leaning towards Obama. If I voted for the guy who has the most experience, stood where I do on many morality issues, that I respect, and the like, then I would vote for McCain.
I struggled personally (though you may have it all figured out) if I should vote for government positions on the questions of who would do the best on the morality issues or the who would do the best on the issues of the land (yes they can be considered the same). Who did I vote for then? A guy by the name of None Ya. To be quite honest, it has nothing to do with the real reason for this post anyways.
It is the day after and Obama is the president elect. You may be thrilled like those highlighted in that park in Chicago last night or you may be grieving that McCain will not be in White House. I know it has been a passionate issue for many including those in the Christian community.
I have to say, that there have been moments that we as the body of Christ shined during this process (bringing issues to the public that God cares about), moments we took our hits (I love the “Daily Show” but Christian beliefs are often punned or jabbed), and we have embarrassed ourselves (Obama is not the Anti-Christ and I was saddened by the “letter from a future Christian” from Focus on the Family). That all said, it’s in the past. What matters now?
Well, Obama is a done deal so deal with it. Whatever your political beliefs, we have our first African American President (if you don’t like what I’m saying because he is African American, then that’s a whole other prayer request that you can get over it in love and truth) and it’s time to stand together as a nation behind him.
We do not need to come together because it’s the “American” thing to do. We need to come together because it is Biblically right to do so.
Romans 13: 1-3
Submission to the Authorities
“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.”
These words Paul wrote to Christians in Rome were under a much tougher government than you and I. They were under the very government that would soon put Paul to death for his faith. Keep this in mind as you read his instruction. Paul did not submit to authority when it conflicted with the highest authority of Christ but he did in any other way.
“But Tom, our country is nose diving! The economy is crashing, the war is still raging, millions are without jobs and health care, pro life causes are on the ropes, should homosexuals be able to get married, gas prices are soaring (actually they are not, I would love to see the TV commercials saying that go away), and the like……. What are we going to do!?!”
I hear ya (on most of that). I am a small business owner of a Christian bookstore that is on the ropes. I am a pastor in a community where I am talking to many who are scared, hurting, and challenged. My wife and I are making some decisions now we have not even considered our first 8 years of marriage. However, we remember this….
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
So if my hope is in God, and if no man receives authority outside of God’s direction, then it is time to unify. If any president deviates from God’s will, we use our voice to protest and stand up. However, it is way too early for that right now. You may feel strongly against that but I pray you may be able to submit yourself to some time of quiet before the Lord and see if the Holy Spirit ministers to you to be angry and fearful or if the Holy Spirit ministers to you to pray.
Wow, aren’t I on a little tangent? What sparked this?
Well, to be honest, an email I received from a friend of mine named Sarah from My Space this morning. We do not know each other well and I am quite humbled that she thought of me. I pray it is with her blessing that I share a part of the email I received from her now….
“Hi Tom! I was hoping now that the election is over, you would send out a bulletin or post a blog reminding people to pray!… I am quite sick of hearing people complain about both candidates. It doesn’t matter who they voted for what matters now is that we pray for the safety of our President elect, the safety of our country, the courage and strength to continue forward out of this path of destruction we’re on. Most of the world sees this as a huge barrier broken, so why can’t we? I know you can put this into better words than I can, and elaborate further…
I am not a political pastor and I have said VERY little outside of my closest friends about the election. However, Sarah’s heart inspired me that this call to pray is too important to not be a part of. The only thing that I disagree with Sarah on is this, she put it much better words than I could.
Let’s get on our knees America and pray for our new president elect!