The one opinion almost all Christians in America share is that this election is unusual. On many other points, there is a great division, especially with the decision we all face about how to vote on November 8 (and deciding to not vote is itself a decision).
On matters of biblical silence, and where the Holy Spirit has not given a common vision or assignment to all or a portion of the church, there ought to be a great variety of opinions faithfully held by the body of Christ. God celebrates the diversity of personalities, callings, and gifts, and we become more peculiar ourselves the more we walk with Him.
But on many issues where we have the responsibility and the freedom to declare the objective truth in love, there should be a recognizable resounding similarity from Christians to any fair observer – regardless of the denomination or personal background of the speaking believer. Supporting Trump, Clinton, Johnson, or another is one of these issues. It makes sense that there should be a range of opinion and vigorous discussion within this group of millions of free-thinking individuals. It makes sense that there won’t be 100% adoption the resounding consensus. And, it makes sense that it would take some time for fact-sharing, shepherding, prayer, and listening to take effect across so large a demographic. But, it also makes sense that if we’re walking in active relationship with the same God who is Himself consistent and works in current events, should we not mostly agree on a common, positive approach?
Brothers, the time is urgent to speak as one before we get to Nov. 8 so America has the opportunity to hear the truth clearly from the riches God offers through His church.
The reason I’m writing in the middle of the night is because the disunity, name-calling, pride, and pitting resources against one another within the church is grieving God and turning the world away from our witness. And in some relationships I see, these obstacles are not moving. We need to be shaken.
It would be a grievous moment to not provide the leadership our world needs from us in this election and to leave our nation defenseless. The prospect of irreparable consequences of war, man-made famine, injustice, betrayal, deception, and on and on is too great a cost to fathom. We should not lightly risk leaving our common post unattended. We should not tolerate large chunks of fellow Christians bickering about the qualities of candidates. As we all know, it’s not our job to change people, but we can pray, listen to the Holy Spirit to what we should individually be doing, and follow His leading by His power and love. God will do the work among us as we each yield ourselves to Him today.
Yes, there is a grievous error we as the church are poised to walk into due to our prideful attitude (not the quality of the candidates). We should not tolerate it. And, to not tolerate this condition means to to pray and change ourselves, not to control, manipulate, or mock others.
The subtler tragedy – greater even than the shouting pains the devil wants to bring – is for many in the church to not hear from our own Father in heaven on a day-to-day basis about issues like this election that affect our families and our world for many generations. To lose that connection with what can and ought to be our most intimate relationship is a grievous hurt. Its consequences may not be realized until eternity. God is speaking in this election, and we who know Him need to hear Him. Now, very soon. Don’t let yourself hear one more man’s opinion until you pray with a heart open to God and His good plans for our nation. Close this blog post if you need to.
Some may ask, “How can you expect Christians to be unified when the candidates are so lousy?” Were the house church believers in China disunified about their political choices when they were imprisoned and killed for sharing the Gospel? Were Iranian followers of Christ arguing among themselves about how to respond to a government that openly despises their religion? No, there is and has been a common spirit among our persecuted brothers on the overall advance of the church, despite their lack of easy choices. It’s time for us in American to put on our big boy pants and cry out to God for positive solutions when we find ourselves up against difficult situations – just as we each did when we first saw the reality of evil in us and our need for salvation.
There is always something useful and unified the church can do in any situation, in any sphere of culture. Election 2016 is a walk in the park compared to what we’ve faced before. Let’s end the complaining in ourselves immediately and speak up (lovingly) for the truth when we hear our brethren cursing God’s sovereignty over this process.
For starters, all of us can begin praying individually and corporately from this foundation:
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Once we pray for others, hear God’s perspective, and back our prayers with obedient lives, then we’ll see and think from His level rather from our own scattered thoughts. He’ll provide the “ah-ha” moments, clarity, and teachable hearts we need to get on the same page.
Do I even desire to see unity in the Christian vote in the US? Is resignment or resentment blocking my passion to see this outcome?
- Division between you and God
- Division among the body
- Division between the church and her assigned authority with regard to leading in this election
I asked God once why there are so many divisions and denominations in the church. He answered immediately, “Because My children have division in their hearts toward Me.”
Present all of yourself to God today. Love Him with all you’ve got, even if it feels like there’s no real love in you. Offer what you have, ask Him to use it, consume it, and multiply it. And He will take care of the rest.