Where do I begin? How did our nation come to this point? There are so many factors that have led us here. There has been a growing spirit of division in our nation over the years. The Right characterizes the Left as “Communists”, “Socialists”, “Cry-baby Snowflakes”, et al; while the Left characterizes the Right as “Nazi’s”, “Fascists”, and “Deplorables”. And in this modern reign of social media these sentiments are magnified and shouted from the rooftops, reaching unprecedented numbers of people in an instant. When our nation was founded, political differences were discussed amongst smaller groups. Ideas could be hashed out and views clarified over time.
But as various forms of media (print, radio, television, internet) have evolved and our attention spans have shortened, the whole process has been short-circuited. We’ve become a nation that communicates in sound-bites. People don’t make time for anything more substantial. One hears a few lines from someone, makes assumptions about their view (and their character) based on that tiny bit of information, and labels them. Then everyone with that label is lumped together and classified based on the assumed perception. There are now entire schools of thought being taught in universities that perpetuate this and children being raised with these ideologies. It’s the same old story of prejudice based on stereotypes, but on a massive scale.
So comes the presidential election of 2020 with this as the foundation for the political discourse. In the past four years of Donald Trump’s presidency the divisions in this country have grown to massive proportions. This has been exacerbated by the increased popularity of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. These platforms set up virtual echo chambers and thought bubbles where one is exposed only to those who have a like opinion and also allows for the most atrocious, vitriolic statements to be made about “the other side” with relative anonymity and little to no repercussions. Combine this with the sinful nature of man and it’s a powder-keg ready to blow.
What is the church’s place in all this? What would God have us to do? There are many that have conflated the ideas of being a faithful Christian and being a patriot. They hold to the idea that, in order to be a good Christian in America, one must take a stand against the ungodly forces attempting to force their will upon the nation. They stand behind “their man” with tenacity while blinding themselves to his flaws. Going to rallies is placed on par with going to church. While this idea is partially valid how far should this be taken? How much support should believers give to candidates who claim they will push for the “Christian” agenda?
I believe that Scripture gives clear direction. Followers of Christ are to pursue the ends of the kingdom of God over and above the ends of whatever nation He has placed us in. Man’s heart is sinful and corrupt and that is going to play out in the politics of a nation. Corrupt, sinful men cannot be expected to run a government in a holy and righteous manner. There has always been corruption and fraud in governments, and it can only be expected to get worse. There are many who would say that the 2020 election was rife with fraud and many who signed affidavits and produced evidence in various forms to back that claim. There are others that state that those pieces of evidence are inaccurate. The question we, as believers in Christ, must ask is this: Is God still sovereign over what some claim to be a fraudulent election? Was a group of sinful, corrupt men able to thwart the plan of the Almighty?
Let’s take a lesson from the Israelites. God was not surprised after Solomon’s reign that there was a civil war in Israel and the nation was divided. God was not taken aback when the northern kingdom of Israel chased after idols for 200 years and He was not shocked when Assyria destroyed them and took them into captivity. In fact it was His preordained plan! He was also not bested by Babylon when they returned 200 years later to finish off Israel and take the remainder captive. It all served His holy purposes. And what was the command to Israel while they were in captivity? Were they told to rise up and overthrow Babylon? No. God told the Israelites through the Prophet Jeremiah: “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” (Jeremiah 29:4-7) In short, God told them to settle in and carry on as they always have. Follow God and His commands, live their lives, and “seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf….” (even though it was a pagan city with an idolatrous government).
If all this is true and God is sovereign over all things then it must be conceded that, while many may believe with all their hearts that this election was stolen and that the winner only won by cheating and fraud, Joseph Biden has been placed by God as President of the United States. As such, believers must cover him in prayer, challenge him (and Congress) to act in a righteous manner, and follow whatever laws they enact insofar as that obedience does not violate our Christian conscience which has been formed by the Scriptures. We must also pray for our nation as a whole that any and all corruption would come to light and that the population would turn from the nasty, hateful rhetoric and begin to see one another as human beings made in the image of God. And we should pray that they would come to the cross, repent, and subject themselves to the One true King.