Just four short years ago I was a political zealot of sorts. I had spent most of my life showing a keen interest in politics, with the hope of even running for an office one day–yes, I know that’s a laughable scenario to some who know me. And, although I still find politics and the study of government interesting (as of last year, I also became certified to teach government), I would say that my perspective has shifted significantly.
I grew up immersed in a sub-culture that has often been coined the “Religious Right.” The underlying thought is that Christians can change the culture (and, likewise, the world) by infiltrating the political arena. In recent years I started to realize that I was putting more hope in potential legislative changes than I should. It is only God who can change the heart of man and truly move a culture to do the right thing. The Gospel must be first and foremost. By the same token, is it not misleading to impose Christian-like morals on unregenerate man when this man has no Christ? This becomes eerily similar to the quaint and familiar “Leave it to Beaver” and “Andy Griffith” era where everyone was good and happy, but still had no true reason for living, which consequently gave rise to the free-spirited, truth-seeking hippies. And, at what point was I simply hoping to move the culture because of my personal fear of persecution?
I’m not proposing that all non-Christians should be left to bask in a hedonistic wasteland while we let our culture rot. I’m also not trying to devalue our involvement in the political process. To the contrary, our involvement is very important! What I am proposing is that politics simply be kept in perspective by realizing that (1) Only the Gospel truly saves the world, and (2) Pushing our moral agenda without living out the Gospel will likely create a harsh divide that nurtures an antagonistic audience.
So, with my new perspective in mind, I did not allow myself to get worked up. I did not engage in heated conversation, I did not forward any politically-charged emails, and I did not post provocative tweets or articles. I did, however, go to the polls with a vote against our current administration. I pray for President Obama, but, if asked, I respect but do not support him because he is imposing changes in my life that go directly against my faith-based lifestyle (namely, his pro-abortion agenda; the lifestyle mandates required in the health care bill; same-sex unions; and redistribution of wealth).
Was I disappointed with Tuesday’s outcome? Definitely. I look at my sweet 9-month-old’s face and visions of Atlas Shrugged, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, and 1984 all come swirling together. Then, I realize that, again, I am moved by fear. My God is greater. My God is stronger. Persecution may come our way, but it will strengthen us and draw us closer to him (Matt. 5:10-12). Our country may be crushed with economic woe, but it will allow people to turn from material security to eternal security (Matt. 16:26).
In closing, I’ve had the blessing of reading and hearing some excellent commentary in regards to the election results. It’s food for the soul during a disappointing time.
- Janet Parshall’s post-election thoughts
- My “Foolish” Reaction to President Obama’s Re-election
- Aftermath: Lessons from the 2012 Election