What to make of the American election results yesterday? One, it highlights the task of the church to evangelize a country that moves further and further away from any sort of biblical standard of morality. The US is now a post-Protestant country. The extreme positions of the president and his party on abortion apparently mean little to the nation. We are drowning in the blood of innocents. Support for homosexuals and their so-called marriages grows. The belief that one should support oneself in the world, instead of attaching permanently to the teat of government, falls quickly by the wayside. These basic values have changed and point up the greater work needing to be done by the church, not as a social change agent, but as God’s proclaimer of the gospel which radically transforms the heart, soul, and mind of a person.
Two, that being true, the church needs to invest heavily in evangelism. We’re getting away from it. We’re investing more and more in physical aid, less in spiritual transformation. Church budgets are hiding this shift by classifying it all as missions. It is not. We do not have a mandate for social programs and material improvement. Our abandonment of the Great Commission as a message to be preached for eternal salvation seems to be another election lost, as we turn away from the task of evangelism. In our own way, we are as guilty as the television preachers who promise riches, since we, like the postmodernists, think any good thing you do in this world is worthy and God-approved.
Three, it highlights the truth that human institutions tend to degenerate into corruption and self-interest. We have not kept the republic the founders gave us, for the people have discovered that they can vote themselves money. If in the church it is difficult to preserve the truth, it is impossible outside the church to hope for justice and righteousness to prevail. Yesterday proved to be the irrevocable American decision for inevitable decline. The decline is moral and spiritual, what little there existed. There seems to be, now, no going back, no restoration of respect for the Constitution. The rule of law has turned into the whims of man. So the election demonstrates that the people of God can never place their faith and hopes in a human system.
Fourth, God is sovereign. Last night, this truth was the consolation prize for evangelical tweeters. One could feel their disappointment at the election results, even through their God-in-control affirmations as the comfort to which they turned. It seemed to this observer that they found little enough comfort, insufficient joy in the Almighty. To the Lord’s church God’s sovereignty ought to be our passion and the truth by which we live and breathe, not some straw for which we grab when our projects sour. This truth is our unshakable foundation, our most solid hope, and our call to action.
“You are the great and powerful God who is known as the LORD who rules over all. You plan great things and you do mighty deeds. You see everything people do. You reward each of them for the way they live and for the things they do” (Jeremiah 32.18a-19 NET).