I know what you’re probably thinking: why on earth is the term “politics” appearing on this blog?
That’s because if you know me at all, you know how deeply I disdain politics and everything it entails. My heart recoils at political rhetoric and argument, primarily due to the nastiness that comes with politics in our twisted social media era.
If we could have a reasoned, respectful debate, then so be it … but that seems a near impossibility these days. Instead, we moralize our preferences, demonize the other side, and claim the sky is falling at every turn.
Because of my extremely diverse group of Facebook friends—that’s what happens when you’re from the South, you live in California, and you’re a law school grad—I see the full gamut of articles in my newsfeed.
Articles praising Trump as the “savior” of America.
Articles detailing why Trump will be the end of the world as we know it.
Articles praising Clinton or Sanders.
Articles claiming Clinton and Sanders are the devil incarnate.
And on and on they go. It’s basically the same catalogue of articles, just substitute in a different candidate’s name. It’s kind of astonishing to sit back and watch the variance in these impassioned, heart-felt beliefs. Amazing, right, how two people can look at the same thing and come away with diametrically opposed opinions?
Which is why I felt compelled to write—this post is for anyone, but I write in particular to my fellow believers in Jesus.
Folks, no politician is going to save us.
Ted Cruz is not our savior nor our enemy.
Donald Trump is not our enemy nor our savior.
Neither Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders will single-handedly lay waste to our country.
There is not a single person running for office who will save us in the way we so long to be saved.
Please don’t misunderstand me, elections are important. I hate politics, but I always vote, and I always do my best to stay on top of current issues (as much as I can while trying to keep two tiny humans alive). As followers of Christ, we must be informed and present in our culture—the good, the bad, and the ugly.
All I would like to say is this: relax. In our election year fervor, we cannot forget Who is ultimately in charge and Who is running this whole show. We serve a God who is in control—always and forever.
Yes, our leaders have power to make important, critical decisions and set our country on a certain course, but we must remain mindful that they can only do what God wills and allows!
I am reminded of Daniel’s beautiful prayer in Daniel chapter 2. Far from home, enmeshed in a pagan society, and under the rule of a godless king, Daniel never waivered in his belief that God Almighty was still in control:
Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His. He changes times and seasons; He sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning (Daniel 2:20-21 NIV, emphasis added).
Daniel knew that, even though Nebuchadnezzar was his earthly king, God was ultimately the one in charge. Daniel did not fret or freak out, even when his political climate called for his death on account of his belief.
Similarly, the prophet Isaiah recognized the sovereignty of God when he wrote:
He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing (Isaiah 40:22-23 NIV, emphasis added).
Dear reader, God is not hamstrung by whoever wins this year’s election. He will not rejoice if Ted Cruz wins. He will not wring His hands if Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton wins. Our Heavenly Father is in charge, and with each election and each current event, He’s working out His ultimate plan for this earth.
And you know what? Even if your “worst case scenario” happens, God is still working. Throughout the Bible, God used even pagan rulers and leaders to accomplish His purposes. Just look at Pharaoh, King Xerxes, King Nebuchadnezzar, and Pontius Pilate to name a small handful. The Lord will accomplish His purposes, no matter who sits in the Oval Office. That doesn’t mean the future will be easy peasy or smooth sailing—but it does mean that we can rest in God’s plan and provision for His children, no matter what.
So pray. Pray for our country. Spend less time bemoaning our current state and more time looking for opportunities to let Christ’s love shine in the midst of an ever-growing darkness. We’ve got to stop acting as though these human, fallen people are going to save us or ruin us. Because here’s a hint: the world is already ruined by sin! Only God can and will restore this world one day.
My heart aches when I see our deep divisions, hatred, and bias preventing us from seeing each other face-to-face and eye-to-eye, as fellow human beings. And in our staunch political rhetoric, I believe we sometimes cause more harm to the gospel message. In His day, the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus with a political question regarding taxes—yet Jesus refused to take the bait. He looked them straight in the eye and said Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s (Matthew 22:21 NIV).
So, my friends, don’t take the bait. Pray, vote, keep loving your neighbor as yourself—regardless of what political sign rests in his front yard—and above all, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, our one true God and King. Our world is broken, but one day He will make it all right, as only He can.
And may God bless America!
O Lord, God of our Fathers, are You not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in Your hands, and no one can withstand You … we do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You (2 Chronicles 20:6, 12 NIV).