Post Election Thoughts… (and you might not like them)

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I’ve spent some time taking a look at people’s Facebook posts and Twitter feeds… people I know, people that I don’t know, people that are Christian, people that aren’t, people that are well known, people that aren’t. Here’s what I have overwhelmingly seen on the conservative side… predictions of doomsday. There you have it. People talking about moving out of the country, people forecasting our nation’s demise, people expressing not just disappointment but a deep-seated anger and hostility.

Where does this “doomsday” fear come from? I’m not saying that the country is not in bad shape.. I’m just wondering what such statements are based on. How about this? Rather than bemoaning the state of where we are at as a country, what if we began to see this as an opportunity for the Church to be the Church? What if we stopped whining and complaining about what didn’t come to pass and began to think strategically about how we, as God’s people, can begin to live out the principles of the Kingdom in our community?

As some friends have graciously pointed out, Jesus is still on the throne to which my response is “Amen”. God was not caught off guard by this. Yet, why is the language so polemic, so vitriolic? I have often wondered if the anger, the frustration, and fear that people have expressed is not holy, but rather is connected more to one’s will being crossed (my candidate or party was not voted in). While it can be disguised by religious moralism (“We care about the morality of our country”) it is more of a statement of self-justification. That is not so much an accusation I am lobbing but rather a thought to provoke reflection since I don’t know people’s hearts completely.

My thought is this: This is the best time to be alive! There’s Kingdom work to be done. And that won’t be helped by people complaining about moving, lobbing angry statements, or marginalizing others. May the Church continue to be salt and light as we await His eventual return where He will restore everything!

6 thoughts on “Post Election Thoughts… (and you might not like them)

  1. Lori

    Another source of the vitriol could be the identification one feels with one’s party or candidate. When USC loses, I’m sad because I identify with them. But I suck it up and say, “Good game” to the victor. Others, like the Dodger fans who brutally attacked the SF Giants fan a few years ago, seem to take their identification with something worldly too far. As believers, our ultimate identification is in Christ. Perhaps because of that, we feel a “need” to defend His values, forgetting He is perfectly capable of defending himself. (It always boils down to a sports analogy with me, Jon)

    • jonnitta

      Doesn’t it always boil down to some sports analogy? Kurt taught you well. I share your concern with how deep the identification goes. Your question is excellent in, “Gee, I thought God was capable of defending Himself.” I would also want to explore how this identification is actually counter to the gospel which says that our identification is with Christ’s work on the cross and His resurrection. Anything else taken deeply into the heart like that constitutes a form of idolatry. In the realm of the political (as in sports) the temptation then is to put people in both good and bad categories. Great thoughts Lori!

  2. doug w.

    Hello, Jon… Just read your blog and must say that I too have paid careful attention to some of these posts following last week’s election results. I find it interesting that your blog generalizes that “conservative” folks have tended toward a “doomsday” post-election perspective. However, most of the comments I have seen have been more akin to those mourning the loss of something precious, or grieving for a lost loved one (in this case – America). Reinforcing this observation, I have recently spoken with several godly, gray-haired pastors who are saddened that our culture has just voted to institutionalize (quite possibly, beyond the point of return) many post-modern public policies that in decades heretofore would only be regarded as radical or unfathomable to a generation with basic moral anchoring.
    Franklin Graham, following the election, said, “If we are allowed to go down this road in the path that this president wants us to go down, I think it will be to our peril and to the destruction of this nation.” Many scholars suggest that since we have now reached such exponential growth rates with food stamps programs, unemployment monies, increases in abortion funding, etc., we have gone beyond incentivizing moral crisis, to the point of cementing these breakdowns of society, especially amongst the poor. All of this to say, to be critical of comments of sorrow (confused with comments of doom) posted in mourning of these events by a broad spectrum of Christian folks, comes across as considerably insensitive and overly dismissive.
    Also, you have expressed your own concerns about motives of certain bloggers being disguised as religious moralism. However, when I heard brothers expressing views (after the election) like, “There’s Kingdom work to be done” or “This is the best time to be alive!,” which to me sounds a little sanctimonious, I couldn’t help but wonder two things: 1)”What were these folks thinking before November 6th’s election?” (i.e., Is this carpe diem attitude a new concept to certain pastors(?), 2) perhaps these pastors may be quietly primarily supportive of the expansion of liberalism in our political arena(?).
    Lastly, it needs to be pointed out that, regardless of its intention, the “Jesus is on the throne” retort will potentially result in the squelching of any dialogue which reasonably considers shortcomings of the church (a similar phrase is, “God said it; I believe it; that settles it”) and silences those directing uncomfortable, yet helpful, inquiry toward the Church establishment. I appreciate the comforting spirit of the comment, but doubt that most of my brothers are questioning as a result of the election: a) Jesus; b) His resurrection; or c) His positioning on the throne. In fact, in defense of those expressing concerns, certainly I consider it fair and healthy that some self-examination and introspection transpire in order to determine just how evangelicals might have managed to so miserably lose their “salt & light” effect in world events. This is not polemic. Neither is it vitriolic. It is simply a reasonable outward expression during a time of uncertainty and sorrow; and it is a healthy aspect of accountability, self-assessment, and stewardship.

    • jonnitta

      Great thoughts Doug! I certainly did not want to sound either dismissive or sanctimonious. Nor did I want to sound approving of morally where our nation is at. I think I recognize the gravity of how slippery the slope has become in our post-Christian times. At the same time, I think some (not all) use social media to make, in my estimation, harsh statements that neither express a trust in a sovereign God nor charity for others. Your thoughts were expressed well and charitably. Thanks for taking the time to respond!

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