Why God Won’t Rescue Us This Election Year

 

Yes, it’s going to be a memorable election year, no matter what happens…and unfortunately, it will be memorable for lots of anxiety and anger, along with whatever other milestones are reached.

In response to all that unpleasantness, I frequently see one of my Christian friends’ Facebook feeds sport a meme that reminds us all that “Jesus is Lord” or that “God is Still on the Throne” or “Jesus is King of kings.”

Now certainly those things are all true, but why are you bringing them up now?

If it is to point out that God’s ultimate will shall be realized, then carry on.

But if what you are trying to say is that It’s all good, God is in control and he will save us from ourselves…I have to say I don’t think that’s true.  And to say that isn’t to besmirch his sovereignty!

One of the things revealed to us in scripture is that God is omnipotent…but he voluntarily limited his power when it comes to us, by giving us free will.  God doesn’t override our choices.  God will lead us and guide us by his Spirit if that is what we want…but if we are bound and determined to make foolish choices, he isn’t going to stop us.

And so when it comes to our election, we’ve been given plenty to work with to choose as wisely as possible – we not only have the Bible, we have the Holy Spirit of God within us to guide us into all truth!  We have been given wisdom and God will give us more if we will ask in faith.  We have been educated and know how to read and how to look things up and fact-check and know what a candidate really said (and we even have helpful fact-checkers who will help us know what they said last year!).  We have been taught that the priorities are to love our God and then to love our neighbor (who is anyone in need of mercy)…and even to love our enemies.  We have been taught to be suspicious of fear and anger and defensiveness as our motives, and to seek first the kingdom of God so we can proceed from peace.

We’ve got what it takes to choose well.

But if we persist in believing what is not true, in operating out of outrage or fear or tribal identities other than the kingdom of God, if we insist that only one issue is important to God and therefore we won’t bother to learn about anything else, if we find ourselves empowered by hatred…and THOSE are the elements of how we choose who to vote for, well…God isn’t necessarily going to rescue us from a terrible mistake.

God is going to let us have what we choose, with all the good and bad consequences that come from our choices.

Enough Old Testament history ought to demonstrate that bad kings got chosen and they then chose badly as kings…and the innocent were hurt.

So yes, God is on the throne, for sure…and he has promised that this world will come to an end and his own kingdom will come.  And when it does, there will be no more tears, no more mourning…and no more sin.   Jesus is King of kings and one day all nations will acknowledge his Lordship.  But this isn’t that time and he isn’t on the ballot.

So in my opinion, we need to take our right and privilege to choose our own leaders in this country very seriously.  And if we are followers of Jesus, we ought to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”  We need to understand that we can’t vote into existence the kingdom of God on earth – that’s not how it will come.  We can’t vote or in any other way coerce people who aren’t Christ followers to behave like they are.  But we sure can vote and in other ways influence our government and culture to be just, to be wise, to care for everyone and to do what is right, as much as we can in this world.

And we need to put in the time and effort to choose well.

God isn’t going to rescue us if we choose to do it badly.  He will let us have what we think we want.