I’ve been thinking a lot about the day after the election.
The one predominant thought that all trains of thought eventually lead back to is this one…
What a day for the Church to arise!
Conventional wisdom points to about three possibilities for the day after the election. First, Romney wins and Obama supporters go into depression. Rumors persist about calls for rioting, looting and the assassination of Romney. Second, Obama is re-elected and Romney supporters go into depression. I hear talk of people leaving the country. Third, the race is so close that is takes days, even weeks for recounts and the final determination of a winner.
My prediction is the day after the election America’s high level of frustration, distrust, conflict, anarchy and division will only intensify. I’m not a doomsayer. I’m just reading the indicators. I’ve never seen the level of tension that is tightly wrapped around this election season. Let me give you a short list of examples.
- Voter fraud pundits are faced off with voter suppression folks. This debate sets us up for months of anger at the potential manipulation of the election.
- Trust in the news media doesn’t exist anymore. Everybody has a bias, and we tend to go to the outlet that reinforces our particular slant. News stations have become extensions of the political parties. Post-election rhetoric will ratchet up and deepen the division.
- The high road has disappeared. Political operatives search for dirt and are even willing to fabricate it or distort the truth to sully their opponents. Political commercials are completely untrustworthy. Our wounded public servants carry deep grudges and vendettas. And we wonder why they can’t break the gridlock as government leader are supposed to work together with mortal enemies.
- Great fear is producing great anger. I think the second debate-the Town Hall scenario- best illustrates the anger. Both candidates circled the other like cats on attack-cutting each other off, staring each other down, setting each other up for the kill. Like the crowds cheering gladiators, we rejoiced when our man drew blood. This anger rises from the fear of where the country is headed under Republican or Democratic leadership.
Fear. Anger. Distrust. Manipulation. Distortion. Viciousness. Grudges and Vendettas.
Wow! What a great day for the Church!!!! We were made for seasons like this! The Church carries the keys to undo this trauma.
Jesus’ brother, James, gave words tailor made for the 2012 election (James 3:14-16)
“14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind”.
James commentary on culture also came with an antidote, (James 3:17-18)
“17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness”.
God, who appoints our seasons and locations, set us up for this great adventure in discipling the nation! Think about it! We get to change the way our nation thinks! America needs us to lead the way with wisdom from above!!
I recently read Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Prophet, Martyr, Spy by Eric Metaxes. Bonheoffer tried to get the Church in pre-WWII Germany to stand up to the encroaching evil with the wisdom of God. But they succumbed to political pressure and fell silent. The rest is history!
God promised us that He would be with us to the very end of the age when He told us to go and make disciples of the nations (Matthew 28). We carry a wisdom that is not of this world that sows peace and reaps righteousness that disciples a nation into God’s dream for the nation.
I believe that!! Do you?!?!
That’s why I’m so excited about this election that leads us into greater chaos. The true nature of the Church is at stake! And I believe we will deliver the goods!!! So many Christians are done with religiosity and business as usual. They’ve chunked the forms of spirituality and hunger for the authentic holiness and spiritual power that flows from a life conformed to the image of Christ. They walk in true humility, righteousness and sacrificial love.
The whole Church isn’t all at this place currently but we are getting there. Some Christians are too vested in maintaining the status quo, but those numbers are dwindling. Growing numbers of saints are committed to bringing the Kingdom of heaven to bear on their spheres of influence. This is the answer to our prayer-”thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”.
If you grant me some grace to describe where I think we are headed in this amazing season!
First, in order to disciple the nation, the Church will mature in it own discipline to think consistent with the mind of Christ. As James said-we will think with a pure wisdom from above. With the wisdom from above we will aggressively push past the shallowness of fearful eschatologies, social club church membership, denominationalized doctrines and worldly church growth methodologies to lay hold of biblical understanding of issues like Christ’s supremacy, the power of the cross, economics, God’s plan in history, education that trains righteous citizens, governance rooted in an accurate understanding of God and man, the constitution, foreign policy, immigration, poverty, etc. Our clear thinking will shape the wisdom of the nation.
Second, the Church will come into the unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17. The racial divide will be deconstructed by Church leaders that will have the patience and humility to understand and love each other and find a new, untried way forward together. Institutionalize racism will be understood and measures taken to undo it. The healing of a divided society starts with the healing of a divided Church. (I recommend reading Racism, the Bible and the American Dream by Elreta Dodds for a great explanation of institutional racism.)
Third, the Church will truly become a supernatural training center. Saints will be trained like Jesus’ disciples were – to declare and demonstrate that the “kingdom of heaven is at hand”. The keys of the Kingdom have been given to us. Saints will carry the Kingdom into the marketplace where the real power to disciple the nation will occur. Our Church buildings and property are the training centers, but they are not the centers of transformational transactions. That’s the marketplace!
So let me leave you with this thought. The day after the election America will need the love, wisdom, grace and peace Jesus has given to His Church. They don’t even know it. But we do!