(Originally posted four years ago today. Still appropriate.)
Imagine my surprise to wake up today and be informed by my Facebook feed that for slightly less than 1/2 of America the apocalypse is upon us. While, at the same time, for ever so slightly more than 50% of America, we have just insured our temporal salvation…at least for four more years.
My 2300 Facebook friends are mostly Christians. How did we, the followers of a messiah who repeatedly refused to be a political deliverer, decide to look for salvation through the vote? How does a group, whose original identity was the anti-empire exclamation: “Jesus is Lord!” end up equating our political system with religious truth? Our original creed was a stark rebuttal to the “Caesar is Lord” mandated to be shouted as the emperor was carried through Roman cities. And yet today we look to the empire for our salvation.
We would do well to remember the message that Peter preached, “Salvation is found in no other name under heaven.” (Acts 4:12)
We have a missio-dei, a mission of God that transcends any secular mission. It is a mission of thought, and mouth, and hands and feet. Imagine this: What if every Christian invested the dollars we spent on campaigns and candidates on the poor, the downtrodden, the alien and sojourner…the unborn and the young single girl carrying them?
What if we borrowed a page from the playbook of the early Christians? In 362 C.E. the commitment to society by Christians was so obvious that when Emperor Julian launched a campaign to revive paganism he realized the enormous challenge he faced in trying to win people’s affections back from the devotion of Christians. “When the poor happened to be neglected and overlooked by our priests, the impious Galileans observed this and devoted themselves to benevolence. They support not only their poor, but ours as well, everyone can see that our people lack aid from us.”  The church nursed the sick, cared for widows, orphans and elderly. We even buried the dead, both Christian and non-Christian alike.
Even the beneficiary of yesterday’s vote, the President himself, realizes that we are placing too much either on him or opposed to him when he pointed out that “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for!” I would say that actually is another. A Nazarene carpenter.
But what should we Christians do the day after an election? Go back to being his hands and his feet. Live, serve, preach, pray, give, go and grow.
 Stark, Rodney. Cities of God: The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conquered Rome. New York: HarperOne Publishers. (2006), 31.
14 thoughts on “What should Christians do the day after an election?”
Wonderful words my friend. I have been struggling with what I hear and see online after this election. I have been bothered by the words of others….you article made me realize I need to focus on the word of God. Thank you friend.
And how good to hear from you, old friend. I was at the WHS 30 yr reunion last weekend. You have to have one coming soon. Will you come?
I have not heard about a reunion, but I will be there if there is one! I am gonna rent a classic blue VW Bug so I can relive the glory days 🙂
Make sure it has a sunroof for you to dance out of! 🙂
Ahhh the 80’s…..a time when a little Pat Benetar or Journey could solve all of our problems!
And when the most pressing question in our lives was whether Paul Howard was more of a magician with darts or bottle rockets.
This is a good post. As to how we got to this point, it is because we live under the myth that America is a Christian nation, but we see the disconnect between biblical righteousness and national conduct. So, we want a leader who will make our nation righteous: ban abortion, same-sex marriage, prayer in schools. But we have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice, truthfulness, care for the poor. We look to the power of the sword, not to God, to protect us, so we outspend every other country on horses and chariots. We say we trust in God, but we really don’t.
Well spoken.My thoughts exactly.
Would love to hear where that quote came from–I love it!
The Julian quote? I got it from the Rodney Stark book. The reference is at the bottom of the post.
Haha. Ah, you mean the clearly hyperlinked quote? Thanks 🙂