The unprecedented presidential election of 2016 has ended and we have witnessed a watershed moment in American political history. The most optimistic of assessments were exceeded for the Republican Party, and as a result America will have a GOP-dominated White House, House and Senate, and the majority of state houses and governorships as well.
We congratulate and offer our heartfelt prayers for President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence and all the winners. We pray for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and all those who were defeated.
Above all, we give thanks to God for free elections in a free country.
As we review and absorb the aftermath of last night and early this morning, it would be impossible to overstate the consequences of this year’s campaign.
We welcome President-elect Trump’s commitment to appoint justices to both the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary who respect the Constitution.
We are grateful for Mr. Trump’s pro-life pledge and look forward to his promise of a pro-life administration, which includes de-funding Planned Parenthood. We’re also optimistic about the president-elect’s pledge to champion pro-religious liberty policies and once again welcome faith in the public square.
Of course, for Christians, an excessive focus on politics will never give us ultimate joy and contentment, because that kind of trust is misplaced.
Elections matter because our votes have consequences. But the Christian life confounds worldly ways and goes well beyond the seemingly zero-sum nature of politics. That’s because ours is a paradoxical faith. After all, it was Jesus who told us that “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39).
Here lies the secret to true peace and flourishing. We’re not to trust in “chariots and horses” but rather “in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7).
Here lies the Good News – the best news of all. A personal relationship with Jesus is freely offered and meant for everyone, and provides true abundance, whether you are a Republican, Democrat or somewhere in between.
And so while the election has ended, I believe our work as Christians has only just begun. There will be a lot to absorb and discuss in the coming days, weeks and months. To be sure, though, we are commanded to pray for our elected leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2). We must also try and live at peace with all (Romans 12:18) without speaking evil and quarreling (Titus 3:2). We must pray on behalf of our cities, states and nation (Jeremiah 29: 7). Finally, we must remember that our ultimate struggle is not with men but with our mortal enemy (Ephesians 6:12).
I believe the American people have made clear there is a lot of work that needs to be done. And as the results of the election lay bare, I think it’s also become more and more obvious the political class isn’t equipped to fully handle the many issues that beset us. So, where does that leave us?
I believe this puts the Christian Church in the unique and challenging position to sacrifice and serve, to unite in love and care for abortion-minded moms, to adopt children in need of families, to minister to those who are hurting, and to speak truth in love to a lost culture.
In other words, it means the Church is called on to continue being the Church. As Christians, we’re called on to “seek the welfare of the city” and “pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jeremiah 29:7).
We are called on to bring peace to a world of chaos.
Incidentally, this worldview is echoed by Dr. Tony Evans in his excellent book, “Kingdom Citizen.” It’s an excellent tool for believers who want to understand their role in reclaiming a broken nation and world.
In the words of President-elect Trump, “Now is the time to bind the wounds of division.”
May the Lord grant us wisdom and favor in the coming days.