Dear Friends in Christ,
In the 48 years since I first cast a vote at age 18 I cannot remember a time when the people around me-family, friends, colleagues and parishoners-have expressed such anxiety over an upcoming election as they are currently doing. I confess that I share the similar angst given voice in exasperated questions and declarations like “What difference does it make who I vote for…the choice is between two equally undesirable candidates?!” and “Whomever gets into office: we are in big trouble!” and “Why not just stay home…my vote will contribute not one iota to making the America in which I want to live!” and “I just want the whole thing to be over with!”
Of equal interest to me are the approaches folks intend to take in the light of the conundrum with which we are faced. The short list includes:
Vote for the least objectionable candidate – it’s your civic duty
Vote for the Constitution and the Supreme Court nominees the new president will surely appoint
Vote for political philosophy: capitalism vs socialism; conservatism vs liberalism vs libertarianism; small government vs big government
Vote for political party
Vote for character
Vote for the people with whom the new president will surround himself/herself
Vote for policies, programs and promises
Vote for cultural issues: pro-life, pro-business, pro-environment, pro-coal, pro-traditional marriage
Vote for the down-ballot candidates for House and Senate
What I find most interesting about the discouragement many feel about the condition of our country is the notion that next Tuesday will be “the one and only” opportunity the electorate has to affect our future. It’s as if casting a vote, as important as voting is, is the sole contribution one can make to the future of America. No wonder there is discouragement. One day and one vote…seems like precious little one can do to make things different than they are today, particularly if whomever one votes for offers so very little for a better tomorrow.
As I said in an earlier eCare on the subject I will not presume to tell anyone how to vote, what the Christian way to vote might be or how I intend to vote. I share the same befuddlement many of you do and intend to lay it all out before the Lord with the question “Lord, what would you have me do about this vote I am about to cast?” I intend to vote by faith and trust that, whatever the outcome, the Lord is sovereign and His way for America will be accomplished, though I certainly hold out the possibility that what His will is for us may not to our liking.
But if voting on Tuesday is not the only thing I can/must do, if it is but the first thing I must do what’s next? At the risk of having just written a five paragraph tease for Sunday’s sermon let me suggest that on the coming Lord’s Day I will address the matter of living in two kingdoms at once which, not so coincidentally, is the title of the sermon from Jeremiah 29: “Living In Two Kingdoms At the Same Time!”
For the purposes of this short note, however, I would suggest that the notion that there is nothing we can do except vote reflects our failure to realize that at the heart of all we are and do and cherish as Americans is our love of liberty. In our wholly inadequate understanding of the history of our country and its founding/foundations we have failed to realize that the freedom from Britain which we gained 240 years ago and which Americans have fought to protect and preserve over the past 2 ½ centuries, must also be a freedom for promoting a nation in which we may enjoy the fullness of life to the greatest extent possible.
As I’ll suggest on Sunday Christians, who are citizens of a heavenly commonwealth, have a great stake in the thriving of our country because, like the people of Israel in the Babylonian Captivity, we are to pray for and pursue the “welfare of the city” for in it we will find our own welfare. Christians cannot be complacent, disinterested or missing in action when it comes to the future condition of our country. We who enjoy “freedom from” many of the things that might otherwise keep us from being all that God has created us to be must actively protect, preserve and promote our “freedom for” investing in the welfare of the land in which we live by God’s sovereign plan until the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.
Such a task cannot be boiled down to one vote in one election on one day but must become a part of who we are as Christians living in America each and every day and, of great importance, each and every generation. More on this in future eCares.
Regarding this weekend:
This Lord’s Day is one of two Sundays on which we will recognize the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, a commemoration that takes on special significance this year as we pray for the safe release of one of our EPC missionaries recently arrested in Turkey on charges of espionage.
We need to hear from those of you who are planning to attend our New Century Club gathering on Monday, November 14th. Please bring your reservation card with you or fill one out at the table in the A-level hallway and please consider bringing a friend with you for a great dinner and a wonderful concert to follow.
Don’t forget to fall back on Saturday night. And, as usual, I’ll have the coffee on for those who forget and, therefore, arrive an hour early.
‘Looking forward to seeing many of you on the Lord’s Day.
Faithfully in Him,
Posted on Fri, November 4, 2016
by Administrator filed under