Well, it’s finished. After much prayer, much consideration on the issues that matter most to me, and after examining the candidates and their platforms, I took advantage of the early voting period and cast my ballot in this 2016 election.
I’ll be honest; it was not an easy decision. I struggled for the majority of this election period, more than I ever had before.
As a man of faith who governs his life by biblical values and principles, I wrestled internally, knowing that those values cannot be divorced from who I am, not even at the ballot box. I understand that no candidate is going to be perfect or perfectly align with my biblical worldview, but it seems, particularly in the presidential race, that neither major party candidate even comes close to the standard line.
How does one make that decision? For whom does one cast his or her vote?
Well, despite the struggle, I exercised my right and responsibility and made my voice heard through my vote — and I am at peace.
This election season has sparked a division in our country the likes of which we’ve never seen. We’ve seen the worst of America unveiled as people passionately, yet at times offensively, defend their candidate, their beliefs and their party. Fear and apathy became the common mood as many insisted that the election of either presidential candidate would bring about the end of the world.
No matter which candidate ascends to the highest office in the land, I’m not worried. No matter who wins, as a follower of Christ, there’s no reason for me to fear.
Here are four reasons why I’m not worry about the outcome of this election.
1. God is Still Sovereign and in Control.
Psalm 115:5 says, “But our God is in heaven; he does whatever he pleases.”
Have we forgotten who God is and what He does? Do think God is unaware of the political season we are in and the state of our nation? Do we think that God did not know, before the beginning of time, that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would be our major presidential candidates? Have we forgotten that God is sovereign and rules over everything, including our elections?
He sees the end from the beginning. He sees all, knows all, rules over all and is ultimately in control. God has His purposes in everything that touches our lives.
Many people are worried, fearful, feeling hopeless because their trust is misplaced in politicians, the government and programs that will eventually fail. But when you serve and trust a sovereign God, there is no need to worry, no need to fear, because His plan and His purposes will always prevail.
When chaos comes and fears escalate, that’s the time to know where your faith lies. And if your faith is in anyone or anything other than a sovereign God, you’re going to be highly disappointed. I’m not worried about the outcome of this election, because, ultimately, it’s in the hand of God.
2. The Church will Still Prevail
Jesus speaks in Matthew 16:18: “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.”
Through all the politics and the policies, through all the attacks and the pressure, there is nothing that can stand in the way of the church, the universal body of Christ, or keep it from moving forward and advancing the Kingdom of God. I am glad to be a part of the church, because I believe the church is the best thing this world has going for it. Therefore, no matter the outcome of this election, the church will remain and will be a stabilizing force in world.
The early church understood the significance of impacting popular culture. It did so by setting the example of morality and righteousness throughout every area of life. Even in the midst of suffering and persecution, the church prevailed.
As the body of Christ, we are to advance the kingdom of God in every area, including government and politics. The church has always been the institution to keep government accountable. No matter who wins on November 8, the church stands as the prophetic voice to the nation. It is the job of the Church to make sure that the State, the Government, and our elected officials do not forget and do not lose sight of the truth that God rules and that there is a moral and even biblical standard by which the political realm must operate.
I also believe that the church collectively — the unified body of Christ — is the only institution that can model true reconciliation. For we have been reconciled to one another through Christ Jesus. It is our genuine love for one another by which the world discerns that we are His disciples.
Could it be that, at a time when the nation is so divided, God is calling the church to unite and model true reconciliation to world? If so, that won’t happen from the White House. That’s why the world needs the church, and that’s why the church will prevail, despite the outcome of this election.
3. We are Still His Representative.
Writing to the church at Corinth, Paul said, “…we are ambassadors for Christ…”
Paul was speaking of himself and his fellow workers. I believe that we as a Christian body are to be God’s ambassador in this world. In a world filled with corruption, perversion, greed and wickedness, we are authorized agents of the Most High God for righteousness, truth and holiness.
No matter the election’s outcome, Jesus still calls us to be salt and light in this world. If I am salt, then somebody’s life should to be better because the seasoning of my life has been sprinkled onto theirs. And as light, we ought to reflect God’s glory and light somebody’s path to the savior.
Because we are His representatives, people are watching us — how we respond to the issues of our world today. If we respond and react like everyone else, what hope do the people have of a life that’s different from what they know?
Being salt and light means our lives are different — our walk is different, our talk is different, our love is different, our prayers are different – because we are ambassadors of the King. We are to be a calm, rational, loving voice of hope, peace and grace.
How many of us can honestly say that, during this political season, we’ve taken the opportunity to be a witness for Jesus Christ? Have we shared more of our political views than we have the Gospel? Have we spent more time defending a candidate than defending the truth of God’s Word? Have we been a voice of division rather than one of reconciliation? Have we stirred people’s fears rather than offering them hope?
No matter who gets into the White House (or the governor’s house), no matter who takes the senate seat or sits in the representative’s chair, no matter who wears the rob in the court room, there is no need to worry because our assignment is still the same – to live as God’s representative on earth.
4. The Gospel Still has the Power to Save.
Paul said in Romans, “I’m not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes; to the Jews first and also to the Greek.”
God is concerned about the hearts of people, and no man or woman can bring about the permanent change that is needed. Because the change that is needed is not simply a change of administration, not a change of economic policies, military strategy or social agenda. The change that is needed is a supernatural, spiritual change in the hearts of men and women. And that can only happen through the power of the Holy Spirit of God and through the power of the Gospel.
The salvation of mankind and the peace and prosperity for our families will not come riding on a donkey or an elephant; neither will it come flying in on Air Force One. The salvation of our nation, the redemption of moral values, the restoration of our communities, will not come from Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians or Independents. The salvation, redemption and restoration of American will come only when the people of God repent and turn from trusting in the political systems of this nation, the military might of this nation and the financial systems of man and turn our hearts toward God and lead others to do the same.
That means the Gospel is for everybody. It’s for the Democrat, the Republican, the Independent. It’s for the black, the white, the Hispanic, the Asian. It’s for the Busters, the Boomers, the Gen Xers, the Millenials. The gospel is for those in the White House as well as those in the crack house. The gospel is for the down and out as well as for the up and out. And the gospel is for the lost, the hurting, abandoned, the left out.
It doesn’t matter who occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He or she will not have the power to save. Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can do that. But if we are ashamed of the message of the cross, which has the power to transform, then we cannot expect our world to change and be transformed.
I’m Pastor RJ Davis, and I approve this message.
The Rev. Phillip RJ Davis is senior pastor at Nations Ford Community Church.