There is a lot of talk about how divided the United States is as a nation. This is nothing new. Every election cycle has shown pretty close margins for some time now. This most recent cycle was by far the worst. The candidates were soundly disliked by their respective parties and it seems that many voted simply to stop the other side.
Now it is decided. The refrain “not my president” would be heard regardless of the winner. The only difference is which side is saying it. So now we hear from the powers that be that we must come together.
That is a tall order. How does a country so divided heal?
I want to offer some advise to Christians. American Christians hold a dual citizenship. First is the citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven. That Kingdom transcends race, nationality, and time. After that, we have our citizenship in the US. Our role should be that of ambassadors, representing the Kingdom to the United States.
We find ourselves coming to our post amidst gloating and despair. We see people that feel like they pulled their country back from the brink and we see people that feel as though their country just fell over the edge. We see that both those sides have a lot of animosity for one another. As ambassadors of the Kingdom we must consider what we have; what we represent.
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:1-2, ESV)
The problem is that we do not yet have these fruits and we do not yet have this tree. The Kingdom is now and not yet. So what do we have now?
We have a role of healing. We have the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) which we are to use, enjoy, and give liberally.
And we have some basic instructions for living in this society.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15, ESV)
I encourage you to go and hear why some are rejoicing and some are weeping. (note: hearing in person is far better than hearing on social media) Listen past the rhetoric and vitriol and hear the hopes and fears. Listen and respond in love and kindness and gentleness.
Listen, rejoice, weep, and heal.
Aaron Davis has served as a youth pastor, a pastor, and a church planter. He currently resides in Springfield, MO and is the author of the novel, “Street Preacher” and is currently working on The Baggage Claim Project. For a list of public appearances or info on how to invite him to speak to your church, business, or organization click here.
Every time a presidential election comes around, there is a lot to say from lots of groups of people. None are more vocal than religious conservatives, of which I am one. This year, presents a challenge for such voters. On the left is a career politician with a track record of corruption and who stands almost directly opposed to most values of the religious conservative. On the right is a proud serial adulterer who defies the core belief of Christianity that one must be forgiven by God.
There is a pragmatist argument that goes something like this: Trump will pick pro-life supreme court justices so therefore we must, like it or not, vote for Trump. This argument holds little water since Trump is hardly a pro-life candidate. He claims a change in his views regarding abortion but he claims that no laws should be changed and that planned parenthood should keep its government funding. It is clear that his picks for supreme court will have nothing whatsoever to do with being pro-life. Further, he espouses nothing of constitutional conservatism but seems to approach every problem from the view that the president must solve it. This pragmatic argument is grasping at straws at best.
However, there is more to note for the Christian. The entire notion of the pragmatic argument is wrong. Can God use an unbeliever? Yes. He has. But the Lord has never called his people to seek what seemed practical over what was holy.
When I make my choice at the ballot box, I consider the two things Jesus ever said about politics. 1) Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and 2) (to Pilate) You have no power unless I give it to you.
This means that Christians do have a duty to their country and that God and God alone is the maker of governments (to our blessing or to our judgment).
Understanding this, I go to the ballot box not as a part of a caucus or voting block, but as a believer in prayer. I will do my duty and will vote for whom I wish God would put in power.
I urge Christians not to run in fear to the pragmatic argument, but to stand in faith and vote for whomever may be most pleasing to God
And pray. Pray for our country and let your prayers be the fuel for your spreading of good news.
Author, Parent, Husband, Christ-follower