Thursday, November 8, 2012

Election Results

I know there are many people who feel singers and movie stars ought to stay out of politics and stick to entertainment. Likewise, there are some who probably feel missionaries ought to only talk about missions. But the Scripture says that God established government (Romans 11) and that one of the primary tasks of every Christian is to “bring forth justice” (Micah 6:8), and to be the “watchman on the wall” (Ezekiel 33) against every form of danger.

Like many Christians, I struggled last Tuesday night, trying to make sense of how our current government leaders could be re-elected. Leaders who pervert the institution of marriage that God established (Genesis 2), who advocate for sodomy (homosexuality), which is an abomination to God (Lev. 18:22; 20:13), and whose policies promote the practice of abortion – taking innocent, God-formed life from the womb (Psalm 139). Other atrocious policies could be listed.

I came across a couple of articles that made me gasp. This one showed that an alarming number of voters weren’t just undecided, but ignorant about WHO was running, not to mention what their policies were. Combined with this ignorance were articles like this revealing that the president’s positive response to hurricane Sandy was an important factor for 26% of voters, and THE most important factor for 15%!!! That’s more than enough influence to maybe have swayed the outcome of last Tuesdays election.

Now follow me on this. I could never imagine God manipulating the minds of uninformed voters or interfering with election machinery. But I can imagine Him allowing a storm. Hurricane Sandy was the largest Atlantic hurricane on record and the second costliest. And rarely do hurricanes strike in November.

Today, religious leaders are ridiculed if they suggest that natural disasters or national calamities might be ‘caused’ by God. “When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it?” (Amos 3:6). “I formed the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7).

But such understanding was common in the early years of our country. For example, Abraham Lincoln, in speaking about the Civil War and the offense of slavery in his 2nd inaugural address, said “[God] gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came…the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

But why might God allow (or even cause) such a storm that would tilt an election in favor of an ungodly government? The Bible explains that each of us, individually, will be judged in eternity. Yet nations are often judged during our time. Could the re-election of an ungodly government, and the consequences that will bring, be a part of God’s punishment on America for our failure to halt the spread of greed and immorality? Equally guilty are the 70% of voters who thought the thickness of their wallet was the most important issue rather than upholding God’s principles of right and wrong. “Righteousness exalts a nation” (Proverbs 14:34), not economic policies.

I don’t know if hurricane Sandy and the election results were part of God’s judgment on America or not. But even Thomas Jefferson pondered such possibilities when he said, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.” Maybe last Tuesday, America got a whiff of what an angry God can do.

OK. I’m done. I’ll get back to family and missions in my next entry.

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