A lot of Democrats (or Republicans–including those of the Christian persuasion) have been making a lot of noise about Obama (or Clinton or Trump or Whomever) winning either the candidacy or the Presidency. Maybe they haven’t been making as much noise about a Democrat (or Republican) House and Senate but the noise has been there nevertheless. At points some of these same people (Christians included) come up to me and say “So what are you going to do now that such-and-such lost?” My answer is exactly the same if such-and-such, (or any of my desired Candidates) had won.
My answer is exactly the same for any president in place that I didn’t want. And this post works on either side of the aisle or even within your party of choice.
You see as I said in my post regarding Romans 13 and responding to the question about Christians voting, the underpinning principle is that God establishes the powers that be yet requires people to be active participants within the systems that He has allowed to be established. That would mean that a Christian operating under Hitler’s administration is no different than a Christian operating under an Obama administration or a Reagan administration or a Stalin administration or a Nero administration. The Christian understands that God has put that person in power (for good or for ill) using whatever means that were in place to allow the individual’s ascent to power (be it wrong or right) for whatever ultimate purpose not currently revealed (be it judgment or blessing) with the expectation that all these things will eventually pass away.
Admittedly I have some huge reservations with an Obama (or a Clinton or a Trump or a whomever) presidency, a Democrat (or Republican) Senate and a Democrat (or Republican) House because the three get to elect and insert Supreme Court Justices who get the job for life. These guys wind up being absurdly important in what rules become unconstitutional and might decide along party lines. But even so, the judges are also allowed to get there by God be it for good or for ill.
Does that absolve my responsibility in this system? Not at all: I’m to do my research, vote according to my conscience and finally allow God to do what He wants. Afterwards I pray for my leaders, pray that they have wisdom in ruling well and even pray for their salvation: something I would’ve done for McCain, did for Bush as much as Clinton, or anyone. Even more profoundly, my responsibility in this system is much higher since I am in fact one of a conglomerate of rulers who choose our representatives! These aren’t my leaders as much as I am the leader placing them there as my proxy….
Even so, God remains in control.
As a Christian I’m not to expect some horrendous change for the worse or a tremendous change for the better: I’m just to wait on God to act while being wise about the times around me. As a Christian, I continue to act to the fullest extent within the culture God has called me to act in, not in rebellion or strife but in subjection, respect and exemplifying how God works in this given social system.
God is working and would have been working if my pick was president. He may have altogether different reasons from allowing Obama (or Trump or whomever) to become president than what people may have voted for but that’s not for me to know. Heck, he might have reasons that completely turn America around and embrace God. The fact is I don’t know but God allowed it so I continue on living in this world waiting for the future world.
Because that’s the ultimate goal, isn’t it? That this world is passing away and a new world is to be put in place. This sounds really mystical and maybe even sort of depressing but no such luck. I’ve already mentioned how God is working in the present. Now I mentioned what I expect God to do in the future. That just means that I take part in what’s happening but I don’t hang my hopes on any nails in the current wall. I think Paul says it the best (1 Cor. 7):
What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
2 replies on “How Should A Christian Act Under A President (or any Candidate) He Didn’t Want?”
That quote confuses me…
“From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none” Find me a woman…STAT!
“those who mourn, as if they did not” Never liked the guy anyway.
“those who are happy, as if they were not” I won a million? Shoot me now.
“those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep” I worked hard for this and you spent your days shooting up… here, take it.
I say some of this in jest… but it really is a grim outlook.
Not grim when you consider the context. In the past God took advantage of ruling authorities to secure the salvation of an evil world. In the future we’re told that Christ returns to judge a sinful world that belongs to Him and rescue those who trusted Him. That would mean that in the present we live in a world that we know has been used by God, is being used by God and will be summed up by God.
So when we shed tears its not hopeless tears as if this death is the end: we know there’s a resurrection. We get married (or not) but not with the idea that our marriage (or not marriage ) is the ultimate goal: we expect Christ. Being happy might be perceived as an end in itself but we know that this happiness here is temporary and passing: we’re waiting for the ultimate joy.
It’s not grim: it’s transforming.