Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What Is Still True

In my previous post, I quoted Donald Miller, who made the point that we have a limited ability to change the world through politics or other means. His point was not that our actions are meaningless, but simply that we make a mistake when we think that a candidate can lead us to utopia.
Every time that I have quoted this (including this last time), many people have found hope in it, but others have said that this makes it seem that our actions or our votes are not meaningful. This is not what the quote means, and this is certainly not what I believe. The point is simply that many key things remain the same regardless of the outcome of any election.
That said, now is the time that we put this into practice on both sides. President Obama has been re-elected. Some celebrate this victory as something that will pave the way for better days. Other bemoan his victory, believing that this will block the good path and lead us down a destructive path.
In light of such a big event, I thought I would just take a moment to list seven things that were true before the election, are true after the election, and will be true before and after all future elections.

1.  The world is still broken. It will still experience famine, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes. No person can stop these.
2. Humanity is still broken and sinful. No amount of freedom can solve this problem, and no extra laws and regulations can solve this problem.
3. There will be an eventual end to all the problems we face. This will only be when Jesus returns, but when he does return it will come in full.
4. All people need to be saved from their sins. Remember that the enemy is not a candidate, not the Republicans or Democrats, not the liberals or conservatives. The enemy is the devil, who lies to us in order to keep us under the power and blindness of sin. We still need to pray for the salvation of all people, and reach out to them with the gospel of Jesus.
5. God directs the affairs of the world. Romans 13:1 says, "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." While human beings may choose to live as practical atheists, no election truly dethrones God.
6. God calls us to care for the needy. Sometimes the government upholds justice for the marginalized. Sometimes the government exploits the marginalized. This applies to the poor, the minorities, the unborn, the diseased, and many other vulnerable groups. Whatever the case, God's people are called to care for those in need. We don't need a liberal or a conservative in the White House in order to fulfill this calling. In our churches we have the opportunity to shine the light of Jesus in this compelling way.

7. We should pray for our leaders with genuine hearts. First Timothy 2 exhorts us to pray for those in authority. This is not just true when we happen to like our leaders; it is true at all times. Anyone in authority covets the prayers of people.

And, remember, all of these things will be true in 2016.
Some of these truths bring us to a sobering reality and drive away false and shallow optimism. Others give us hope and drive away false and shallow pessimism.
The election that just took place was not insignificant. But it did not move heaven and earth and it did not change any of the seven facts listed above. Let's embrace God's truth, pray fervently, and fulfill our calling in the power and grace of God.

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