Bob and Weave

Musings of an impostor. Welcome to the masquerade.

Thoughts on the Election

Posted by flyingbk on 11/07/2016

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A few quick hitters on the 2016 Presidential Election:

The Forecast

Nate Silver’s team over at Fivethirtyeight.com gives Hillary Clinton about a 70% chance to win. That sounds right to me. (Cue the Clinton supporters who believe Silver is engaging in clickbait, and the Trump supporters who want to focus only on a couple select polls.) Recently, I’ve been saying that Donald Trump’s chance to win is about the same as the Cleveland Cavaliers’ odds of winning game 7 at Golden State. Of course, we know what happened then. But I wasn’t floored when LeBron and Co. won back in June; I would be shocked if Trump is giving a victory speech tomorrow night. It is certainly within the realm of possibility, however.

Even Keel

It’s been an odd election year cycle for me. Usually, I’m very invested in the outcome. In presidential elections past, I’ve attended campaign rallies and prayed fervently for the election of certain candidates. I even prayed regularly for specific Senate races. I used to be super-involved, super-invested in every political outcome. I used to read political news and blogs all the time. I would become happy or get outraged when various things went down in Washington.

But I’ve gone from one end of the spectrum to the other. Now, I’m a firm believer in not spectating or participating in the 24-hour news cycle (more on that another time). I steer clear of political debate on social media because let’s face it: No one changes his or her mind when reading someone else’s post. I very much value my emotional health, and the majority of the ways we discuss politics in our country is not conducive to it.

I did make one mistake while swinging on the pendulum. I’ve joked at times this year, “Well our country is now hopeless. Let’s forget politics and only focus on preaching the gospel.” That’s wrong, too. God is concerned and desires to redeem all fields and institutions, and it’s wrong of me to throw up my hands in frustration with our government and say to hell with it all.

I think the best approach is to have an even keel: a) To focus on people and not get caught up in the hype and rhetoric, but also b) To cover our country and government in prayer, and be a mindful citizen. With this year’s super-duper charged political rhetoric coming from all sides, I’ve instead tried to comprehend why we believe what we believe, and why we support or loathe a certain candidate. More than ever, we need people who can empathize, listen, and relate to each other’s mindsets, and yes, biases.

Let’s Get Ready

Final point: For those of us who believe in Jesus Christ, the Bible is clear: We are to submit to our leadership, whether we voted for that person or not. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard fellow Christians in the past refuse to address  Bush or Obama as president. “Well, he’s not my president, I didn’t vote for him,” they’d say. First of all, those statements represent a fundamental misunderstanding of how the American electoral process works. Secondly, that attitude is a direct violation of what the Word of God says:

1 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. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
-Romans 13:1-2 (NIV)

1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 or kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
-1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV)

Whether it’s President Clinton or President Trump, we are to pray for, support, and submit to her or him. Even if we don’t like it, that person has been installed by God to lead America. We ought to always refer to our new leader as ‘president.’ We are not to speak ill of our president, but rather consistently show honor. We can be respectfully critical of the president’s policies, but we best avoid any personal invectives.

When we honor our president, we honor God. When we dishonor our president, we dishonor God. Mature Christians recognize that there is a God-granted flow of power from God to anyone else with power, and therefore submit to God by submitting to ones who are placed above us.

So, whoever wins tomorrow night (and hopefully it is tomorrow night), let’s get ready. Let’s get ready to pray for our president-elect. Let’s get ready to honor and submit. Most of all, let’s keep praying for our country and align our hearts with God’s, “who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 2:4, NIV)

 

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