Five Christian Responses to the 2012 Election
November 7, 2012
As conservative Christians, the recent national elections in America should not bring alarm merely because of the anticipated results of economic policies or concerns for the safety of our nation in a dangerous world. Economic and foreign policy matters are those in which sincere Christians can and do disagree without violence to the Bible. It is clear from the election that our nation is greatly divided on how to proceed with the economy and foreign policy, so Christians should continue to pray for God's wisdom to guide elected leaders and to bless well-intended measures that may be adopted.
There is a concern that was made glaring during the election, however, for which Christians should feel dismay and alarm. I refer to the blatant debasing of the nation's moral consciousness when it comes to personal dignity, sexuality, sobriety, marriage, and the family. It was grievous to witness a political party set forth a clear social agenda centered on the availability of abortion, the advancement of liberty for sexual sin, homosexual marriage, the legalization of narcotic drugs, and government intolerance for religious freedom. To then see this agenda lifted up in triumph over the American electorate is to witness the defeat of the conservative Christian political agenda and to tremble over the future of our morally libertine society.
For many conservative Christians, the electoral defeat of 2012 will urge a reevaluation of political strategy. The problem with this approach is that the moral degeneracy of America did not happen in the voting booth but in the living room, the classroom, and the marketplace. I would urge that alarm over the moral catastrophe of this recent election should be expressed not in the Christian political posture but in the way actual Christians relate to the culture and to non-Christian people we know. In this vein, let me propose five constructive Christian responses to the moral debasement revealed in yesterday's election, which by working outside the formal political process may with God's blessing have the most positive effect on the cultural and political landscape in years to come.
1. Make an increased effort to get to know your non-Christian neighbor and co-worker. It is often noted how conservative Christians live increasingly in self-constructed fortresses which not only protect our children but isolate us from non-believers. This is not to say that Christians should immediately enroll our children in public schools. But it does say that we must become more involved in neighborhood and civic life. The neo-pagan left is bent on demonizing Christians and Christian values, as the media repeatedly showed prior to the recent election. So get to know people personally, let them see the way you interact with your spouse and children, show kindness, concern and love to them, and by your good works glorify God in their sight.
2. Refuse to compromise on Christians standards even at the cost of persecution. Christian employers must refuse to purchase abortion-providing health care plans, even at the cost of their livelihoods. Christian military officers must refuse to promote homosexual behavior to their soldiers, even at the risk of courts martial. Christian campus groups must refuse to adopt tyrannical non-discrimination codes when it comes to Christian values and doctrines, even at the risk of being kicked off campus. Christian pulpits must speak with a bold prophetic voice as to the moral consequences of a degenerate America, even at the risk of imprisonment for "hate speech." In short, if we want America to take Christian truth seriously, we must take a costly stand for Christian truth and morality in a way with which the world will have to reckon.
3. Speak more pointedly to the true moral and spiritual issues at work destroying America. Challenge people to care about the millions of children growing up without two parents because of the scourge of "sexual liberation." Say uncomfortable truths about babies who are bloodily butchered a day before their mother goes into labor. Argue against the indignity inflicted on young women as schools promote contraceptives and urge people to consider the dignity of self-control and the beauty of chastity. Point out the goodness of God as he forgives our sins in Christ and blesses those who walk in his ways. Be willing to receive scorn for these statements, but present reasonable arguments without anger or venom, trusting God to awaken the sleeping conscience in the hearts of people you know.
4. Begin making a serious commitment to pray for the Church and for America. The moral decline of America rightly directs us to biblical passages where Christ's people were beleaguered and besieged. But those passages show God answering his peoples' prayers with saving power. Yet so far the moral debacle in our country has not moved Christians to prayer. This shows that we are not truly turning to God but are still relying on man to save our land. When Christians begin flocking to the prayer meeting and begin pouring out earnest pleas for God's grace, we then may look for more success in both evangelism and the culture war.
5. Recommit yourself as a witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It should not surprise us that a generation that does not know the Lord embraces a godless way of life. Our churches must respond to growing immorality not by preaching politics but by preaching Jesus. We must lift up the crucified Christ who gives forgiveness for sin, the resurrected Christ who gives power for godly living, and the returning Christ who will judge the nations by the standard of God's Word.
As Christians look upon our fellow countrymen shouting for the right to abortion, scarred and shamed by sexual "freedom", cynically bitter towards the claims of virtue and truth, we must remember our own need for the saving grace of Jesus and what his new life has meant to us.
Paul wrote: "And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Cor. 6:11). Therefore, the best response to the alarming moral consensus expressed in our recent election is the one advocated by Paul in Romans 10:14-15: "How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"