This is it. We’re down to the wire. Tomorrow, we vote. (If we haven’t already.) Tomorrow night, we get a new president, new congressmen and women, new judges, new senators and state senators and governors. New leaders. There is so much at stake, and–can I say this?–never in my (albeit somewhat limited) voting experience have I ever been so saddened.
Because there is someone looming large in this race who seems to be running away with the show, and that terrifies me.
No, I’m not talking about Hilary Clinton.
No, I’m not talking about Donald Trump.
I’m talking about (can I say this?) the Devil.
I know we don’t like talking about him much. Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub. We tend to relegate him to Halloween and certain awkward passages of Scripture that no one likes to linger over much. He sure gave Job a run for his money, but wasn’t that millennia ago? Separation of Church and State and all that, but can we just admit, America, that the Devil is getting down and dirty this year with our politics?
No, I’m not using him as a euphemism for our presidential candidates.
(I get that the temptation is there. But let’s not go there.)
Satan is too big and too scary to screw with. I don’t use his name flippantly.
The truth is, more than any candidate, it’s the hate-filled words that fill me with fear. The vehemence, the discord. The utter lack of respect for human dignity, whether we’re speaking about illegal immigrants or the innocent pre-born. On both sides of the aisle, there is such discrimination, such disregard for the sacred, such bitterness.
There is a bright side: as much as I might dislike the choice of candidates presented to me on this year’s ballot, I know that human salvation doesn’t hinge on either of them. (Thank goodness.) Jesus took care of that a long, long time ago. I believe in being a participant in the electoral process–and thank God for democracy!–but I’m not hanging my future on any politician’s shelf. I know where my hope lies, and it is a long, long way from D.C.
That doesn’t mean this election won’t have consequences. Nearly every day for years, I’ve prayed those words that Christ first gave us on that mountaintop, “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth.” I know we can’t have heaven one hundred percent here, but I take that prayer seriously. I consider it an exhortation to keep in the game, to keep striving, keep being the hands and feet of the One who made and saved and sent me.
This election will have consequences here on earth. And even if my ultimate home is heavenly, there’s still (God willing) plenty of sojourning to be done right here. By me, and by those who will follow. It’s for all of us that I have prayerfully cast the best vote I can.
I trust (can I say this?) that you are doing the same.
I can’t speak to all Americans, but right now, I’m speaking to my fellow American Christians: I believe you are doing your best. I believe you have prayed and weighed the odds and, to the best of your ability, done your best by God and country at the polling place.
I do not believe one self-professed Christian is voting for Donald Trump because they consciously and actively support racism, sexism, or violence.
I do not believe one saved-by-grace Christian is voting for Hillary because they support deceit or because they want more pre-born citizens to die.
And if your conscience has compelled you to reserve your vote this year, I do not believe that you don’t care or that you are sabotaging this nation by your conscientious objection.
I have decided to trust you. I believe the best of you. Because I trust and believe in the One who saved you and called you his own. Because you are my brother, my sister, and I love you.
Because when it comes down to it, our hope does not lie in Donald Trump. And it doesn’t lie in Hillary Clinton. And neither does our despair.
But no matter what happens on Election Night, there is one person we can all agree must. not. win. (I think we all know who I mean.)
Americans–American Christians–please, we cannot let Satan win this election.
However things shake down, please promise me that you’ll keep on trusting in the strength of our Father above. He is mighty to save. He has taken on every empire, every evil, and He’s conquered them all. He’s got this.
Of course, trust and hope should not diminish truth. The truth is, we got to this place. We got stuck in this mire of our own making, and it might be argued that we got–if not the candidates we want–then the candidates we deserve. We can do better. But first, we have to admit where we went wrong.
Whatever happens tomorrow night, let’s not forget these last few months. Let’s not forget what led us to this place. Let’s not dismiss the bitterness, the despair, and the antagonism that’s been boiling away in our own hearts.
If we can stare those things down honestly and humbly lay them at His feet, then it doesn’t matter one bit what tomorrow night brings (not in the long run). He will wash us clean.
The God who was crucified by the political elite of his day came back to life! He who rose on the third day can redeem any earthly evil.
We’ve got our marching orders. Before He went back into heaven, He promised we would never be alone–but he also gave us work to do. Come what may, He needs us out there: baptize, make disciples, hope, have faith, love. And whatever–and whoever–happens tomorrow, that won’t change. No matter what happens, this we can and must continue to do.
If we do those things, then no matter what, we will win this election.
But if we don’t… If we give in to despair, to bitterness–if we forget the poor, the orphan, the immigrant, the refugee, the pre-born, the voiceless–if we forget where our hope truly lies, then it’s over. We’ve lost.
There are many things so many of us have agreed to disagree on. Not this one. Can we all agree on one thing this election? Can we agree that Satan cannot win?
Can we agree to hope in God, to have faith in his providential plan?
Can we agree to keep on loving big, loving deep, loving hard…come what may?
And can we pray? Because come what may, I think we can all agree: We’re going to need Him.