Over the last few weeks, I, probably like many of you, have felt inundated with all things elections. Whether it be from all of the news stations, radios, podcasts, blogs, or conversations within friend groups or around us, I have been swarmed by the weight of November 3rd. In addition, it seems almost inescapable to avoid seeing social media confrontations over various policies, appointees, and potential elected officials. It can become easy to get lost in the whirlwind of information, and I, myself, have done it a time or two. While I would never tell those around me to vote blindly based only on your presuppositions, I have spent some time today inquiring about my own personal heart motives as it relates to research, reading, and digging into all of the political ideologies of those up for election. In addition, I have seen numerous well-known Christian teachers and pastors write incredible blogs as it relates to both their viewpoint of the Presidential candidates and how they believe Christians should live out this gift of voting abilities.
By instinct, I tend to spend much of my time as an investigative journalist aiming to unpack and understand varying concepts, policies, and people. This characteristic has come out both within my theological and cultural studies, and as of late, it has applied heavily to the looming election before us. I would never claim to be a political analyst or offer any additional consultation on how we, as Christians, are to exercise our voting rights. I could point others in the direction of those I trust for sound information, but I actually write this blog today with an entirely different intent.
Asking questions with regard to varying parties, politicians, and policies are not inherently deleterious. I propose, though, that there is a far more important question we, as Christians, should be asking ourselves. Are we living our lives like Christ, or our potential President, is our eternal King? As this question lingered in my both my heart and mind today, I couldn't escape both its humbling and convicting qualities. Sure, I believe and most often live my daily life resting in fact Jesus is the only eternal King in my life. I would be remiss to admit, though, that much of my viewing and reading time has said otherwise.
Additionally, I've felt a certain weight and sadness as I either look or hear around me the imminent fear or altogether hysteria that many expect to feel dependent upon who is elected on November 3rd. While I would fully expect such behavior from those that are not by God's grace new creations in Christ, I grow especially saddened when I observe my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ acting and living in such a way. Yes, there will be varying consequences if either Donald Trump or Joe Biden are elected. Furthermore, there are conceivable adverse outcomes with other elected candidacies as wells. I would like to remind us, though, that as a result of the fall, negative and harmful consequences in life should not come as a surprise. The sinfulness that is in all of us, is also in all of our potentially elected officials. Manmade systems and policies will and can fail us. Evil lurks in all of us, as we all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). It is merely by God's grace and mercy that any of our systems and ideas get it 'right.' What, then, do we raise our arms in defeat agreeing to never exercise our right to vote and have freedom of speech? Absolutely not! I write all of this today not to suggest we live passively but instead to urge us all to check our hearts and refocus our hope onto our eternal King: Jesus Christ.
I was reminded this past week through scripture that living in tandem between political and eternal mindsets is not a new concept for those that aim to live unto the glory of God alone. Psalm 118:8-9 says, "It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes." Additionally, Timothy 2:1-2 says, "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way."
The necessity of navigating a world where we are subject to human rulers while pointing ourselves to the ultimate authority and ruler over all mankind is not in any way a new concept. Both in the Old and New Testament, we find authors writing on their experience of being under the authority of man on earth. Scripture is in no way silent on this conundrum. It, in some places, offers specific instruction and guidance for Christians for how we are to conduct ourselves in the midst of earthly governing authorities. Something wholly vital to note, though, is that in all of Scripture the eternal and only ultimate authority and King over all remains the same. So, how do we suppose our actions are to reflect all in which Scripture teaches if our hearts are not set on and abiding in this truth? This truth is that Christ is King reigning high above the Heavens. He is subject to no earthly governing authority. He, like Ephesians 1:20-21 teaches, is seated at the right hand of God in the heavenly places, "far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come."
Our hope cannot and should not be in the outcome of this or any other election. Why? Because just as one day we will bow our knees and confess with our tongues that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11, Romans 14:11), so will whoever is elected to any office in any country in any government for all time.
Just as we Christians recognize, by God's grace, the sin in us that deserves the wrath of God we too must remember that sin is in those elected officials that we can put in the place of Christ as King in our hearts. For as both an empiricist and rational viewpoint will decree that man will fail us time and time again, we then must find our hope in someone beyond either our Mayor or President. That someone being, the only eternal hope we have for both new life, salvation, and relationship with our great God - Jesus Christ.
So no matter who gets elected and no matter whom you feel is best suited for the job, Christ will triumph over all both now and forever. For as Christ reigns supreme over all earthly kings and rulers today, this means that He will both triumph and bring all His purposes to victory and fruition in days to come. If the gates of Hades cannot prevail against Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18), why then would we live as though whoever is the President of the United States can? All developments today, whether positive or negative, are steps towards the triumphant return and ruling of Christ our King. Many rule with the weapon to cause death through both war and policies. These, amongst other potential scenarios, cause many to fear. But, if we as Christians live in light of the truth that this weapon of death has been defeated and therefore loses all eternal effectiveness, then we must find both our hope and rest in the fact that all kings and rulers (even the ones we like) will bow their knees to Jesus Christ.
Vote, yes, but always keep at the forefront of your heart, soul, and mind that whoever sits in the seat of President, Senate, or any of the like, is not our eternal hope. Our eternal hope, as Christians, rests in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, our eternal King, who is both the founder and perfector of our faith, seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)
"Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth." (Revelation 1:4-5)