MennoMatters: A Christian doesn’t fear the election
By Billy Bass – Horizon News Editor
It’s final. We have selected Donald Trump as President. But the anxiety of the 2016 election is far from over. Sadly, this year a 79 percent of people say they were anxious and fearful as they cast their vote for president. According to a report from NPR, we’re part of a quick change in social climate; citing household economics, fear of domestic terrorism, along with fears of dysfunctional politics.
We find ourselves asking, how did we get here? What is this appointed candidate going to do to our nation? What image of the United States will Trump display to the rest of the world?
My answer to these questions: Forget about them! For Christians, there are greater concerns we need to deal with.
The most frightening picture of the America I have seen is the one of Christians who write God into the story of politics. We aren’t and should not be a Christian nation. Whether you choose to vote or not, our faith in God should lead us away from fear. Our job is to trust and obey that God will provide. God never says our politics has anything to do with that.
Shouldn’t we be focused on action in Christian mission, and not enforcement of it?
In fact, as I have studied in Bible courses, specifically in Hesston College’s Biblical Literature course, scripture reveals to us that God doesn’t take too kindly to being put into nation-state or racial boxes!
The United States is a very diverse nation, but among those who name themselves Christians, there is a scary history of trying to put God in many boxes. Boxes of race, boxes of ethnicity, boxes of geography.
The same boxes that Old Testament people of the Church claimed were of God’s command are being picked up and stacked again– this time in the United States. These are the same boxes of the united monarchy and of Ezra. It also seems as though those boxes are building walls by which we hide our falsehoods with. Our political system calls for us to decide not whether to use these boxes, but how to use them. As Christians, shouldn’t we be breaking these down?
God doesn’t care who is in the president seat in the United States, or any other country. God cares about what his people are doing among everyone. Whether we vote to protect our border and name is of no relevance. Whether we have a president that destroys the country, and causes it to be ended isn’t the end-all, because the true Christian realizes that they are part of the nation of God in Christ, who sets the example for how we should live– without borders, without groups.
It is the salvation of people who are lost to the evil world that we should be worried about helping. If we work on people in our daily lives, amazing transformation can happen! This example conquers the restrictions of race, of countries and nations, of war, of hunger, and of all suffering that afflicts the people on the landscape.
One scripture that comforts me in many times, but can be applied also to the realm of politics comes from I Corinthians 1:19: –
“For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law, and the philosopher of this age? Hath not God made foolish the wise of the world?”
This letter of Paul questions the very structure of the political world of the United States.
Our allegiance must lie with God! If we fear for the world’s power– in our nation or another– then we lose sight of the redeeming message we are called to share. There is no need to fear this season of contention and war in the world. God calls us to stand for him, and do his work as his chosen people. Justice isn’t bought in courts, but created and celebrated through the creation of shalom community.
A nice re-write of the Pledge of Allegiance helps sum it up well:
“I pledge allegiance to Jesus Christ,
And to God’s kingdom for which he died,
One Spirit-led people the world over, indivisible,
With love and justice for all.”
— 2004 J. Nelson Kraybill and June Alliman Yoder
Your opinions on this matter are appreciated. Submit your comments and questions and join the discussion!