Thoughts on the upcoming election


Election 2016For the first time in my adult life, I don’t like either candidate that the major parties have put forward for the office of President of the United States. I see more harm than good coming from either candidate being elected to that office.

I wish we could have a do-over for the primary elections, but alas we cannot.

So, what to do about it?

I don’t have a great answer to that. It seems that the only three options are:

  1. Pick whichever of the major candidates makes you less nauseous, hold your nose and vote for him/her.
  2. Pick a third party candidate as a protest vote (which does nothing to bring change in a two party system)
  3. Don’t vote at all

Of the three, at this point, option #1 seems the best to me, but I wouldn’t blame anyone for choosing one of the other two options.

But, the one thing that we should not do is fret or panic over this.

I challenge you to search the letters of Paul in the New Testament and find any complaint, lament or critique of the government. You will search in vain to find one. Paul wasted no ink on the Roman government. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

When he mentions the government at all, it is to encourage Christians to obey the government.

Here is the interesting tidbit in this. Do you know the name of the Emperor who was in power when Paul wrote his letters (with the possible exception of the book of Galatians)? That Emperor was Nero. When Paul appealed to Caesar, he was appealing to Nero. Yes, that Nero, who had no sympathy for Christians and the one who ultimately had Paul killed.

My point is that no matter who wins the election, God remains in control and his plan for us (individually and collectively) cannot be thwarted.

Taking this perspective will allow us to do two things:

  1. Let go of the panic about our less liked candidate getting into office. The world will not end if your preferred candidate does not win.
  2. Allow us to take stock of the candidates more objectively. There is much to criticize in what we know about both candidates. We don’t have to turn a blind eye to the shortcomings of the one we would prefer to be in office. We are called to trust God and to speak the truth in love.

God will not abandon his church not matter who is in office. Remember, the promise to Peter was that God will build the church, if he did so under Nero, he can certainly do so under Hillary or Donald.

I’m not saying that it won’t be painful or disruptive, but it will not be outside the plan of God.

Take a deep breath, pick your candidate and trust God for the rest.