Most of you know how deeply I am involved in politics. It’s my livelihood, and I’ve made a career out of helping candidates get elected and then helping them communicate with their constituents. As a Christian working in politics, I’ve always had a lot of thinking to do on the issues that face our country, and how exactly I ought to prioritize my efforts on these issues.
I’m more convinced than ever that the number one issue facing our nation is spiritual and moral bankruptcy. The only solution for this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As Al Mohler points out this morning:
Evangelical Christians must see the 2012 election as a catastrophe for crucial moral concerns. The election of President Obama returns a radically pro-abortion President to the White House, soon after he had endorsed same-sex marriage. President Obama is likely to have the opportunity to appoint one or more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, and they are almost sure to agree with his constitutional philosophy.
I’m in a reflective mood this morning and I’m recalling how many people have said to me “you’re really involved in an important line of work!” After all, I know important people, and I help shape the campaigns and outreach efforts of some of the most powerful people in our nation. But as I consider all that I’m involved with day-to-day, I have come to believe that my work in politics is secondary to the most important work one can be involved in, and that’s the spread of the Gospel. That is the reality – and the sooner that we conform our lives to that reality, the sooner we’ll be able to make a difference in this fallen world.
“Conforming” to this reality means conforming our minds and how we spend our time and energy to the image of Christ. Can you honestly say that you are more concerned with those dying without the Gospel than you are about whether Republicans or Democrats won or lost last night? Does your speech reflect this? Does your attitude reflect this?
If I didn’t have these truths as the anchor of my life and soul, then I would be devastated, because I’d look around and see a country on the decline, a nation which glorifies the immoral, a people who love sin with a passion that exalts man over God. And indeed I am sad, and distressed for our nation – and I intend on continuing to fight for what is right and good and moral so long as I draw breath. But my hope is not grounded in the outcome of an election. I know that these things will soon pass away. Our nation will pass into history eventually, but the things that are eternal will remain: the Word of the Lord, His Kingdom, and our faith upheld by the power of His grace, and of course, the glorious purposes of God for the consummation of all things in His Son Jesus Christ.
I’d commend anyone interested in reading more about this election and its consequences to Al Mohler’s latest blog entry. You can read that here.
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Is. 40:8)
14 thoughts on “Election 2012 Aftermath”
Very good analysis coming from you! I expected something a little more “clinical” but I hear your heart PJ. And you are right. We must return to brokenness to hear God, for he is close to a contrite heart. We must understand why He wants us involved in politics and how we purpose to move.
Thanks Mark – I have some very specific “tactical” thoughts on what happened, of course, but this really isn’t the space for that kind of discussion. (:
Reblogged this on Parker Ponders and commented:
I could not say it any better. Blessed to work side by side with PJ in politics, but more importantly, to labor with him to spread the gospel. This blog is worth reading.
Thanks Matt – I know my own struggle with keeping Christ first and more prominent, and I hope to remind myself as often as possible what my highest calling really is.
Right on, Brother! I agree with you 100%! Getting out the Gospel must remain our first priority. “HE” is the only one that changes human hearts. Thank you for your great words.
Thanks Will! For all the wisdom that you have blessed my family with, both in the present tense, and in the years long since passed (I know the solid gospel teaching you spoke into the hearts and minds of my parents so long ago), may the Lord richly bless you and your family.
PJ – excellent job putting things in perspective.
Thanks Brad –
Perspective is vital. I remember a time as a freshman in high school when I came home from a particularly bad day as school – was really depressed. No one liked me, or wanted to be my friend. I felt ostracized for being a homeschooler etc. Typical things a young person struggles with. When I got home, I went down to my room and sobbed. I thought it was the end of the world. My perspective was limited.
My dad came downstairs and sat on the bed with me, talked gently to me, handed me an adult beverage and spoke some wisdom into my life. He treated me like an adult (even though I wasn’t acting like one), then he gave me one of the most important lesson’s I’ve ever learned: perspective.
Dad first acknowledged my issue – he didn’t paper over it. He didn’t make it seem like it wasn’t a real problem. But then he asked me how I’d feel about this next week, and he wasn’t quick or flippant, but sincere and caring. I gave it some thought, and I said it would still sting a little. But then he asked about next month – to really think on it hard. Put myself in those shoes in 30 days. Then next year, and so on. That was all I needed. I knew that it would be no big deal. Suddenly I have courage to live as though it was already next year and the problem was gone. Then he went on to give me a vision for the future, and all that I would accomplish. By the time he was done, my problems seemed small – even infinitesimal!
And this is what Christ does. He places our citizenship in heaven and grounds our hope in eternity instead of the stock market crash, or the inevitable hyper-inflation that’s sure to come under the President’s policies etc etc. And this is what keeps our heart secure, and our mind where it ought to be: engaged in the present, yet in full view of the glorious future!
One church’s sign read “No matter who is president, Jesus is still King.” Of course we agree, and certainly born again Christians share your biblical perspective. But I am wondering, what now? With Obama’s re-election, how soon will hyperinflation occur? Thoughts on the extent to which we should be preparing for lack of needs, increase in crime, etc.? How soon will Iraq be able to annihilate America since we won’t have the funds to defend ourselves? I am just curious about the practical impacts of Obama’s leadership..
Corny church signs….ya – another topic for another day! LOL I do agree, of course with the sign, but I don’t think that most Christians live in light of the realities they claim to believe in.
For example, if we really believe that Christ is King over all kings, and Lord over all lords (and presidents), then we wouldn’t be as worried about hyper-inflation as we would be concerned to preserve life, conform our lives to truth, and share the gospel.
So that’s the first thing. But secondly, I’m not saying ignore realities of economic decisions (you, of course know that). We need to be practical and sober-minded (that, too is a Biblical principle). Part of being sober-minded is knowing history. Things have been a lot worse for millions of people throughout time and they survived and even enjoyed life. Our own country has gone through much worse than this. Our definition of a hard time is when we can’t pay our cable or internet bill. Most of us haven’t considered being homeless or missing meals.
I’m no economic guru, but I would dispense the same wisdom now as any other time: pay off your debts, diversify your savings, and help others who are in need.
What is most scary is not any impending economic crises (or deepening thereof), but the fact that very soon (sooner than we may realize) there will come a day when we have to make decisions as to how we are to behave in cases where the government mandates Christians to do something that violates their consciences and Biblical beliefs. What will Christians do when the government forces them to pay for things they don’t believe in? Etc. Etc.
I don’t have all the answers to these items, but just wanted to point in that direction. That’s really where our minds ought to be focused. Economies boom and bust, but the Word of the Lord endures, and I’m concerned to ensure Christians fasten on to (and stand up for) what endures even in the midst of persecution and economic suffering.
Thanks for posting!
Eric Metaxas’ book, Bonhoeffer, has been helpful in relation to gaining insight to Christians facing persecution and our responsibilities during ungodly leadership. To be clear, I am NOT suggesting a plot to take down our president! LOL People like Corrie ten Boom, Bonhoeffer, and other Christians during Hitler’s reign give us a practical example of how to live in obedience to Christ particularly during pressing times.
As you know, “prepping” is becoming more and more popular, and rightly so. I personally know families who have been stacking precious metals such as gold and silver to prepare for hyperinflation and now have hundreds and thousands of dollars of silver to buy food and necessities for when that time comes. People are planting gardens, buying more ammunition, storing dried food, water, and more. Personally, I don’t want to look back on this year and think how terribly foolish we were for having seen all the warning signs and not prepared, yet, the opposite is also true. Don’t want to be unreasonable, or as some say, “extreme.” As you point out, our heart is important. Our place in eternity–and mindset on eternity–is important. Our efforts to know Christ and be in fellowship with Him is important. And to make disciples. My struggle, and question, is in regard to the physical realities. To each his own perhaps? No clear answer on this, but rather, make your best educated guess and go from there?
When it comes to preparing for disasters and calamities, I think its a matter of discernment and individual responsibility. Paul says that the person who doesn’t provide for their family is worse than an unbeliever (1 Tim. 5:8). So if one believes that providing for the safety and health of their family includes storing food, and guns and gold, then they are fulfilling their obligations. But if one is convinced through sound reason and good judgment that only a minimal amount of preparation is warranted, then so be it – if they are not purposefully neglecting their family.
I think that most people try to be prepared for disaster or tough times in one way or another. Some store cash away, or pay off debt, others buy gold and guns and plant gardens – or a combination of all of the above.
It’s the people who neglect to do anything and throw caution to the wind – in arrogance and ignorance of what you mentioned above about understanding the times – these are the people who are truly fools, and what Paul is cautioning against.
The model in scripture for making decisions like this is to pray, to read scripture, and to use common sense.
Once those principles are in place, I think you’d find that doing nothing is probably difficult to defend.
HELPFUL, thank you!!