As you know, I don't do politics at church or on this blog. (and I'm not going to start now, so don't worry).
I went to my small group last night and the big screen TV was on as election results were just starting to come in. A few folks - some of whom I've known for a good while - were speculating about my political views and we laughed together hysterically! I couldn't take it anymore and finally told them that they had me all wrong. (and I swore them to secrecy!) But I felt really, really good that I had done such a great job at keeping my own perspectives so far away from view. We're a church. We can talk about issues, for sure. The Bible has much to say about how we live our lives. We should - and DO - talk about such things. But we never...and I mean NEVER...talk about who to vote for. We don't hand out flyers or put them on cars or endorse people. I don't talk about them on Facebook or here on this blog. And when I do discuss politics, it's with my closest friends with the door closed.
Why not be more open? Because God is bigger than politics, larger than party, even greater than a country like America. People are seeking something more than the bitter fighting they see in Washington. And too many churches either cater to liberals or only want conservatives. They polarize people, segregate and divide. Did you know that heaven won't be like that? If you think it will, you are going to be in for a serious surprise!
Every week, people come to PCC who span the spectrum politically. Democrats and Republicans and everyone in between and beyond. As I have said many times, God loves Americans, but He is not an American. He created all people from every nation, and one day, every nation will bow to Him.
So last night, whether you like the outcome or not, the result came. The President is still the President, and will be for the next four years. And, while we quite firmly leave politics out of our church, we do still have a part to play. Do you know what it is? (Warning: You might not like it.)
OK...Don't shoot the messenger. Here it comes, straight from the words of the Bible: "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior," (1 Timothy 2:1-3, emphasis added, NIV1984)
Perhaps another Bible version might help...from The Message:
The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live. (Bold emphasis mine)
You cannot ignore this! If you are a Christ follower, I don't care what party you belong to or what ballot you cast last night, you have a mandate that has nothing to do with Obamacare or filibusters. Look, I will quietly exercise my right as an American to petition my representatives and sway their thinking. I'll lobby them, write them letters, call them. (I've done all of these things, by the way).
But whether I like them or not, voted for them or not, I also have an obligation to pray for them!
So I appeal to you, my brothers and sisters in Christ - who listen to the teachings of the Bible - to join with me this morning, to pray for our great country, to pray for the office of the Presidency and to pray for the man who is still the President. I'd have been glad to pray for the other guy, too. But as it is, this man still needs our prayers.