In the weeks leading up to the election and the hours since President Obama was named the winner I’ve seen quite a few posts on Facebook expressing the sentiment “No Matter Who Wins, God Is Still In Control,” or “Whoever Is President, Jesus Is King.”
|Four more years|
And while I agree with the explicit truth that God is always in control, I think that, as expressed, these slogans are dangerously close to over simplification. They seem to imply a “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” state of mind. Yes, God is in control, but that does not absolve the people of God from our responsibility. To use another one of those oft-quoted slogans, “Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.”
I think what concerns me about this whole thing is that it belies an “Oh, well, what can you do?” kind of attitude. Or, maybe worse, it implies that everything’s going to be dandy. Yes, we know that ultimately it will be better than dandy as we spend eternity in the presence of God. But between now and then a whole lot of un-dandy can happen.
While I’m pulling out the slogans, here’s another, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” God has always been in control, but that didn’t keep the ancient Israelites from captivity, it didn’t stop Rome from falling, didn’t keep Hitler from coming to power or the World Trade Center towers from falling.
Yes, God is now, has ever been and will always be in control. And yet at the same time He has blessed us with the double-edged sword of free will. On top of that we’ve been charged with the responsibility to bind (or forbid) and loose (or allow) things here on earth (see Matthew 16:19 and 18:18). Now whether it’s from a reluctance of being perceived as judgmental or politically incorrect I’m not sure, but the influence of the people of God on the American culture sure seems to have waned since the latter part of the last century.
Please don’t misunderstand, I believe America is still a great country, one of the freest on earth, though not nearly as free now as we once were. And I think we still have the capacity to bounce back, for the economy to improve and the divisiveness to be healed. But it won’t come easy and it’s not guaranteed.
No matter your political leanings, who you voted for or whether you voted at all, if you’re a citizen of the Kingdom of God there is work to do. Pray. Pray for our president and other government officials and our nation. Get involved. Let your voice be heard. Hey, run for office if you’re so inclined. Complain. Yeah, complain. If you voted you earned that right. But do it in a constructive manner. Write letters or emails to your elected officials when you’re concerned about an issue. It’s more than our civic duty, it’s our spiritual responsibility to help shape the culture so that others may come to a saving knowledge of Jesus.