Election Day 2016 – How Shall We Move Forward?

An Election Reflection!

It is the morning of election day 2016. As I write this, we do not yet know who will be our next president – Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. As I reflect upon the past months leading up to today, the thing that has bothered me most about this election is the anger that is being spewed out by those who claim to be Christian. Not only in the pre-election rhetoric, but as Christians in general. It seems that the majority of what we see and hear on FaceBook, Twitter, personal conversations, and even from some pulpits is anger. Unfortunately, I think that as Christians we are becoming most known for our anger and devisiveness – not for following the Christ we proclaim.

“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,” – Ephesians‬ ‭4:15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

In his book The Great Evangelical Disaster, Francis Shaeffer wrote almost 30 years ago that, “We must indeed give a practical demonstration of love in the midst of our differences.  But at the same time God’s truth and the work of Christ’s church both insist that truth demands loving confrontation, but confrontation”. He further states that there are only three possible positions in relating to society that lives outside the boundaries of God’s truth: “1) unloving confrontation, 2) no confrontation; 3) loving confrontation.”

From my perspective, it seems that the majority of those who call themselves Christian have chosen either option 1 or option 2. They either withdraw and complain, yet do not confront. Or they confront with self-righteousness and anger.  Yet, we are called to choose option 3. We are to lovingly confront others with the truth.

How do we move forward?

So, what does option 3 look like as we go on with life after this election? Regardles of who becomes our next president, regardless of laws that are passed, court decissons that are made, or Supreme Court justices who are appointed, we need to hold up the truth of God’s Word in a way that demonstrates love. Regardless of the lifesyle, religious beliefs, background, or sexual preference of those we interact with, we must hold up the truth of God’s Word in a loving way. We must act as tightrope walkers balancing truth with love, neither tipping to one side or the other. If we tip too far toward truth, we become legalistic and heartless.  If we tip too far toward love, we become accepting and accommodating to things opppsite of our God. So we must walk in the balance of speaking the truth in love.

Jesus sais, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” In these times of division, anger, hatred, and hubris in our nation and even among Christians, let us be peacemakers. Let us share the love of Christ in all we say and do, yet in our loving let us hold forth the truth of our all-knowing, all-powerful God. Let us be known by what we are for – the love of God poured out into our hearts and the truth that God so loved the world! Let us live out the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2:14-16 –  “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”

 

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