The Apocalypse (a.k.a.. Election 2016!)

Jesus need not come back.  The apocalypse has already happened without Him.  And it happened via the presidential election cycle of 2016 in America. 

Well... not exactly.  But it sorta feels that way. 

Depending on who you voted for, there is a pretty good chance that you viewed Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton as the Devil incarnate.

"They" were the ultimately embodiment of evil, and in order to save our nation, they had to be stopped at all costs.  Because if the other candidate won, America would descend into unprecedented levels of darkness from which it cannot ever return. 

Facebook became the battlefield of America's second Civil War. The closest of family and friends became emotionally unglued, resulting not only in heated exchanges, but in a massive number of casualties.  Friends lists were purged, and people were uninvited from weddings and holiday get-togethers, all because a loved one supported the wrong presidential candidate.

The church has reflected this cultural division as well.  Voting for the wrong candidate resulted in many Christians smugly questioning the salvation of many other Christians who did not.  After all, it was abundantly clear which candidate God was backing.  And if it wasn't very clear to you, there were many prophetic voices in certain circles who were more than willing to tell you which candidate God favored, and to give that candidate a significance similar to that of some major well liked Old Testament figure.  For some, failure to vote for God's man (or woman) was a test of your commitment to Christian orthodoxy, and exposed how deeply compromised you were in your heart of hearts.

And now that the election is over, there are many who rejoice over Donald Trump winning the election, and likewise, there are many who are deeply fearful of the same.  And depending on which candidate you supported, there are as many news outlets that are willing to feed your feelings of triumph as there are those who are willing to feed your feelings of anger and insecurity.

I know I wrestled with my emotions over this election.  And there has been a time or two (or three) where I got caught up in wrestling other people who were also wrestling their emotions too.

Things ought not be this way.  While I think it is a great thing for people to be involved in politics, and to passionately champion important causes, and to hash out difficult topics, I can't help but feel that we are in danger of being too emotionally invested in this process. 

As Christians we have to remember that as much as we love our country, America isn't our religion, and we should stop treating it as such.  Our identity shouldn't be grounded in her, or a particular political philosophy or candidate.  We must avoid any language that would tempt others to see certain political leaders as some sort of mini-messiah.  God already gave the world a Messiah, and His name is Jesus!  And for heavens sake, we need to stop confusing America with Israel and/or the church.  America is neither.  And the degree we treat America as if it were either of these shows just how much we've made America into a religion.

So, instead of becoming unglued over politics, as Christians I believe we need to become increasingly unattached. 

And in saying unattached I don't mean being uninvolved.  On the contrary, I believe the church should be involved in politics, but in doing so, we need to realize in our heart of hearts that whatever our level of involvement is, we are ultimately serving this country as ambassadors of Jesus Christ, and as citizens of another kingdom. 

Such is like the ambassadors of our own country who serve overseas in other nations, representing the interests of the United States while abroad.  Where appropriate, they give their two cents on various issues that arise.  But does the American ambassador to France get bent out of shape when France elects somebody that ambassador perceives to be an idiot as the president of France?  Probably not.  Why?  Because even though they may have a great love for France, their loyalty is back home, in America. 

And I believe that's how we as Christians need to be when it comes with our attitude towards politics.  We are to be ambassadors of Jesus Christ, who while getting involved of the political life of the nation we are serving in, ultimately has a heart that longs for the things that are back home. 

Armed with the mindset, that we are ultimately ambassadors of Christ, will do much to safeguard our hearts from looking at this election (or the next one!) as if it were the apocalypse.  And maybe... just maybe, God will be able to use us as people of influence as a result, so we are able to further His will in this world. 

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