To Christians Who Lost Their Hope Last Tuesday

I would have preferred that all of the election hubbub would have died down by now. Alas. There are a lot of Christians still in mourning regarding the next four years in the United States, and there are also many swimming in a sense of euphoria. Apparently the winner of the recent election will either solidify the implosion of our nation or cause the Kingdom of the Heavens to drop down among us, unhindered, in its full glory.

Let me reiterate: all of this passion and certainty exhibited by many of my fellow Christians is based on an election. This is very interesting to me, that so much of who we think we will become seems to have already been decided by a show of hands last Tuesday. Disappointment or encouragement based on democratic outcomes, I can understand. Devastation or elation, however, strike me as naive responses. Do we really believe that the best or the worst is now destined to happen? That we can now sit back and let the dominoes fall as they will?

Having written quite a bit about hope recently, I’m especially disheartened (read: dumbfounded) by how some people (mostly white, evangelical Christians) have allowed their hope to be stolen by an election that didn’t go the way they wanted it to go. Literally. I’m talking despair and dire prophecies about the future. Warnings of impending doom. Cries that they have lost their liberty.

The end is near.


* * * * *

Remember how those guys in the book of Matthew tried to stick Jesus in a difficult spot by asking him about paying the imperial tax to Caeser?

“Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”

Tough one. If Jesus says yes, then he’s endorsing the brutal, Roman occupation. If he says no, then these guys can report him to the local government for fomenting resistance and he’ll be imprisoned or executed.

But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

I love that.

“Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

* * * * *

Consider the following verse:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the winner of the recent election resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:3) (emphasis and strike-through mine).

Christians, stop belly-aching (or partying) about the recent election results. Get busy doing what God has called you to do. Maybe the election result will make your current mission easier. Maybe it will make it more challenging. Whatever.

“Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

Christians, regardless of your political leanings, can we somehow remember that it’s because of his great mercy that we’ve been born again to a living hope? There are probably a few things you should be giving back to Caesar. I’m fairly certain that hope isn’t one of them.

16 Replies to “To Christians Who Lost Their Hope Last Tuesday”

  1. Thank you so much for posting this I’ve been feeling …really put out of the way some christians I know have been going on and on about it! But I keep thinking hey in 4 years we all get to vote again!!

  2. Shawn, I too have found this interesting. Politically speaking, I lean strongly right. Many bloggers I read lean left. But if I based what I believe about a lot us on what I have seen and read, too many of us are concerned more with this kingdom than the Kingdom. Our salvation as a nation or individually does not rest in a president, but a King. I wish we all understood that.

  3. Amen! I love how you put this—”…so much of who we think we will become seems to have already been decided by a show of hands last Tuesday.”

    It’s amazing how, as humans, we can think we are so powerful—consider all the work and money that goes into making an election go the way we want—and at the same time, so helpless—after the election is over, we are at the mercy of the “bad guys.” You’re right, it’s time to “Get busy doing what God has called you to do.” These transition times are also good times to pray and reflect more about what exactly God is calling us each to do.

  4. I totally agree – its insane to make such extreme conclusions based on an election. Especially when a lot of the religious rhetoric is only there to win votes.

  5. Excellent Shawn the most encouraging thing I’ve read since the election race began thank you!

  6. As a foreigner (i.e. Canadian), I too have been dumbfounded and aghast at the vitriolic remarks people have made on Facebook and Twitter regarding the election results (both sides guilty). Nothing drives me more insane than a black and white approach to Christianity or politics. We need to wrestle with the gray areas.

    Thanks for being a voice of sanity.

  7. WELL. SAID. I really hope this election awakens disheartened Christians to the hurting world around them and to the mission they’ve been called to, regardless who holds the highest office in the land.

  8. Awesome post. I am not American, but it still applies everywhere. Tying your hope to any(one)thing other than Christ is foolish.

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