Home > Commentary > The Day After Yesterday: A Biblical Response to the 2008 Election

The Day After Yesterday: A Biblical Response to the 2008 Election

Day After Tomorrow

Today, we usher in a new age in America. Barack Obama has won the Presidency in what appears to be an electoral landslide.

I’m not going to sugarcoat anything here. This election, Americans voted into office a man who supports abortion on demand, to the degree that a baby born alive during such a procedure should be allowed to die. A man who does not believe Americans should be able to keep what they earn, preferring instead to give it to people who are already paid to sit on their butts. A man who wants to force people to buy insurance they can’t afford, simply because he believes (though this is a good and right belief) all children should be insured. A man who wants to de-fund our military and undermine the work they have already done in the Middle East. A man who will actually drive our national debt up. A man who was able to lead so many people nationwide, hearing and Deaf, into a false sense of hope.

Yes, that’s right, false hope. Most of those false hopes aren’t even of his own making, but are the direct result of a media run amuck. I was told today of a Deaf person who said they voted for Obama “because the news captioned him when he was on and didn’t caption McCain!” Many Deaf in my own city said they were supporting Obama simply on the strength of a letter his campaign sent to the National Association of the Deaf, whereas McCain did not even bother to send a letter. It was said this single letter was proof that “Obama supports Deaf.” Whether that’s true or not is easily verifiable, but hopefully you get the idea.

We can’t ignore the component of color and the significance of this moment. Though Obama is bi-racial, his self-identification as black means we have elected the first ever black president. I don’t know about you, but that means we just saw history made. This is a huge, huge development! Just over 40 years ago black people in America were a deeply oppressed minority, subject to Jim Crow and rampant discrimination. Now our President-Elect is a black man! What a gigantic leap of progress we have made as a people. May God be glorified that color is ever increasingly less important in judging a person’s character and qualifications. Barack Obama is, quite simply, created in the image of God, and that’s all we ever need to consider.

But we must consider another aspect of this election that, in my opinion, is becoming quite sinister and damning of our national, spiritual and individual character. We must consider our response to this election.

The reaction from many Democrats , Obama supporters, and left-leaning Christians has been predictable: gloating, elitism, utter disrespect and disregard for anyone who had a different opinion and vote about who should lead this country. It is almost as if they’re saying, “Anyone who would not vote for Obama is backwards, cannot think for themselves, bigoted, standing in the way of progress, and ought to move to Iran.” Yes, seriously, I’ve even heard a supporter suggest that evangelicals who don’t support Obama should move to Iran! There has been a rash of name-calling, insults, and other not-so-kind slights of character by the victors since about midnight, after an Obama victory became obvious. This kind of thinking is typical of the vocal component of the political/theological left and of some Democrats.

But the reaction from some Republicans, McCain supporters, and conservative Christians has been less than stellar. They aren’t getting off scot-free, here! Some have reacted as if The Day After Tomorrow has taken place in real-life (hence the pic opening this post). There is fear that Hell has frozen over. There is talk that moral values in America are about to experience a rapid plunge, if not an outright demise. There is rhetoric that, with this election, America is abandoning freedom for socialism. And from the less kind among these folks, there is just as much name-calling, insults, and not-so-kind slights of character towards “Obamamaniacs” and Democrats.

None of these reactions from these groups are appropriate. I tend to say, quite tongue in cheek, that the first group proves Total Depravity, and the second group proves they don’t really believe God’s in control. But all this aside, how should believers respond biblically to what happened in the 2008 election?

1. Stick to your Scriptural convictions.
Don’t give up on your firmly held beliefs. The Bible clearly says that only those who endure to the end will be saved (Matt. 10:22, 24:13; Mark 13:13; 1 Corinthians 13:7; 2 Corinthians 1:6; Hebrews 12:7). 2 Timothy 2:12 summarizes the position of Scripture here by stating that “if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us.” (ESV) If we endure this time when our nation has seemingly approved of tossing what God calls good out the window, and live righteously and justly, we will further confirm our place in the kingdom of God. And we shouldn’t endure only an Obama presidency, we must endure all things for the sake of the Gospel (1 Cor. 9:12; 2 Timothy 2:10). Go beyond enduring this new President. Endure those who ridicule you and your support of someone other than Obama. Endure those who call evil good. Endure all things so that some might be saved.

Eric Redmond, writing over at Justin Taylor’s blog (go read the whole thing), says “it is not virtuous to side with the majority because one does not wish to stand out among friends, or because one is unwilling to examine all information on an issue, or because one wants to dispense dislikes toward current leadership, in spite of righteous reasons to vote against the majority—in fact, under some circumstances, it can be a horrendous evil.” While he is speaking of how one should vote in this quote, it is equally true of how we should react to the results. Don’t abandon Scriptural convictions in the face of moral decline.

2. Be obedient to Scripture.
Remember what I wrote yesterday? Scripture is clear that we are to live in submission to our government (Romans 13:1). This means we are required to obey the laws we have elected Obama to enforce; we are required by God to pray for him (1 Timothy 2:1-2); and we are required to honor him (Romans 13:7; 1 Peter 2:13-18). Be obedient to the Bible’s commands to submit to authority.

3. Live redemptively in this new age.
If you take a serious look at the Scriptures we’ve used here in this post, there is an underlying theme that runs through the entire concept presented here. Have you noticed it yet? Here’s a hint: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23) You see that? There is no law against living out #1 and #2. If you follow these first two encouragements, you ought to be displaying the fruit of the Spirit. And if you are displaying the fruit of the Spirit, who can bring accusation against you? Who can ridicule you without looking utterly stupid and foolish? Who can call you backward, bigoted, rigid, and stupid without looking like a bigot themselves? Who can say you “need to move to Iran” without making him/herself look like an intolerant idiot?

Indeed, if we are living out our obedience to God and manifesting the fruit of the Spirit, any idiot can look at you and say, “We need more Americans like that!”

And when you’ve done that, you have made absolutely sure that the only stumbling block in front of you is the Gospel itself. They have no reason to be offended by you except for the Gospel. And God has promised through his Word that some will hear and believe that Gospel.

You see, even this election result is under God’s express control, and even the election of a blasphemer to the highest office in the land can bring God glory. So what will you do? Will you work to bring God glory by how you live under an Obama presidency? Will you work to bring glory to God by how you relate to our President-Elect? Will you work to make the Gospel the only offense “Obamamaniacs” have against you? Let’s pray.

Lord, we come to you humbled by your sovereign control over all things. You have allowed Barack Obama to be voted into office. It is obvious to all that he is your man for this time. We humbly and joyfully submit to your will for America and our government. Humbly, because you alone are responsible for the authority we voted to give Obama. Joyfully, because your will has been done, and it was a history-making, barrier-shattering will; and because you are doing a new thing in our lives with this new President.

We beg of you to create in us clean hearts, O God; and to renew steadfast spirits within us. Restore to us the joy of your salvation, and take not your Holy Spirit from us. Empower your people, O Lord, to endure all things until the end, no matter how impossible we may think it is nor how evil we may believe it to be. Empower us to honor you by our conduct towards our government. Let us glorify you by submitting to Barack Obama. Let us lift up your name by lifting Obama up to you in prayer. Let us shine your light on America and the world by our obedience to the laws Obama has been selected to uphold.

Make us more like your Son Jesus Christ day by day. Make us to display the fruit of your Holy Spirit, that none may have reason to accuse us. Make us nothing before your Gospel of salvation, that our only offense may be that Gospel alone.

Finally, Lord, we beg of you to glorify yourself in this day. Glorify yourself in Barack Obama. Glorify yourself in Joe Biden. Glorify yourself in the midst of all that has happened and will happen. Glorify your name in all the earth!

In the most high and holy name of your Son Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.

  1. Ally
    November 5, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Amazing post – thank you so much for blessing me today with God’s Word applicable to this election and encouarging me on a day I feel so fearful and defeated.

    May God continue to bless you always.

    Ally

  2. November 5, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Great post!

  3. DL
    November 6, 2008 at 12:20 am

    Reminds me of a boy I saw this morning that told me that he “Didn’t want ‘Bama for President” I asked him, “Why??” His response was the “I don’t like him” and made a negative comment about the president-elect’s skin color.

  4. November 6, 2008 at 1:34 am

    now, in the interest of being generous, I am going to assume he saw Star Wars Episode 1 and erroneously thought Obama was a Sith Lord. I know the chances of that are small, but I’m allowed to be hopeful. 😉

  5. Bob Ayres
    November 6, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Stephen, this is one of best postings I’ve seen to date about this election. Thanks for your insight and excellent ability to articulate these concepts.

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