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Perspective for Election Day

Scot McKnight has a refreshing reminder of the proper perspective on this latest election day. I’ll share a few snippets here, and leave the rest for you to read there if you are interested.

The opening:

Somewhere between 6pm and 8pm, Central Time, on November 2d, 2010, the eschatology of American evangelicals will become clear. If a Republican (or a Tea Party candidate) wins and the evangelical becomes delirious or confident that the Golden Days are about to arrive, that evangelical has an eschatology of politics. Or, alternatively, if Democrat wins and the evangelical becomes delirious or confident that the Golden Days are about to arrive, that evangelical too has an eschatology of politics. Or, we could turn each around, if a more Democrat oriented evangelical becomes depressed and hopeless because a Repub wins, or if a Republican oriented evangelical becomes depressed or hopeless because a Dem wins, those evangelicals are caught in an empire-shaped eschatology of politics.

McKnight can’t imagine the early Church having these issues with the question of who would be the next Emperor. Maybe this confusion about where our hope lies is unique to democracies … but I doubt it.

Some other interesting thoughts:

Now before I take another step, it must be emphasized that I participate in the election; and I think it makes a difference which candidate wins; and I think from my own limited perspective one candidate is better than the other.

But before I take the next step I’ll say this: if our candidates lose won’t make one bit of a difference for our obligation to follow Jesus today. Not one bit.

Participation in our election dare not be seen as the lever that turns the eschatological designs God has for this world. Where is our hope? November 2 may tell us.

What I hope it reveals is that:

Our hope is in God. …

We are tempted to divide the USA into the good and the bad and to forget that the gospel has folks on both sides of political lines. Even more: we are tempted to think that the winners of the election are those who are blessed by God when the blessing of God is on God’s people. God’s gospel-powered mission creates a new people, the church, where we are to see God’s mission at work. Therein lies our hope.

Our hope is in the gospel of God that creates a kind of people that extends God’s gospel to the world.

I will be voting today. Joy and I will take the kids (all 5 and under) so that they can see the process, and we can teach them about the privileges we have in our country to affect our future. But when we return home, we won’t consider the election results to be the source of hope or despair. Our hope is in our King, Jesus. Nothing that happens tonight can change that, therefore we have hope.

Please do educate yourself and vote today, but then remember that the source of true Hope is not found in either party or candidate, it is found only in the King whose Kingdom never ends. All hail King Jesus!

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