I watched the election coverage all evening. I kept up to the moment on my phone and television. Not because I was afraid of the news they heralded. But instead, because I find it all fascinating. I have always enjoyed watching election coverage. Seeing where and how people choose to vote. I actually joked with my husband that this is my World Series. But I digress.
Friends, today my heart is saddened. There are astounding and ever growing differences among people. People are split by race, religion, education, employment. And whether Trump or Clinton won, this division would be hard to move past.
However, today we know who will be president. Trump was elected. Though I refuse to live fearful of what this will bring, I do live saddened. Heartbroken for this nation, this country. For this people.
That sounds odd, so please, let me explain. The Christian/Catholic bodies encouraged their people to vote for Trump, for a variety of reasons. These are, by and large, the single issue voters: the anti-abortion votes, the Supreme Court votes, the lesser of two evil votes, the “freedom of religion” votes…and I could go on.
Yes, these are indeed valid ideals, valid opinions to hold to. Yes, these are the makings of voting for or against someone.
But here’s the thing, the church was given two commands.
And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.’ – Matthew 22:37-38
This means to completely, to wholly love God. It looks like worship. It looks like gratitude. It looks like time in His Word and in prayer.
And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ – Matthew 22:39
This means that we love others. We love people even if they are different from us. Even if they hold to different ideals than us. It means we love people even if it brings certain death to us. Because we are called to love. Period.
The Bible is filled with examples, with calls and encouragement to love greatly. To love selflessly. Giving up everything, even unto our very life. But for this, I must share the reminder of 1 John 4:18:
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
Because love, love for God + love for others, has nothing to do with fear. And so when we respond out of fear, it has no part in love.
So dear church, my heart is broken. Somewhere along the way we, including our church leaders, have lost sight of what love means. We have lost sight of the two commandments we were given. Because dear one, if your reason for doing something isn’t: to love God or to love others, you might not need to do it.
Before we move on, we need to rest in one final reminder. One final definition of what love is.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. – 1 Corinthians 13:7
All things. Even hardships. Even hate. Even loss of freedom. Love bears everything.
So what does this mean for how we voted?
Pro-life: Christians rallied against Clinton because of her pro-choice stance. What does it mean to stand for life? Voting for Trump heralded the lives of the unborn. But in exchange, we handed over the lives of minorities. The voiceless. The marginalized. We exchanged one life for another.
And for what? For safety? For religious freedom? This is not sacrificial love. This is love that keeps us safe first. This is a love that sees us v. them. This is a love that believes in comfort and safety.
But that isn’t what we are called to. No, instead, we are called to a love that gives everything. Even our very lives. I believe this is a reminder the American church needs today.
Because friends, we were never promised safety, freedom of religion (or any kind), or ease. Instead we were promised difficulty. We were promised pain that would flood our lives. Suffering that would reshape us. Promising to make us more like Christ.
Instead, we are promised that God’s glory would shine forth. Abundantly. Radiantly. Through every circumstance.
Supreme Court: Christians voted for Trump to protect the Supreme Court. I understand this heart. I do. But church, we are forgetting who God is.
We are championing God as sovereign and all powerful. But we forget this truth when we say we voted to save the Court. We are forgetting that God is able to use anyone. We are forgetting the OT leaders, that were used, even when it did not seem like it. (A truth I am clinging to today.) Even when they seemed too evil to be used by God.
And so, I ask you, the church – can we please stop fighting for God. Can we remember that He goes before us. That He is the One fighting. He has been in all of this since the Old Testament. God has used evil for His glory time and again. He never requested, never needed His people to allow it.
As we move forward, not just today, not just for the next four years, but for always I implore you. Remember our two commandments: To love God and to love others. I love the verse that follows these commands:
On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets. – Matthew 22:40
That’s how important they are. On these commandments rest everything.
And so friends, because we are the church. Because we are the bride of Christ. Because that means something – I am standing, proclaiming love.
So instead of rejoicing, join me in mourning. Join me in asking forgiveness from the world. Because this is not okay.
As the beloved of God, we are to be His hands and feet. Never reacting out of fear for our future. Never reacting from anything other than love for God and love for others. Period.
Praying today for grace and forgiveness for us all. Praying that the world sees a posture of sorrow from us. As we mourn for the lesser. The unheard. The unseen. As they attempt to reconcile the nation, the people they love.
PS. Yes, it feels like this is coming too late. Like we’ve already chosen where we stand. Like my voice doesn’t matter. But it does. No matter how you voted, our posture today and in the future matters. A lot. So please engage. Love others well. Love those that feel hurt and scared. Serve them.
(And though I feel it is of no consequence who or how I voted, I have been asked. Because this election more than any other seemed to be an either or situation. But I disagree. More than anything, I am accountable to Go. And so with much prayer and consideration, I chose not to cast a vote for president. No this was not me choosing to sit idly by. Instead it as me actively choosing to not stand with: a man who hates, a woman who stands with partial birth abortions, nor a man whose foreign policy I cannot biblically stand with – because love. Obviously, this is a short hand explanation of where I stand and would be happy to dialogue more. Just ask. Nicely, please.)