When I think of political elections and some of the messages that some Christians project, I think “doom and gloom.” It seems that for some, we’re always right on the precipice of the Apocalypse with each election. This is often tied to the Dispensational eschatology that was so influential with the Christian Right, but it also has a lot to do with the fact that the Christian Right tended to capitalize on fear-mongering as a political tactic. During the 80’s, it simply got votes… everyone did it, Democrats included. The Christian Right was just a lot better at it.
A few years ago, the year before President Obama was elected for his first term, I was at a big conference. One of the main speakers spent most of the time telling the 20,000+ people that the coming election (between Obama and McCain) was the “most important political showdown of the age” and that it would change the course of history. At the time, I don’t think I was nearly as disenfranchised as I am now, but I remember thinking to myself, “You people have been saying stuff like that since I was a kid.”
And it’s true… I have heard those types of statements forever. Republicans and Democrats both spend billions of dollars painting pictures of what the future could look like if the other person is elected. It happens at the local level, state level, and federal level. “The Republicans will have us taking away the rights of women and minority groups!” “The Democrats want to take God completely out of our country!” On and on and on and on… the fear-mongering goes.
Don’t worry, 2012 isn’t over… the Apocalypse may still occur. There’s plenty of time for Obama to be revealed as the Anti-Christ. There’s plenty of time for the Republican controlled Senate to work to end all social justice concerns and give money to the rich… there’s plenty of time for your Apocalypse to still happen this year!
Or… maybe we can get some perspective here. Fear-mongering, in a post-modern culture, does not work. It probably backfires.
Anyway, Democrats, congrats. Obama has been reelected and I will continue to pray for him. I don’t think he’s nearly as evil and crazy as some suggest. Yet I fundamentally disagree with him on a number of big issues… but I will honor him by praying for him and advocating for the things that I believe he is wrong on in a gracious and truthful way.
Republicans, I’m sorry you are so bummed. Hopefully you won’t give up. I’m sure you’re going to make some big changes this year. I’d thought you’d have learned your lesson four years ago, but maybe the second time around will change the course of things. In fact, I think you need to take Michael Dougherty’s “How to Explain Romney’s Loss to Shocked Conservatives” seriously. This country has changed… a lot.
For those of us who are Christians, whether we are Democrat or Republican or Independent we need to continue to keep our commitment to the Kingdom of God. Our true citizenship is heavenly… which means we should certainly advocate for justice and righteousness. This means that, at times, we weigh in on items that are deemed as “political.” But our allegiance is to the King and the Kingdom… and that King is still on the throne.
No “election day blues” for me… I’m going to go get some sushi.
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.