Serious Christians are terribly conflicted about what to do in the upcoming election. Should they vote their conscience and go write-in or third party, or should they hold their noses and vote for Trump because, bad as a Trump administration would be, it has to be better than Hillary? Good friendships have been threatened by the heated arguments over this disagreement. It is plain that no consensus among serious, Bible-believing Christians (I’m not talking about the superficial and unprincipled ones who have supported Trump all along) is easily forthcoming.
The Five Pilgrims have made our view on that question plain if you are interested. So I’m not going to try to rehash it in this post. Rather, I want to ask, what else should we be doing to prepare ourselves for the difficult times that are upon us and the more difficult times that are coming no matter whom we vote for and no matter who is elected? These are actions on which ought to be able to agree, whatever conclusion we reach about whom to vote for. They are actions about which, if we do not get very serious very shortly, it will not matter whom we vote for or who is elected. Without them, no politician, however good and well-meaning, will be able to stem the tide flowing toward national destruction; with them, on the part of all who truly follow the Lord Jesus Christ, no politician, however evil and corrupt, would be able to stand against the tide of Renaissance, Reformation, and Revival that would follow.
Christian philosopher and apologist Douglas Groothuis of Denver Seminary offers a list of seven things that we should all be pursuing with all our hearts, minds, and souls. If we did, it would make a more strategic difference than anything that will happen in November. If we had been doing them all along, we would not be in the sorry situation we face today:
1. Restore the knowledge and fear of God in the church.
2. Learn how to think, write, and speak properly.
3. Know history, especially Western civilization and the American founding.
4. Escape the corruption and stupefaction of most of popular culture.
5. Be against the world for the world under God.
6. Strengthen the things that remain.
7. Be the fixed point that shows up the slide into debauchery for what it is.
We could summarize the list by saying, “Preach–but first live–the Gospel. Give the Gospel credibility by showing the difference that the presence of God in your life ought to be making.”
I am not here to tell you not to vote or to tell you that your vote will not matter. But I do say that it will not matter very much unless it flows from the life of a Christian community committed to the program Groothuis just described. Politics is downstream from culture, and culture is the expression of faith–of what people truly believe in. We spend too much time trying to fix the political manifestations of our problems while neglecting their deeper causes. That is why we have been such failures on the political level.
I plan to follow this agenda with all my strength as God enables.