Here we are then – in less than 24 hours if we don’t know who the next president of the United States is, we will probably have a pretty good idea who it will be. This has been the most extraordinary US election campaign which has so often shown the worst of America to the world. There have been some extraordinary accusations made, some true others perhaps less so. However, what is clear is America is a very sick nation in urgent need of healing.
Presidential US elections have, by their nature a tendency to become about the person on the ballot rather than policies, ideas and plans for office and this campaign has been no different. Throughout most of the campaign there has been a distinct lack of policy discussion and as a consequence, we are less sure how either candidate will be if elected.
The challenges for the incoming president are huge. A moral bankruptcy, a damaged reputation across the world and with the onset of the aggressive liberal progressive agenda, a situation where the president worries more whether people confused about their gender can use the bathroom of the opposite sex, whilst millions of Americans cannot afford basic healthcare due to record rate increases.
The United States is still viewed by many around the world as a Christian country, yet the truth is the nation has fallen far far into sin and in the most part has rejected God. The result is a nation where unborn children are not safe in the womb at any point during pregnancy. Where Church pastors are questioned by authorities with demands to submit sermon notes to the authorities. Not for over 100 years have divisions between white and black been starker. Not since the 1930s has America experienced some of the economic woes it does today. Never before has the US seen the level of immigration it is today, especially from Islamic nations.
The saddest part of all this is the Church has either been silent or complicit in this moral bankruptcy. There are Churches and church leaders bowing to the progressive agenda that seeks to shut out the church. There are Christians with their heads buried in the sand ignoring all the problems and hoping it will all blow over. There are far too many examples of the church going the way of the world rather than leading the world and seeking to be salt and light as the Bible calls us to be.
This is a far cry from the calling that God gives the Church to spread to gospel, to stand up for for what is right and to lead the way by pointing to the absolute truths of God against the onslaught of moral relativism that has created such cultural confusion.
It is easy to blame Government and the president for the state of the nation – it would be a lie to suggest they are not part of the problem at all. However, to blame the president or government alone misses the point because the job of the Church is not to place our hope in Government alone. It is to show the love of God to those around us and stand firm for Biblical truth in the public square. Sure, Government can be part of the solution, but we must not place our hope in it. Our hope must be in God alone.
So, the way I see it is that regardless of who wins tomorrow (or the days after in the Supreme Court), the mission of the Church remains the same. The difference is that with one candidate there is a chance that our job of spreading the gospel might be made a little easier. With the other candidate things will almost certainly be much harder and an atmosphere of hostility will be encouraged towards any of us who stand up for what is right and true.
This is a very serious time for America and consequently the world. The nation is, much like my own nation the UK, very sick and in desperate need of spiritual and moral healing. People everywhere are looking for something to give them hope. People are looking for leadership. People are looking for a way out of the mess our nations have got themselves into. Folks, as children of God we have not just the answer and hope to people’s questions and searching, but also the responsibility to communicate that gospel of love and redemption to those who most need to hear it and that work must go on regardless of the result of this election.
The likely outcome of this US election is either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will win and become the next president. The person occupying the Oval Office will change, but the mission of the church will remain the same. The climate in which the church operates may well change (possibly for the worse), but the job of the Church will stay the same. The choice facing the Church is whether we choose to stand up for God in the public square, or whether the Church buries its head in the sand for another 4 years, only to surface again with more complaints. I hope and pray that the Church will choose to stand up and be counted because the time is short and the stakes are too high not to.