Preparing for November 9Posted on November 4, 2016 in Justice, Politics
Four days from now one protracted battle ends and another begins. The results of November 8 call for an active response beginning November 9.
A portion (not necessarily a majority) of the people will be happy and feel vindicated, while the rest will grapple with grave concerns. The vocal opponents will continue the “disaster for the country” drumbeat. Why would they stop?
Both major parties are already taking legal action over the election process. A close outcome will intensify those efforts. Remember the 2000 election? One can easily imagine how much more contentious it’ll be this time.
Not to mention the unprecedented cloud of scandal and untrustworthiness surrounding each candidate.
Whatever happens November 8, consider this: we are all responsible for how we got here. And we’re all responsible for what happens beginning November 9.
We’ve all contributed to the dissolution of public civility. All have judged leaders, and those who would lead us, with whom we disagree at some level. And not just their policies, or actions, but as people. Bearers of God’s image, just like us.
If you follow Jesus, you know that He guaranteed the measure of judgment we send out comes back to us.
I’m guilty. You?
So, where do we go from here?
As citizens we have legal and moral obligations to obey just laws. Those of us who follow Jesus are taught that God established governmental authority to restrain evil and promote good. In obedience to Him we are to submit to government authority.
But what about when government legislates and regulates and adjudicates to promote what God says is evil and restrain what He says is good?
How followers of Jesus respond to government authority in this new, contentious era depends on what government permits, prohibits, and mandates.
In my view, our response to government authority in this new, contentious era differs depending on what it permits, prohibits, and mandates.
When government permits people to do things God opposes, we’re not obligated to do them. At least not yet. So, as His followers, we can proclaim and demonstrate His kingdom and disciple our culture in His righteousness through how we love God and love people and bear the fruit He intends for us to bear.
If government prohibits people from doing things God calls good we, as Martin Luther King exhorted, have a moral obligation to disobey those laws and be willing to endure the consequences. We must trust that God will deliver us and, if He does not, have the courage to say we will not serve the god of this world.
Even more so in any case where government mandates that citizens do things that are disobedient to God. Those who promote evil and suppress good do so fully engaged, willing to give their lives for their cause. If we’re going to show the world the real Jesus, we must be willing to suffer for His cause as He did.
I confess there are times I don’t want to engage or suffer. A dear friend reminded me today that we are in a war, like it or not. We’re called to fight.
A new gauntlet will be thrown November 9. For followers of Jesus, the question becomes are we willing to go down using the weapons God gives us, or will we wait to be taken out having done nothing?
And they have defeated the accuser by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.
What say you?