Christians, it’s time we process the election results we just watched unfold. I’ve listened to so many friends and even commentary online. I’ve heard so much sadness and despair, but what does it really mean? I’ve heard some make apocalyptic statements like: “It’s over.” Is it? To answer your question, I need to know what “it” is.
Do you mean America? Well, this much is true–things are not going to be what we have known. There’s no use trying to spin that fact. Many Christian friends say that how could America be so blind. Whatever the problem is, it is not exactly blindness in the sense of not seeing what is really going on. Unlike 2008, the American people know exactly what Mr. Obama believes. They know about Obamacare, the faltering economy, the frantic spending, the acceptance of non-Christian social positions like gay marriage and abortion, and they are cool with it. At least a slight majority (what it takes in a democracy) know all about it and went and pulled that lever for Mr. Obama.
So the answer could not be in getting out more conservative commentary. In addition, more creativity in putting out the conservative message really has little chance in turning the tide back. Grassroots work probably can’t get it done either. If it could have, the Tea Party would have been more successful. Conservative political strategists didn’t really fail. What is going on can’t be strategized around in one election cycle.
Here are the 3 most crucial demographics that came out of the election results in my opinion:
1. Young adult voters went overwhelmingly for Mr. Obama.
They know what Mr. Obama stands for and they agree with him. It’s just that simple. What the Republican Party ought to do about that, I have no idea. They will have to figure it out. I’m not concerned about them (I am one of them, but as a Christian I put no expectations on any party to solve our problems). Perhaps, as Christians we could look a little deeper. WE HAVE FAILED. We have not reached that generation with the Gospel message. It has nothing to do with political parties, but had we made more disciples of Jesus Christ, there would be more pro-Christian sentiment and our nation would be more Christian.
2. Non-white voters make up a much higher percentage of voters now.
There is, of course, no problem with that. Voting percentages should naturally match population percentages. These other ethnic groups have traditionally been less known to follow conservative Christian principles. Again, I’m sure the Republican Party is scratching its head to figure out how to handle that going forward. Again, I’m sure they will try something, but what about the Christian perspective (which is unique from the Republican Party and what I care about). Could the tendency among many Christians who are willing to send a missionary to Africa but have no real concern for those of another ethnic group in their own town be coming back to haunt us? I mean really reach out and want others from different groups on equal footing in your own church?
3. A great divide exists between large cities and the rest of the country.
Did you see the red/blue map of our country? I’m not going to get into the political reasons why that is the way it is, but there is one clear implication for Christians. We are not reaching the cities. Sometimes we do well in wealthy suburbs where there is plenty of money to build great buildings, but we do so little the closer to downtown we come. These people are poorer and we fail them. Remember, it was the poor who heard Jesus “gladly.” Did the government become their God because we didn’t go tell them of the True and Living God?
So we are going to a more European economy. Social norms far removed from the Bible are coming quickly beyond what we have now.The Supreme Court will surely go much more to the left soon. It’s unlikely we’ll support Israel as we have. And it is likely our government will grow more antagonistic toward Christianity. Persecution is more than a pessimist’s blubbering now, but with history as our guide, we know it will come. I am not a prophet, so I don’t know how rapidly it will happen. Still, I imagine many of us will see it. This is our America.
Earlier I asked what was meant by those who say “It is over.” Maybe some meant America, and we can but hang on for the ride on that count. But I want to ask if the “it” is Christianity itself? That my friends is an entirely different matter.
What has history shown us? Hasn’t Christianity always thrived in painful times? Isn’t it a parable of our individual lives as we grow the most in the cauldron of suffering? For that matter, is that why we are so upset? Christianity hasn’t been thriving in America for these long years of prosperity, but we have been living good. Is the light of God’s Word dimming a problem because it assaults the glory of God ? Or because it will hamper the easy life I’ve grown accustomed to? Are my plans being crushed the real problem for me? I mean I’m planning this nice retirement and I don’t want the government to take it. I wouldn’t either, but is the issue the plan of my God in this world? His Gospel going? His Kingdom marching on? Is my comfort level really an issue in the big picture? We are upset! Maybe we should examine the main reasons we are upset. Are you willing to be happy in a collapsed economy if it advances God’s will? Are you willing to go to an underground church if necessary? Are you willing to witness if deadly consequences follow it? We are asking questions about America today. Perhaps it is time we ask ourselves some serious questions as well.
1. Go on.
Press on serving God. Our economy may collapse, but our faith need not. Our lives are racing to standing before God. I will not answer for this country I love, just what I did in it. Particularly, I’ll answer for what I did for Him.
2. Change the Paradigm.
We must go after the younger adults whether we understand them or not. In fact, we’d better try to understand them. We better go after the people who don’t look like us and tell them of the Christ Who loves them as much as us. We must go in the cities that don’t match our taste. We have eternity for comfort. Now the work is before us!
I don’t know all the details of America’s future. I don’t how soon being a Christian will be costly. I don’t know if America will turn back to God in a great revival (which is possible!). I just know that Christianity, the real thing that is, will be just fine. No amount of hard days ahead will change it. That is, then, the state of American Christianity.
My dear wife Alicia and I have been discussing so many of these things. She is releasing a blog post simultaneously: Welfare Christians