The crazy 2016 presidential election is over, and Donald J. Trump is now our President-Elect. I (Matt) have heard so many differing reactions to these results—from fear to elation and everything in between—that we need to wrestle with the question, “How should a Christian respond to Election 2016?”
Whether you voted for Trump or not, whether you like the results or not, as a Christ-follower, you must pray sincerely for our 45th President (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
The Bible also commands us to “take delight in honoring one another” (Romans 12:10b). This means we should honor those who disagree with us, honor those who voted differently than we did, and honor those who are troubled by the election results. And above all, refuse to let pride, fear, or suspicion be your controlling attitude.
Here are practical suggestions for showing honor:
- Don’t assume the worst about those who voted differently than you did.
Don’t assume that those who voted for Hillary are secularists or pro-abortion.
Don’t assume that those who voted for Trump are insensitive to minorities or race issues. In a two-party system, very rarely will there be one candidate that perfectly espouses your position on the issues or your values. Voting reflects our convictions, our conscience, and the reality of the choices we are given.
For example, I know many Christ-followers who were genuinely troubled by many of Trump’s comments, but who are single-issue voters for the pro-life candidate.
- Show empathy.
Many of our African-American and Hispanic brothers and sisters are confused and fearful. I have spoken to some who have already been called names and been verbally insulted since the election. We remember that everyone is made in the image of God and we are a church for people “from all walks of life” because that is the reality and hope of the Kingdom of God. However, while awaiting the fullness of that perfect Kingdom, people’s hurts, fears, and worries must be acknowledged, respected, and heard – not minimized or disregarded.
Our commitment is to truth and justice, not to power or party. While we want our President to succeed because we love America, we must never hesitate to speak out with clarity and courage against injustice, no matter who or what party occupies the White House.
As Christ-followers, what unites us in Christ is bigger than what might divide us in our politics. We honor one another; we empathize with one another; we stand up for justice; and we remember we are ONE in Christ, united together eternally in His Kingdom.
Remember our hope is not in who occupies the White House, but in WHO sits eternally on the throne of Heaven. We do not put our hope fully in a man or woman. Do not let any current or future occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue steal or diminish the hope you have in Christ.
People are still looking for hope that does not “disappoint” (Romans 5:5). Donald Trump will disappoint us, and Hillary Clinton would have too. They are not saviors, not God, and not worthy of our hope or worship. As Christ-followers, live and share the best and most secure hope available—hope in King Jesus who reigns forever!