Preaching Before Elections
I visited several churches last weekend as part of a class trip with Great Lakes Christian College. I was impressed overall with how they handled the election. There was no party promotion, whether subtle or overt. There were no signs of panic—only trust in God and his coming kingdom. That said, I would remove one thing from what I heard and then add one thing.
I would remove the word “ultimate.” It is true that our ultimate trust is in God. But using that language leaves the door open for our penultimate trust to be in our rulers. Why not just say that we trust God and we don’t trust human rulers? Adding the world “ultimate” doesn’t strengthen that statement; it weakens it.
Missing from both presentations was the nowness of God’s kingdom. We shouldn’t get hung up on elections not only because the kingdom to come will replace them all, but because (a) God’s kingdom has already begun in Jesus, (b) we have already entered into that kingdom and currently enjoy the stability and abundance of God’s kingdom people, and (c) the old orders of this world have already begun to pass away.
The candidates in this election have certainly made a spectacle of themselves in ways that are painfully obvious to everyone. But, as Christians, we confess that 2000 years ago, Christ already disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a spectacle of them, triumphing over them in the cross (Col 2:15). And we embrace our God-given role to make known to the rulers and authorities God’s wisdom in its rich variety through the witness of the church’s life together (Eph 3:9-10).