Along with every other sub-cultural group, Christians are putting up lots of advice to their fellows on how we should behave and not behave in the wake of the latest boot-in-the-face American election (I’m still recovering. Can you tell?)
First, from Rick Phillips at Reformation21: Five Christian Responses to the 2012 Election:
For many conservative Christians, the electoral defeat of 2012 will urge a reevaluation of political strategy. The problem with this approach is that the moral degeneracy of America did not happen in the voting booth but in the living room, the classroom, and the marketplace. I would urge that alarm over the moral catastrophe of this recent election should be expressed not in the Christian political posture but in the way actual Christians relate to the culture and to non-Christian people we know.
His recommended responses include this, a stark reminder that believers are going to have to make some hard choices very soon:
2. Refuse to compromise on Christians standards even at the cost of persecution. Christian employers must refuse to purchase abortion-providing health care plans, even at the cost of their livelihoods. Christian military officers must refuse to promote homosexual behavior to their soldiers, even at the risk of courts martial. Christian campus groups must refuse to adopt tyrannical non-discrimination codes when it comes to Christian values and doctrines, even at the risk of being kicked off campus. Christian pulpits must speak with a bold prophetic voice as to the moral consequences of a degenerate America, even at the risk of imprisonment for “hate speech.” In short, if we want America to take Christian truth seriously, we must take a costly stand for Christian truth and morality in a way with which the world will have to reckon.
Ed Stetzer offers a list of his own, including:
1. We must face the reality that we may be on the losing side of the culture war. For decades, the “religious right” has focused its energies on winning the day through political means. But this year, voters in more than one state appear to have clearly passed referenda supporting gay marriage. This marks the first time for any state to legalize same-sex marriage by the expressed will of the people rather than through court rulings or legislation. While this certainly does not mean we should stop legal or political efforts completely, it does mean that we should begin thinking about what it looks like to be the church in a “post-culture war” era. We need to be prepared to defend the protection of religious liberty as we move into the future.
If we suffer political defeat like those who have no hope but politics, we do not even commend ourselves, let alone the God who hung the moon and stars. But if we grieve as those who hope in the return of the King, those who trust in flawed politicians may one day see our good deeds and praise our Father in heaven. Jesus did not give his life so we could watch cable news as if our lives depended on it. Jesus submitted to death ordered by rulers so we might never fear them. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Pet. 2:24.)