The “most important” election (a repost)

Note: This post originally appeared on November 2, 2010. You may notice that I predicted the current election would be regarded as the “most important” election ever — and I was right. No, I am not a prophet nor the son of a prophet. I’ve just become acutely aware of how politicians manipulate people. People are effectively manipulated into action with a crisis (or the perception of a crisis). That is why politicians are always fighting a “crisis” of one kind or another. The election in 2010 was the “most important election of our lifetime.” This election is the “most important election of our lifetime.” The next election will likely be the “most important election of our lifetime.” Dear Christian, do not allow yourself to be manipulated by the rants of men who desire to whip you into a frenzy so that they may benefit from your distress. What I wrote two years ago applies today. It will probably apply in other two years. Or four.

Today — Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010 — is election day. And it is the “most important election in our lifetime.”

Really?

Again?

Before you go and label me a cynic allow me to point something out. I am a lover of individual liberty and free markets. I would prefer an extremely limited federal government that was fearful of the people rather than the federal government we now have that wields unlimited power and makes people fearful. I despise what this president and congress have done and I voted against as many of them as I could.

But…

I am growing tired of the “most important election in our lifetime” mantra. The last election was the “most important election of our lifetime.” The next election will be the “most important election of our lifetime.” And, while I am not surprised that people who have no hope beyond this world fall prey to such rhetoric, I continue to be disappointed that so many Christians do.

Christians have been encouraging one another to pray. Pray for our leaders. Pray for the elections. Pray for our country. But how do we pray?

I’m afraid many of us have been asking God to accomplish our will. We know what we want from the “most important election in our lifetime” and so we ask God to bring about that outcome. It reveals that we have grossly misplaced our faith.

We think this is the “most important election in our lifetime” because we have placed our faith firmly in the government. We are looking to the state for answers when we should be looking to Scripture. We are trusting in the election of “godly” men and women when we should be trusting in God alone. We have decided for ourselves how things ought to be and our prayers are for God to approve that which we’ve already determined is right.

This is idolatry.

Beyond that, it shows we refuse to pray as Jesus himself taught us to pray…

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. They kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”

Clearly this scares us. We don’t honestly pray for God’s will to be done because, deep, down inside, we are afraid that God’s will and our will are not the same.

What if God’s will isn’t the same as ours? What if God allows the destruction of America the way He allowed Babylon to destroy Judah?

But this is precisely why we should pray in the manner Jesus commanded — that God will conform our will to His will. That we will come to want what He wants. That we will desire His glory and His kingdom so much that we become unconcerned about the fate of a temporary, earthly kingdom — even the one in which we live.

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” — Matthew 6:33

If we do that perhaps we will stop swearing loyalty to a man-made objectmistaking nationalism for patriotism,allowing ourselves to be manipulated by the state and embracing an earthly empire over God’s kingdom.

Ultimately this election means nothing. It will neither hasten nor delay God’s plans. He will accomplish all his will exactly how and when He intends.

Don’t be distracted. God holds this election in His hand — just like every other election.

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About Chip
Chip is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. He served more than five years on the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana as Director of Communications and Public Relations, editor of the Indiana Baptist newsjournal, and regular contributor to the Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. He currently earns his living as a writer. He serves his local church as a teacher and deacon and his local Baptist Association as a Seminary Extension instructor and supply preacher.

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