The presidential election is over and in an outcome that stunned most, Donald Trump is the 45th president of the United States. Regardless of political, religious, economic or ethnic differences, virtually everyone agrees that this political season has dredged up pain and disgust. So what should our church do?
First, we will pray for President-elect Trump. We are committed to biblical principles and practices. It is clear in scripture that we are to pray for those "who are in high position" (1 Tim. 2:1-2) and to "give honor to whom honor is due" (Romans 13:7). We pray, beginning today, that he will govern well. We pray that he will unify. We pray that his governance will be marked by justice for all.
Second, we will continue to embrace what missionary Jim Elliott called, "our strangerhood." There are many followers of Jesus who no longer feel at home in either the Republican and Democratic political parties as those parties now seem to be trending. But this is not necessarily a bad thing. The illusion of political power has not been good for us and was never the way of our Lord, Jesus. We are not part of a political coalition or movement. Instead, we are part of a Family--the church of Jesus Christ. We are part of a Mission--the mission of Jesus Christ. "Strangerhood" in the ways of this world and in the power structures of this world has historically been the way of this family and this mission.
Third, we will remember who we belong to--we belong to Jesus Christ. As others have said, we are not primarily Democratic or Republican, conservative or progressive. We are not even just the United States of America. We are the church of the resurrected and triumphant Jesus Christ. While we pledge allegiance to the flag, we pledge higher allegiance to the cross. Our first cry is not "Hail to the Chief" but "Jesus is Lord!"
Finally, a few things will be at the forefront of our prayers and work:
1) we will work for justice for all because we belong to the entire body of Christ. What matters to black, Hispanic and Asian Christians who have felt pulled and torn must matter to white Christians. Conversely, what matters to white Christians who have felt pulled and torn must matter to black, Hispanic and Asian Christians. We all belong to Christ; we all belong to one another.
2) We will continue to be the conscience of our culture and stand against all that is unjust and anti-Christ in our culture. Every ideology now recognizes cultural decline and unraveling. Our issues are real and serious, whether they be racism, poverty, dissolution of family, sexual disarray, and so forth. Instead of cowering in fear or turning away from our community, we will point toward the values of the Kingdom of God and the ways of Jesus Christ.
3) We will be vigilant for religious liberty. We will stand for the freedom of religion from politics. We will stand for the freedom for all in this country to practice religion.
The way ahead will show what else it means to be the church of Jesus. Regardless of what it means we will continue to seek first the Kingdom of God and to work for the healing and restoration of our culture and world.