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God Votes for Us
January 20, 2021, 9:28 AM

Dear Friends,

            As I was flipping through TV channels the other night, I paused briefly on a political show where the reporters were interviewing people’s response to the incursion at the Capitol and the following impeachment proceedings (which were yet to be voted on). One woman caught my attention, as the interviewer put the microphone in front of her, she shouted emphatically, “God Almighty had voted for President Trump!” I was kind of blown away by that pronouncement. It was obviously an affirmation of her faith and politics, which had fused together. I had to pause then to consider her statement.

            In my view, that was an anachronistic point of view. As the Thursday Bible Study group begins to study the prophet Jeremiah, this could easily have been a statement made by the Temple priests in Jerusalem about every succession of Kings who occupied the throne, “God has endorsed our king because of the covenant made by our ancestors!” Jeremiah’s entire call and message to both Judah and Jerusalem was just the opposite. God would, in fact, hold everyone accountable, Kings, priests, and citizens of Judah. Jeremiah’s message was, actually, that. Judgement was already on the way to wipe the slate clean of Judah, then later to start over. We know that divine action as the “Babylonian Captivity” or Exile.

            Consider a broader sweep of human history. How many kingdoms, empires, or countries have risen and flourished for a time and then collapsed and disappeared? How many rulers came and went from those realms that are gone, and how many more in those that have survived? To parse that a bit more, how many were good, compassionate, faithful leaders and how many more were not? Has God been involved with each one? Which ones were endorsed by God and which ones were rejected? Then, narrow that down to our American experience, was every elected president endorsed by God? Is that why they won? If a President did not get re-elected was that a sign of God’s rejection in favor of someone new? This line of theological-political contemplation is a quagmire!

            In my humble theological opinion (since I can always be wrong), God has occasionally intervened in political processes through the ages. When that happens, there is often a significant shift in power or disruption of the status quo. Good leaders and bad leaders have come and gone, yet God has always been mindful of the peoples’ faithfulness and how they respond under good and bad leadership. God has been invested with the Israelites with a focus on how they lived as a faith community, engaged with each other and with God. With the advent of Jesus in the world, the community quickly shifted away from nation-mindedness to faith community-mindedness. Christianity crossed political borders and economic stratification. The Holy Spirit empowered strangers of diverse backgrounds to find community with each other as persons called by Christ to follow.

            From that perspective, still in my opinion, God is less concerned with who sits in the White House than God is with how you and I, who claim Christ Jesus as Savior, treat one another, care for the poor and powerless, and represent Jesus as best we can in all our words and actions. I don’t believe God voted for Trump or Biden to be President! I believe God continues to vote for you and me, as well as for both men, to be stewards of faithfulness, grace, and love! 

In Christ’s service together wherever He leads,