The 2012 election will be remembered in history for many reasons, and I would like to submit one for your consideration. This was the election of evangelical disengagement. Simply put, we didn’t much matter. Our core kingdom values were trampled on and we sat on our hands. Regardless of what you think of his leadership and policies, Barak Obama is a pro-choice champion, a supporter of the redefinition of marriage and an opponent of religious freedom as we know it. And he ran a twelve month campaign with no organized opposition from God’s people who claim to support life, family and liberty. Mitt Romney said almost nothing about caring for the poor and he championed an energy policy that would trash a creation already shaking under the weight of our self-indulgent lifestyles. Yet where was the collective cries of the people of God who are called to minister to the poor and steward God’s creation? In at least three states (including mine) same-sex marriage was passed in the total vacuum of evangelical voice and presence. Several more states passed the legalization of marijuana (again, including mine) with hardly a peep from people of faith.
The whirlwind we will most certainly inherit from our apathy includes a supreme court that will move sharply to the left, impacting generations to come. We will see abortion funding increased and massive legal pressure on crisis pregnancy centers. The institutions of family and marriage will never be recovered to anything that resembles the biblical norm as established by God. And we will watch as our religious freedoms continue to erode, starting with the redefinition of the first amendment as ‘freedom of worship’.
We have no one to blame but ourselves. We have let the formidable pressures of special interest groups intimidate us. We have been brainwashed to believe that we should separate our faith from our politics, that the church has no proper place in the public square, and that our theology is purely a private matter. We have too many pastors who agree with these concerns in private but don’t want to ‘politicize’ their church. What they do not realize is that their silence was a political statement and it spoke powerfully in the absence of their testimony to their faith and the courage and faithfulness to voice it where it mattered.
So where is silver lining in all of this? It depends upon the extent to which evangelicals will humble themselves, and pray and seek God’s face and turn from their wicked ways. It was to ‘My People’ that God called out these words to Israel in 2nd Chronicles. It is WE who need to repent, to confess, to be humbled, to turn and to return. It will only be through a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit that calls us to an unprecedented level of submission, obedience and faithfulness that we can rise up as God’s people and be a voice for the values of the kingdom of God in our fallen world. We must pray, but we must do more than pray. God calls us to a courageous faith that stands up and speaks out and takes risks and refuses to go silently into a continuing conformity with the values of our sin-stained culture. Prayer should gird us for action, empower us for service and compel us to love in word and deed.
Because our God is sovereign we should not lose sleep over the election, but for many of us, indeed for all of us who claim Christ as Lord and Savior, we need to repent of our inaction and accommodation. Our disengagement at this critical hour will mark this election in history. Let us vow today to re-enter the public square and take a stand for Jesus Christ and the values of kingdom of God while we still have the opportunity to do so.