I know a lot of Christians who are reveling this week in the Massachusetts surprise election of Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate. This has the potential to be the worst thing to happen to Christians in America in a very long time.
So many of the pundits and Republican leaders touted Mr. Brown’s victory as a hopeful sign of things to come. “Look how the American people rallied to defeat the elitists in the bluest of the blue states. Look how conservatives can take back Washington. Just you wait until November 2010 when we will all be able to shout for joy around the whole US because if a Republican can win in Massachusetts, they can win any seat in the Senate!” Of course I’m paraphrasing but that’s clearly been the sentiment the past few days.
Here are some of the problems:
The people who are most elated now are the same ones who were most despondent after President Obama won the White House and Democrats got the large majorities in both houses of Congress. God was on His throne a year ago and He’s on his throne now. Different reactions to the course of human events based on our preferences of the outcomes show an incredible lack of faith in God’s loving sovereignty.
I agree that the country will be far better without the malignant healthcare bill that was being proposed. It cost a fortune and didn’t solve any of the real big problems. But Christians ultimately shouldn’t care so much about how people get healthcare. They should care whether whatever happens provides more or less access to the Gospel. It ultimately doesn’t even matter if in opening doors for the Gospel it creates harder times for Christians. We are called to suffer as Christ suffered. The question we should be asking isn’t whether universal healthcare will bankrupt America, but how we can exploit the political system to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified, even as Paul did by appealing his treatment to Caesar so he could give the Gospel to Nero.
Another reason for concern is that the elation for Mr. Brown does show where many professing Christians have their hope. Washington was not our hope when George Bush was the President and it’s not our hope now. Our hope is the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). Civil governments will come and go but Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forevermore.
Many Christians not only have put their hope in Washington politicians, but in what can happen in November 2010. This is a sign that people who think like us (most of whom are not genuine Christians) are rallying to a cause we believe in! Yippee! What if November 2010 never comes? What if Jesus comes back in October. Will all the work they are pouring into a political campaign in produce for them crowns of glory that they will lay at our Lord’s feet? Will Jesus look at them and say “Well done good and faithful servant. I called you to be the salt and light of the world and to redeem the days and you did such a great job getting Republicans elected.” I honestly don’t think so.
If Christians keep their eyes on a conservative political uprising we will see less focus on the Gospel and less urgency to be ones who bring good news to a world that is dying from their love of sin, not of Democrats. I will be praying that Christians keep their eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of their faith and not on politicians.