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This has been the ugliest and most divisive elections in the history of this country. From a Christian perspective however, it has been even worse. As I look back over the past year, these are the saddest reflections I have for the church moving forward:
1) This election has revealed abusive pastors. The call to shepherd does not include beating the sheep of the Lord. I have seen the most absurd things said by pastors trying to convince their sheep to vote their way. I have said it before. There is ZERO biblical mandate to vote. None whatsoever. Jesus was largely apolitical. In fact, it is a far more righteous choice to refuse to compromise in voting for either of these candidates. But I have seen pastors berate their sheep that somehow they would actually be sinning if they did not vote for the person they have determined to be of a lesser brand of evil. I saw one this morning state that voting his way is how we can "repent" for voting for Obama previously. As if the Mormon was the actual choice of God in 2012. These men do not deserve their pastorships and if you attend a church where this was taught, you would be wise to leave. Anyone who is that carnal as to toss the Gospel aside for petty politics will toss it aside for anything else that rankles their flesh.
2) This election has revealed even more corruption in the Christian leadership of this country. I detailed yesterday the pay to play politics of Franklin Graham who has accepted at least $125,000 from Donald Trump for his endorsement and efforts to convince Christians to vote for him. Trump also gave $100,000 to Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. Charisma News has been completely exposed as being a shill for the GOP regardless of Biblical truth. It was bad enough to see the increasing number of false teachers and prophets they promote but this season has seen two of every three opinion articles be completely and absurdly biased for Trump. He was King Cyrus. No wait, he was Elijah. Hillary? She secretly had debilitating medical issues. There were articles that made the National Enquirer blush.
3) This election has eviscerated the church's witness for Christ for possibly a generation. I am not being hyperbolic either. Christians have been mean spirited, angry, filled with lies, and that was towards each other. There is a reason why Christ said that they will know us by our love for each other. Instead, who is going to want to listen about Jesus Christ from someone who cared so little about the truth when it came to carnal politics? There have been multiple secular reports over the past month on the rank hypocrisy of the evangelical base that cries so vociferously about morality and then supports the least moral candidate in American history.
My hope is that regardless of who wins tonight, the church will not do a victory lap nor place themselves in sackcloth and ashes. That the church will stop, reflect and repent for the role they played in the destruction of our witness. That they will for a change realize that God is still on the throne. That the church can still be the voice of unity. Unity in doctrine and a pure Gospel. Unity for refusing to be led by wolves. Unity to pray for our leaders as the Bible commands us. Unity in turning back to the Great Commission. To preach and live according to the Gospel. To truly be the shining city on a hill that Christ commands us to be. To be the salt and light that the Word of God says we are to be. To leave the carnality of politics behind us and get back to the only thing that should have mattered from the beginning -- the Gospel.