I Will Lift Up My Eyes... To The Election?

Posted by Jason McIntire | Jul 04, 2016

For the first time since I've been old enough to vote - in fact, for the first time in my memory - I have no plausible outcome to hope for in the presidential election. And while that's not without an upside (I can relax this summer while die-hard politicos bite their nails), it's also kind of depressing.

I follow politics in the same way some people follow sports. I've never considered it the end-all of anything to do with the real world, but I can still get pretty involved during playoff season. Only this year the playoffs went badly awry, leaving me with no one to root for, or even against. And I'm not the only one who feels that way; according to a recent poll, 13% of Americans would rather see the earth destroyed by a meteor than vote for either of the two major-party choices.

I blogged about this ironic postage stamp sighting in 2013. It's never seemed more appropriate than now.

Recently, a number of Evangelical leaders had a confab with presumptive Republican nominee Donald J. Trump. Among those present were the Benhams, a real estate family from Charlotte who got kicked off TV for blaspheming the gods of the zeitgeist. Coming out of the meeting, David Benham wrote a piece that I think every American Christian should read.

Spoiler: Benham says almost nothing about Trump. Instead, he talks about us - the Church, the people who are ultimately more responsible for this mess than anybody. Another spoiler: We didn't get into it by focusing too little on politics and too much on following Christ.

In the title of this post, I alluded to Psalm 121:1, which poses an important basic question: "From whence comes my help?" King David's answer: "My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth." If our own answer is even partly something else - anything else - then we need more help than we thought.

I plan to vote, come August and November, in such races as I feel have a possible good outcome, but I won't be waiting with bated breath for the returns from even those contests. I've volunteered a bit on a local campaign, but my life will not be ruined if the other guy wins. Same thing with our family yard sign for governor. Politics may be a small part of our civic duty, but it's not our hope, help, or identity. All those titles belong to Christ, and He never goes out of office.

Late in 2015, I prayed that God would bring about the electoral outcome most healthy for his Church, even if that were a Clinton or Trump presidency. As the certainty grows that we'll get one or the other, I'm looking for signs that God is bringing a good spiritual outcome from a bad political mess.

Sign number one: A prominent Evangelical leader writes an essay like the one linked above. I only hope we listen.

Comments (2)

  1. Michelle:
    Jul 07, 2016 at 06:46 PM

    Our family feels much the same way. I had already read David Benham's response and agreed. We would have liked to see Ted Cruz as the Republican candidate, but neither he nor our family was looking for him to be our "savior." We are trusting in the Lord (although at times we fail). Good article!

  2. Jason McIntire:
    Jul 07, 2016 at 07:43 PM

    For the record, I also liked Senator Cruz. If he had won the primary, I would be pretty excited right now. And perhaps that's the point: the more we lose hope in presidential politics, the more we'll focus on the things that really make a difference - both for ourselves and for the nation as a whole.

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