There are many people I know who are smart, articulate, and deeply committed to the cause of Christ. Below is a post from Dr. Scot McKnight about the election process…I’m saying here and now that I am proud to call Scot a friend…this needs to be heard by every person who follows Jesus – our hope and peace is NOT found in an election but in Christ. Scot says it better than I ever can…read and reflect!
Somewhere between 6pm and 8pm, Central Time, on November 4th, 2008,
the eschatology of American evangelicals will become clear. If John
McCain wins and the evangelical becomes delirious or confident that the
Golden Days are about to arrive, that evangelical has an eschatology of
politics. Or, alternatively, if Barack Obama wins and the evangelical
becomes delirious or confident that the Golden Days are about to
arrive, that evangelical too has an eschatology of politics. Or, we
could turn each around, if a more Democrat oriented evangelical becomes
depressed and hopeless because McCain wins, or if a Republican oriented
evangelical becomes depressed or hopeless because Obama wins, those
evangelicals are caught in an empire-shaped eschatology of politics.
Where is our hope? To be sure, I hope our country solves its
international conflicts and I hope we resolve poverty and dissolve our
educational problems and racism. But where does my hope turn when I
think of war or poverty or education or racism? Does it focus on
November 4? Does it gain its energy from thinking that if we get the
right candidate elected our problems will be dissolved? If so, I submit
that our eschatology has become empire-shaped, Constantinian, and
political. And it doesn’t matter to me if it is a right-wing
evangelical wringing her fingers in hope that a Republican wins, or a
left-wing evangelical wringing her fingers in hope that a Democrat
wins. Each has a misguided eschatology.
Now before I take another step, it must be emphasized that I
participate in the election; and I think it makes a difference which
candidate wins; and I think from my own limited perspective one
candidate is better than the other.
participation in the federal election dare not be seen as the lever
that turns the eschatological designs God has for this world. Where is
our hope? November 4 may tell us. What I hope it reveals is that:
Our hope is in God. The great South African missiologist, David Bosch, in his book Transforming Mission impressed
upon many of us that the church’s mission is not in fact the “church’s”
mission but God’s mission. Our calling is to participate in the missio Dei,
the mission of God in this world. So, at election time we can use the
season to re-align our mission with the mission of God. Therein lies
Our hope is in the gospel of God. God’s mission is
gospel-shaped. Some today want to reduce gospel to what we find in 1
Corinthians 15:1-8, while others want to expand it to bigger
proportions (and I’m one of the latter), we would do well at election
time to re-align ourselves once again with the gospel as God’s good
news for our world. Therein lies our hope.
Our hope is in the gospel of God that creates God’s people.
God’s gospel-shaped mission creates a new people of God. In fact, the
temptation of good Protestants to skip from Genesis 3 (the Fall) to
Romans 3 (salvation) must be resisted consciously. We need to soak up
how God’s gospel-shaped work always and forever creates a gospel
people. The first thing God does with Abraham is to form a covenant
people, Israel, and Jesus’ favorite word was “kingdom,” and Paul was a
church-obsessed theologian-missionary. Herein lies the challenge at
election time. We are tempted to divide the USA into the good and the
bad and to forget that the gospel has folks on both sides of political
lines. Even more: we are tempted to think that the winners of the
election are those who are blessed by God when the blessing of God is
on God’s people. God’s gospel-powered mission creates a new people, the
church, where we are to see God’s mission at work. Therein lies our
Our hope is in the gospel of God that creates a kind of people that extends God’s gospel to the world. Chris Wright’s big book, The Mission of God,
reminds us that election is missional: God creates the people of God
not so the people of God can compare themselves to those who are not
God’s people, but so that God’s people will become a priesthood in this
world to mediate the mission of God, so that all hear the good news
that God’s grace is the way forward.
Our hope is in God’s mission in this world, and that mission transcends what happens November 4th.