So, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of months, you know that America will be taking to the polls to vote for a new President in November. Okay, maybe you didn’t know that but I’m sure you are completely aware that Donald Trump is running for President. This election cycle has brought a couple of issues to the forefront of political debate. We have Bernie Sanders staging a revolution, Hillary Clinton making women across America define feminism and some questionable soundbites from the Republican candidates. I have always been interested in Politics (minor understatement – my degree was in Politics) but this is the first presidential election I’ve witnessed firsthand as I now live in America. All I have to say about the American political system is that it’s crazy challenging. At least it is when you’re a Christian and you are trying to decide who to vote for/if you should vote at all. I can’t vote in America so it’s actually been really interesting to observe the campaigning from an objective (and non-scholarly, thank God!) point of view. Here’s my take so far:
- I don’t understand why Americans are still debating health care. Why on earth should you need insurance to see a doctor? Americans seem to think that it’s “socialist” (that’s a dirty word out here) to give everyone free healthcare. Um. That’s normal in almost all developed countries around the world America and we haven’t sunk into communism, so I’m still baffled. #FixIt
- Campaigns run on all types of issues, which is great! It’s a real attempt at democracy and allowing the people to have their say on how they should be governed. Only. There’s not much choice. If you’re pro-life, for example but you believe in more liberal economic policies, there’s no one to represent you in either parties. You have to choose between your beliefs and economic reforms that could positively affect your life.
- American Christians be getting mad, bruh (yeah, I’ve lived here for two years I can NoCal quite well, thank you very much) and I don’t understand why! This is not a theocracy people! America is not a Christian nation. Don’t stone me for saying the truth, please – I’m just calling it as I see it. Yeah it would be great to have a true, authentic believer in the White House as a President and who knows? Maybe it will happen one day (last election cycle a black man was voted in so miracles do happen, can I get an amen?) BUT as it is, this county does not run on biblical principles. The American government is under no obligation to do as the Bible says. So don’t get butt hurt when un-biblical laws are passed. Expect them and know that the church should exemplify God’s standard not the legislative (1 Cor 5:12-13). Simples.
- Similarly, if you’re a Christian and you’re trusting in the government for change or to make the world a better place, your trust has been misplaced, my friend. As a good friend of mine told me, “Our hope should lie in the person of Jesus Christ, and everything we do to change society should flow from a place of abiding with Him. There’s no doubt the government will let us down.” No one would say that the government is a perfect institution and given that it serves the interests of many, there’s no way it can serve Jesus’ alone. Although we can use governmental processes to further the cause of the gospel, our hope cannot be in it.
- Finally, if you’re really engaged in this election process but, in retrospection, you find that you haven’t spent much time praying about what gives you concern then it may be time to get on your knees.
I found myself in this position last week. There are a couple of social issues and injustices that I can get worked up over (gender equality, #blacklivesmatter) but I realised I haven’t been praying about these issues even though prayer is our greatest weapon. If we really want to see change, we should take it to Jesus in prayer. Same goes for the election. You don’t like Donald Trump? Pray about it.
Love Deborah xxxx