Election day: politics matter but not as much as we think

Another election day.

A day when millions of Americans will breathe a sigh of relief and think “Ok, maybe it’ll be ok,” and where millions of other Americans will be despondent and thinking “It’s over. This was our last chance.”

It’s utter nonsense.

Certainly, this stuff matters.

But it’s not all that matters.

Political ads play to our fears, not to our hopes. They try to scare us. The media does the same thing. We hear how this is the most important election in history.

Regardless of who wins and who loses, the sun will come up tomorrow, the people who matter in your life will still love you, you’ll still eat, you’ll still have water.

We spin elections as if millions of people will die if a certain party loses.

Politics matters. But don’t base your life around politics.

Let’s say your side wins tonight. Hurray! And I’m sure you can tell me several reasons why the world will be better, the crisis will be averted, life will continue to exist.

But it’s interesting to me how often people end up disillusioned and disappointed with their own candidates. I know, I know, “at least they’re not the other guy, they’re better than them.”

My point is that if you put your hope in politicians, they will fail you and disappoint you. They’re not the your hope for a better world.

For Christians, I think we can be just as susceptible as the rest of society of falling into the trap of political idolatry.

Over the next two years, there will be issues relating to religious freedom, the rights of the unborn, and other social issues matter. Christians should have a concern and an  interest relating to these subjects. But we should not lose sight of God in the big picture.

We must keep in mind that regardless of what happens in this (or any other election), God is in control. He is sovereign over his creation. He is working his plans throughout the nations and throughout history. That should be a comfort.

In the Bible, you see many wicked kingdoms. You see nations who were idolatrous and blasphemous. It obviously wasn’t good. But God still worked through those nations. The hope for the world is the gospel, and that can be shared regardless of politics. Even in places which are hostile to the gospel, the message cannot be silenced.

Laws merely reform behaviors. They don’t transform souls.

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Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.

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