by Alexei Laushkin
You can watch events in Tulsa, Oklahoma or events at Hofstra University with the first debate and feel a bit hopeless. Perhaps God is actually judging America. People who aren’t prone to such language, find themselves wondering, surely now it is our turn to understand how far we have fallen.
What is the Christian to do in such times? What is the Christian who is often separated by race, denomination, and tradition supposed to think.
We are in a democracy after all, none of our founding documents are explicitly Christian. Is there any hope for America?
We can be too easily tempted to lose heart, and certainly well tempted to think that faith has no answer for such tough and temporal questions.
We are Christians, but what does Christianity have to do with our troubling times?
Christianity can’t solve the racial divides in America, because fundamentally these are problems in the human heart. Problems with decades and centuries of history and problems that have taken on many forms of injustice.
However, Christians can orient towards a new way of loving the Christian across the boundary of race. In Christ we are all new creations. Christians can seek the good and the holy in each other. Christians can empathize with circumstances that we are unfamiliar with, Christians can come up with moral vision and solutions to some of our most troubling problems, because ultimately it is the Christian that believes in hope.
Hope that in spite of injustices committed, in spite of difficulties in understanding, that through Christ there is a bright path forward and a way to live and dwell together that actually heals differences.
Might we start by honestly remembering our past? Once we understand our past, not a past of guilt or a past that should be tolerated, but an honest accounting will help us understand our current moment, than maybe we can find some ways to go forward together.
It’s probably easiest to see God’s judgment on America in our 2016 Presidential race. However we need to gain some prospective. There will still be Christians in America in 2020 and we aren’t people who do despair well.
If Christians think the public conversation is no longer worth engaging would we not be withdrawing our salt and light and hiding ourselves under a bushel?
We will face serious consequences on whoever the next President will be, but we are people of hope. We are people who believe that God’s faithfulness outlasts a particularly unhelpful ruler. We can pray for the day when the next Presidency term will be over, and everyday between election day 2016 and election day 2020 we can renew ourselves to commitment. To commit to loving the land and place that God has sent us. To dwell in that land and be people who engage with their neighbors. Not because the land is always easy to dwell in, but because faithfulness and love require a different outlook.
God’s provision and faithfulness will outlast temporary times, and given that is the case. We should orient our vision towards the heavenly city, the new Jerusalem, and in light of where we are going let us work on the inner life and the outer one in a way and in a manner that orients toward the good. Let us not grow weary as his people, for fear not, He has overcome the world.
Alexei Laushkin is a Board Member of the Kingdom Mission Society, Vice-President of the Evangelical Environmental Network, and writer of the Foolishconfidence blog. His views are his own.