Let's get to work
There is a lot of anger and bitterness out there over the election. It's more depressing than the prospect of 4 more years of Obama. Christians are looking for someone to blame: how could we vote Obama in, again? Who did this to us, we ask with indignation?
First of all, stop blaming each other.
I do not blame Ron Paul, Virgil Goode or write-in voters for losing this election, and I hope they do not blame Romney voters, either. This is the classic blunder of turning on each other when we have a bigger enemy and mission before us, the success of which rides on our working together. On that mission, read on.
Second, we have to work on our hope.
I’ll let Robert E. Lee do the talking, since my children are studying him right now in history:
“The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow and our desires so impatient; the work of progress so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope.” History is on our side. Jesus shall reign wherever the sun shines, His kingdom spread from shore to shore. Yes, it is disheartening to see a society believe and live apart from and against God. Paul saw that in Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, but it didn't stop him from speaking and persuading men.
Third, we have to work on our maturity
Fringe candidates with the right positions tend to snipe and harp in offensive ways, or hold positions that alienate a large majority. Mainstream candidates are just blah. They won’t say anything, to avoid offense. Romney lost because of this; he did not inspire turnout. He got 2 million LESS votes than McCain in 2008, and Obama got 10 million less votes in 2012 than he did in 2008. The whole country was unimpressed with the whole slate this go ‘round. But particularly, the Republicans had no good candidate to throw against an easy target. That candidate must have the maturity and gravitas to avoid making statements that alienate a majority of voters, and he must have the clearly communicated vision to grab the country’s heart. The church has yet to learn how to engage the culture like this, so how can we expect a political party to do it? Paul did this in Ephesus for two years, “so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:10).
Fourth, we have to work on our message
David Bahnsen helps us politically: “A defense of free markets and individual responsibility must be wholly rooted in what it means for the masses, and particularly the poor. The ideas of the limited government conservatives are right; the messaging is not. This is self-induced. Fix it, or be a permanent minority.” In others words, we didn’t have a winsome communicator of ideas for a candidate, and we need one or we won’t win.
Culturally, we are losing ground. Same sex marriage proposals advanced in states. Abortion was off the table as a national topic. There is a natural window of openness to talk about political and cultural things with unbelieving coworkers or neighbors right after an election. Do you know what to say? How to persuade people abortion is wrong? Have we been preaching to the choir for so long that we have forgotten how to speak to the man on the street?
Religiously: here is a great 5-minute video presentation of the Gospel. I would encourage you to have a conversation with one person this week that leads to giving them this.
We have our work cut out for us, and the labor is not in vain. Rather, we were made to do it (Eph 2:10).
"For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." Colossians 1:9-14