As you’ve surely heard by now, Donald Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States, after what has been one of the most divisive and acrimonious presidential elections in modern memory. This is Mark Giacobbe, one of of the pastors at Citylight, and I’m writing today to consider: What does this mean for us, the church of Jesus Christ?
Well, in one sense, nothing has changed since our previous email earlier this week: as Christians we are still, as always, called to pray, engage, build up, and hope. We must pray for our President, as commanded in Scripture, whether you were for him or against him (1 Tim 2:1-2). We must pray also for our country, that wounds might be healed, and justice might be done for the poor and marginalized (Prov 29:7). We must also continue to engage with issues of concern to us as believers, making our voices heard and speaking the truth in love (Eph 4:15).
In light of how divisive this election has been, however, we want to particularly emphasize the Christian commands to build one another up and to hope. We your elders realize that some of you were pro-Trump, while others were pro-Clinton. Many others found grave problems with both candidates. But with the election behind us now, we want to encourage you, in the strongest possible terms, to place our identity as brothers and sisters in Christ first and foremost in our minds and hearts. Whether you are Republican or Democrat or neither, whether you felt the Bern or were with her or wanted to make America great again, our citizenship is first and foremost in heaven (Phil 3:20), and we are all members of one another (Eph 4:25).
Let’s live this way. Let’s be careful, in our speech and social media interactions, to love one another and bear with one another (John 13:34; 1 Cor 13:7). Let’s try to understand where someone of another perspective is coming from, especially those who are hurting, angry, or afraid, being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (James 1:9). And let’s show the world, by our commitment to truly love one another, that we are disciples of Jesus, shining like stars in the midst of a crooked and depraved generation (John 13:35; Phil 2:15).
As John Piper has recently said, every president–and America itself–will one day be just a footnote in history. All human kingdoms will fall, but the Kingdom of God will stand forever (Rev 11:15). And Scripture says that we all, of various races, nations, and languages, called out of darkness and into his wonderful light in Christ Jesus, will be priests together in this Kingdom (1 Pet 2:9; Rev 1:6).
As God’s priestly people, throughout the next four years and beyond, let’s mediate the grace of God to a broken and dying world that so desperately needs it. For in the end there is no President, no party, no system, and no leader that can put the world to rights again. Only King Jesus can do this. Let our hope be fully in this, in the redemption of the world that comes through Him. And through our prayers, words, and deeds, let’s work together to see His Kingdom come, and His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matt 6:10).
P.S. There are many good Christian leaders writing now about the aftermath of this election. For further thoughts from a trusted source, see this piece by Russell Moore.