As all my readers are probably tired of hearing by now, in the United States we have an election coming up this week. Here are some of my thoughts.
The country has many deeply-rooted problems—possibly the only point on which all sides can agree, as far as I can see. But even what those problems are is a matter of great disagreement, with each side claiming that one thing their opponents highly prize is an evil not to be borne and another their opponents condemn is an essential part of a free nation’s way of life. And “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”
Most readers probably know by now which issues I’m primarily thinking of, and my position on them. But that’s not the point—these issues, and even the “gridlock” and partisan acrimony, are only symptoms. (Symptoms which are likely to get worse, as a serious study of history and of the Old Testament Scriptures would seem to indicate, but that’s still not the point.) What we need is a cure of the root problem.
The real problem is, as always, sin. And thus the only possible solution, as always, is the grace of God. Therefore we ought to humble ourselves and repent—of our own particular sins, and of the sins of which we by our part in electing leaders share some responsibility, as well as those we have publicly deplored and condemned for years (cf. Lewis’s essay on “The Dangers of National Repentance, e.g. unpacked in this blog post I found)—and pray (I pray daily now that God will set over us the leaders we need, rather than the leaders we deserve), and preach the whole gospel in hope that our countrymen might also repent.
In short, we ought to do our duty, as laid out for us in Scripture. But the success or failure of our efforts rests in God’s hands. It may be that, as in the days of Josiah or of Jonah, God will relent and spare us from the great disaster we justly deserve, or it may be that, as in the days of the apostles, the nation will be ruined despite every proclamation of the gospel for repentance. “Man proposes, God disposes.” It is in his hands, and we can trust him with absolute certainty; it remains but to us to do our duty.