by John Ellis
I praise God that in His kind mercies, the Holy Spirit has placed me in a church that teaches me to look to Jesus as my only sustainer and hope. Through both word and deed, the Elders of our church, as well as many of my church family, are a gentle rebuke whenever I begin to turn my eyes from Jesus and begin to look for other aid and comfort as the storms of this broken world swirl around me.
With my whole heart, I also praise God that He has made His salvation known to me. Over the last decade, especially, God has caused the enemy of my sin to turn back and to stumble and perish before His presence. I have much to praise Him for, and those moments when I forget that “the Lord sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice, and he judges the world with righteousness; he judges the people with uprightness” the Holy Spirit redirects my heart’s desires back to God.
I understand the temptation to look to men and systems of this world for salvation. The allure of relying on the might of men will always be there until King Jesus returns to usher God’s children into the final rest. But the presence of the temptation does not excuse the lack of faith in my great King and Savior that I display to the world whenever I allow earthly concerns and fears to drown out my witness of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Sadly, over the last few years, as those who hate the Gospel of Jesus Christ have mounted explicit attacks against God and His word, the Church has given away much ground in our collective hearts to fear. Being forced to the very edge of the public square is frightening for those of us who have become accustomed to being one of the loudest voices in the din of America’s multiculturalism. Instead of responding in faith and turning our eyes fully to Jesus, we have continued to demonstrate to our unbelieving neighbors that our trust is in concepts like conservative political ideology and American exceptionalism. This has never been more apparent than in the run-up to this past Tuesday’s election and the rhetorical aftermath.
For my writing job (which isn’t this blog), I spend more time than I enjoy scouring the internet in order to be better attune to the public pulse than my Facebook newsfeed provides me. One of the things that I’ve noticed, on my Facebook newsfeed and out in the wide world of the internet, is that many professing Christians have abdicated their job of promoting Jesus as the savior of the world and, instead, are now busy promoting Donald Trump as the savior of, well, people who think like them. Often, rudely and crassly, I might add.
There should only be one “us versus them” mentality that Christians promote – those who are in Christ and those who are not. But, that “us versus them” mentality should also include the recognition that apart from Christ “us” is “them;” and, placing their faith in Christ makes “them” part of “us.” As King Jesus told us, that will anger “them” without any help from “us,” because the natural bent of the human heart is towards rebellion against their Creator. Adding a taunting “us” versus “them” in regards to American politics drives an unbiblical wedge between the gospel witness of the Church and unbelievers. Make no mistake, much of the current dialogue coming from professing followers of King Jesus is mean-spirited taunting.
The amount of racist, misogynistic, and mean-spirited comments and memes from professing Christians that have not only sullied my own Facebook newsfeed but the internet as a whole is shameful. Whether you believe that their fear is justified or not, there are many people in this country who are frightened because of the election’s outcome. They are hurting; their own salvation has been ripped from them, and, from their perspective, they are facing an immediate future of uncertainty. Instead of taking the opportunity to demonstrate love and grace by extending the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it appears that American Christians are instead kicking mud in the face of their vanquished foes. If this applies to you, fellow Christian, shame on you!
One of the things that I’ve been praying for, is that God would turn His peoples’ hearts back to Him. While not desiring persecution, I was hopeful that an obvious continued shift in certain cultural mores away from those of the Bible would produce a robust longing in the hearts of American Christians for the Kingdom of God to expand in their own hearts and in the hearts of their neighbors. Instead, it appears that Americans who claim to be Christians are busy promoting the spread of political ideology over the spread of the Kingdom of God. My prayer now is that God will use this time to clearly separate His children from those who only claim to be because of cultural pressures and concerns. My prayer is that God will make it crystal clear to unbelievers in America the difference between cultural Christianity and the true followers of King Jesus who are dedicated to the spread of the gospel in love and grace.
Many of us need to repent of our unloving and ungracious response to scared unbelievers. Many of us need to repent of squandering an opportunity to share the good news that full and final salvation can only be found through faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and not in either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Instead of “liking” and sharing memes that compare Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign to an abortion or that mocks the tears of frightened Image Bearers, we should seek ways to promote God’s kingdom through loving and gracious words and deeds. Remember, Christian, apart from Christ, there go you.
Soli deo Gloria
 Adapted from Psalm 9:3.
 Psalm 9:7-8
 For the record, my quibble isn’t with either of those two things. Politically, I consider myself a conservative in the vein of Edmund Burke and the Augustine humanists. And, I believe that there is much truth in the claims of American exceptionalism. But, my hope isn’t/shouldn’t be in either of those concepts. And I should never promote those at the expense of my gospel witness.
 My methodology isn’t necessarily objective, I get that (although, I do frequently look at a variety of public polls). But, to be fair, I am an opinion writer. My goal is to pay attention to voices and outlets that aren’t necessarily in my immediate circle. Hopefully, I’m allowing my opinions to be shaped by a much larger swath of the culture than is represented on my newsfeed and/or specific interests.
 I sadly confess that I am not immune from this. However, my hypocrisy doesn’t alter the truth that we should promote Jesus first and foremost. By God’s grace, I am frequently called to repentance by the loving admonition from members of my church family and the work of the Holy Spirit.