A message to discouraged Christians

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Peter Heck - Guest Columnist

Peter HeckAs Christian believers, our calling is far greater than that drawn from winning elections or gaining political power - although we are to care about such things.

So I guess it's possible that my original prediction of Mitt carrying 315 electoral votes in a presidential landslide may not pan out.  It's still early.  The lawyers haven't had their say.  But I will at least acknowledge that it's possible he won't reach that threshold.

Actually, about 8:30 as I started to see the exit polls (which admittedly have a sketchy record of accuracy), my jaw hit the floor.  It was at that point that I started to accept the reality that this wasn't going to go well.  And when Michigan and Pennsylvania were called so quickly, I texted my wife this simple, painful message: "It's over."  Granted, it wasn't yet.  But it was.  And even the most optimistic conservative could tell that a great groundswell of common sense, Christian, rational American citizens was not going to materialize.

So how do I feel?  And how do I think Christians should feel today?  I state this unequivocally: I am disappointed.  Disappointed in my country.  But I am not discouraged.  If my sense of purpose and my sense of meaning were drawn from winning elections or gaining political power I would be.  But it's not - never has been, never will be.  In the heat of an election that means so much, that truth can be lost on many people.  It's not that I don't care about the outcome of elections - I obviously do.  It's not that I don't see them as important or critical to the survival of our civilization and way of life - I obviously do.

But as a Christian believer, my calling is something far greater.  God has commanded me to be His ambassador in this crooked and depraved generation.  He's called me to stand for truth even when it feels like I'm standing alone.  He's called me to be a light in a dark world, even when it seems the darkness overshadows and envelops me.  He's called me to be righteous and faithful, and let Him handle everything else.

Ask John the Baptist about standing for righteousness in a corrupt political environment.  He was forced to preach in the wilderness, eat locust and be considered a radical nut by everyone in the "mainstream."  Did he win any great victories or influence the pop culture the way he undoubtedly wanted it to?  Did he bring down the corrupt empire and leaders he spoke out against?  No.  He got his head chopped off.  But John realized he wasn't called to win.  He was called to be faithful.  And as a result of his faithfulness, the Son of God said that of all those born of women there was no one greater than John the Baptist.

That's the kind of praise I seek.  That's the kind of praise I want.  If I influence people along the way - if me and like-minded believers influence enough of the culture to bring about social change - great.  But our purpose is not to build up treasure on earth, but in heaven.  Our calling is not to please or impress men, but God.  Our responsibility is not to compromise or sacrifice truth for the sake of political expediency, but to stand for it and boldly proclaim it no matter the cost.

That is why I am disappointed, but not discouraged.

Last night, the guy I wanted to win the presidential election lost.  But last night did not change the fact that murdering children is abhorrent and wrong.  It did not change the fact that homosexuality is a dangerous lifestyle that is spiritually and physically destructive to individuals and a depraved behavior not to be condoned.  It did not change the fact that sexual immorality and decadence is something that should be resisted.  It did not change the fact that the Biblical model of family is best for children and society.

Truth remains.  And if anything, after last night I am refocused and reenergized in my urgency to proclaim it.

Peter Heck (peter@peterheck.com) is a public high school government teacher and radio talk show host in central Indiana.

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