The election is on November 3: decide now how you’ll respond. On one level, it doesn’t seem like any of us knows what to expect when the election is over. On another level, we all know exactly what to expect. There’s going to be division, gloating, outrage, cries of injustice and rigging, anger, joy, mourning, celebration, and so much more. That’ll be the case if we find out on November 3 who wins. It’ll only be intensified and mixed with more accusations and angst if the election is undecided for days, weeks, or months after election day.

So how are you going to respond to all of this?

If you’ve been the Political Jackass, you’ll either find your hopes dashed or realized. You’ll either fall into anger, lashing out and explaining how ignorant and idiotic the Winner and his supporters are, or you’ll launch into a triumphant euphoria, realizing that everything is going to be okay now that your political goals are likely to be achieved.

I’m sorry to state it so bluntly, but both responses are stupid. Both stem from a jackassery wherein our hope is not most fundamentally in Jesus but in a this-worldly system of gain and triumph that is transparently an alternative religion. We use religious terminology for our political jackassery, which reveals the idolatry at the root of our political polarizations. It’s not that we can’t be principled voters who stand in conviction. I’m arguing that if we’re pledging allegiance to a political party or a candidate, then our allegiance is not ultimately in Jesus. If we’re pledging allegiance to one nation over another, our faith is somewhat shallow. Does that sound harsh? Consider this:

Matthew Bates frames faith as allegiance in his book Gospel Allegiance, and I think he’s right to do so. So pledging allegiance elsewhere is at least close to putting our faith in something or someone other than Jesus.

“How will you respond to the completed election? Decide now. There’s no reason to be surprised by the fallout of this thing.”

If your allegiance/faith is in a candidate that wins, you’ll be over the moon thrilled to the point that it will either manifest in relief, gloating, or some other form of euphoria. If your allegiance/faith is in a candidate that loses, you’ll be devastated to the point that it will either manifest in anger, depression, or some other form of dysphoria. But if your allegiance/faith is in Jesus, then the results of an election couldn’t possibly rock you very deeply.

If your faith/allegiance is primarily in Jesus, then your response to the completed election will have more to do with your feelings of compassion for other people than about your political goals being achieved or dashed. Win or lose, you’ll see people’s laid-bare hopes and disappointments as an opportunity to disciple them toward Jesus and all of the healing and hope that he offers.

So how will you respond to the completed election? Decide now. There’s no reason to be surprised by the fallout of this thing. If we renounce Jackass Politics now, we can be perfectly poised to help other people counterbalance in the wake of the coming train wreck and find ways to move forward together in a beautiful hope.

Mark has been serving in pastoral roles for over 15 years. After a decade in various teaching and administrative roles at Eternity Bible College, Mark now works with Ryan as an associate pastor in Sacramento, California. His books include Resonate: Enjoying God’s Gift of Music and the New York Times bestseller Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples, which he co-authored with Francis Chan. This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. There are costs associated with running the blog. These links help to cover overhead.

4 COMMENTS

  1. My response will be walking around for a bout a month speaking as if my every word was potentially a footstep on a land mine. The Christians i know are going to be so butt hurt at Trumps loss and the loss of the Senate, I dare not speak a careless word for fear I will send them over the edge.

    As for me, I have been disillusioned into utter ambivalence by both sides.
    will not be voting for president.

  2. Mark, if you think your vote doesn’t matter, then the propaganda work of the right wing liars and the Russian psychological propaganda
    warfare machine was quite successful.

    There’s evil, and there’s imperfect. Evil wants you to believe that these two things are equal. And that is the root of apathy, of indifference: that it doesn’t matter what you do.

    it’s far easier to make someone believe lies, than it is to convince someone that they’ve been lied to.

    Which Yeshua do you prefer, by the way- classical, or Republican?

  3. Mark, the focus on our kingdom citizenship is key. That our politics has become a surrogate religion is revealed in the quality of blind faith most hold (we have to choose blindness on so many things in order to align with any politician or party in our day). Perhaps helpful is the decision I’ve made to no longer vote for persons. I will vote for what I believe to be the package of policies that best reflect biblical peace, hope, mercy, and compassion. So I WILL vote for a President, and no matter who wins, I will rest in my High King of Heaven.

  4. I see your point but think there is room to lament the results of the election without the stigma of idolatry. Lament is a holy response to a broken world, lost in the preferred narrative of the American church. Let us sit in the pain, feel the disappointment and cry out to God. I think this is important part of God healing our hearts and helping us release resentment and forgive.

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