Like most Americans last night, I followed the election coverage. At first, it was intermittent and only via social media because I was sure that I was sure what would happen and so it was simply a matter of when and not if and I didn't need to hear people talk about the inevitable when Netflix was so readily available.
But then something happened...
I saw posts on Twitter that showed Trump leading in Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Iowa, places that I never would have imagined going to that man.
Netflix? I'll come back to you. Anderson? Wolf? Tell me what's going on.
In all honesty, I don't know how I felt about what I was watching nor do I really know how I feel right now the next morning. It was kind of like watching a NASCAR pile up. You know it's not really good but 99/100 the people involved end up being ok and you can't really take your eyes off the cars flipping and the metal flying. Mesmerized is a good description.
Is this really taking place? Is the country REALLY about to elect Donald Trump? I mean, hasn't the populace pretty much embraced the Democratic Party's platform and all it entails with open arms? Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose right?
Trump the Aberration aside, Vice-President elect Pence is a conservative Republican for whom I would have been proud to vote the top of any ticket.
Why??? Surprise, I'm an evangelical Christian. I'm staunchly pro-life/anti-abortion. I believe in religious liberty. Do what you want, think what you want but please don't force me to participate in what I believe is sin in order to live my life, raise my children, and earn a living.
Republicans now control the House of Representatives. They control the United States Senate. They occupy 31 out of 50 governorships and 31 out of 50 state legislatures (thank you Wikipedia). If not for Trump, that would be THE story. It's simply astonishing. It would have been astonishing 30 years ago but today? Are you kidding me???
I say this as someone who was not ok with what I thought but this isn't the America in which I thought I lived. Do I have an opinion for why this happened? Why yes, I do.
Those of us who do not live in either the northeast or the west coast do not like condescension. We don't appreciate being talked down to nor do we want to be told what's best for us whether we like it or not. That is the overwhelming view of the "Right," about the, "Left."
"We know what's best with respect to the climate, to taxes, to education and what your kids should be learning in schools. We know what's best for your diet and your behavior and your beliefs and if you want to disagree, feel free but you better keep it to yourself or you'll find it hard to buy food."
I'm generalizing but that's why this happened. People only want debate when everyone agrees with them about what's most important to them. They're for patriotism when their side won and subversion when they lose. The same people who are screaming this morning would have been clamoring for unity and for people to, "move on," had it gone the other way. Civil debate is dead.
That's why this happened. We don't actually respect the opinions of others. Those who know best want the rest to get in line and last night, the rest said no.
So what now?
I'm grateful that our system of government is what it is. I think Trump is a reprehensible human being and thankfully there are non-violent measures in place to deal with such a person if they act reprehensibly.
We did not elect a king. We elected a president in a system of checks and balances. The government can be sued and we have an independent judiciary to deal with it when that happens. It's genius really.
I'm embarrassed because I think he's an awful person to have as the face of this country on the world stage but I would have been embarrassed with Mrs. Clinton as well and, in all honesty, most of the world's leaders are scum. We just don't like to be impolite.
Having said that, life will go on. Even if you can't stand the top, always remember that you can work from the bottom up. Local government will always have the greatest impact on your local life and that will forever be far more accessible than the presidency.
So what now church?
Truthfully? Nothing has changed. It is my conviction that people still need Jesus. Sin is real (do we really still question that?) and it's a problem which we must face. God solved it for us in the person and work of Christ and that's a message those around us need to hear.
The church's marching orders have not changed. Her mission is the same. The responsibilities I have today are the same as I had yesterday and they're the same as I will have tomorrow.
God's purpose for His people is that they be conformed to the image of Christ and it is my belief that the results of last night are NOT the oasis some might think. We will be pruned but that will be good and while I do not like pain, I welcome the work of God in my life and my prayer is that you will do the same.
God bless you and God bless the United States of America not because He must or because He owes it to us but because He is gracious and we are in need of His mercy.