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Conventional Thinking: Election reflections

The 2014 midterm elections proved to be a major pendulum swing in America. Once more, voters favored one political party—this time the Republican Party—over the other. Previous years have seen the opposite, and many now wonder what is in store for 2016 and beyond.

Various Christians have wondered if this swing represents a shift back toward social conservatism after years of embraced social liberalism. Some are even calling it whispers of revival, sent by God Himself. I do not intend to rain on anyone’s parade. Instead I wish to offer these simple reflections going forward.

/// Elections have consequences

You do not have to be a political science major or a historian to know that elections matter, especially in America. Our elected officials make decisions of great significance, whether it is appointing judges or appropriating budgets. Power, they say, is the ability to create or destroy. With political power, there is great capacity for creative and destructive power, perhaps more of the latter. I commend anyone who went to the polls prayerfully and took the awesome responsibility of voting seriously.

/// Our hope is not in princes

Oklahoma has some of the finest public servants in all of the nation. Many in leading positions are some of the most godly men and women you could know, several being committed Southern Baptists. But even these people would tell you to hope in the Lord, not men. Even the greatest Congressman is but one of 435 voices. Governors are not kings or dictators who can make whatever laws they wish. While we do carry high expectations and hopes for our elected officials, let’s remember they have the same frail human nature each of us does and use that as a call to pray for them.

/// Elections come and go

At the same time, voters are finicky in their selections. In a democracy or republic, a celebrated Party or leader can be turned out of office just months after the peak of their popularity. Consider how the British population voted Winston Churchill out of power in 1945, right after he led their country to the greatest wartime victory in history. Two years from now in America, the trend could be completely otherwise. It is all the more important, therefore, to pray for God’s guiding hand over our lawmakers and with each election.

A moment ago I said our hope is not in princes. That is not really true. We do have one prince—the Prince of Peace—in Whom we place our trust.

Psalm 146:3-5 says, “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the Earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God.”

This same Jesus never needs to win an election.

Brian Hobbs

Author: Brian Hobbs

Brian is editor of The Baptist Messenger.

View more articles by Brian Hobbs.

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