To set the tone before you assume you know what direction I may be going with this, my friend Domenick posted a brilliant Facebook status last night shortly after the election results had been declared.
“It amazes me that Christians believe that God showed His power to evil rulers like King Nebuchadnezzar and King Darius, and then be afraid of who wins this election.”
I think he’s right, and I read that over and over and thought, why are so many so worried? In the midst of the sarcasm that may ensue in this post, please hear my heart — I want to throw this out in the collective consciousness of however few or however many will read this and somehow get encouragement within.
Cheer up, and stir yourself up!
You have not lost your religious liberties like your brothers and sisters in 2/3s of the world. You’re still pretty darn well off financially, too. Or so say my Peruvian friends when I tell them about what is considered “poor” in North America.
You are not living in Nazi Germany during the 1930s.
You are not living under Nero when Paul wrote the admonitions he did about respecting government authorities, while his brethren were being torched and used as lights and fed to lions for entertainment.
America, you REALLY don’t have it as bad as you say you’re going to!
I will probably leave this post on the internet and if in four years I’m wrong, I’ll say so.
Sure, I think your president has been horrible, too. But frankly, this is not the end like some of my friends are indicating they think.
I realize emotions are high right now, and some people are just simply going to read the title of this post that’s enough to aggravate them and not get what I’m trying to do here. Maybe just seeing the title and the picture show up in their social media news feed irked them and they deleted it without knowing what my purpose was, and that’s fine.
I’m not writing to be controversial.
In fact, I knew that whatever happened with this election, I’d sit with a cup of coffee the morning after and write some kind of reflections on it, and here they are.
I actually began this blog post a month ago or so and was going to write a tongue-in-cheek goofy post about why I like Canadian elections better than American ones. Why the distinction? Simply because I’ve seen enough evidence that some of my friends don’t realize we are a country, and not the 51st state, nor do we take orders from the Queen of England.
I was going to mention that, for one thing, our elections are not on a fixed date — though I see the benefits of having fixed terms. In Canada, each prime minister determines the election during his term, and he ‘calls’ for an election. This can and has led to leaders calling elections when opposing parties are not ready and when it would be advantageous to the presiding leader to get re-elected with little difficulty. This has led to some terms being three years long, others five. In the last decade we’ve had governments win a minority rule, and after a year or two collapse in no-confidence votes, and we’d be back to the polls all over again, barely re-electing the same party to power and feeling the whole matter might’ve been pointless.
For Canadians, having to go the polls every two years for a number of cycles was annoying. But here’s the kicker — our campaigns only last 6-8 weeks then we move on. Also, all the parties combined don’t spend nearly the $6 BILLION to run for office that both parties in the USA did this election.
We also have more than two parties running, and I also have friends who vote differently than me, and their salvation, love of Jesus or stance on gay marriage/abortion doesn’t come into question in my mind — or theirs towards me, as far as I know (and hope!) — if we vote for different parties.
Our debates typically have four and sometimes five leaders participating in them. We do debates in French, AND English, and our per capita population of French speakers is much smaller than your country’s latino votes. We also do an animated version of the debates.
OK I made that up.
I’m just trying to say, we just don’t feel as trapped by the options available to us. I think that is one of the strengths of a parliamentary system, personally. There are flaws as well but I want to keep this shorter than to explain all the differences.
Plus, people don’t try to kill our leaders, but they try to pie them in the face when giving public speeches. No, I’m not making that up. I know it has nothing to do with elections, but I’m just trying to lighten this post up before I get to the challenge.
That being said, I remember living in North Carolina in 2004 during the Bush/Kerry election, finding it odd that it was a foregone conclusion which party you vote for if you’re a Christian.
I get it.
I’d probably vote pretty conservative if I lived in America. I do that with my votes in Canada.
I get it.
Abortion is bad.
Gay marriage is bad.
Having the government sponsor healthcare is bad. I know. The space time continuum will implode if the person the church wants to win doesn’t win.
I just want to ask a question.
No, the question is not a thinly veiled way of saying a statement in the form of a question to make some kind of point and pretend I don’t know the answer already. But, could it be that we (all of us in the West, but I’m specifically asking my friends in the US) have had it so good for so long, that having some of this change LOOKS worse than it is? Could it be that we’re so used to being so comfortable, that we’ve forgotten that much of the Church universal throughout all of history did not have it like we’ve got it, and they thrived?
Could we have forgotten that when a society or empire slips into such a state of complacency and even decadence it’s towards the end of its life and maybe, just maybe, our time is up?
I know, you’re offended that I’m saying “we” a lot, because I’m a Canadian and not an American, and as often I get told, I should shut it and I have no say. But the problem is I’m a lover of God, and I care for His Bride, and the large majority of my friends and people I’m connected to live in that nation. I DO wish for the best, not the worst. I do love history and feel if we don’t learn from it, we repeat it, and I see things and say so.
I feel your pain, even if I don’t fully understand it. Even if you’re about to slowly or rapidly lose your religious liberties, has it ever come to mind that that could be one of the best things possible for the Bride of Christ? Have you heard about how the Church is doing in creative access countries? By creative access, I also mean, persecuted or closed?
Granted, I like the idea of getting to keep all my limbs and not have my toe nails ripped off while hanging upside down from a radiator. But really almost none of us in North America have resisted to the point of bloodshed for our witness for Christ. And we probably won’t during the duration of Obama’s presidency either.
So, cheer up! You’ve survived another election cycle!
And you’re more than likely going to survive another four years of Barack Obama, too.