In the way things have worked out I happen to be in North Virginia with our friends at Sterling Park Baptist Church during what turned out to be the momentous presidential election. Here are 4 observations on those events from this side of the pond.
- The UK media paint a different picture of Clinton to that held by many US Christians. While I’ve not met many fans of Trump it’s fair to say that lots of people here were very suspicious of Clinton. Not just because of the email scandal which was in our news but also because of her views on abortion, especially her support of the horror that is partial birth abortion. Much of that was new to me and seemed to escape the UK media coverage.
- Democracy has shown us again how the rapid liberalisation of our cultures is not universally supported. The surprising result in the UK election, Brexit and now the US presidential election show us if nothing else that there are significant parts of our society that don’t share the views of the mainstream media. There’s no reason our media should represent all views equally but clearly it hasn’t won the argument in the way that it thinks it has, Trump knew that, the rest of us were shocked. Away from the election issues that also means that as a Christian I should not be afraid to share the gospel with confidence knowing that when people on the TV tell me that every thinking person is an atheist they may well be wrong.
- Christians can say they trust God when they don’t mean it. This year I have travelled to places where citizens routinely (and with good reason) don’t trust their police or their governments. Christians I’ve met in those places steadily preach Christ and long for heaven with a clarity that often escapes those who think that trusting God and building heaven on earth are compatible positions. I wonder if some of the apocalyptic and hysterical social media reactions show that we have much to learn from them.
- The unifying power of the gospel is unique in our world. Fear of minorities, shock and disbelief at the views of others, bitterness, and anger are what happens when God is usurped and replaced. We really have become the fools of Romans 1 who think we know what we’re doing but show otherwise at every turn. Into that world is preached the good news of a real saviour who has the unique power to reconcile God and humanity and humanity with one another. Praise God and come Lord Jesus!