For the better part of my Christian life, I have lived in a conservative household. Now this may seem rather logical, but you’d be hard pressed to find many conservative Latinos around, even within a Christian context. I pass through my Facebook feed every now and then, and see a number of my friends actively doing everything in their power to convince their online mutual acquaintances that Trump is the incarnation of Satan (or some other equivalent form of unrefined evil).
I’ve seen with my own eyes how this political race, which should have been a form of alleviation for the general American populace (with respect to our most recent troubles), has devolved into something where consciousness is thrown out the window and only the loudest and most extreme groups on either side have a say in what will happen in the next four years of our nation.
And yet, we are supposed to take this election seriously and fulfill our American-Christian duty to vote for one of the two evils with no end to their questionable pasts.
I understand that voting is a responsibility that comes part and parcel with being a citizen of this nation. But to say that I absolutely must vote for either of these people to represent us on a national and international level, when they have not been able to represent themselves in any form of favorable light until now is a daunting prospect, to say the least.
I am comforted, though, by some choice words from my professor while I was at LABI College (Latin American Bible Institute).
My professor and I were having a conversation about some of the issues that the nation was facing. We weren’t seeing exactly eye-to-eye, but we respected and acknowledged the validity of each other’s perspective. Finally, I asked him something along the lines of: “Isn’t it our duty as Christians to vote for those policies and people that align themselves most closely with the church?” His response: “We should stop trying to bend earthly governments to the will of the church.”
As the church or simply as people who believe that Christ ultimately has the last word on the motion and destiny of our nation, we should also believe that we have no need to fear the outcome of an election. No matter how bad it may seem, everything is still in the Lord’s hands.
Honestly, there is no reason to expect a non-Christian institution (such as the federal government) to fulfill the same will that the Christian church aspires to. In other words, we can’t try to save America through “voting Christian-ly”. America, like any other nation, is still part of a world that Christ needs to redeem on His own terms, terms that don’t rely on a couple of votes or the legislatures of government.
I believe that once we understand this, we will understand that no matter who wins this election, God’s will is still in motion—even if you don’t vote at all.
Now, for those of you who are going to vote, I only have one piece of advice for you to take before you cast your ballot: Pray.
Pray for wisdom. Pray for mercy on our nation. Pray for grace from God. Pray that our next leader can take steps in the right direction.
In God’s name, we believe, entrust and pray. Amen.