Whether you supported him or not, the election is over and Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States of America.
We can debate the process and the winner or loser all day long, but the most important thing to remember is that the world will be looking at how Christians react. God will hold us all accountable for our actions.
The question for Christians is this: As we are left in the aftermath of a long and divisive election, what do we want to be known for?
What if Christians were known for generosity, empathy, and our ability to disagree with kindness and love for one another (John 13: 34–35). It’s likely that we can all agree on these qualities being critically important.
As we all reflect, here are ten thoughts from pastors and leaders on how they think the church should respond…
“So it’s up to us to believe — to stand in courageous faith — that good things will happen. Policies might not be what we want them to be, but hearts can be turned toward God. Policies don’t matter when we submit to the authority of God.”
“The Bible commands us to pray for “all who are in high positions” (1 Tim. 2:1–2). Moreover, the Scripture tells us to give “honor to whom honor is due” (Rom. 13:7). Many of us have deep differences with our new president, and would have no matter which candidate had been elected, but we must pray that he will succeed in leading our country with wisdom and justice.”
“This election has dominated our collective psyche for more than a year. Now it is over and we can move on to other productive pursuits. The election was extremely divisive and highlighted differences far more than unity. Way too much time has been devoted to negativity and that can now change. We need to pivot towards a more positive perspective.”
“I have no hope in the Democratic Party. Before you Republicans start doing back flips, I have zero hope in the Republican Party. The only hope for this country is God,” — Franklin Graham.
“As our fellow citizens attempt to solve our political problems, the American church has the opportunity stand with the tradition of the saints and the gospel we love. Our spiritual needs will never be met by politics, and no amount of political reform will change that. The best way for our nation to get the politics it needs is for us to become the kind of people our politics needs.”
“We need to remember that Trump voters are not Trump… Avoid the temptation of further division. In fact, we should be doing the exact opposite, by working proactively to mend fences and unite. This isn’t the time to point fingers and say “I told you so,” or to assign blame. We need each other more than ever, and the lines that divided us over these last few months cannot be allowed to grow deeper.
It is time to heal, and remember that we are called to forgive even the deepest slights. No matter what side of the aisle we were on — or even if we were sitting on the sidelines or in the middle — we all wanted something better for our country these past 18 months. But we seek a different and better place altogether, and we stand united in that.”
“We need to heed John’s admonition to be salt and light no matter the outcome of this election. Remember, the Bible says they will know we are Christians by our love, not by how we vote for president.”
“Seen from the throne room, Election Day and Inauguration Day are opportunities to remember the unelected King, regardless of whether they produce the outcome we desire. The only inauguration that ultimately matters occurred 2,000 years ago, when the Emperor of the cosmos showed up in the flesh to launch an Empire without end.”
“The Church is in a perfect position to respond to the most disheartening presidential campaign in recent history. Seriously, folks, we have to see this opportunity.”
“This election was indeed about a referendum on what kind of people and country we want to be. It was a battle, like all elections, of competing visions. That competition affects us all in time. What really matters is how well we pay attention to those affects on people “not like us.” Selfishness is easy. Celebration in victory requires no character or effort. The true test will be whether we can celebrate what we think is good while also protecting against what we think is bad.”