Or maybe Republican. Or Libertarian. Okay, I have no idea how Jesus would have voted in our last election. I have friends who strongly believe Jesus would have supported a certain candidate or a certain party. I’m not so sure. Jesus never identified with a political party or group. He really didn’t talk much about government. It wasn’t that he was opposed to anyone being involved in civic affairs; he just had a focus on something so much more important.
Did you catch that last sentence? It’s a little hard to believe with all of the hype, but there is something more important than the midterm elections. I’m writing these words on Tuesday afternoon. I voted during my lunch break, then returned to my office. On the drive back, I thought about all the time, effort, and money that has been spent on this election. The previous evening, our oldest daughter announced to me and Katie, “If I could vote, I would vote for Stacey Abrams.”
“Why is that?” I asked.
“Because I read in the newspaper that she is for education, and that guy she’s running against doesn’t want to spend money on schools.”
“You read that in the newspaper? When did you read a newspaper? I haven’t seen a newspaper in our house in years.”
“You know, it came in the mail. It was on a card. I saw it sitting on the counter.”
“Oh, you mean a flyer that came in the mail.” I then went on to explain to her that candidates will send campaign flyers making themselves seem great and their opponent seem awful. A flyer had also come that day for Brian Kemp, so I was able to show her an example of what I meant. We then had fun talking about what we would put in our flyers if we were running for office. “I will give all Georgians ice cream and a free puppy. My opponent will give you broccoli and a snake.”
There has been so much talk and build up to this election, I’m sure that there are some reading these words today who are not only disappointed, but fearful about the future of our nation. Perhaps you are in that group, and you’ve been in a state of depression since Tuesday night. If that’s you, then let me quote the words of Jesus to you: “Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1). The greatest change agent in our country comes not from Washington, D.C., but from gospel-centered churches all over our nation. Regardless of who won on Tuesday night, the gospel will continue to go forth and change lives. And heal marriages. And save teenagers from opioid addiction. And provide comfort to hurting souls. And offer forgiveness and eternal life to all of us — Democrats and Republicans — who are in desperate need of a savior.
For 2,000 years, through dictatorships, monarchies, communism, socialism, and democracies, the church has continued her mission. In our nation, the church has been in the gospel business, regardless of who was in power. Through the administrations of those in the Federalists Party, the Democratic-Republican Party, Whig Party, the Democratic Party and the GOP, the church has survived, thrived, and has been instrumental in changing lives. In my lifetime, I’ve seen ideological Presidents (Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama), pragmatic Presidents (George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton) and, well, Donald Trump is in a category all his own. Through every administration, I’ve seen and heard stories of lives being dramatically changed by the power of the gospel. I’ve been a part of powerful times of worship. I’ve gone on mission trips to other countries and spent time with believers who didn’t have a clue about our political system. I’ve prayed with fellow Christ-followers. I’ve stood beside friends serving meals to the hungry. I’ve seen Jesus moving in people’s hearts and changing lives all around me. Through every political season, the gospel is still doing what only the gospel can do.
Regardless of how blue or red the map looks at the end of the night, I am confident this will continue to be the case.
Kevin Mills is the Lead Pastor of Northway Church in Macon, GA.