a few thoughts on the American election

Over at Proclaim & Defend, I linked to this article by a seminary professor from Charlotte. I think it is well worth reading. While it may not be the only explanation for the results of the election, I think Michael Kruger is correct about the spiritual state of the USA. This doesn’t bode well for the politically conservative side in the future. The spiritual state of Canada is much worse, which is why we have NO abortion law and a nation-wide same-sex marriage law – and it is why, despite having a Conservative government with a professing Christian Prime Minister, we are very unlikely to see any change over these social concerns in Canada.

This state of affairs puts an imperative on the Christians of North America. We need to get out of our comfort zone and be concerned with evangelism. The people of our nations are sinking fast. Their only hope is Christ and we should be alarmed about the needs of our friends, neighbours, acquaintances and even our enemies.

On the outlook for the future… many of my friends appear to be well into the doom and gloom camp. As it happened, the Dow Jones average dropped by 2.36% the day after the election. Many cried that the so-called fiscal cliff was at hand. The next day, the DJIA dropped another .94%. The horror! Well, today it went up, by only .03%, but up is up, eh?

The fact is that the stock market does fluctuate every day. A 2 % drop on one day is not a really significant drop.

When the great stock market crash of October 1929 occurred, the Dow dropped 11% on Oct 24, moved very little the next day due to rescue efforts by American bankers, then dropped 12.82% on Monday, Oct 28, followed by an additional 11.73% drop the next day. Some up-ticks followed (“bear-market rallys”) but over the following eight months, the stock market fell a total of 89% (to close at only 41.22 – the lowest DJIA of the 20th century). It would take 25 years for the stock market to regain its previous peak.

The current situation in the world is certainly troubling. Could we see significant drops like that seen in the Great Depression? Well, I am no financial expert, but I think anything is possible. Markets go up and they go down. However, there are a few people involved who are a bit smarter than me. The markets are structured differently today than they were in the 1920s. Some lessons have been learned. I have a cautious hope that the men who administer the markets are well aware of the dangers and will do their best to resist a repeat of the 1929 disaster.

In spite of this cautious hope, one must also candidly admit that there is a sovereign God who can bring judgement on this world and its institutions at any time. It is not as though any human institutions have earned any special merit with him. Rather, every human institution is ripe, indeed overdue, for judgement. We must plead with God for mercy.

And again, Christians, are we preoccupied with our own peace and safety? I confess I have no desire to suffer. I know that everything I own is at risk, God could snatch it all away from me overnight. I pray that he will not! But my hope is not in the things I possess, and I should be more concerned with the spiritual lives of those in my care and influence than I am about my own security.

Our attitude towards the American election may be one of disappointment – there is nothing sinful about that! But our spirits should not give way to fear, to rumour-mongering, to unsound thinking and terror over what we might lose.

And we must remember to look at the news realistically. Disaster may come – could come tomorrow – but so far, so good. Many of the world’s nations are stumbling along with poor leadership, bad policies, and they are running huge risks with debt. Yet the end is not yet. And if the end comes, what then? Will God have failed us? Will we fail God?

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16.33)

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Comments

  1. When all of this happened last week, the next evening I preached on Psalm 23. The LORD is my Shepherd. Tonight I will preach on Psalm 24. The earth belongs to the LORD. People pretend it belongs to them. The result of the presidential election didn’t surprise the LORD. It certainly reminds us to pray for all leaders through the world with the result being that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence (1 Timothy 2.2). The best thing both Canadians and Americans can do is realize that our citizenship is in Heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ …the King of Glory (Philippians 3.20; Psalm 24).

    • Good stuff, Jim.

      Tonight I was in Isaiah 24 – two contrasting cities, the city of chaos (v. 10) and the city of God (v. 24). The destiny of the city of chaos should cure all Bible believers of rolling our trust on the backs of human governors. Our trust should be in the Lord and him alone.

      Maranatha!
      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

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