It will be helpful to read the July 2016 editorial if you still have a copy of this issue. The present editorial is in some ways a continuation of this earlier article. When it was written, the election had not yet been held and was being hotly contested.
Now the election is past, and we have a new president. In a matter of days Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th leader of our country.
As anyone who has followed the campaign (and how could anyone not be aware of it) knows, the focus was somewhat and secondarily on the issues but was often and even primarily concerned with personal issues. Each candidate hurled accusations against the other, asserting that the other was unfit to be president. Both were often correct.
Politics in American is a dirty business. It always has been and will continue to be such. The contest for the presidency usually degenerates into personal attacks rather than focusing on substantive matters of policy. It is nasty. It is egotistical. It violates scripture’s golden rule of treating others as we would want to be treated.
Incidentally this is the reason that it is very difficult for a Christian to become involved in politics, notwithstanding the view and efforts of those who seek to Christianize the world. This election and its preceding campaign serve to show how unrealistic and impossible it is to Christianize the various spheres of life.
In this election we had a choice between two wicked people.
Here I reiterate my description in the July issue of the two candidates. Hilary Clinton (or as a friend recently described Bill and Hilary Clinton, Ananias and Sapphira) is a liberal socialist. She is untrustworthy. She is an inveterate liar. She is in favor of the murder of millions of unborn children. Donald Trump is a greedy money-grubber. He is a serial adulterer. The new first lady is his third wife.
So for whom should we have voted? More precisely, for whom did you vote if you were old enough? In my previous editorial I wrote this: “Based on the teaching of scripture, I have a suggestion: don’t sit out the election, but vote for the candidate who does the least damage to the church of Christ, but is most favorable to the cause of the continuation of the preaching of the gospel. Who that will be you must determine for yourselves.”
Taking my own advice, I held my nose and voted for Trump as the lesser of two evils, and I suspect that most Beacon Lights readers did the same.
Subsequent to the election we have observed protest marches and gatherings against the result. What the shallow-minded participants think they will change completely baffles me. In addition there have been scattered riots in view of Clinton’s loss. This is shameful and completely wicked, not only in defiance of our political system—which provides for a peaceful transfer of power—but also morally and ethically.
So what must be our perspective on the results of this election, both as young people or as our older readers (of which there are many)? Especially for you young people, this matters. It matters because you are inheriting the country passed on to you by your parents and grandparents. Even if you are not old enough to vote, you soon will be. There are lessons to be learned from this history that you are now living.
The first and primary lesson is that God is always sovereign in all spheres and aspects of life. The liberal mainstream media were obviously biased in favor of Hilary Clinton. As the results of the election began to favor a Donald Trump victory, it was amusing to watch them stumble and stutter, not knowing what to say. But the media do not choose the next president or even influence the results. God chooses, and he made this plain in Trump’s upset win. All of the polls had Clinton as the victor. But they were wrong. Why? Because the polls did not determine the outcome of the election. God did. And in his inscrutable wisdom, God in his divine providence decided that against all of man’s odds, Trump will be the next president. What must we then say? This: God is always sovereign. This is our comfort and assurance that all things happen according to his will and for the good of his church.
The second lesson is that in Trump we as a nation have been given what we deserve (although not as much as if Clinton would have won). Just prior to the election, writing in a blog posted at rfpa.org, Rev. Joshua Engelsma wrote: “The candidates are reflective of the wickedness of the nation as a whole. The comment is frequently made, ‘Out of all the people in this country, is this the best that we can do?’ God is giving to this country the ungodly rulers it deserves for her wickedness. The word of God in Hosea 13:11 is true today: ‘I gave thee a king in mine anger.’ The United States is not a Christian nation, as it once claimed to be. The nation is consciously throwing off anything that relates to genuine Christianity and the word of God. What we are seeing more and more is the spirit of this country being controlled by the spirit of Antichrist.”
Nevertheless, as he goes on to point out: “Remember, Christ is King! In Psalm 2:6, after describing the raging of the heathen, God says, ‘Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. That King is the risen and exalted Lord Jesus who rules over all things, great and small, upon the earth. And he does so for his Zion, his church.”
In his further comments I have changed Rev. Engelsma’s verb tenses and some minor wording to reflect the outcome of the election: “Our confidence is that King Jesus ruled over the election. What determined the outcome of the election was not the candidates and their campaign staffs, not the Democrat or Republican parties, not even the American people. The King of kings governed this country and this election, and he was the one who determined sovereignly who will occupy the oval office for the next four years.
“King Jesus ruled over this election guided by the eternal counsel of God. His determining of the next president served the grand purpose of God is leading all things to the goal of his glory in his second coming, the judgment of the ungodly, and the salvation of the church.
“Our trust is in God and in his Anointed. Our faith is not in the American people, a certain political party, a particular candidate, or even in democracy generally. Our confidence today and every day that follows hereafter is in God alone.”
Third, in harmony with the teaching of scripture, we are called to obey, honor, and even respect (difficult as that may be) our new president, meanwhile praying that the church may live a quiet and peaceable life that gives us the opportunity to preach the gospel, both in the church and on the mission field.
Thus, trusting in God and his sovereign, providential rule over all things, we must remain faithful, leaving the outcome to the Lord.