A Christian’s Reflections on the 2020 Election

A Christian’s Reflections on the 2020 Election November 6, 2020

With the 2020 election wrapping up, it seems clear that Joe Biden will likely be the next president of the United States. Many of my fellow conservative Christian friends find it distressing. I find it distressing. But, as many Christians have already rightly pointed out, Jesus is still king, he is sovereign, and he is good. I want to add some additional thoughts which might be of some encouragement. But first, let’s look at scripture.

 

John 8.36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Many of our concerns about the election arise from fears that we will lose our liberties. That’s understandable. But let’s remind ourselves of this, that Christ has already set us free from the most oppressive totalitarian regime there has ever been; Sin, death, hell, the world, and the Devil. Christian, you are free, even if you live in Korea, Iran, China, or anywhere else which does not respect the inalienable rights of men.

 

1 Peter 4.12-13 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”

Many are concerned about religious liberties. Understandable, but to be honest, I think fears of immanent persecution are unfounded and a bit over dramatic. But what if I’m wrong? Let’s imagine the absolute worst happens. What if we experience a wave of intense persecution the likes of which this nation has never seen? Then we should rejoice, as Peter encouraged his readers. And it is not as though Peter did not practice what he preached. In Acts 5.41, we see that Peter and the other apostles, after being beaten, “Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.” The same spirit in the Apostles is in us. So, stay faithful and rejoice.

In addition to these passages, I could adduce others which speak of Christ being king, of God’s sovereign providence, of God being our rock, our hope, our salvation. But, in the first place, many others have already pointed to these passages, and in the second place, while first and foremost we should turn to Scripture, we have other resources which can also provide great encouragement in difficult times. Christians have been involved in a sort of millennia long call and response with Scripture. God speaks, we repeat. Sometimes we have repeated God in the form of creedal statements and confessions and catechisms. But more often, we repeat in song. Instead of pointing to Scripture directly, I want to take an indirect approach. I want to draw upon our rich Christian heritage, and remind Christians of the where we have worked those Scriptural truths into the very warp and woof of the Christian life.

I want to focus on the songs of Christianity. But first, let me ask you, Christian: What is your only comfort in life and death? This is the first question to the Heidelberg Catechism, to which is given the answer:

“That I am not my own

but belong with body and soul,

both in life and in death,

to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.”

Our comfort, or as some versions I have seen read, our hope, was never in the results of the 2020 election, or at least it should not have been. But our only comfort and hope is knowing that we belong to Jesus Christ, who is loyal and faithful to his people. That is the theme of the first song we will turn to.

 

On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand,

All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,

I rest on His unchanging grace;

In every high and stormy gale,

My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood

Support me in the whelming flood;

When all around my soul gives way,

He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,

Oh, may I then in Him be found;

Dressed in His righteousness alone,

Faultless to stand before the throne.

 

Our hope is in Jesus, and his gospel work. Do the election results seem to you a high and stormy gale? Then remember where your anchor holds, his oath, covenant, and blood. And someday, the trumpet will sound, and all true believers will stand in awe before him, in perfect righteousness.

We could point to a modern hymn to find the same truth. I won’t provide but the first stanza.

 

“In Christ alone my hope is found

He is my light, my strength, my song

This cornerstone, this solid ground

Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace

When fears are stilled, when strivings cease

My comforter, my all in all

Here in the love of Christ I stand”

 

Christ is our hope, and our comfort. And as a later line in the song says, “No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand.” We belong to our faithful Savior. But we turn now to a different theme.

 

A Mighty Fortress is our God

A mighty fortress is our God,

a bulwark never failing;

our helper he, amid the flood

of mortal ills prevailing.

For still our ancient foe

does seek to work us woe;

his craft and power are great,

and armed with cruel hate,

on earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,

our striving would be losing,

were not the right Man on our side,

the Man of God’s own choosing.

You ask who that may be?

Christ Jesus, it is he;

Lord Sabaoth his name,

from age to age the same;

and he must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled,

should threaten to undo us,

we will not fear, for God has willed

his truth to triumph through us.

The prince of darkness grim,

we tremble not for him;

his rage we can endure,

for lo! his doom is sure;

one little word shall fell him.

That Word above all earthly powers

no thanks to them abideth;

the Spirit and the gifts are ours

through him who with us sideth.

Let goods and kindred go,

this mortal life also;

the body they may kill:

God’s truth abideth still;

his kingdom is forever!

 

The radical left is not our greatest enemy. Not even close. Biden is just a man. He might be the other candidate, he might even be against us, but we should not think of him as our enemy. We have an ancient foe, the devil, and on earth there is not his equal. “Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing, were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing.” That man is not Donald Trump. Donald Trump had limitations. One of which was the fact that his presidency was not forever. At the end of his term as president, he could not deliver his constituents from the voting decisions of those who did not share his vision for America. Even if Trump won the 2020 election, by law he could not run in 2024. There is a term limit for the United States presidency. But much more, Donald Trump could not deliver us from the ancient foe.  Rather, “Christ Jesus, it is he; Lord Sabaoth his name,” who is the same from age to age, and only he can win the battle. Jesus is on our side. We have his word. And most encouragingly, Christ has no term limits.  His Kingdom is forever.

 

O God, Our Help in Ages Past

O God, our help in ages past,

our hope for years to come,

our shelter from the stormy blast,

and our eternal home:

Under the shadow of your throne

your saints have dwelt secure;

sufficient is your arm alone,

and our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,

or earth received her frame,

from everlasting you are God,

to endless years the same.

A thousand ages in your sight

are like an evening gone;

short as the watch that ends the night

before the rising sun.

The busy tribes of flesh and blood,

with all their lives and cares,

are carried downward by your flood,

and lost in foll’wing years.

Time, like an ever-rolling stream,

bears all its sons away;

they fly forgotten, as a dream

dies at the op’ning day.

O God, our help in ages past,

our hope for years to come:

O be our guard while troubles last,

and our eternal home.

 

God has always helped his people. He has always been with us in adversity. He has always been there for us. For as long as the Church has existed, she has had enemies, endured trouble, and overcome adversity. When we look at the current moment facing the American Church we should admit that we aren’t suffering the way earlier generations have, and we probably won’t under the Biden presidency. But even granting that we might lose some liberties, we might pay more in taxes, we might go back to COVID lockdown, we might lose gun rights, even granting that abortion will go on unchecked, God will be with us to comfort us, he will help us in our efforts to remain faithful, he will shelter our souls from despair, he will keep our eyes fixed on our eternal hope, our eternal home.

Lastly, we turn to one other theme.

 

Whate’er my God ordains is right

Whate’er my God ordains is right:

his holy will abideth;

I will be still, whate’er he doth,

and follow where he guideth.

He is my God; though dark my road,

he holds me that I shall not fall:

wherefore to him I leave it all.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:

he never will deceive me;

he leads me by the proper path;

I know he will not leave me.

I take, content, what he hath sent;

his hand can turn my griefs away,

and patiently I wait his day.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:

though now this cup, in drinking,

may bitter seem to my faint heart,

I take it, all unshrinking.

My God is true; each morn anew

sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart,

and pain and sorrow shall depart.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:

here shall my stand be taken;

though sorrow, need, or death be mine,

yet am I not forsaken.

My Father’s care is round me there;

he holds me that I shall not fall:

and so to him I leave it all.

God is sovereign. He knows what he is doing. Even though the future seems uncertain, and perhaps a bit frightening, God will use whatever lies ahead for our good. He will use it to make us more Christ like. He will use it to sanctify us. And no matter what, we know our Father is good, and that he loves us. We can leave everything in his hands, and trust that things will be okay.

I could point to more psalms, more hymns, more spiritual songs. But if you have been a Christian for any length of time, you know the Christian song book. If not, there are 150 psalms in our bible. We can learn to  chant them as found in our Bible. Or, if chanting is too foreign, we can use a psalter, like the 1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter, or the Trinity Psalter Hymnal, which have reproduced the psalms in the form of English poetry and song. This allows us to sing them in something more recognizable to most of us as song. Many churches have hymnals available, but you can find many hymns and hymnals at hymnary.org. There are numerous modern song writers adding to the rich musical tradition of Christianity, such as the Gettys, Matt Boswell, Sovereign Grace Music, and others. These resources are treasure troves of encouragement, not only when an election has not gone our way, but when our loved ones have died, when we have been diagnosed with cancer, when a natural disaster destroys our home and all our possessions, and when we face persecution. They are so because, in the case of the Psalms and the psalters, they are God’s word. In the case of hymns, they are so because they are based upon reflection and meditation upon God’s word.

Rejoice Church. Amen.

 

This was a guest post from Marshall Proctor. Marshall is from Tulsa, Oklahoma, married to Torie, and a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University. 


Browse Our Archives