After six years of an increasingly unpopular president, the nation decided to vote the opposition party into power in both houses of Congress as a statement of dissatisfaction with the brokenness of Washington. That happened in 2006 when Democrats took control of Congress in George W. Bush’s final two years in office. To prove the truth of Ecclesiastes 1:9 that there is ‘nothing new under the sun,’ the same thing happened yesterday as America gave control of both houses of Congress to the Republicans as a statement of its dissatisfaction with the direction of the country under the leadership of Barack Obama.
And yet this victory for the Republicans doesn’t come without danger. For the past six years, Republicans have been the minority party united by one thing: opposition to Barack Obama. Their whole platform has been the simple strategy of being anti-Obama. People put the GOP in power not because they necessarily believe in the Republican brand as much as they’re disenchanted with the Democrats. So as the talking heads are wisely spouting today, the big question now is: can Republicans lead? Can they be pro-solution as much as they’ve been anti-problem? We don’t need a party to simply point out the problems. We need leaders that can offer and implement solutions.
And here’s where the church comes in. In many ways, the evangelical church has mirrored the strategy of the Republican party for the past six years. The church is seen as anti-world and anti-culture. We paint ourselves as victims of a never-ending onslaught of depravity, heavy-handed government and the ‘nefarious’ gay rights movement. The church is known primarily for what it’s against.
And yet in spite of all that, guests and visitors are still flocking to churches today, not so much because they believe in God as much as they’re disenchanted with the world and desperately searching for answers. So, like the Republican party, the same question is before churches today: will we be anti-problem or pro-solution? Will we continue to rail against the sin of the world as our only platform, or will we be about solutions, about hope, about the gospel? People are coming to our churches looking for us to lead. They already know the problems out there. They’re looking for answers. The ball is in our court. What will we do?