Steve Battaglia - November 9, 2016
1) Congratulations to President-elect Trump and Vice-President-elect Pence, and to all those who won the various elections!
2) If your candidate did not win, then I offer you my sincerest condolences and blessings. If your candidate won, I encourage you to sway away from the rancor of the campaigns, and rather, be considerate, gracious, and kind. Treat the other as you would have liked to be treated if the tables were turned (Matthew 7:12.)
3) To my non-Christian friends: I apologize for what may be seen during this campaign and election as boastful and hateful Christians. Believers in God struggle with the emotions of politics too, and in many cases do not handle that well, unfortunately. It is my personal view that true followers of Jesus would never want to harm you in any way, but instead want you to be blessed as well. If you are pleased with the election outcome, then I congratulate you, but also encourage you to consider the claims of the King of the kings and Lord of the lords, Jesus Christ. His kingdom is not temporary, but everlasting with joy and peace. His planned and performed sacrifice in death for our sins and His resurrection provide forgiveness and life everlasting for those who trust in Him.
4) To my fellow believers in Christ Jesus the Lord: I would encourage you to be careful about voicing and posting things such as “God answered our prayers …” as if those who supported the other candidate did not also pray and seek God’s face (and I have many friends who fit that description), and also as if every other election in which your candidate didn’t win was a case where God didn’t answer your prayers. I would caution you to not equate an election victory into rightness or righteousness; otherwise, you may have to also say that the legalization of marijuana is also right and righteous since it won in several states in this election, and that the sixteen years of Clinton and Obama were also answers to prayer. Perhaps you have never looked at it this way before – and perhaps we should attempt to understand other’s views and opinions, even if we have to disagree (we can disagree agreeably with grace, civility, courtesy, and kindness.)
5) As many know, I was not a supporter of either Party candidate, but knew that one or the other was going to win. So, I watched the returns knowing that I would be disappointed whoever won. Though I was not in favor of the one who did not win the Presidential election and was concerned about that possible administration, I still felt a deep compassion for those who were supportive of her. As I watched the reports on television, and as the eventual outcome became more evident, I felt sadness for the people in the crowds who looked so despondent and tearful. They need the Lord, as do people from all political leanings. The results may be a blessing from God, but they may be a judgment from God. Many have chosen to overlook obvious evil for the sake of the big picture, and in the opinion of many, have put their morals and values on hold in order to rescue their morals and values. Please know that this is how many people view most Christian conservatives.
6) My commendation goes to those who were gracious, while speaking out about evil in both candidates, and not giving in to the vitriolic partisan politics-as-usual. It is my view that your integrity is intact (and likely that you also received your preferred election outcome as well, while still not giving up your integrity.) You, and you alone, have truly been vindicated. Thank you for being graciously strong.
7) This election has also served to distinguish between true friends and false, and for this I am disappointed, saddened, and yet appreciative. This process has revealed character and a lack thereof, grace and pride, peacemaking and belligerence. We should learn from this, and strive to be people of sound character who are gracious and bent on peacemaking, even in the midst of a storm. Anyone can be civil and nice when all is smooth sailing, but it takes sound character to be so when all is in turmoil and when people become angry, unreasonable, and rude with you. May God help us for His glory and for the good of each other. May we learn to be kind, and not simply to respond in kind.
8) It should be a shame for anyone to post arrogant and mean-spirited comments or pictures online about the other candidate and/or Party. This should go without saying, but it seems that many are still evidencing their lack of character, integrity, compassion, and love for the sake of their politics. Remember that there are many who need the Lord who may be greatly encouraged by someone who is gracious, as opposed to someone who proves their beliefs right that conservative Christians are unkind and proud jerks, and nothing like Jesus Whom they say they follow. This is a prime time to let the fruit of the Spirit flow out of you and to shine for the Savior. Politics is passing away, political Parties are passing away, candidates and politicians are passing away – but the kingdom of God is not. America (as much as I appreciate and love her) is not our god, our comfort, or our resting place. Our god is not a Party, our savior is not a politician, and our holy spirit is not the political process. Know what kingdom you are actually in. “Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases.” (Psalm 115:3)
9) Finally, we are called on to honor our elected leaders and to pray for them (Romans 13; 1 Timothy 2; Titus 2; 1 Peter 2), and I encourage everyone (even those who greatly dislike those elected officials) to do so. Pray for their safety, wisdom, and effectiveness. Pray also for the current administration. In doing so, we will prove to be godly temporary citizens. Perhaps we as Americans may bless God.
Grace and peace to you, in the Name of Jesus Christ the Lord.