Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Pray for America

America is still the world's most powerful and influential nation, and this year it holds its 4-yearly vote for its most powerful office-holder, the President.

So, now is the time when Christians should be praying for America; the results of that election will have serious and wide-ranging consequences. For one, the next president is likely to be the one who nominates the vacant seat on America's supreme court, following the recent death of Antonin Scalia - a man who was a bulwark in defending the US constitution (sometimes successfully, sometimes unsuccessfully) against its enemies; for example, against those who have argued (sadly, with continuing success), against all truth, reason and logic, that the US constitution somehow, somewhere, prevents states from protecting the lives of unborn babies, or somehow, somewhere, makes it illegal for a state to enforce the truth that marriage is an institution involving the coming together of two sexually complementary beings, which is to say: man and woman.

Unfortunately, we live in a very degenerate age. Discernment is almost dead. Almost anyone can claim almost anything, and concerns of character, having a consistent track record, personal integrity, of proving one's abilities over a number of years... this hardly appears on the map. If the circumstances, and your media spin doctors, can combine to line things up... then that's increasingly, more or less, all that's needed to open the door to power. All the things that voters ought to be looking for can be substituted for with big money, a big lying mouth, and either a TV show or sufficient political ruthlessness.

Which brings us to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. This pair are now the strong favourites for the nominations of their respective parties, and the November election is currently heading towards a run-off between them. This is a prospect which ought to be horrifying to anyone who retains the last vestiges of any vaguely Christian discernment anywhere in their being and who has made even the most basic attempts to scrape past the thin layers of spin and do any research into the track records that these two individuals have run up over the past few decades.

Of course, voters will ultimately get what they vote for. An electorate who care little about truth or integrity will, in God's wisdom and judgment, tend to receive leaders who reflect the electorate's character and priorities. God judges us often by giving us the thing we wanted. If the electorate's priorities are personal gain, self-indulgence, believing lies and mongering grievances, then they will receive leaders in accordance with those priorities. But that should not stop Christians grieving and praying over it, that God may have mercy, even whilst we rejoice that Jesus Christ remains the ultimate Lord of Lords and President of Presidents.