So the election didn’t go your way?


Me either. Most would label me a Conservative Christian. I live in Washington State. And believe it or not, after the election this week I may be living in the most liberal State in the Union. On Tuesday, Washington became one of only 3 states to approve gay marriage by a vote of the people (along with Maine and Maryland), one of only 2 states to approve recreational pot smoking (along with Colorado) and we are already one of only 3 states who made assisted suicide legal (along with Oregon and Montana). It’s the trifecta of liberalism today. We have all three and we are the only State to have even 2 of the 3. Yes, I voted anyway this week, and everything I voted for failed. Candidates, social issues, fiscal policies; everything.  Wait, come to think of it there was one race where I had to choose between a Democrat and a guy from the Green Party. I think I picked the winner in that one but honestly I’m not sure.

But I’m not angry. I’m not whining. And I’m not moving out of the country.

Honestly, I’m tired of reading the vitriol and the ignorant rants of disillusioned Conservative Christians since the election. And it’s so not helping our cause.

Why should we be shocked that the culture does not agree with us? Is this new? Exactly when did we become convinced that our job was to create heaven here on earth? Did we somehow believe we were supposed to create some sort of Theocracy?

If this is you, you are in good company, however. The disciples too, were of the same mindset. They thought Jesus had come to establish His kingdom here on earth. But they were wrong. Dead wrong. Acts 1:5-7  His Kingdom is an Eternal one, and it’s not here and now. If you were crushed by the results of the election then it’s possible that you have bought into the same deception as the disciples before the resurrection.

Forgive me, but I was under the impression that this is not our home.  That our citizenship lies elsewhere. That we are ambassadors in a strange land. I see myself as a missionary to a people who do not know the Lord, to a people who have rejected my God. I am trying to be a missionary to people whose opinions of Christians are being shaped by the stupidity being spouted by those who are fed up and disillusioned by the results of this election.

Stop it. Change your mindset. Remember that this place is not our home. We are strangers, foreigners, missionaries, ambassadors. I’m not saying give up. On the contrary, stand up for what you believe in. Vote. Engage with respect. But most of all show love to those who believe differently. How I long for the day when Christ-followers are known more for what we love rather than what we hate. Jesus himself said as much, that we should be known for our love. John 13:34-35

People mostly free associate a Christian as an old white guy, with a placard, standing on the steps of the courthouse shouting about something he hates. Things will never change in this country until we flip this. We must become known for how excellently we love instead of being known for the things we hate. We must change, and the change I’m talking about is a change in our actions and attitudes, not party affiliation.

We will never create heaven on earth, so stop trying. Disappointment comes from unmet expectations, or in this case unrealistic expectations. I challenge you to be missional instead. Christ’s mission was to “seek and to save the lost.” As a Christ follower we are to follow him in His mission. His mission becomes our mission. And if that’s the case, as missional people, where should we want to live? Where the lost are abundant!

Jesus called us to be salt, not a salt lick. If we all bunch together that’s exactly what we end up becoming, a salt lick. In effect, we have abandoned the rotting flesh that our saltiness can preserve, and are saying, “you can come to us if you decide you need salt.”

Again, I challenge you, if you live where there are a bunch of folks who don’t believe like you do, please don’t move. Stay put and be salty. Dig into your community, love on your neighbors who believe opposite of you… you will discover they are not the enemy. If on the other hand, you live where there are a high percentage of Christians, people who think and believe like you, I challenge you to be missional and MOVE. Leave the place of comfort and go to the place of challenge and mission.

And when you move, move to Ohio. 🙂

~Mark Moder

Here’s a couple of my related blogposts you might enjoy:

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https://about.me/mark.moder/

26 Responses to So the election didn’t go your way?

  1. Jeff Pogue says:

    Ya know Moder, for a “nut job” you certainly see things clearly sometimes. I agree, if we as Christians can not tolerate the lost, HOW can we POSSIBLY LOVE them? Why do so many Christians act shocked when the heathen act like heathens? God is certainly not surprised when they do. In fact, it is one of the reasons we have been commissioned. To be a light in the darkness, to be love to the loathed, to show grace to those who began like us- heathen. I am very often moved when I read about Christ that SO MANY of his miracles began with the words “he felt compassion”. He only passed judgment on the judgmental. He showed grace and compassion to the blind, the deaf, and the dumb. I choose to be one who shows THAT SAME compassion (to the best of MY ability- which as you know, may not be much) to those that are walking around in the darkness spiritually blind, deaf, and dumb. It is hard NOT to have compassion if for just a moment we see them as Christ sees them. Walking around with a heavy burden on them the weight of which they do not need to bear. “My yoke is easy and my burden is light”. That stems from love and compassion for the lost and not shock and awe when the lost walk around- well,…lost. Love ya my friend and I am grateful that God gave up the one he loved the most to buy freedom for ME!

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  2. Toby Anderson says:

    Awesome post Mark! Our hope is built on nothing less…

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  3. Kelsey McManus says:

    A wonderful article. Just one thing, I felt like it outlined our call to love and be missionaries, but don’t forget our call to be better. That is there is not a single one of us on this earth that are perfect, that are free from sin. We are all sinners, and we are all equal in God’s eyes. To use some language from Jeff Pogue, we are ALL heathens. We certainly have some salty good news to spread, but we also have some rotting flesh ourselves. We make mistakes, and we sin. At the end of the day the only true judge is God. May God help us be forever striving to be better, and inspire those around to be better too.

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    • markmoder says:

      So true Kelsey. I think that some Christians have forgotten that we are all sinners and that ALL sin is an anathema to God, not just a particular sin that they find more distasteful than others. We are all sinners, saved by grace, no matter what our political affiliation. I think Christians of both parties may be surprised at the political diversity in Heaven someday.

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    • Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us HOLD FAST the confession of our hope without wavering, for HE WHO PROMISED IS FAITHFUL; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, NOT FORSAKING OUR OWN ASSEMBLING TOGETHER, as is the habit of some, but ENCOURAGING ONE ANOTHER; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:19-25)

      Being part of a local Biblically sound church that always seeks Biblical Truth!

      “I really do encourage people to study the Bible for themselves. But also remember that along with the diligent study and mental effort there really needs to be a begging of God, a pleading with him for truth and not to forget the Holy Spirit’s sovereign role in respect to truth” -Francis Chan

      MarkModer and everyone else, Keep it up:)

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  4. Linda Cederblom says:

    Nice article Mark.

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  5. It sounds like you voted on all the same ballot issues and candidates that I did. I had been thinking along the same lines as you, but not clearly. Thanks for the coherent response to the political and cultural challenges we face in this state, or at least the part wrapped around I-5.

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  6. Mike Gowan says:

    Mark, great post election…post. We need to live the basics…. to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and body and to love our neighbor as ourselves…. Jesus is our King, and we live in another Kingdom which does not have geographical boundaries…but the Kingdom of God is ..within. When we love God, when the answers to prayer are not coming our way… when we love people of opposite persuasions… the Kingdom of God is at work. Thanks again, Mark.

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  7. Great article Mark! I need some good perspective from time to time..it’s too easy to get discouraged or upset with the world these days and keep my attitude in check 😉

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  8. Pati Ball says:

    Loved it!! My thoughts exactly. Way to lay it out there, very clear and very truthfully. Miss you Mr. Moder.

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  9. Stevie Swift says:

    Mr. Moder you are awesome sir!

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  10. Eva says:

    Good word, Mark.

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  11. Rich Repp says:

    Mark, I don’t think it was about hatred for me as it was the heartbreak of what the voters approved. It is a slippery slope that has been opened for “open skiing” and as Christians I think we all see it for what it is. It’s like telling your kids not to do something because you know it’s harmful to them and they do it anyway. I have two young daughters who are being trained in the word but their fight is going to be infinitely harder than the one I currently fight. I must admit, I was very skeptical after the election but I have resigned myself to the fact that this is INDEED the world and I need to see it for what it is and not be surprised by what it does to itself. Thanks for putting things back into perspective for me. Sometimes you need to be reminded who you belong to.

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  12. Marlee Huber says:

    Mark, I would have agreed with you about the salt and salt lick thing except last summer I visited Rock City, Missouri where Daniel Boone’s sons developed the salt lick business. I learned a whole bunch I had no knowledge of. In the days before refrigeration, salt was equivalent to gold and you needed a source, a salt lick. Near Rock City begins the Santa Fe trail, the Booneslick trail and a couple other trails. It is right on the river so that salt could be sent by water. Everyone needs a highway to a salt lick! I believe in this very dark time God is calling us to band together in UNITY and be that salt lick where people form a highway like in Isaiah 60:1-2. Where darkness increases, light shines brighter. Only then are we prepared and equipped to be Isaiah 61. Washington State just got a whole lot darker. I sensed it coming in from Hawaii post election. It felt darker here, much darker. But with all the prophetic words about revival coming from Washington State to Washington, DC, it became even more believable. The darker something gets, the more a little candle radiates light! But there is something even worse than no light in a very dark cave, and that is no sound, another tidbit picked up at Mammoth Caves National Park last summer. The church is called to be sound and light and salt! Wow! What a picture. We must sound like Jesus–hope and compassion, thanksgiving and worship–and the world will beat a highway to Washington State–darkest of all states–because a little light and a little sound and a very big salt lick of UNITY will point the way! Hope is in the air! Hope is on the Way! Blessings on you!

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  13. Karen says:

    So true, Rich. I too have three young daughters, and I think my heart was breaking more for the testing they will face than for anything else. But as we are reminded, this is the world. We are called to be salt and light in it. Now, more than ever, we must stand for the Truth in a loving and compassionate way.

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  14. Thanks Mark…needed this post badly!

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  15. Julie says:

    Well, Mark, I *am* angry. I’m angry at Christians who voted according to the color of a man’s skin, or voted for someone who stands for abortion rights, and I’m angry at Christians who voted to support calling two homosexuals marriage. Think there weren’t many? Think again. Will I still love them? Yes. But you can bet I’m going to call them on the carpet for their sin. Yes, SIN. Casting a vote for evil is sin. We’re to exhort one another.

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  16. Matt miller says:

    Your points are excellent. However, as is often the case with many Christian writers, you come through as dogmatic and elitist simply by putting down other Christians. Calling people ignorant and stupid just because they don’t have your viewpoint or your clarity of vision is very un-Christ like.

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  17. justmeleena says:

    Great post Mark. I have say there is a chord struck in me reading your words that can be related to ministers – and even marriage/dating relationships, as well. Ministry communities there are issues battled on and as ministers it is easy to want to give up and leave because we don’t see eye-to-eye or they ‘just don’t get it’. But what does that say if we just up and leave instead of continuing to work for a cause we believe in – Jesus for all. When we up and leave it sends a message that we don’t care about the people – we just care about the issue and aren’t willing to try to work it out or see beyond the differences for the greater cause. (of course there are abusive situations to avoid and very valid to leave those spaces)

    Not sure if this makes sense, because I’m typing between my daughters yelling at each other about waffles and cartoons (the issues we people have!!). Anyways, wanted to chime in. 🙂

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  18. justmeleena says:

    Reblogged this on justmeleena and commented:
    I’m re-blogging an excellent post-election post from a youth ministry colleague for whom the election did not turn out as he would have hoped. Mark Moder has good words for all of us – No matter what side of the fence we are on politically:

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  19. Ingrid Crozier says:

    There is nothing wrong with wanting the laws of the land to reflect a Bibleical viewpoint, especially when we know that even in the civic realm that when our laws line up with the moral laws that God has laid down for our own good that our society will flourish alot better. Ive never put my trust in the government or political party to change the hearts of the people. That is God’s domain. but I reserve the right to be disspapointed. and a little embarrased at my state.

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  20. Sheila says:

    I recently read that the percentage of “Nones” (people without religion or faith) has grown from 12% to 19% and much of that is due to the anti-gay stance of Christians. You have little to offer. I grew up believing we were to make Christianity irresistible. I’ve left the miserable faith. To me community is irresistible – my fellow man. I love them more now than ever.

    Teaching Christians to love – that’s a hard row to hoe.

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  21. Amy says:

    Thank you for a very good post, Mark. I’m one of the liberals, though I didn’t vote to support the legalization of marijuana or charter schools, and it is so wonderful to hear you advocate for understanding. You exhort us all to “Engage with respect. But most of all show love to those who believe differently.” Amen! I, too, am tired of the vitriol on both sides. Mutual respect, understanding and love are the way to make this a society we can all be proud of.

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  22. Lee Brock says:

    My daughter sent the link to me. I agree with Mark up to a point . We don’t trust in chariots, but Christians should not abstain from government, they should use it to fight to protect the defenseless among other things. We ARE disappointed, but we are not DEFEATED. We trust in the Lord our God.

    I wrote to her thusly, if you are interested

    Interesting article, Whit, and I agree with it for the most part. I loved the line about moving to Ohio. In fact, the sentiment that God is in control and that we are, after all, aliens in a world not our own, is the very thing that keeps me sane and from rallying the masses to secede from the Union tomorrow. Indeed, ours is to be mission oriented and the mission field in the U.S. is growing larger by the minute. Christians have often failed at what they should be doing most and that is loving their neighbor.

    At our Men’s retreat one year, our leader suggested the Christian community failed at two very large happenings and opportunities to model the love of Christ in the past 30-40 yrs; # 1 The overall church was mostly silent on the Civil Rights movement and largely vocally outspoken against Gays during # 2 AIDS epidemic. To be fair in both instances, many Christians were working fervently on behalf of both causes, going mostly unnoticed, but the overwhelming public perception was that Christians were on the wrong side of both.

    It is a difficult battle to fight the sin and save the sin or to hate the sin and love the sinner and really, the press is never going to give us a fair shake in this fight. The media constantly ignore all the good work the Church does and spotlights any hiccough or misstatement a leading or even lay Christian may make. Our battle has to be won in the trenches, that is one on one and mano y mano .

    Another difficulty lies in my one disagreement with the author of the article. The notion that we should not be fervently involved in the politics and political discourse of this nation is to me wrong headed. Should we relenquish all government authority and legislation to non christians ? Should Christians in office not strive to make this a better nation ? Should we not strive for good laws and a better country for our children? Should we not vote ? The Quakers, the Mennonites and the Jehovah’s witnesses have taken that path. I personally do not feel that is the path we should take. I feel a strong conservative approach fighting for Godly ideals , unflinching in the fight for freedom is the correct approach. Ideas have consequences and to stand idly by while evil flourishes and the weak and the innocent are persecuted is not for me.

    To then take up the fight and not be disappointed when losing battles is unrealistic. I understand where he is going with this, but I believe the better phrasing is to not be defeated. I am disappointed but not defeated, for my trust is not in government nor chariots, but in the name of the Lord our God.

    Love,
    Dad

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  23. Thanks for the interesting post, Mark. I just stumbled onto your blog, and am waaay out of date for replying here. I’m hoping you get notified of new comments and thus will see this.

    I like most of your emphases here! Especially about loving vs. hating, and loving those who differ (often falsely considered enemies) by engaging WITH them, etc. You can get my more complete life story via my blog, but for here I will say that I was an evangelical Christian for 45 years (from birth, that is), educated very deeply in it, then for a decade a “spiritual but not religious” still following Xian issues and studying the NT, etc. Now a few years “back” as a progressive Christian, not much resembling my old self in terms of theology but very similar (hopefully better) in terms of “Christ-likeness” and maturity in love.

    All that to say that my own experiences, combined with meticulous study of such areas as biblical scholarship, theology, psychology of religion; and research on theories/practice of religious education, and most specifically, developmental stages including “stages of FAITH” have led me to believe that orthodox Christian theology is probably more of an impediment to, rather than a stimulator of the kind of growth you are calling for.

    More simply: Traditional expressions of Christianity tend to lock youth and adults into a relatively low level of faith development…. Note: TEND to, not always or completely. But what I am convinced (“scientifically” plus intuitively) can legitimately be called “higher” or more mature kinds of faith either leave behind orthodox dogma or interpret it more symbolically than the typical teaching of conservative Christian leaders.

    The reason I “sat out” several years as to Christian participation was that I was re-thinking and then again exploring what is going on more broadly in Christian circles (tho I’d been 4 years at the very progressive Claremont School of Theology in the early to mid 90s.) I finally realized that SOME institutional expressions of Christian faith could be and were expressing the core message of Christ, which I see as both inner spiritual development (“not of this world”) AND practical, everyday actions to help create the “Kingdom of God” here and now (not the apocalyptic expectations of both Jesus’ immediate disciples AND of Paul–in a slightly different form, both of which proved wrong–tied to traditional views and fears/hopes of their day and situation).

    In a nutshell, I accept your challenge, and IF you are not already applying your own concepts toward those who may be more liberal/progressive than you in your relatively progressive denomination, I will throw the challenge back for you to be a good, long listener to them. Some of them have thought carefully about the positions they now take and have a lot to share that is beneficial…. I sure have learned from them! (Maybe top of the list would be the gentleman/scholar, John Cobb and his close friend and colleague, David R. Griffin.)

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