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Getting past election blues, Christians can take moment to shine

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Change can come from practicing what is preached

By John Herndon

It has taken a while, but I think I am finally getting over the results of Election 2012.
That doesn’t take the sting away, though.
Yes, I voted for Mitt Romney. Given the choices we had, I would do it again. And again.
I strongly believe President Obama’s policies have added to what was already an exploding national debt (over $50,000 per person and counting, last time I checked) and are leading our great country more and more toward socialism, if we are not already there.
Beyond that, many of the policies of the past four years are also very much at odds with my deeply held evangelical Christian values and faith.
I don’t like it, and from the looks of Anderson County’s election returns, over 61 percent of the local voters don’t either.
Obviously, about 60 million people nationwide disagree so President Obama will be in office another four years.
Two weeks ago, as it became apparent that Romney was not going to win Ohio and therefore would not have enough electoral votes to win the presidency, I went from literally shedding tears to being angry at the direction our country had chosen.
I didn’t sleep well.
The next day, one of my professors from what is now Mid-Atlantic Christian University posted a picture on Facebook saying, “Be calm and be conservative.”
To someone who thinks a likeness of Ronald Reagan should be on Mount Rushmore, the second part isn’t hard. That first part? The thing about being calm? Let’s just say I am a work in progress.
As a Christian, I am not called upon to always like what is going on. As it is, I am appalled at the idea of policies that promote abortion, which is nothing more than taking the life of a helpless baby, usually done as a matter of convenience.
The President has also endorsed gay marriage, a lifestyle that the Bible clearly condemns. (Romans 1, I Corinthians 6 are among several passages dealing with the practice.) ‘
The idea that Colorado and Washington state passed measures that legalized the recreational use of marijuana last week is almost incomprehensible to someone who, growing up, knew that every Sunday, I would be sitting on that second pew, front left, at Corinth Christian Church.
But, even though many evangelicals strongly disagree with the country’s direction, we are called upon love people as they are and to respect the government in Romans 13.
I will interject that some of my more liberal friends like to point out that Jesus also called us to care for the sick and disadvantaged. You won’t get any argument on that point here. We will disagree if that is most effectively done by the government or by people of faith. For the time being, though, we will just have to agree that it is our responsibility, but civilly disagree on the better method of providing that help. That is another debate for another day.
Even before the election, there was little doubt that our nation is sharply divided. Barack Obama prevailed, but he is not the final answer. Mitt Romney would not have been either, for that matter.
Our problems are much deeper than how much money one has or how much the government can take away. They are spiritual in nature and now is the time for conservative Christians to shine by simply practicing what we preach.
We are told to pray for our leaders. Jeremiah 29:7 instructs the Old Testament Jews to pray for the peace and prosperity of the country in which they live. Those people were in captivity – something we are not – when given that directive. Just think about that for a while.
In the New Testament, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that his people are “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world.” Over time, salt has had many different uses, but all of them to act as an agent of good. Even just a small amount of light can make all the difference in darkness, which is how the Bible often refers to a sinful society.
In our society, that can take many forms. Christians should obviously help those less fortunate, as Scripture says many times. They should also stand for moral absolutes based on what they believe to be the Word of God.
Those ideas do not mean we can’t have political dissent. Far from it. Throughout Scripture we read instances of people of faith calling out injustice or wrong doing. In a society that accepts practices the Bible calls sin, the evangelical Christian voice is needed now more than ever.
Finally, though, Christians must remember that Jesus said his kingdom is not of this world, but in the hearts of men. Simply having some agreeable planks in a political platform won’t get the job done.
Changing hearts and minds will.