It’s a tricky thing to engage in political analysis before the dust has fully settled on a recent election. No doubt pollsters, pundits, and politicians from both sides of the aisle will be examining the 2012 election in the coming weeks and months.

Republican strategists will perform a post-mortem on the Romney campaign and the Senate seats that slipped away. Most will wonder about the failure of Republicans to seize the advantage during an ongoing recession and take the reins away from an unpopular president.

Despite the risks of weighing in too early, I thought it would be worth pointing out a few things the evangelical church could learn from the losses of the Republican Party this year. Let me be clear at the outset that I am not equating the two. A political party only has life as long as people find it valuable. The church is guaranteed a future because of Christ’s promise as Master Builder.

Still, there are a number of lessons that evangelicals can learn from failed strategies in the political arena. Here are a few I jotted down while watching the election returns.

1. We cannot afford to ignore changing demographics.

Much of the chatter on election night centered on the increasing racial and ethnic diversity in a number of states traditionally viewed as “safe” for Republicans. The story was similar in Colorado, Florida, and Ohio.

The days when the “male white voter” dominated elections are over, which explains why Romney was able to maintain a substantial lead among white men and still lose the election. When your target is a shrinking number of people and your strategy is to keep them on board by alienating the rising urban ethnic groups (by, let’s say, failing to come up with a sensible immigration plan), it’s no wonder you lose elections.

Surveying the crowd at Romney’s headquarters, I saw a sea of white. Obama’s gathering was a microcosm of the diverse country we live in.

How does this translate to the church? Simple. If you are seeking to be a missionary presence in your community, you can’t ignore demographics.

For example, if your church is an upper-class, predominantly white congregation in a city that is no longer upper-class or predominantly white, then you’ve got a problem. And unfortunately, this problem exists all over the country.

When the community changes colors, churches tend to go into auto-pilot mode with the silent expectation that outsiders should conform to the church’s culture. In the end, we don’t model the coming kingdom or the current community. We develop a “fortress mentality” where a way of life is maintained instead of a “missional mentality” where missionary strategies are employed, strategies that actively seek to reflect the diversity in the community by reaching the lost outside their doors.

2. We can’t ignore facts that make us uncomfortable.

It was interesting to watch how many conservative pundits and politicians were convinced up to the end that Romney would win by a landslide. The talking heads on television were divided down partisan lines, with Republicans predicting Romney would either squeak by or win big and Democrats assuring everyone that Obama would survive. The polls were analyzed, reinterpreted, and refashioned in order to give hope to both campaigns.

Churches can sometimes make the same mistake. We see incremental growth here and there, so we choose to look at the results that encourage us. We avoid the truth that may confront us and make us uncomfortable. To maintain a positive vibe in the congregation, we celebrate small victories and overestimate their importance while at the same time ignoring reality when it presses us to reevaluate our methods or ideas.

A good leader will paint a picture of reality, however disconcerting it may be. It’s only when we see where we truly are that we get motivated with a sense of urgency to complete the tasks God has given us.

3. Political campaigns remind us of the kingdom whose foundation cannot be shaken.

Wins and losses in the political realm each have their lessons. When your preferred candidate wins, it’s easy to pin great hopes on their campaign, to overlook flaws and excuse wrong behavior. When your preferred candidate loses, it’s tempting to wonder if political involvement really matters.

The Christian gets the opportunity every election season to keep things in perspective. Through wins, we temper our expectations regarding the change that any one man can affect, no matter how promising. Through losses, we continue to maintain a faithful presence in obedience to the King who is not up for reelection.

So why get involved in politics anyway? Because elections matter. Ideas have consequences. We are called to live justly and humbly for the glory of God and the good of our neighbors.

But the changing tides of political and public opinion remind us of the steadfast, unmovable kingdom we belong to. We engage, not because it’s popular or because we absolutely must win, but because we are God’s kingdom people, living on earth as citizens of heaven.

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65 thoughts on “3 Things the Church Can Learn from Election 2012”

  1. Mike says:

    I had high hopes… Oh well.

  2. T. Doidge says:

    Nicely put.

  3. Nick Carraway says:

    “We see incremental growth here and there, so we choose to look at the results that encourage us. We avoid the truth that may confront us and make us uncomfortable.”

    Well said, Trevin!

    The Gospel Coalition also has to decide: Will it be a theological Tea Party pushing Calvinist/complementarian distinctives in the way Paul Ryan and his friends promoted Ayn Rand at a time when Americans were frightened about jobs and feared another war in the Middle East?

    Or will it seek to manifest the glorious reality of a gathered people of God?

  4. Mark G says:

    I’ve been reading through Acts where Luke tells us about the might works of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles, frightening judgements upon Ananias & Saphira, & Herod, problems arising in the church such as unfair distribution of aid, and outright persecution by Saul and the murders of Stephen & James. It is interesting how the Christians pray for boldness in spreading the gospel & faithfulness to the Word rather than for a safer more favorable gov’t. Yet in it all the gospel is spread to the ends of the earth (even by persecution) and the kingdom of Christ is advanced according to OT prophecys by the sovereign rule of Christ & the work of the HS. Gov’ts come and go but Christ’s kindgdom is eternal and certain. He sovereignly works all things together for his good purposes for God’s glory and for his people.

  5. Tyshan says:

    This is a good post. Since college I have always been confused by the term evangelical Christian because it seems to not include any Christian of another ethnic group outside the majority. I was in culture shock when I got to college and all my Christian friends were voting completely different from my church members from back home and were associating it with Christianity. I sense that same thought process in this blog and Im boggled by it. Either way this post is very good. I especially like the point of the changing demographics. Its true. America is turning brown at a rapid rate and no matter what church you’re at or what ministry you do (missionary or not) you have to reach the culture…not ask them to assimilate but reach them where they are. Compromise. work together. You know all the things our friends in congress arent doing. You know the stuff that makes a good marriage ;). Either way Im challenged as a missionary. I reach out to people who look like me because its easy and I understand my culture but since Ive stepped away from full time missions and started working in the “real world” Im starting to hate that I didnt learn Spanish. I do love culture so I am open to learning more about and understanding. I take advantage of those opportunities when they present themselves but a language barrier can kill communication when trying to share Christ.

    1. Duane Dean says:

      I totally agree with you Tyshan. I have objected to learning or even hearing Spanish. But at 71 I can see the writing on the wall. If I am going to be able to communicate with my brothers, I MUST learn Spanish. So I have started. This election and post by Trevin has been a WAKE UP call for me.

  6. “… to conform to the church’s culture.” God forbid that they would. While there is much in “liberal culture” that is demonstrably un-biblical, you appear to have confused “church’s culture” with “Red State culture that was comfortable with Romney or Santorum candidacy.”

  7. Rusty says:

    Trevin,

    I’m afraid I must disagree with your view that the Republicans lost because of only appealing to whites. The Republicans lost because the majority of our people made a choice for more state control, moral relativism, and more dependency on government.

    The choice was over a political world-view: personal responsibility or dependency, God or the State. It was racial politics only in the sense that many people of certain ethnic backgrounds have become so dependent and have accepted the view that bigger government is the only answer to our nations problems. Sound fiscal policy and moral values transcend race. But, nearly half of our country is now dependent on government and will do whatever is necessary to keep that “lifeline” to maintain their moral or financial well-being.

    The country made it’s choice this past Tuesday, and we are now no longer living in a United States whose philosophical foundations were based on the idea that God was the source of our value as human beings (all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights). That philosophy has been rejected for the idea that Government has endowed us with our “rights”. Government is our source of our rights, the State is our protector – but, at a tremendous cost.

    Websites like this one, and other Christian sites, will eventually be purged from the internet because we are now “haters”, “bigots”, and spread “fear and division” among the populace. We, and our Christian values, will not be tolerated.

    1. John says:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfYwLP0Qx6I

      Paul Washer on the coming persecution.

    2. Starr says:

      Rusty is right, I believe. Are we to appeal to other cultures even if it means turning from the laws of God? With about a third of the delegates at the Democratic convention booing the inclusion of the word “God” in the platform, the uplifting and sanctifying of “gay marriage,” and Obamacare’s forced complicity in abortion and possibly one day euthanasia upon Christians and their institutions against their beliefs, I cannot see how God can possibly bless a nation that has chosen this path. I am utterly horrified that a majority would vote for such things. The almighty government has become god. The pattern of dealing with dissent against partisan Democrat views is to vilify and demonize those who do, particularly Christians with traditional beliefs. And it obviously works. I pray that God has a plan and will lead the church accordingly. May we be up to the task, for it will not be easy.

      1. Carolyn says:

        Rusty, I so totally agree. It is not the duty of the Christian to conform to the immoral minority or majority. I take umbrage at the use of “white” people to make this point. America is based on Christian principles and the assimilation of people/cultures or “melting pot” are what has made American great. Going along to “get along” by accepting whatever morals and values are acceptable (or cool) today is not what Christ preached. We won’t have to worry about our young people if they are brought up with Christian principles. As I understand it, the Latinos are a Catholic based ethnic group but unfortunately they sold their souls for whatever they thought obama could give them. Where do their Catholic principals come into play? Immigration is not our problem. Illegal immigration is. The color of one’s skin should not be a license to break the law or to force their culture/values on the American people. God does not command us to spread the gospel by becoming one of the “clique”!! Just look at the 2 states who approved gay marriage and the 3 states that legalized pot. Are we to accept this as a cultural thing or do we preach the Gospel??? Our churches have failed us as they would rather preach political correctness and “feel good” theology!! I believe God is kinda angry with us because we have been silent while our society has become mostly immoral.

      2. Crystal says:

        Why is there an assumption that changing demographics equals or precipitates a decline in morality? Do you not see how prejudiced this attitude is?

        Does being 18 – 35, Asian, black, or Hispanic equal a greater proclivity to be immoral or abandon Godly standards? That’s what I understand you to be saying here. What “clique” are you talking about?

        No one is advocating going along to get along or forsaking the Gospel and God’s truth. If white evangelicals–who are the foundation of the Republican party–want to remain relevant as America becomes more diverse and less white then they need to visibly, publicly, reasonably, and sincerely address the concerns of these groups of people.

  8. Mary Smith says:

    I’m glad you ventured to go ahead and comment on the election – very good article! Love the statement that Jesus isn’t running for re-election! That very fact gives us a solid foundation to stand on continue on the mission that Hesus Humself gave us just before He returned to heaven. The cross and the Gospel story are our powerful offering to the world irregardless of who is in office. If we keep our eyes on our larger mission, we WILL make a difference no matter WHO is president.

  9. nancy cole says:

    Well it is a sad day in the neighborhood. But I truly believe that sometimes what appears to be a defeat is in the long run a win. Obama is now left to his own devices and I doubt very much he will keep his election promises and our Country will fall further and further into Satan’s hands. But we do have the assurance that He will return one day with the truth and make wrong things right. We evidentally can’t go the election route–Obama has won, whether by cheating someway or because he was voted in by ignorant youth, illegal aliens, crooked politicians, blacks just because he is black, the atheists, muslims, irreverant, and unreligious. But I believe that because of this, this business of us all (meaning the left and right) working together, won’t happen. If we are truly God’s people, we will never concede to the devil. And working with Liberals for the good of the Country is like turning a cat into a dog. It will not and cannot happen. As God’s people we have to be on His side and His side is definitely not the ways of liberal Democrats. But I believe there are other routes to accomplish what is right. And if we stay faithful and prayerful, God will show us the route to go. We are in His hands and with Him “all things are possible

    1. Tyshan says:

      Wow your words are really strong and really harsh and a slap in the face to some of the strongest Christians I know, like your brothers and sisters in the faith. The Republican candidate this year is a Mormon. How is that God’s way? I agree the Lord is in control and sister I pray you would soften your words (Ephesians 4:29) and the Lord would calm your heart. God didnt call America to be His nation. We are not Israel. He called Christians to fulfill the Great Commission and that takes compassion and working together and some people being liberals and others being conservatives. I mean its like someone saying you’re not a believer if you are a Calvinist or an Armenian. One is not more right than another its simply difference of opinion. Please be compassionate toward those who are different. The way I read the things written arent edifying and really hurt.

      1. Rusty says:

        re: “The Republican candidate this year is a Mormon. How is that God’s way?”

        When the airplane is going down, the pilots are lost or dead, if there is someone who can fly the plane and take it to safety, I don’t think what that person’s religion is makes much difference to the rest of the passengers.

        Yes, Romney was Mormon, Obama is, what?? He claimed to be Christian but his actions against unborn children, for euthanasia, for redefining marriage to include whatever, demonstrates something else to me. I don’t think he really believes in anything except Marxism and possibly liberation theology.

        How many presidents in our past were really Christian? Some, no doubt. At least Romney believed in traditional moral values and in sound fiscal policy. What helps the poor more – a good economy – or economic recession/depression?

        Yes, there are Christians, who for reasons I have a difficult time understanding, are liberals. Is keeping people dependent compassionate or sinister? Is creating more dependency compassionate or sinister? The country made its choice and we are going to have to live with it.

        And, while we’re at it, we must not blame God for this choice. Just as the people of Israel demanded a king from God, just as King Saul disobeyed God, just as Abner, though he knew God had ordained David to be king, disobeyed God and put Ishbosheth up to rebelling against God’s will – God gives us choices. We make ours, and He makes His. Yes, He is ultimately in control, but that doesn’t mean that everything that happens is what He wanted. He takes our choices and works them to His ultimate will.

        I don’t think Nancy’s words were overly “harsh”. I think they were quite honest and factual. The United States has been fundamentally changed this past Tuesday. There is a time to mourn and right now I mourn for my country that was, but will never be again. We lost more than election, we lost our nation that was once free.

    2. Vicki Lee says:

      If Romney got elected, it wouldn’t of changed the recent legalizing Gay Marriage and Pot. Seriously, you made it sound like if Romney did get elected it would of some how hold off judgement day. Romney would of gotten elected and the same people who hate God before would of kept on hating God afterwards. And it would of been no differences.

  10. Lawrence Brothers says:

    It is indeed, “a sad day in the neighborhood” as one commenter notes… But not for the reason mentioned. It’s a sad day because once again the church missed a golden opportunity (and you are missing it here as well, Trevin) to speak with courage instead of cowardice about why we were so willing to suppress the truth about the stridently anti-gospel nature of Mormonism, for the sake of pandering for our own pet preferences and prerogatives (wow, that’s a lot of P’s!). Now, that we’ve normalized and mainstreamed this cult, with our backhand endorsements, I’m afraid we’ve abandoned our unique position to speak the truth on this important issue, to the detriment of the advancement of the kingdom. For this reason alone, Trevin’s call to ,”maintain a faithful presence in obedience to the king” rings hollow… Read the prophets… It’s either “the One true God plus nothing” , or it’s nothing. Once again right-wing evangelical pandering has chosen the latter.

    1. Trevin Wax says:

      Lawrence,

      Please direct me to the place I suppressed the truth and mainstreamed Mormonism. The last I wrote about this subject was here: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2012/09/19/disturbing-downgrade-a-review-of-rich-mouws-talking-with-mormons/

      How have I pandered to Mormons?

      1. Lawrence Brothers says:

        Then I guess I’m confused. Why this blog post? Why not instead, “1 Thing the Church Can Learn From Election 2012″. That one thing of course being that our God is a jealous God… won’t let us share our affections with another… and especially not with the God of Mormonism. Unfortunately, I think the damage is done. I’m trying to picture the uncomfortable conversations between most of your commenters and their children (or their unbelieving neighbors) as they try to explain how Mormonism is really as you described in “Disturbing Downgrades” while hurriedly taking down their Romney yard signs.

        1. Trevin Wax says:

          It’s a terrific opportunity for evangelicals to realize that born-again evangelical Christian is not a prerequisite to receive evangelical votes. We live in two kingdoms. Luther famously said, “Better to be ruled by a competent Turk than an incompetent Christian.”

          Casting a vote for an unbeliever will be a necessity in a fallen world. Just ask most of the people outside the U.S.

          1. Lawrence Brothers says:

            I’ve always lioved that Luther quote. Explains George W. Bush’s presidency and the silly season reasons evangelicals gave in supporting him simply because he claimed ot be born again.

            Seriously though, do you think it will be more of less difficult to explain to children, let’s say in churches using your fantastic Gospel Project curriculum, the evils of Mormonism after many of those same churches spent so much effort trying to explain how their full-throated support of the Mormon candidate was really OK. I love Thabiti’s take on this in his blog a few weeks ago. I think we inadvertently “normalize” Mormonism, and lose the opporunity for effective witness, when we aren’t careful in making the two-kingdoms argument you allude to (just read most of the comments on this very post for proof of what I mean). I really like how the Whitehorse Inn handles this during election season. Much more kingdom-honoring approach if you ask me.

        2. Rusty says:

          re: ” That one thing of course being that our God is a jealous God… won’t let us share our affections with another… and especially not with the God of Mormonism.”

          Which of our presidents have been without sin? Which have even been true, evangelical, orthodox Christians?? I’m sure there were some, but no doubt there were many who were not.

          At least Romney had a world-view on morality that was closer to a Christian world-view than Obama. What was Obama’s world view based on? Christianity?? I don’t think so – why? What IS his world-view anyway. By his actions it sure didn’t look like he cared much for the most helpless in our society – unborn babies and the aged. Romney was obviously not perfect, but Jesus wasn’t running for president.

          So, you want to feel good in your high moral tower? Great, go write that second verse to “Standing on My Principles” while the country goes down. Did you even vote? Did you vote for some third party guy? Wonderful, thanks for your help. I’m sure it made a big difference.

    2. myth buster says:

      I’ve read what the prophets said, and they don’t match what you say. Daniel and Joseph were both Prime Ministers to pagan kings, and Daniel went so far as to bless the king saying, “O king, live forever.” Romans 13 says we are to obey the legitimate government except where the government commands us to do what God forbids (e.g. worship an idol) or forbids us to do what God requires (i.e. gather together for worship).

  11. USABob says:

    The third reason was the only pertinent one that has any merit. The first two I can hear in the political arena hogwash (“malarky”).

    However, further expansion is GREATLY needed. It is obvious that the Christian community was absent or voted against their values. Our Republic was founded upon individual liberty and not redistribution by big government. In contrast the electorate has chosen BIG GOVERNMENT over self determination with God’s guidance. The founding fathers believed in Divine Guidance and this belief has been destroyed by the progressive leftists. The real tragedy i9s that the Church has been negligent in teaching that this progressive movement is diametrically opposed to the Christian principles upon which our nation was formed.

    Obama voters either did not see http://2016themovie.com/ or they dissed it out of ignorance.

    MOST IMPORTANT: II CHRON 7:14

  12. #1 It’s sinful to vote for a murderer even if he’s responsible for less murders than the other candidate.

    #2 Constitutional elections are not only non-Biblical but futile and counterproductive. After every election, America only becomes more ungodly, less Christian, and more enslaved, regardless who’s elected.

    #3 That in trying to save the Republic, we’ve only succeeded in giving away the Kingdom.

  13. raggys says:

    Wasnt this election simply between good and evil?? The democratic party goes against the things the Bible teaches. I am dumbfounded how a democrat could possibly have a personal true relationship with the Lord while pushing an immoral agenda? It doesn’t matter if a candidate is black, blue or purple polka dotted, we should each have a God given conscience!!! Another example of how unbelievers are blinded.

  14. Mel says:

    I’m wondering, let me repeat, wondering. What brings the greater glory to God? Christians sharing the gospel in a repressed truth hating environment or Christians prospering financially under a Mormon president trying to explain grace to a lost world and how the religion of works isn’t the true gospel?

    I’m not looking forward to the next four years but that is because I’m looking at my own comfort and not what brings glory to God.

  15. The Believer says:

    Great analysis and analogy, Trevin…worth self-reflecting for the individual believer and the Church as a whole.

  16. Becky says:

    Okay. So to attract women we Republicans need to give out free birthcontrol and say abortion is fine. To attract the Latino vote we need to give amnesty to all and have open borders. How about the African Americans? Free phones with 200 minutes? The blacks, Latinos and women in the Republican party excel among their peers. Clarence Thomas, Marco Rubio, Allen West. Why don’t they count? This goes deeper than demographics.

    1. Trevin Wax says:

      Your stereotypes and generalizations of these groups are an indication of the problem Republicans face.

      1. Becky says:

        I was using hyperbole. I was not serious.

        1. Tyshan says:

          It doesnt change the fact that your hyperbole hurt me as a black person…

    2. Akash says:

      Love your comment!!!

      Republicans are not going to attract any more women unless they leave their supposed christian policies.

      Everyone else is dependent on the government so they will never vote.

      The fact that people are blaming republicans are too white and too male, is a clear sign that our society is extremely racist and sexist.
      They lost not because of their Gender/Race but policies

    3. Trevor Minyard says:

      Becky,

      you seriously just said “How about the African Americans? Free phones with 200 minutes?”

      Please think about who you’re going to insult with your “hyperbole” before you post. At the end of the day, those “blacks” are real people with real souls, many of which are your brothers and sisters in Christ.

      Grace,

      Trevor

  17. Crystal says:

    Let me begin this by stating I’m a black female, 31 years old from the DC area. I grew up in a born again Christian Pentecostal family, and accepted Christ as my savior as a teenager.

    I went to a evangelical conference about a month ago that I was highly uncomfortable attending. The attendees were predominantly white and over the age of 55. I was the only black person there under the age of 35 who was not under 18 and with their family. I was probably one of 15 black people of an attendance of close to 400 people.

    This usually doesn’t even bother me since I went to college (of course predominantly white) and at work I’m the only person of color in my department, meetings, and traveling for work.

    So it struck me as strange being around other believers, brothers and sisters in Christ and yet feeling so out of place…more so than I’ve felt in a long time.

    I find that white evangelicals often lose the cooperation of black and Latino brothers and sisters in Christ because of the ONE TRICK PONY of abortion and same sex marriage. While I was at the conference I mentioned earlier, two women came up to me and gave me books about abortion (one specifically about abortion among African Americans). They both told me “God says that I should give you this information.” I was stunned! Out of all the things for you to come to me about…I’m still confused about why they gave me those books…they didn’t ask me my opinion about abortion (I’m pro-life).

    So many things happened during those three days that I don’t have the space to go into, but I generally left with a feeling from the people that I was being condescended to, the my Biblical belief system was faulty, they were showing me a superior way, I needed to by guided into some truth. The preached hateful and vitriolic things about Pres Obama (he’s a closet homosexual, is Muslim, has “There is no god but allah” inscribed in his wedding ring, is not American) all to the thunderous applause and amen choir of the attendees. Most of them outright said vote for Mitt Romney, while a couple of more moderate (if they can be called such) speakers said Obamney is like being between the devil and the deep blue sea.

    They railed against the “illegal immigrants” having better health care than Americans, welfare queens sitting at home while you hard working people foot the bill. These are Christians at a Christian conference!! So hateful and scared to death this country is being overrun by the black and brown others.

    What person of color in their right mind would join themselves to a group of people that denigrates them in coded language like this? It was pure scaremongering. No solutions of how to fix the legitimate problems that exist. No discussion of how we as believers can work together cross-culturally for the glory of God. Just fear and trembling and take back your country that rightfully belongs to you.

    I must also say that I often get the same feeling from reading this website. I’ve been visiting this website for about a month now and reading through the archives…there’s no diversity on this website. I don’t see a wealth of articles acknowledging that a black Christian may have different obstacles and challenges than a white Christian.

    I remember I was at the conference and I use an ESV bible. Someone came up to me and asked what translation of the bible I was reading and I told them. They then proceeded to begin to proselytize at me that I was reading an apostate bible and the only sanctioned bible is the KJV. Once again I wondered what the heck I was doing there. I told one of my friends this and she was a missionary in another country and while reading the Bible she often had to explain what basic objects we take for granted as understanding are that are used in the bible…like fig trees, mustard sees, olive branches, sheep and she thinks it would be great if bibles could use local plants or animals to help those people understand some of the biblical metaphors, i.e. faith like a mustard seed in terms that are familiar to them.

    This election was the most difficult for me to vote since my first election, the Great 2000 debacle. I live in Maryland and I voted against same-sex marriage but for giving illegal immigrants the right to attend public universities at an instate tuition rate. I don’t see a political party that reflects my views. I’m pro-life, pro-social justice, pro biblical definition of marriage. Neither the Republican party (whose stances on social justice issues repulse me) nor the Democratic party (whose so open-minded I think their brain will fall out) appeal to me. I was just reading somewhere that people often conflate Republican with the Christian Right.

    While this was the most difficult election, I think it has been my most beneficial so far. Since my beliefs don’t align with any particular party I had to pray to God for direction and conviction and research the candidates and issues more. I couldn’t just rely voting on a party line.

    I wish more conservative white evangelicals would truly take the time and shut up, listen, and try to see things from the POV of non-white Christians. Why we may actually not agree with you all on some issues and consider the fact that we may have valid biblical support for our viewpoints.

    I think attending that conference and basically being berated by well-meaning Christians about everything from my stance on immigration to the translation of the Bible enables me to see why the Christian faith is losing it’s appeal to so much of the country. It’s a condemning, xenophobic, culture with a strong OUR WAY is THE WAY mentality.

    1. Tyshan says:

      Girl I have been in your shoes as well. You are right. As another black female you are so right.

    2. T.Newbell says:

      Hi Crystal:

      So sorry about that conference. Sounds like it wasn’t very helpful. I just wanted to write real quick and say that I am an African American female and I write on this site often. As a matter of fact, Trevin has featured me a few times…(he doesn’t know I’m making this comment, fyi). With that said, I’d love to dialogue with you about what you are experiencing. If you are up to contacting me I’m at trillianewbellATgmail. If not, I completely understand. Blessings, Trillia

    3. Vicki Lee says:

      Thank you so much for writing this. I’m an Asian American and I feel the exact same way. And I know several other Asian American Christians who feel this way too.

  18. Pete says:

    When will the church learn to stay out of all this mess in the first place.

    1. Tom F. says:

      If the church were to stay out of it, where would the country be today? Or, better yet, where would the congregation be today?

  19. Mrs. J.Clemons says:

    Having read through these comments causes me to realize that we do have a very blended though not always in agreement culture. I have friends both of white and not white status. I am amazed at the change in all of us in the attitudes we need to have, and the ones that we don’t have. WE need to pray for all of our brothers and sisters in the faith, it shouldn’t be a problem for us to do that. I participate in a study that is not all white, though I must say it is a majority of white it isn’t all that. Our church is not all white, and the people do try to mix, and blend and be friendly to all who come to visit, as well as those who are members. My original thoughts on the election may reflect well the thoughts that are already present here. But I will share them again just because this is how I really see have seen it to begin with. One, The choices given in the Primary were many, the ones that stood out and wanted to be voted for didn’t get the votes that were needed to be on the roster for the actual election. The one who won was a great dissapointment to many, causing them to have to vote for one they really didn’t want at least that is what I have thought as well as the many who did vote. The choices became as many saw a lesser of ‘two evils’ yet in reality they were in my words, ‘two wolves dressed in sheeps clothing, and one hid it much better than the other’. So it really wasn’t a choice at all, but rather which wolf do you vote for. I know of at least one who chose not to vote because of the problems in the process of even attempting to do so. And they said they would vote in the next election. I don’t know that we will have a choice at all even if there is a next election if we are still here ! I think now that the era of persecution of all believers world wide will get to a greater status and we as ‘easy comfortable’ status majority ? will be facing this more than we want to admit. Jobs, affected, businesses affected is only the beginning of what we will see. How strong is our faith to begin with ? How willing are we to face the Truth of what we say we really believe ? I know I am as weak as the next Christian, yet I say I hold on to my faith in Christ . These next years ahead may be the last ones we see if the Lord doesn’t choose to return in that time frame, but then I must remind myself we can’t pick the time of His Return, only the Father can do that. Our neigbhors may be of different cultures, we need to get to know them and pray for them and help them in whatever way we can do so. We must continue to show His love to all, and know that He will smile with us and help us as we live to obey His commands. We are given many opportunities to do so when natural dissastor takes place. That is when the public can have opportunity to see the realities of ok, now, put your feet to where your words of faith are. Help the poor, the unfortunate, and those who are sick, and yes even in jail. Share His love and the desire to want to hear the gospel will prepare an open heart to hear Him. To give the gospel without first showing His love in the process does not plant seeds of openess to hear the Word of God.WE are guilty of not all doing what is most needed. Our vote was an attempt to seek how to enforce what we want to have the rest to believe, whether it is through the president’s ways, or through the Church we all desire to share what is on our hearts, though not always the best at times, because we are all human. My choice was not chosen at the primary, so I was left with what was available to work with. I applaud the pro-life black young lady for sharing her views and life . I grieve that she has been treated with out love and without acceptance. WE as a human race need to treat all as to be His chosen people with Love and much prayer and kindness to those who do the best they can to live their faith even though it is seen differently through all of our spiritual and physical eyes .May God strengthen our love, in action and in a spirit of lovingkindness. I need to do this as much as anyone else does .

  20. Crystal says:

    I was doing more thinking and want to address this statement in the post:

    “When the community changes colors, churches tend to go into auto-pilot mode with the silent expectation that outsiders should conform to the church’s culture. In the end, we don’t model the coming kingdom or the current community. We develop a “fortress mentality” where a way of life is maintained instead of a “missional mentality” where missionary strategies are employed, strategies that actively seek to reflect the diversity in the community by reaching the lost outside their doors.”

    Here’s a question: How would (white) evangelicals interpret a Nigerian or South Korean congregation sending missionaries to American cities to share the gospel? Does that seem strange to you? Do you think “we don’t need missionaries to share the Gospel within the US!” If it does seem odd, why so?

    When the phrase “missional mentality” is used, it’s still placing white evangelical church of imparting to others, but needing nothing imparted to them. They’re the teachers and others are students.

    If in a local community a predominantly black or Latino congregation and a predominantly white congregation all agree in the sanctity of human life and affirming biblical marriage, what next? That’s the point I don’t understand…there never seems to be anything more than that. In Maryland, it seemed to me that many churches joined together to fight gay marriage and I’m wondering what’s going to be next? It passed…is everyone going to return back to their respective churches and that’s it?

    Are there no other issues that we can work together about, no other obstacles to remove? There doesn’t seem to be any conversation outside of abortion and gay marriage. Like these temporary coalitions form to fight the immediate threat and then act like there’s no other glue to hold them together. How about:

    – Incarceration rates among black and Hispanics
    – Low HS graduation rates among black and Hispanics
    – Job training/transitioning; networking
    – If you don’t like the DREAM Act how about establishing scholarships for people to attend college
    – Financial literacy
    – Homeownership
    – Civic Engagement
    – Environmental issues–> YES plants and business do tend to place their waste facilities in poorer urban and rural areas; every evangelical I hear act like global warming is a hoax but there are other environmental issues that are very real!
    – Neonatal education for mothers (whether they’re married or not!); breastfeeding; childcare; options to homeschool, charter school, private school, pre-school, etc.

    This is just a short list of areas where if Republican evangelicals want address the needs and issues of of the changing demographics.

    Another thing while I was at this conference is they seemed to act like the hands of time will suddenly turn back and everyone will stop having pre-marital sex. Be realistic…you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube!! Stop forcing people to get saved in order for you to provide them services at your pregnancy clinic and just help them! You don’t have to condone the behaviors or actions, but it seems like to me condemning and punishing by not helping are the orders of the day instead of helping and showing people by sincere action that there is forgiveness for sins, salvation, and grace.

    1. Rusty says:

      re: “- Incarceration rates among black and Hispanics
      – Low HS graduation rates among black and Hispanics
      – Job training/transitioning; networking
      – If you don’t like the DREAM Act how about establishing
      scholarships for people to attend college
      – Financial literacy
      – Homeownership
      – Civic Engagement
      – Environmental issues–> YES plants and business do tend to
      place their waste facilities in poorer urban and rural
      areas; every evangelical I hear act like global warming
      is a hoax but there are other environmental issues that
      are very real!
      – Neonatal education for mothers (whether they’re married or
      not!); breastfeeding; childcare; options to homeschool,
      charter school, private school, pre-school, etc.”

      Crystal, you’ve listed some very tough problems and issues that you think white evangelical Christians somehow don’t address. What makes you think those issues are NOT addressed and worked on by ALL Christians regardless of ethnic background?

      You described white evangelicals as often being a “one-trick pony” when it comes to moral issues such as abortion or same-sex marriage. My response to that is, if we can’t even agree that the most helpless in our society deserve protection, then how can we ever agree about anything else. As to same-sex marriage, it wouldn’t be an issue if the government wasn’t attempting to push it on all of us year after year. Should we just give it up in order to address other problems?

      It sounds like the conference you attended had some pretty narrow views and, I can’t imagine pastors or church leaders berating by name-calling the president. I can imagine pastors calling into question the morality of many of President Obama’s actions, but I would not condone name-calling.

      The pro-life groups I’ve been involved with never made anyone be “perfect” morally before offering prenatal help or baby care (clothes, formula, furniture, etc.).

      Do the Black community churches deal with any of the same issues you listed above? I would think that other churches, no matter what their ethnic make-up, would be glad to pitch in with some of these needs.

      I agree that the church has failed in many ways to fulfill its role in helping with societal problems. At one time it was ONLY the churches that did this. The government began to take on more and more leadership in these areas. I think mostly with good intentions, but after 40 years of government “help”, has it helped people become more responsible and independent or has it created greater and greater dependency? I think the latter has been the result.

      We have to start somewhere. Every time conservatives (aka some Republicans) try to initiate more responsibility on the part of recipients of governmental help (taxpayer money), or try to wean people off government dependency by putting a limit on the number of years a person can receive that help, it is usually met with cries of racism or causing undo hardship.

      The church has been pushed aside from being the primary source for social help in the community by the government or a willingness on the part of the church to turn a blind eye.

      I can tell you that if a church went to a public school and offered free tutoring to students, they would most likely be turned away because of the so-called “separation of church and state”.

      Crystal, you seem like a really nice person and a loving Christian. The election seems so disastrous to me because I just do not believe in the State being god. I do not believe in Marxism – which is what President Obama advocates (read his autobiography if you don’t believe me). Socialism never fixes anything. It only creates more misery to justify its existence. This election signifies that our country has passed the tipping point of no-return to a country whose founding ideals were based on the belief that our value and rights come from God, not the State, and, the Biblical idea that we were created to be personally responsible for ourselves, our families, our community, our nation, and to be free under God’s moral law.

      By this election, that has been permanently (I’m afraid) removed from out national character.

    2. Tyshan says:

      I really love the way you are thinking. I met a Haitian who wanted to come to America and share the gospel. They are a lot more forceful with sharing so He would have to change his strategy but I welcome Him because we need the help. Most Christians I know dont share their faith. America needs missionaries too.

      On your other point, I go to a black church. We have adopted our neighborhood and we are partnering with a neighboring black church to reach our area for Christ. My church has been walking through the neighborhood twice a month for a couple of years praying. We are buying lots and rebuilding houses and they recently closed an elementary school near by and my church plans to buy it and turn it into a boys school. We have a recovery ministry for men and women (all ethnic groups and races) which has been going on for years and the testimony is beautiful. Truly a picture of God restoring His people to Himself. And honestly I have no idea how my church would partner with a church of another ethnic group because they aren’t located near by. My church is in an area called “the bottom.” The congregation is black middle class but the neighborhood is working class. In my experience (and why a lot of blacks I know dont like the movie The Blind Side) is that people have a hard time with a savior they feel they cant relate to. Even in college I was the only black for a long time in my campus ministry and people of other races didnt start feeling the impact of our ministry until I broke away and started a ministry focused on people who looked like me. Then we partnered with the ministry I was originally apart of but after I graduated they stopped partnering.People are comfortable in their own culture.

      I would love to see more churches of other races/ethnic groups partnering to be apart of something together and rally around it because the truth is that black Christians aren’t Republican and I didn’t know Christians voted Republican until I got to college around white evangelical Christians and I think it would help WEC to come out of their box and see that.

      Ultimately I think the best way to help is to help without expecting something in return. Its like not giving a homeless person money because you dont want him to use the money to buy a beer. You help to help. Period. What people do with it is up to them. Our goal is to let our light shine. People are attracted to Jesus and will come to Him if we display Him because everyone needs salvation, forgiveness, and grace.

    3. JohnM says:

      Crystal you asked:

      “How would (white) evangelicals interpret a Nigerian or South Korean congregation sending missionaries to American cities to share the gospel? Does that seem strange to you?”

      …and the answer from this middle-aged white evangelical male is that I’d be happy to see Nigerian or South Korean congregations sending missionaries to the U.S., and yes I do think our American cities need evangelizing, and the American evangelical church could use some help. Not the response you’d have expected? Is it possible you were making your own unwarranted assumptions about people of a different background then your own? :)

      1. Crystal says:

        In all honesty, I asked it rhetorically and as a thought exercise but I’m happy you replied in an encouraging way.

    4. Patrick says:

      How would you tackle some these issues, like incarceration, job-training, etc?

      1. Crystal says:

        Sure!

        Let’s take an example of job training. Let’s say in your congregation you have a Director of Human Resources or someone who’s job has something to do with professional development or leadership development. What’s stopping a church from creating a monthly workshop that they advertise for or specifically target an area with–because this is outreach and you’ve INTENTIONALLY decided to target a specific group of people–and using the talent within the congregation seek to:

        – Review resumes and cover letters
        – Explain the concept of networking
        – How to research a possible employer
        – How to contact a recruiter
        – Interview coaching and mock interviews
        – How to utilize a temporary agency
        – How to read a job description
        – How to use the internet to search for jobs (you’d be surprised at how many people still just walk around looking for “now hiring” signs!)
        – How to search for a job based on your skill set
        – Etc.

        What’s stopping a church from regularly going to a blighted area and doing these things? What does this have to do with abortion or gay marriage–the one trick ponies I talked about?

        I’m not saying this isn’t done, but I’m saying do more of it. This is a manner and means of reaching people, addressing a practical need and it can soften people’s hearts towards Christ, and if you want to think politically, enlarging your voter base because you’re not pointing your fingers at them and lamenting about how lazy they are are refusing to work for themselves and destroying the morality of the country.

        Maybe people are afraid and don’t know how so they don’t try…that’s not unusual. You’re helping to empower them to change something in their lives instead of berating for ruining everything. And you’re removing more person of the so-called dependency of the gov’t.

        This is just an example and it’s not perfect but it’s a start.

  21. Rusty says:

    re: “I’m not looking forward to the next four years but that is because I’m looking at my own comfort and not what brings glory to God.”

    You think not wanting Obama is about because of selfishness?? When this economy completely collapses from continued spending/printing of money the government doesn’t have, when social security and medicare completely runs out of money, when Obamacare causes the destruction of not only private insurance businesses, but also many, many small and large businesses – how many people get hurt by that??

    It’s not just about me and mine or yours – it is about this generation’s prosperity and the future of our children and our children’s children. It crosses all racial and economic levels.

    Yes, God’s church will survive by His power through good and hard times, prosperous and poor, but it is not selfishness to want a healthy, strong economy based on sound Biblical fiscal principals – why? Because that is a blessing to all.

    The nation made its choice and we are going to have to live with the consequences of that choice – but, I’m not going to spiritualize it and try to make it sound like this was God’s will or something.

  22. David Van Lant says:

    Did you actually think this was worth posting?

  23. T R Miller says:

    Trevin,

    Thanks for the balanced, frank perspective for us as Christians.

  24. J Kaufmann says:

    One thing churches can help with is to start now getting Christians registerede to vote. There is a large percentage of Christians who do not participate in the governmental process. Christ told people to render unto Caesar. That would include the responsibily to knowledgedly vote. If those unregistered Christians had voted according to their beliefs, the last few elections would have been entirely different, and we would not be seeing the abortions, homosexuality or criminal activity in our government. Wake up this sleeping giant and bring the US back to its Judeo-Christian roots.

  25. John Las Vegas says:

    Changing demographics had less to do with the election results than a changing sense of morality among the electorate. The male white voter has become a euphemism for the ignorant, self righteous, morally bankrupt segment of the population mired in self pity, bitter from their decreased relevance caused by their own callous disregard for an evolving society. A political party only has life as long as people find it valuable, and so goes the church.

  26. Corneliu Ilea says:

    Well, the type of Christianity advocated here is inherently petty bourgeois, at least. It’s its DNA. No strategies will save it from that. And I see it tends to produce similar effects when exported-only more ridiculous, because it’s even more ghetto-ish. I saw it in my home country.

    1. Patrick says:

      I don’t understand. Can you clarify for me what is bourgeois?

  27. Bob in IN says:

    If real Christians spent their time and money proclaiming the gospel instead of on political agendas and analysis, spreading the word of God, instead of focusing on demands of moralism, we would be fulfilling our biblical mandate and not be side-tracked into focusing on the good, instead of the best.

  28. Greg says:

    The biggest thing that we can take away is that the gospel needs to be preached! 59 million (and counting) Americans voted for the most pro abortion politician in American hisotry…as well as a man who does not stand for marriage equality. Either Americans decided to vote against biblical values, or, perhaps more likely, millions of Americans are lost. We need to preach the gospel with more passion and concern, both in the cities and churches.

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David. You can follow him on Twitter. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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