Thursday, November 8, 2012

My reaction to American Election 2012

On November 7, 2012, when I heard the results of the hotly and closely contested election, the information while not surprising confirmed to me the beginning of the decline of Evangelical America. Unlike the rest of my Caribbean friends who are elated at the re-election of the president of colour, my concern is that Americans have voted against Biblical Christianity's influence on their public policy. That to me is not something that I celebrate. In fact, it tells me that from now on Biblical Christians, whether Catholic or Protestant, will be a minority not only in America, but globally. It also tells me that America, the last religious developed nation on earth, will now go the way of secular Europe. For me, this is a hard pill to swallow.

Most of my spiritual values have been shaped by both Anglican education and American Protestantism. My outlook and worldview have all be constructed from drawing on the stories from either American Protestantism, or being inculcated by my education in Anglican schools up to tertiary level. As such, my identity and "self" or what secularists would call "ego", identifies with American Evangelicals and Catholics and their struggles to maintain their national identity. But at last, progressive liberal secularist and humanist agenda has won the culture wars. Progress is now defined as abandoning the Protestant ethic and history of the United States towards the socialist and secular models of Europe.

However, people have a right to chose and to decide their destiny. And the people of America have spoken louder than the Christian community. Hence the last religious developed nation on earth is about to shed its identity with its conservative religious past, and change its own story and history. A new story about America will be written within the coming decades. One that will be increasingly secular and anti-Protestant  and anti-Christian. However, this will also be not just the situation in America, but across the rest of the world.

I have always felt like a minority because of my spiritual beliefs. Even within Christianity and even within the denomination that I now fellowship in. This is due to the fact that I am anti-traditions of men. My own religious identity draws upon the story of Reformation and the need for Christianity to be in a constant state of looking back at their traditions and identifying what is a product of apostasy versus what is authentic. The election results have had me this week in a state of introspection recognising that the days of me having political influence in any nation has ended. My votes will always be within the minority. Also, the candidates that I would want to represent me, will never win nomination much less an election. That to me deprives me of hope for the nations and my place in them.

Yet, there is hope when I look back to the stories and prophecies of Scripture. Because, if these things did not take place, then Biblical prophecies would not be coming to pass. In the Bible, Jesus tells me that these last days, Christians will be hated, but must stand their ground (Matthew 10:22).  However Jesus  also says that when we are persecuted as Christians, we must flee into other cities (Matthew 10:23). Hence, today's globalisation presents the opportunity to travel and immigrate providing us Christians with the opportunity to flee persecution as we remain true to our identity in Christ. As such, for those in America, I encourage you not to limit your identity to your nationality, but be willing to even flee to a developing nation, when and if you are persecuted in your homeland for your beliefs and refusal to act against your conscience. Look back to the stories of the American pilgrims and remember that they too had to flee Europe to establish what you have inherited. Yet not only can we flee to other nations when the persecution becomes unbearable, but Jesus promises that we will not exhaust the cities before he returns (Matthew 10:23).  May God bless you as we wait the return of the one in whom we believe. Stand firm and trust the word of God, though hell seems to move against you.