By Rosa Edwards
I think I'm finally able to say this. God has reasons for things and there is something good to be said even in circumstances that seem so upside-down. In my case it's the candidacy of Donald Trump. It's so surreal to me that barring divine intervention or him just flat-out quitting, he will be the Republican nominee. But I am finally able to say that his candidacy has had a definite silver lining. For years I have prayed to be Biblical rather than political, to not play the "us vs them" political games, vote for someone because of the R or D in front of their name, or look to an elected official to be a hero. But the truth is that even as my heart has sought that, I still had vestiges of looking for hope in our political system.
As I went through the series on the Constitution and reflected/studied the Founder's intentions, I had a growing realization of how far our system is from that. I came to understand that both a "strict" and "living" constitutional viewpoint have implications that are positive and negative. I saw how presidents change the office, for good or bad, for generations to come. At the end of it all, I saw that it was important to release even this superb document and system from being "the answer."
Don't get me wrong. I still agree with Winston Churchill that "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” I also recognize the truth of Benjamin Franklin's words about the type of government they had created: "A Republic, if you can keep it." I think it's important to keep having the conversations about the Founders' intent and what they meant by the things they wrote. I think it's vitally important to understand why they set things up the way they did and I think every American should read the Federalist Papers to answer some of those questions we should ask ourselves, like why representative instead of direct democracy, etc.
But Christ didn't come to set up a political system. He isn't limited by them and as a Jesus-follower neither am I. There are passionate followers of Christ in every system imaginable from monarchies to communists to dictatorial regimes to theocracies to near-anarchies. If someone can live all-in for Jesus in North Korea, then I can certainly do so in a flawed democratic republic with two major-party presidential candidates I could never vote for.
None of that diminishes my responsibility as a citizen. The Constitution course reaffirmed my conviction that the government will only be as strong as the people are engaged. But that engagement doesn't have to be by defending a party line. In fact, it shouldn't be. It can be a principled vote. It can be reaching out to elected officials to give them information they otherwise wouldn't have had. Of course it should always include prayer for those officials.
More than any quote about America what rings in my mind are the words of Abraham Kuyper: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”
Jesus Reigns. That is not just a truth to hold on to for a future millennial reign. He ascended and sits at God's mighty right hand NOW. I knew that truth in my head for years. But it took wrestling with Donald Trump's success to make it real in my heart.