That Fight’s Over. The Real One Goes On.
I woke up today wondering what the world would look like had yesterday’s election had come out differently: if either the Democrats or the Republicans had won both houses. In the short run, the answer is, not much.
If Democrats Had Won It All
If Democrats had won the Senate, we’d still have a thin constitutional-leaning majority on the Supreme Court. Future conservative judicial appointments would face serious opposition. But Roe v. Wade wouldn’t be overturned that much slower on that account; even today’s conservative-leaning court is showing no hurry to overturn it. Neither would we see much immediate difference in marriage law, or in religious freedom opponents’ pestering lawsuits.
The Senate makes a difference, certainly, but over a period of years, not months. The one big short-term difference is that a Republican Senate will put a big brake on House Democrats’ hopes for impeaching anyone.
If Republicans Had Won It All
If Republicans had kept both houses, the one biggest immediate difference would be in Nancy Pelosi’s profile. But we already know it wouldn’t turn the country conservative. So major news networks would still cheer the latest “LGBTQ advance,” and we who hold marriage and morality in high regard would still be labeled “homophobic” and “transphobic.” Major universities would still be centers of leftist learning.
The election mattered, and its effects will be felt for years to come. On the other hand, though, nothing in yesterday’s vote could have reduced America’s polarization over race, taxes, the “1 percent,” guns, government spending, health care, and on and on. The battles will continue. As they should.
Politics Reflects a Much Larger Conflict
For politics is only a reflection of the larger fight, the war two kingdoms, the realm of light and the domain of darkness. Let’s not shrink back from those words. God gave them to us Himself through His own Word. There really is a difference, and we really can choose sides. We have to; we have no choice. We’re with one or the other. “He who is not with Me is against Me,” said Jesus.
The kingdom of light is the way of truth that’s not confused over God’s being the Truth Who is actually true. It’s the way of goodness that’s really good, and of love that expresses truth for the good of others. The domain of darkness is quite simply the corruption of truth, goodness and love. There’s too much of that going around.
These two kingdoms have fought since long before humans came on the scene to join in. But join in we have. I fight the light/darkness battle within my own heart. We all do. The light wins only as we allow Jesus Christ to reign in us.
Our individual battles are echoed and replayed on every level, from friendships to marriages to families to schools and cities, to business, education and entertainment. The battle reaches even to the heavenly realms.
The Human Heart and Spirit
Political battles are obviously one more expression of the larger conflict. Interestingly enough, historically speaking, relatively few people have had a part in politics. We live in special circumstances. We have a voice in running our country. But even our elections reflect rather than control the progress of the spiritual battles.
Take racial issues, for example. They didn’t become the flashpoint they are because of anything to do with Democrats vs. Republicans. It goes down to a much more basic level. It’s because men and women for years have practiced too much dehumanizing hatred — which is an undeniably spiritual matter.
Likewise abortion is a legislative and judicial issue primarily because men and women want sex without meaningful consequences. Again, that’s a matter of the human heart and spirit.
No Time to Let Down Now
This year’s particular political battle has come to its end. Its outcome is settled, with just a few loose ends left to tie up. The larger fight — the spiritual battle — never ends; not until Jesus Christ returns and settles it for real.
It’s political, yes. It’s also educational. And relational. And cultural. And humanitarian. And so much more, all of which is spiritual.
So we continue on in it. It is our ongoing duty to live genuine lives in Christ, showing His truth and goodness lived out in the examples of our lives. So we pray, knowing that God is the ultimate warrior in these spiritual conflicts. We persuade by every honest and legitimate means possible.
God has called us to these things in our own spheres of influence, from home and family to school, work, church, community, vocational groups, every place Christ can direct his loving influence through us. He’s called us to expand our influence, for “the gates of hell shall not prevail” against His Church.
That’s not about defending our own ground by the way. Satan isn’t advancing on us swinging a pair of gates! It’s about attacking the spiritual gates by which he tries to protect his territory.
It’s political, yes. It’s also educational. And relational. And cultural. And humanitarian. And so much more, all of which is spiritual. So this is no time to let down. Gear up! Equip yourself for the continuing battle — the fight for the light.