November 7, 2012
The Kingdom of God grew and matured yesterday. It was good to see it. I watched Christians by the millions vote on Christian principle. They voted for Kingdom issues rather than selfish self-interest. They voted with passion, not for a man or against a man, but for what they believed Jesus Christ desired. They prayed fervently, and participated diligently and kindly. Throughout this election season we watched an amazing display of the maturing Church in action.
Oh, I know, those who are concerned about biblical principles did not see a lot of encouragement from the raw vote totals yesterday. But you have to mine the exit polls, you have to uncover how and why people were voting to see the light shining in the darkness. Remember, the angels are praising around the throne right this instant because the whole earth is full of his glory (see Isaiah 6:1-3). If you are having a hard time seeing that glory today, you must not be looking in the right places. Let’s look into some of those places.
When you check the exit polling data, you can look for the negatives, or you can look for the glory. I choose to look for the glory. As I check the 2008 election demographics, and compare them to yesterday, I am encouraged. The Roman Catholic vote and the White Evangelical/Born Again vote both shifted 4% toward the party with the more biblical platform. Among the Black population, that same shift is happening, though not quite as fast. In 2008, the Democratic party received 95% of the Black vote. This year the party, which has taken an even more active stand against biblical morality than in 2008, only received 93% of that vote. I’m certain that Black evangelicals drove that shift.
These may not sound like huge numbers, but they are. Each percentage point represents hundreds of thousands of souls who have begun to think Kingdom at a higher level.* We must see this. You can either focus on the negatives, or you can focus on the glory of what is happening. Millions of people’s hearts are being changed.
Jesus taught that the Kingdom grows in increments, and often without much observation. Jesus said:
He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”
He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.” (Matthew 13:31-33 NIV)
However, because our two-party system has now morphed into a national referendum on biblical principles, we have the privilege of measuring some of the growth of the Kingdom. Every four years, the Lord gives us a national test that gives us the ability to measure, at least at some levels, how the mustard seed is doing. Election polling data provides us a snapshot of where we stand. I am encouraged that we are doing better than four years ago. You may wish the trends were moving more quickly, but the truth is that mustard seeds don’t grow all that quickly. The truth is that it takes a bit of time for the yeast to work through the dough.
Jesus called his Church a City on a Hill. He said that you can’t hide such a city. This means, that as the mustard seed grows, as the Kingdom grows and matures, you should be able to see the light shining forth in some quantifiable ways. I believe our nation as a whole failed some fairly significant biblical tests yesterday. But, at the same time, it is evident that the Church is understanding the Kingdom at a higher level. That light will continue to grow. It will continue to provide light to a popular culture steeped in ever-increasing darkness. It will continue to make a difference, and will do so with ever-increasing influence.
* To be more specific: Approximately 1.2 million Catholics, 1.2 million evangelicals, and over 300,000 Black voters shifted allegiance toward the more biblical position. That is almost three million people who began to shine more brightly this presidential election cycle over the last one.
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