by Rev. Kelvin Walker
The race is over. The POTUS-elect has been chosen. And if you’re like me—regardless of how you voted—you’re likely in shock. For this is not the outcome predicted by the statisticians.
For those who wonder where God is in this election, let us be reminded in Psalm 75:7 and Daniel 2:20–21 that God is the One who “executes judgment, putting one down and lifting up another.” Because wisdom and power belong to God, He is the One who “deposes kings and raises up others.”
On the other hand, let us also be reminded that the person He raises up may not necessarily be His choice. Sometimes, God answers the arrogant, self-centered, shortsighted prayers we pray—not because it’s His desire. Rather, because it’s what we asked for in our own wisdom. King Saul is proof of that in the life of Israel (see 1 Samuel 8). My point is simply this: Neither side of the political coin has the inside scoop on the mind of God with regard to the POTUS-elect.
What I am not shocked about, however, is what the past two years of this election campaign have revealed about American society. We are not nearly as far along as we pretend to be. We are still a nation divided.
This election has revealed we are still a nation filled with racism, classism, and sexism. People are still marginalized and sidelined as if they do not bear the image of the Creator. To be clear, the election did not cause this. The election has simply manifested and given rise to what has been lying under the surface for a long time. Of this I am not shocked. However, I am grieved beyond words.
What grieves me even more is the division that still exists within the Church that Jesus gave His life for. His last prayer to the Father was for us to be one, just as He and the Father are one. Regrettably, today, this is not the case. And yet, this ought not to be, as God through Christ has declared there is “. . . neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
Again, we cannot presume upon the mind of the Lord in relation to the election. However, the more time we spend presumptively debating the election and its results, the more we fail to do that which we know is the mind of the Lord for His Church. “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8). This has not changed, regardless of who sits in the Oval Office.
As long as division exists in the Church, the roots of racism, sexism, and classism will never be cut off. People will continue in their marginalization. That which the Lord requires of us will go ignored, and we will cease to be a credible witness to the world. Our call is to live lives that reflect the Kingdom of God—a Kingdom of justice, lovingkindness, and humility, where we honor the image of God in all humanity. That is our call.
So, in light of the election, how then shall we live? Before the election ever took place, I determined in my own heart to do three things, regardless of who won. May I offer them to the Church as a way forward?
- Regularly pray for the new POTUS-elect in obedience to Scripture. And, while we’re at it, let us not forget to regularly pray for the current sitting POTUS who remains in office until Inauguration Day.
- Regularly say to our souls, “No matter who’s in office, Jesus has not left HIS forever throne, nor has HE given up HIS forever reign. He is still Lord.”
- More than ever before, do what we know the Lord requires of us: “. . . do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with [our] God.”
When it comes to cries for justice and mercy, the Church’s voice should always be the loudest. When it comes to proclaiming the Imago Dei in all humanity, the Church should always lead the way. That has nothing to do with who the POTUS is. That has everything to do with how we see one another. Micah 6:8 is not an option. It is a Kingdom calling. Let me ask you: How are we doing?
Kelvin Walker is the lead pastor of Bedford Community Church (Bedford Hills, N.Y.), president of the C&MA Association of African-American Pastors, and a member of the U.S. Alliance Board of Directors.