2016 election presents crisis of conscience

By Scot Loyd, Contributing Columnist

The 2016 Presidential election presents many Christians with a crises of conscience as the potential pitfalls and promise of each candidate is weighed.

As we enter into the home stretch before election day, certainly it is appropriate to pause and reflect upon the importance of this election, but perhaps we should also reflect upon its eternal unimportance.

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As Christians we should understand that a sovereign God is neither Republican or Democrat, and that He remains on the throne, no matter who occupies the White House.

However, the claims of some within the Christian community about occupants of the oval office, would lead us to believe that the Sovereign has been distracted by the latest Netflix stream.

Consider the outlandish claims made against the current White House occupant.

Barack Obama continues to be entangled in the web of intrigue that has sprung up around him.

Both candidates continue to fuel speculation about his origins and his destiny.

The Republican nominee Donald Trump only grudgingly admitting recently, that indeed Obama was born in America, and the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton continually lauding Obama as “transformational,” the hyperbole on both sides should be recognized as rhetorically insensitive to those who recognize the truly transformational ruler, Jesus, was born in a manger.

But every four years in the United States, with the election or reelection of a President, speculation as to their nefarious “true” identities stretch the boundaries of congruity.

For example, a YouTube video claims to be an in-depth study of Luke 10:18, wherein Jesus reports seeing “Satan fall from heaven as lightning.”

The maker of the video has concocted a ridiculous theory.

Although the New Testament was originally written in the Greek language, this “scholar” insisted on reading it in Hebrew.

Through a series of linguistic gymnastics, he managed to wrestle a pronunciation where “lightning and Satan” sounded a bit like “Barrack Obama.”

The sarcastic cynic in me wonders how this important insight has remained hidden for 2,000 years of church history, and how long it took the author of the “Obama is Satan” video to find a New Testament scripture that, when read in Hebrew, almost sounded like the name of our current President?

Clearly, some people have too much time on their hands.

This example of the current manifestation of “end-time madness” may be laughable, but stories like this are not rare.

It seems with every emergence of new global personalities voices erupt with the chants of the discovery of The Anti-Christ.

Yet we need not embrace this understanding, to truly identify the spirit of antichrist.

Before John was exiled to Patmos, where he wrote down his Revelation, he wrote in 1 John 2:22 “Who is the liar, but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son…. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us -eternal life.”

John makes it clear that those who are not abiding in Christ, and have not the message of the Gospel abiding in them have embraced the spirit of all that is opposed to who Christ is and what he represents.

This should impact how we respond to the endless and often mindless preoccupations as to the correct understanding of end-time events, and the unbalanced weight of importance we are tempted to attach to one election.

What we should embrace is the message of the Gospel which is sufficient to our hope as the people of God, that Christ will return to Earth, bringing clarity, peace, justice and reward with him.

In light of John’s writing we should examine our lives in the light of God’s word so that there is no denying of Christ with our lifestyle while we acknowledge him with our lips.

Although I do have many disagreements with the current occupant of the White House, and will continue to disagree with future occupants, the focus of my scrutiny is best spent on the occupant of my house.

It is far more likely that I will find the antichrist when I examine the preoccupations of my heart than when I examine the headlines.

We should not live our lives seeking the identity of the Anti-Christ, but rather in praise of the majesty and glory of The Christ, Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

The one true Sovereign, who is not up for election.

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