Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pre-Election Thoughts

I am writing this the night before election day, around midnight Monday night. I cannot resist sharing a few thoughts about this election, before it occurs.

In polls and predictions, President Obama seems to have the edge, but the race is close enough that it could go either way.

Those of us who pray about the election should pray that God's will be done, and that too can go either way.

God sees the big picture and He knows His timetable for end-time events. We might have our preferences as to how the election will turn out, but God is wiser than we are and has access to more information and knowledge than we have - excuse my understatement.

I can think of reasons for either candidate to win to help bring about end-time events.

If God wants to give the Church of God and the United States more time before the end, giving the nation more time to repent and giving the Church more time to preach the gospel and the warning message (and to repent also - we in the Church need to repent of our Laodiceanism, our lukewarmness towards the things of God), then God may cause the candidate whose policies are better for the welfare and strength of the economy and the nation to win. That could slow down our decline as a nation so we do not fall too quickly, giving us all more time to do what we need to do.

On the other hand, God may let the candidate whose policies will further weaken the United States win in order to speed up our decline if time is to be short.

There are other possible factors.

The current administration in the last four years has been putting into place or leaving in place policies whose effects will take time to be realized and have not yet been realized. Those policies include economic policies, deficit spending, tax laws, and foreign policy. Health care is an example. Many of the provisions of the health care law have not yet taken effect, but will in the next four years.

How those effects are realized can have an enormous effect on the election of 2016 (yes, I think there will be an election in 2016 - I feel strongly the tribulation will not begin before then). Perhaps in God's sight it is fitting that the current administration have to deal with and be held accountable in the next four years for policies it has put in place in the last four years.

One thing I think about is abortion and Roe vs. Wade. Abortion is probably one of our greatest sins as a nation, one that most members of traditional Christian churches can understand is a serious sin. Yet, the decision to allow women to have abortions is not directly made by the country's elected representatives. It is made by a Supreme Court that maintains the decision of Roe vs. Wade, a decision that says that the Constitution of the United States gives women the right to have an abortion if they choose. I think it is a bad decision, not just in terms of policy, but a bad legal decision. The Constitution does not give a woman the right to have an abortion. Nevertheless, no Supreme Court has overturned Roe vs. Wade since the ruling was made.

The next four years are likely to be tough ones, and whatever party is in control is likely to get a strong measure of the blame. If the Democrats win this time, it is likely, in my opinion, they will lose big in 2016.

Mr. Romney may not have a strong enough commitment, nor might he be politically strong enough if he wins, to put conservative Supreme Court justices into place that are willing to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

But if there is a political landslide in 2016 with a Republican president strongly committed to fighting against abortion and a strong conservative majority in the Senate to approve his choices for Supreme Court, the stage could be set at that time for eventual overturning of Roe vs. Wade. I think that landslide is more likely if President Obama wins re-election and has to take responsibility for the problems that will come to the surface in the next four years, economic problems and foreign policy problems, problems caused by his decisions of the last four years.

Why might God want Roe vs. Wade overturned?

This is speculation on my part of course, but as long as Roe vs. Wade stands, people in this country can feel they are not responsible for abortion. It is the decision of a Supreme Court over which the voters have no direct control. But if Roe vs. Wade is overturned, then for the first time in decades the decisions about abortion law will be made by the Congress and president who are elected by the people. Abortion will become a major issue, much bigger than it is now. And if, after the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, the voters elect representatives who pass federal laws guaranteeing women the right to have abortions, then abortions will continue, but the people of this country will better understand their responsibility for that. They will be less likely to think, it is the fault of the Supreme Court, not the people.

Also, if abortion becomes a bigger issue, as it would if Roe vs. Wade is overturned, then that will simultaneously focus the minds of people, especially religious people, Protestants and Catholics, on the immorality of our country, and this will help them understand the tribulation when it comes.

The overturning of Roe vs. Wade will make abortion a bigger issue because it will mean that the voters will have control - they can elect representatives who can pass laws either against abortion or for it - it will no longer be a decision dictated by the Supreme Court. That will make abortion a bigger campaign issue in future elections.

One political note. Do Bill and Hillary Clinton want President Obama to win? They must openly support him, but do they really want him to win? Mrs. Clinton is probably next in line for nomination by the Democratic party after President Obama. Does she want to run defending the results of President Obama's administration for eight years, results that will become more obvious in the next four years, or does she want to run attacking the track record of Mr. Romney for the next four years, years that may see economic and foreign policy turmoil far greater than we have seen before? It may be that they are not that enthusiastic about the re-election of the president, though they must outwardly support him, and that may be true for others in politics and the news media who have the sense of realism to know what the next four years will be like, yet would like to see the Clintons back in the white house (and Mrs. Clinton be the first woman president of the United States).

We pray that God will work out his will and purpose in guiding the election results, and I am sure this is a prayer God will answer one way or another.

Sometimes what seems bad news turns out to be good news for the long term when God works out events.

Look at Pearl Harbor. In the immediate results, it was a disaster for the United States. We lost many lives and many of our battleships were destroyed or crippled. Yet in the long-term scheme of things, Pearl Harbor helped to accomplish the victory of the English-speaking people over the Axis powers. It brought the United States out of its isolation and into the war, and it arouse a fighting spirit among all the American people. Had the United States not come into the war at that time, victory over Germany would have been more difficult and less certain. Also, while the Japanese crippled our battleships at Pearl Harbor, they left our fuel supplies in Hawaii and our aircraft carrier force intact. Their commanding admiral was a cautious man and he did not order a second strike, which might have knocked out our fuel supplies, supplies that would take a long time to replenish. Our aircraft carriers were saved because they were not in Pearl Harbor that Sunday morning. They were at sea on training maneuvers. And while it was not fully realized at that moment, battleships were no longer the main weapon at sea - aircraft carriers were what counted. We later won the battle of Midway with aircraft carriers, and battleships were not significant in that battle because of the short range of their guns compared with the long range of carrier-based aircraft.

So however the election turns out, God can guide it for ultimate good in ways we do not see at the time. God's business is teaching mankind lessons, and He can use the election for that purpose.

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