Post Election… Christians change your tone?

“But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head”

When I saw the headline on the evening of November 6, “Fox News projects Democrats capture House of Representatives,” a great heaviness settled over me. First, there were all those prophecies of a red wave that I knew would never come to pass, although I believe that in the end the behavior of the left will come home to roost for them. I hope that those who prophesied wrongly of a “red tsunami” will now have the grace and humility to publicly admit error and apologize.

With the loss of the House of Representatives, there will now be trouble, turmoil and paralysis in Washington and for the nation. For two years I have been calling for prayer for President Trump, saying that if he would not learn that you cannot win by insulting enemies and calling them names there would be losses. I have lamented the fact that for two years many fellow Christians have argued with me to justify his tone, as if denigrating and dishonoring others were a good and needed thing. Why didn’t we understand the Scriptures and the heart of our Lord? Proverbs 12:18 “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, But the tongue of the wise brings healing.” OR, 16:7, “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” I lay the responsibility for Republican losses in the House of Representatives squarely on the shoulders of both President Donald Trump and many of us who identify as evangelical Christians. You cannot win friends and influence enemies or win them to your point of view by insulting people and calling them names.

For a number of years now I have pled prophetically, “Christians! Change your tone!” We are commanded to overcome evil with good, to bless our enemies, not attack them, and in so doing heap burning coals upon their heads. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head” (Romans 12:20). In the Ancient Near East where wood might be scarce, one man in the village would keep a fire burning all night. In the morning he would build it up and then burn it down to a pile of coals. Placing a block of wood on his head, he would fill a pot with the coals, place it on that block, and go through the village with a pair of tongs giving coals to the women to start the morning’s cook fires. Bless your enemy and you will make him a spreader of warmth. But too many of us have participated in the hatred and the harsh words that fail to reflect the heart of our Lord. This can only spread and sustain conflict and hatred, not to mention failing to represent the heart of Jesus.

It would seem in all of this that too many of us, both on the left and on the right, unwittingly place our hope in a political system, philosophy or outcome rather than in the Lord. In so doing, we engage in a form of idolatry. Anger, forms of hatred and destruction inevitably result, in the same way that such things affected ancient Israel. Jesus alone is our hope. No matter who is in office or what kind of government we live under, nothing changes for us in terms of our focus, anointing, task or calling.

And so I grieve at the outcome of this midterm election, but even more for the reasons for it. I know that we must take full responsibility for giving control of the House of Representatives to a party that supports the murder of unborn children and seems to abhor the actual rule of law in many areas of national life. We must redouble our prayers and make repentance and holiness a significant focus. Following the election in 2016 I was given a vision of four sticks with the fourth stick bending. It represented four years of preparation with trouble of some kind unfolding in the middle of the fourth year. I realized later that the middle of the fourth year coincides with the heat of the next presidential election cycle. The fulfillment of that vision seems more certain to me now, although I still believe that through prayer much can be turned and seasons of preparation can be extended. God help us.

Many have prophesied a second term for President Trump, but such prophecies are conditional upon many factors, one of which turns on our prayers and the change of tone for which I plead. Because the mouth speaks from that which fills the heart, changes of tone come from changes at the level of the heart. We need a move of true holiness, repentance and godly transformation of heart and spirit in this nation, beginning with God’s people. We in the body of Christ now live in a limited season of favor in which to adjust our focus, get serious about Jesus, seek cleansing and begin to look more like the Holy One we serve.

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