Scott Sauls is the senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennesee. Prior to Nashville, Sauls was founding pastor of churches in Kansas City and St. Louis, and eventually became a lead and preaching pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, where he served alongside Timothy Keller. Sauls graduated from Furman University and Covenant Seminary. He taught homiletics (preaching) at Covenant Theological Seminary. Sauls is also the author of five books, including “A Gentle Answer: Our Secret Weapon in an Age of Us Against Them” and a sought-after speaker.
Our country just experienced a very close and very contentious election. In Today’s Conversation podcast, Scott Sauls offers pastoral guidance on how Christians should respond to this election — or any election — and what opportunities we have to be a light for Christ in a divided nation. He grounds his advice in examples and values from the Bible.
NAE President Walter Kim and Scott discuss:
- What evangelicals should believe about God’s sovereignty, regardless of who the president is;
- What we should think about authority, particularly if we deeply disagree with that authority;
- How Christians engage on political issues with society at large, especially non-Christian neighbors; and
- The opportunities the Church has in this post-election season.
Read a Portion of the Transcript
Walter: Some people in our churches are thrilled with the results of the election. And just as some are thrilled, others are devastated. There are plenty of people in between. What do you say to these groups of people? Are there different messages for the different categories? Or the same message for everyone? How do you lead and speak into that situation?
Scott: Well, obviously you have to do it sensitively for people who are feeling anxious — overly anxious or overly elated, right? You don’t want to shame people for being overly elated, and you don’t want to guilt people for being overly anxious. But we do, as the messengers of Jesus, want to embrace our role as helping others as well as ourselves to put all of this American politics into its proper context.
I think it’s wonderful that whenever we have a presidential election, the next season we go into is a season of Advent, which emphasizes that the government will be on Jesus’ shoulders and of the increase of his reign in government there will be no end. He is the one that’s not voted out. He is the one that’s not dethroned. He is the one that doesn’t have a term limit.
Whatever outcomes politically we might, during whatever season, be elated by, we can’t hold on too tightly to hope, because it’s only a matter of time before this leader, this administration, this philosophy is taken out of power. Or if we are so anxious and devastated, again we are talking about a temporal situation. And we are also talking about a Christian reality, which is true at all times, and that is that we are aliens and strangers. That is our identity with respect to our relationship with the world; we are aliens and strangers. Our citizenship is elsewhere.
Hebrews Chapter 11, the heroes of the faith, they are all looking ahead to a better country, it says. None of them received the promises of the good life, the flourishing world that they all dream of. None of them, it says, received the promises in their lifetime. Whenever we think that a politician is going to bring God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven, we’ve lost our focus. Of course, we can celebrate leaders that amplify truth, beauty and justice in their leadership. We can always celebrate that. But always with a measuredness, because we ought not put our hope in princes and chariots, but in the name of the Lord our God.
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- Follow Scott Sauls on Twitter, Instagram or at ScottSauls.com.
- Read his latest book, “A Gentle Answer: Our Secret Weapon in an Age of Us Against Them.”
- Check out “A Call to Civic Responsibility for the Health of the Nation” and add your name.
Today’s Conversation is brought to you by Christian Community Credit Union.