In three weeks, the baffling 2016 presidential election will be over. The winner will begin assembling a White House cabinet. The loser will most likely disappear for a while. And our polarized nation, weary from all the sound and fury of ugly politics, will recover from the stress of this crazy season.
Many evangelical Christians have supported billionaire Donald Trump, either because he is a Washington outsider or because his policies seem more conservative than Clinton's. Some charismatic leaders, such as Lance Wallnau, have even prophesied that Trump is God's man. But that has been a difficult idea to sell, especially to African-American or Hispanic Christian voters who view Trump as racist and anti-immigrant.
The new revelations of Trump's "locker room" comments about women have not helped his case. Many evangelicals have abandoned him over his insulting sexist language. The result is that the latest polls show Clinton leading Trump by 11 points. Barring some new scandal about Mrs. Clinton's honesty, her clandestine ties to Middle Eastern donors or a new batch of leaked emails, it is very likely she will win on Nov. 8.
Some Christians would like to crucify me for saying that. But even Fox News reported this week that Trump is losing—and some Fox pundits are already throwing in their chips and working on plans for a Republican victory in the 2020 race.
Here's my concern: How is the evangelical church going to respond if Mrs. Clinton wins? Hopefully we will allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, rather than our outrage. I would recommend the following:
1. Make a commitment to pray for your president. Many evangelicals who opposed President Obama's election refused to pray for him—ignoring our scriptural mandate to pray for "all who are in authority" (1 Tim. 2:2). I know white Christians who hate Obama, and that has grieved the Holy Spirit and fueled hostility between the White House and the Christian community. Just because you don't agree with a leader's policies doesn't excuse you from supporting him or her in prayer. If Mrs. Clinton wins, I intend to pray for her daily.
2. Don't demonize people who didn't vote your way. Hopefully voters will remain peaceful if Mr. Trump loses. The last thing America needs is more riots. But I know Christians who display a lawless spirit in their comments on social media. Some have even made threats to people who questioned Trump on issues—as if God expects all Christians to march behind Trump in lockstep with no questions asked. We live in a democracy, and every believer has the freedom to vote according to his or her own conscience. We all need to take a chill pill and calm down. Some people need to take a break from Facebook if they can't control their rage.
3. Stand for religious freedom. Many Christians are legitimately concerned about whether liberal politicians will begin taking our rights away. I'll be the first to say I don't trust the people Mrs. Clinton has around her. Too many of her political cronies are linked to organizations like Planned Parenthood or to groups that want to weaken or abolish the influence of churches. An antichrist spirit is working overtime in Washington. That's why we must elect local and state leaders who will oppose this agenda.
4. Don't be a Chicken Little pessimist. The world will not end if Mrs. Clinton occupies the White House. She may become the president of the most powerful nation on Earth, but God is still on His throne. He is the One who said: "Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales" (Is. 40:15). Our God is sovereign, and He only allows people to be in power. He can remove any leader at any time if He wants to. You do not need to head for the hills or build a bunker full of survivalist supplies. View the world from God's big-picture perspective. And remember that the New Testament church thrived at a time when dictators ruled the Roman empire.
5. Work and pray for a spiritual awakening in this country. Ultimately, there is no president or political party that can solve America's problems. Neither Trump nor Clinton can do it. The only thing that will turn our nation around is a heaven-sent revival, and we are long overdue for another one. Intercessors have been filling up heaven's bowls of prayer for many years, and the next Great Awakening could happen during the next four years. I expect to see it soon.
If Mrs. Clinton wins the White House, I pray that her Methodist upbringing will cause her to call on Jesus Christ in the hour of our visitation. She, like all of us, needs His mercy. May God bless America.