(Photo: REUTERS/Larry Downing)
Whether you voted for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, whether you're recovering from your all-night celebration or drying the tears from your pillow, today's a good day, as Chuck Colson reminded us, to heed these words of the Apostle Paul: "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness" (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
As I record this, I don't know the outcome of yesterday's voting. But I'm sure of one thing, whether the president's last name is Romney or Obama, he will need our prayers, because he and his administration face huge, serious challenges to the health of our nation and to peace in the world - challenges that we cannot overcome without divine aid.
Think about it. At home, the economy is still sluggish, to say the least. We face the so-called "fiscal cliff" and sequestration. Economists and politicians on both sides of the aisle are telling us this would be an economic disaster for the nation. And speaking of disasters, there's the national debt.
Overseas, America's foreign policy seems, to put it mildly, confused, even as Iran seeks nuclear weapons, as Islamists have either grabbed or are on the cusp of grabbing power in countries throughout the Middle East, and as we struggle to figure out what in the world to do about the war in Afghanistan.
How has America come to this point? Why is our economy on the brink of disaster? And why is our culture so utterly depraved?
Chuck Colson asked these questions the day after the last presidential election four years ago. And his answer was spot on. Chuck cited what Russian author Alexandr Solzhenitsyn said about the catastrophic consequences of the Russian revolution. "I recall," Solzhenitsyn said, "hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened."
Solzhenitsyn was right. And Colson was right. The best explanation for why we Americans find ourselves in the state we are in is that to some extent we have forgotten God.
We have also forgotten that American democracy – indeed Western Civilization itself – is the product of the Judeo-Christian understanding of God and humanity. As Chuck told us, "Without that revelation that man is created in the image of God, our founders never would have recognized the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Make no mistake, no matter who won yesterday, the attacks on Christianity are not going away. They'll only intensify. So we have to continue, as Chuck said, "to make a winsome witness" to the truths of the Christian worldview, because those who would banish Christianity from American public life are risking the very survival of American society.
So, if your presidential candidate or your congressional candidates won yesterday, keep the celebration short. If they lost, don't head for the hills. We've got work to do. As Chuck told us four years ago, this is a time for Christians to stay involved, to, as he said, "lead, encourage, and minister to a faltering country in a faltering economy."
So by all means pray for the President and his administration. Pray for our nation. But most of all be salt and light in a culture, in a country, that is in danger of forgetting God.