Sovereignty, Hurricanes, and President Obama: Does God Care About the Election?
Most of the churches I’ve been part of over the last fifteen years have taught that God is absolutely sovereign, or in control, of everything that happens. Yes, even horrible things like hurricanes.
You may recall John Piper saying that God directed the Joplin tornado and the Twin Cities bridge collapse and even the tsunami in the Indian Ocean. This is just a small sampling of the way they apply this teaching to natural disasters, accidents, and other suffering. I’m sure that in just a few days I’ll be able to link to a message about how God directed Hurricane Sandy.
People with this perspective often call themselves “reformed” because holding to the sovereignty of God in this manner is associated with John Calvin, Martin Luther, and the Reformers of a few centuries ago. Reformed Theology has other trademarks, but this is usually the most prominent. And, many Reformed Christians align with the Republican party.
I want to follow this line of reasoning for a minute, because I am guessing that many Republicans and thus many Christians (and thus many reformed Christians) are wringing their hands right now. Mitt Romney has lost the attention of the country in the wake of the hurricane; meanwhile President Obama is doing an outstanding job being president. I can hear it now. If Obama wins re-election, they will blame the hurricane.
But wait. Let’s get this straight.
If God is absolutely sovereign, then God directed the path of Hurricane Sandy.
If God is absolutely sovereign, then God will control the outcome of the US election this year.
If God directed the path and intensity of Hurricane Sandy,
and if God is in control of the election,
and if the hurricane changes the outcome of the election so that President Obama wins,
we must conclude this:
God wants Barak Obama to be the president of the United States.
Am I right? And if that’s true, and if you really do trust God, why are you so worked up?
Now, go vote. Let’s do this thing. And then, let’s celebrate the privilege of living in a nation in which we can vote and in which the peaceful transfer of power is the status quo.