President Barack Obama prevailed over GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Democrats maintained control of the Senate, and Republicans held onto the House of Representatives last night—elections that likely will maintain status quo for federal politics on Capitol Hill.
But at the state level, it was a tough night for many evangelicals for social issues—including same-sex marriage, abortion funding, and legalization of marijuana—on the ballots in states such as Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Washington, Florida, and Colorado.
Here's a roundup of how prominent Christians are responding in the online, post-election conversation.
Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research: "We [Christians] must face the reality that we may be on the losing side of the culture war. For decades, the 'religious right' has focused its energies on winning the day through political means. But this year, voters in more than one state appear to have clearly passed referenda supporting gay marriage. This marks the first time for any state to legalize same-sex marriage by the expressed will of the people rather than through court rulings or legislation. While this certainly does not mean we should stop legal or political efforts completely, it does mean that we should begin thinking about what it looks like to be the church in a 'post-culture war' era. We need to be prepared to defend the protection of religious liberty as we move into the future."
Richard Stearns, president of World Vision: "While symbols can be important, (Christians) have focused perhaps too much on them instead of the underlying reality they reflect. Instead, we need to go back to the basics of living as disciples of Christ, living missionally for Christ and demonstrating the Gospel in tangible ways within our schools, workplaces and communities. … Christians can stop worrying about the symbols of the decline of Christian America and get back to the mission Jesus gave us to show the world a different way to live—a way that demonstrates the great character of God: his love, his justice, his compassion, his forgiveness and his reconciliation."
Russell Moore, dean of School of Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary: "We are going to disagree with the President on some (important) things; there will be other areas where we can work with the President. But whether in agreement or disagreement, we can honor. Honor doesn't mean blanket endorsement. … That doesn't mean slavish obedience. In a democratic republic, the President and the Congress govern by the consent of the governed. We appeal to our elected officials, and lobby them for the common good, expressing disagreement when we must."
Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary: "The 2012 election makes clear that Americans are divided over fundamental questions. … The election did not cause this division, it merely revealed it. This deep division at the level of worldview presents President Obama with a daunting political challenge, but a worldview crisis is an even greater challenge for the church. Evangelical Christians must see the 2012 election as a catastrophe for crucial moral concerns. … Clearly, we face a new moral landscape in America, and huge challenge to those of us who care passionately about these issues. We face a worldview challenge that is far greater than any political challenge, as we must learn how to winsomely convince Americans to share our moral convictions about marriage, sex, the sanctity of life, and a range of moral issues. This will not be easy. It is, however, an urgent call to action."