Christians and Politics

Trump

I wasn’t sure if this entry belongs here or in my Politics as Entertainment blog. Like most entries, it is a culmination of thoughts I’ve been pondering a while, brought to life by a specific trigger event. The picture is to show the political connection (and in no way serves as any sort of endorsement), but the real issue is much, much bigger, and has been addressed before. Given that it’s been on my (and many other’s) mind lately, I feel it bears further discussion.

There is an article by Wayne Allyn Root on Townhall.com this morning entitled “A Message for Christians About Donald Trump.” I usually have little interest in his columns, but today’s title suggested it might be important to see what he was saying. I wasn’t surprised by what I found. The last line of the article sums up the rest of the column: “The choice should be easy for Christians. It’s Trump… or it’s the end of America.” In other words, the survival of America depends upon electing Donald Trump president.

Mr. Root refers to himself as a Jew turned evangelical Christian, and a passionate supporter of Donald Trump. He argues Trump may well be God’s chosen candidate to save America. He quotes Isaiah 40:30-31 and then suggests God wrote the verse with Trump and this moment in history in mind.  He twists the verse like a pretzel to show  how it refers to the Trump campaign. Mr. Root’s passion and support for Donald Trump reach almost Messianic proportions. In addition to a blatant misuse of scripture, I found the column insulting and objectionable for another reason.

I don’t like individuals authoritatively telling me  what they think God expects me to do (I prefer to get instructions from the original source), and would dismiss  Mr.Root’s  arguments immediately if it weren’t apparent that some of my fellow believers hold the same view. One should exercise caution when claiming someone is “God’s chosen.” The Bible tells us that the Assyrians and Babylonians were “God’s chosen” in order to bring judgment on Israel for their rebellion. In light of that, I would like to offer a different viewpoint. What if this election isn’t a clear choice between “good” and “evil?” What if God doesn’t favor either candidate (likely), but has chosen to bring judgment against the United States no matter who is elected? Neither presidential nominee has offered a particularly strong declaration of faith, although Mr. Trump has chosen to meet with a consortium of Christian leaders to hear their concerns. But what if even ‘the lesser of two evils’ isn’t enough to change the fate of this nation? How does it affect our Christian faith? That is the bigger issue.

I am thankful for the blessings of freedom in this country, and fully endorse praying for the leaders of the nation to seek God and His guidance in their governance. But in the end, whatever happens this November will have no effect on my faith in Christ or my conduct as a Christian. Christ established his church under arguably the most oppressive regime in human history, and it flourished and spread worldwide within a century. In looking at the world today, it’s obvious the Gospel is powerfully touching lives in places where opposition and persecution is strongest. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that following Christ is not dependent upon living under the ‘right’ conditions or government.

Mr. Root, I suggest a different Bible verse pertains to America at this ‘moment in history.’ It is this:

“If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.” — Second Chronicles 7:14

I pray that our nation may return to what she once was, a “shining city on a hill”, as former President Ronald Reagan described her. But if our country should continue on her current path, it doesn’t change my obligation to spread the Gospel and be a disciple of Jesus Christ. If anything, it increases my responsibility. Regardless of how oppressive our culture and government may become, “for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). My obedience to Christ remains constant under any circumstance .

We need to understand that this country’s problems are not primarily political, but spiritual. Unlike Mr. Root, Christians need to stop placing our hope in earthly saviors, and start looking to our true Savior and Lord. The reclamation of America begins with us following the call of Christ and praying that God can turn the hearts of her people back to Him.