In John 15 (v.18-27) Jesus begins to tell his disciples he will be leaving them soon but giving them “The Advocate” AKA the Holy Spirit. He talks about the trials they will face and how, like himself, the world will hate them. However, Jesus also tells them his kingdom is not of this world and his disciples do not belong to this world. Jesus has come to take them out of this world.
So, why are we, as Christians, so obsessed with trying to make political establishment fit “our mold” for religious life? We aren’t of this world and we aren’t meant to stay. We cannot expect to experience anything but persecution for faith in this life. Let me be clear, when I say “persecution” I’m not talking about your political candidate not being elected or having a “liberal” Supreme Court Justice appointed. I’m talking about Christians in India who are killed for their faith. For Christians around the world whose homes burn and business are destroyed because their community knows what they believe. THAT is persecution; not this “Oh woe is me, conservative values aren’t a part of politics in America.” We have nothing to complain about, and nowhere in the Bible did Jesus promise us a Christian government.
Yes, I did not mention the founding fathers. They weren’t God; so whatever you believe about what they intended this country to be we can’t use that as a standard for political reality. We look to the Bible and specifically what Jesus taught us instead.
So, in this Presidential election season I am extremely disturbed by Christians who have sold out on their faith to support Donald Trump. A man who speaks before conservative and evangelical leaders in June 2016 to win their support with promises to allow politicking in churches and to support anti-abortion Supreme Court justices. (Is abortion all we should care about? Aren’t there other issues equally important— such as caring for the poor, racial justice etc.—we aren’t supposed to single mindedly focus on one concern when Jesus pointed out so many to us.)
Are we so shallow that we will sell our soul to the devil for a couple “promised” political perks? Politics and churches DO NOT go together. We may be united in common religious belief at a church, but people have a right to differing political opinions. A move like Trump proposes only divides believers in a church and doesn’t unite them. When did politics for a world we don’t belong in become so important that we are willing to give up the basic commandments of Jesus set for in the Sermon on the Mount ( Matthew Chapters 5-7)?
When did the idea of supporting a candidate just because he the title “Republican” after his name become the Christian thing to do? After meeting with evangelical leaders in June, James Dobson released a statement saying Trump should be given a break because he is a “baby Christian” (and Dobson knows because he has “inside information”). Yet, when did a baby (new) Christian get off with being a bully AND being excused for that because they don’t know better? You are to grow in faith if you are a new Christian not ignore the teachings of the Bible. Tell me if these statements from Trump sound at all Christ like:
“The beauty of me is that I’m very rich.”- Trump
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” – Matthew 6:24 (Sermon on the Mount)
“When people wrong you, go after those people, because it is a good feeling and because other people will see you doing it. I always get even.” – Trump
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” – Matthew 5:38-42 (Sermon on the Mount)
“I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall.” – Trump
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5: 43-48 (Sermon on the Mount)
According to a July Pew Research Center report 78% of white evangelicals support Trump and say they would vote for him. Why? Because they don’t like Clinton? Okay, fine. However, not voting is a vote for Trump and voting for Trump puts Christians in the same category as a bigoted man whose only redeeming quality is his “business sense.” It’s telling that it’s the white evangelicals who are most in favor of him.
What this comes down to is fear. Fear by white, middle class and upper class America that the way of life they have known is changing. Fear that soon they will be a minority or that at the very least America will become a mostly multi-racial society. Fear that what THEY want in this world is now not important to most Americans. When we vote in fear, we vote out of selfishness, pride and allow the temporary cares of this world to overtake our commitment to our faith.
We are not of this world. We should not make our choices based on how our political system operates. We are called to follow a higher standard than that. Come on people. What we are doing now is so far from Christ-like behavior if you openly support Trump that you are ruining your testimony. You are effecting how the world (yes, everyone is watching this election) views American Christians. We aren’t doing a great job showing the love of Christ when we support a man who is filled with pride, hate and demands only HE can save America.