Monday, July 4, 2016

A post from Hot Gas

I was going to post this as a comment on the earlier thread but it was too long:

A lot of people in the church are having a hard time right now decid­ing what to do about Donald J. Trump. They are 100 percent certain they won’t vote for Hillary—a no-brainer due to her many objec­tion­able policies, such as her state­ment in 2015 that, “religious beliefs … have to be changed” to ensure women have access to abortion on demand.
That is a real winning policy for Christians—NOT!

But now Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santo­rum, the openly Chris­t­ian candi­dates, are perma­nently out of the 2016 presi­den­tial race (and no, there won’t be a third party or another chance at the Repub­li­can convention—sorry #CruzCrew). And Chris­tians are being bombarded by the millions of anti-Trump messages stream­ing across the digital landscape.
 Do you have to be crazy to vote for Trump if you’re a Chris­t­ian? Let’s look at the facts:
 1. He hates women.
But other than Rosie O’Donnell and Megyn Kelly, who both picked very public fights with him first, which women does Trump hate? Is he not allowed to defend himself when attacked?
 Hillary? If he doesn’t fight fire with fire, he’s never going to beat the Clinton cabal.
 2. He is immoral.
 Trump famously does not drink, smoke, or do drugs.
However, it’s true that Trump was divorced twice and admits to cheat­ing on his wives—sort of like King David, the “man after God’s own heart.” David had several wives and then cheated with married Bathsheba while her husband was at war. When David found out she was pregnant, he called her husband back from war and had him killed.
Yet David repented and God forgave him, even to the extent that David and Bathsheba’s second son Solomon became king after David and wrote the book of Proverbs in the Bible.
Has Trump repented like David did? At the Family Leader­ship Summit in Febru­ary he said he never asks for forgive­ness, though when he does something wrong he “tries to make it right.” But isn’t that the defin­i­tion of repent—to turn around and go the other way?
 At the end of the day, we don’t really know what’s in Trump’s heart. We do know that he’s done a fantas­tic job co-parenting his children after his divorces, and they have turned out quite well.
 3. He calls people names and is unkind.
 Trump does call things as he sees them, and doesn’t mince words. Sort of like Jesus, who was very unkind to certain people. For example, he called the Pharisees and teach­ers of the Law “white­washed tombs, which look beauti­ful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and every­thing unclean.” (Matt. 23:27 NIV)
 Jesus said a lot of things that offended people, such as when he told his follow­ers that unless they ate his flesh and drank his blood, they had no life in them (see John chapter 6). He was speak­ing in spiri­tual terms, of course, but they were grossed out and refused to under­stand.
 In fact, Jesus said so many things that the Jews of the day found offen­sive that eventu­ally they killed him. Yet, he was the Son of God.
 4. He doesn’t know the Bible, even though he claims to be a Chris­t­ian.
 A lot of Chris­tians have made fun of Trump because he called a book of the New Testa­ment “Two Corinthi­ans,” which suppos­edly showed his ignorance of the Scrip­tures.
Actually, I’ve heard this way of refer­ring to the second letter of Paul to the Corinthian church many times from old time Bible teach­ers. And I’m not the only one—apparently this is the way Chris­tians in the U.K. often refer to it.
 Trump’s mother was the daugh­ter of a fisher­man and grew up on a remote island in Scotland, so it’s very possi­ble she learned to say it that way. Consid­er­ing that Trump was brought up by her and went through confir­ma­tion in a Presby­ter­ian church, not an Evangel­i­cal church, “Two Corinthi­ans” is proba­bly how he’s always heard it referred to.
 5. He advocates violence.
 In Old Testa­ment times, violence was rampant, even among those who God chose as his special people, the Israelites. But God often used violent men, such as Sampson—a very flawed hero—to save and protect Israel.
 In the New Testa­ment, Jesus on at least one occasion was quite violent himself. I’m talking about when he turned over the tables of the money chang­ers and the benches of those who were selling doves for sacri­fice in the temple (Matt. 21:12). The Gospel of John adds that Jesus “made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle.” (John 2:15 NIV)
 This violent side of Jesus proba­bly shocked his disci­ples. The event was so memorable, it made its way into all four Gospel accounts (see also Mark 11:15–17 and Luke 19:45–46).
 Of course, Jesus had a good reason for his violent actions—he was defend­ing the honor and sanctity of his Father’s house. He said, “Is it not written ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” (Mark 11:16 NIV)
 And come to think of it, God himself has promised plenty of violence will be perpe­trated on those who hate and reject his Son. At one point in the future, the book of Revela­tion says, God will unleash the powers of heaven so one-third of all people will be killed (Rev. 9:18). Even after that, the rest of mankind will still not repent of its idola­try, murder, theft, and sexual sins.
 So, even though Chris­tians are to turn the other cheek, etc., violence in some cases is obviously accept­able. Has Trump gone beyond the bounds of accept­abil­ity in his actions and state­ments? What has he actually said, and what has he done—or what have his follow­ers done—that is anywhere near as violent as the anti-Trump protests in Chicago and in San Jose?
 To sum up: He’s not a saint
 Trump doesn’t claim to be a saint, though he does say he wants to protect Chris­tians and Chris­tian­ity from the increas­ing perse­cu­tion here and around the world.
 Why would God allow someone like Trump—a flawed individual—to lead our great country? We don’t know why God chooses people for certain jobs, and very often he confounds our expec­ta­tions. The first will be last and the last will be first, as Jesus said in Matt. 19:30.
 Remem­ber how God chose Gideon, a wimp who was hiding from the Midian­ites, thresh­ing wheat inside a winepress? Remem­ber how Samuel went through the whole list of David’s seven older broth­ers before God chose David as the next king of Israel?
 And what is the alter­na­tive to voting for Trump? You really only have two choices. Hillary claims to be a Chris­t­ian, too. But is she going to do a better job at leading this country to safety and prosper­ity? Or is she going to continue the destruc­tive policies that Obama has already set into motion?
As Chris­tians, we have civic respon­si­bil­i­ties, and as Ameri­cans we have the right and respon­si­bil­ity to vote. Let us inves­ti­gate the facts, pray for wisdom, and then choose wisely.
Hot Gas 

1 comment:

  1. This is a reasonable position. Is this why Erickson was rending his garments and wailing to the heavens?

    They say that politics makes strange bedfellows. Trump casts a wide net. I believe he intends to fairly serve ALL Americans, not just a sprinkling of special interest loudmouths. I also believe he will strive to protect Christians from the onslaught of hatred and discrimination they've faced over the past few decades, with the same zeal that he protects ALL Americans.