Sunday, October 9, 2016

One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are two of our choices to be President of the United States. In the course of presidential candidates, I can't remember in my lifetime two more polarizing candidates. It seems like a vast majority of folks are voting against a candidate rather than being for a candidate. To me, that is a sad situation in which many Americans find themselves in. So what should we do? How should Christians respond?

At the time of this writing, Donald Trump has said some vulgar disgusting comments about women. The comments don't need to be repeated, a quick google search will reveal what he said if you're interested. Trump's comments bother me and trouble me. But what has me more troubled is the response of some Christians. Some Christians still endorse Trump. Their response goes something along the lines of "Donald said things but..." Why is there a "but" This man has said it was ok to sexually assault women. What Christian can stand behind a leader like this? What Christian can prop him up as a replacement for evil? A Christian that attempts to relegate Trump's comments to locker room banter does nothing but promote a sexual assault culture from which EVERY single Christian should run.

Al Mohler said, "Far too many evangelicals have set themselves up for a humiliating embarrassment by serving as apologists for Donald Trump...The moral credibility of evangelical Christians is on the line, and it is of far greater value than any election.”

In spite of Trump's behavior, I don't think Hillary Clinton is any better than Trump. Blogs have been written about the things she has done. As far as her treatment of women goes, she is complicit in her husband's treatment of women. She has systematically sought out to destroy women who have tried to bring down her husband after he was accused repeatedly of rape.

As of now, I have no idea who I will vote for. To me it seems like I get to choose between wanting a bullet in the head or a bullet in the heart. Both are terrible choices. On November 8, I personally believe that no matter which candidate wins we will be lead by an evil individual. In light of that, here is how I believe Christians should respond

1. Christians are called to spread the Gospel, not reform the political system.

Christ never brought about revolution even though his disciples desperately wanted him to. He realized there was a greater purpose. Christians, the Great Commission is that we "Go and Preach" not "Go and Reform"

Christian, will you continue to complain about the political system while squandering the freedoms you do have to share the Gospel?

2. Understand that God still works in the lives of people, regardless of political leadership.

The nation of Israel had flawed Kings. Israel had maniacal evil kings. Even the kings like David and Solomon who we would consider "good kings" had some serious sin problems and by today's political standard would never make it in political office.

Imagine this headline:

Giant Slayer says "SORRY" After Plotting Murder of his Lover's Husband. 

It sounds like it is ripped from the National Enquirer.

Regardless of Israel's political leadership, theology abounded. God worked miracles. Prophets were exalted, Scripture was written. And most importantly, people still worshiped the One True God.

In the New Testament, the Gospel flourished under intense persecution and "evil leadership" Neither Trump nor Hillary are even close to the wickedness of the Roman emperors of Paul's day.

This point serves to prove that Christians should be busy sharing the Gospel and redeeming the time "because the days are evil."

3. We are to render honor and obedience to our political leaders

In context, I Peter was written to exiles dispersed throughout the world. The world is the region where Christianity had spread during the times of great persecution. By extension there is great application for the modern exile, the Christian.

"Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God." 

Christians are not asked, but are commanded to submit to every ordinance. Romans states,  that whoever resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and those that resist shall receive to themselves damnation...Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom is due; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. (Paraphrase)

Newell says, "Remember your Savior suffered under Pontius Pilate, one of the worst Roman governors Judea ever had; and Paul under Nero, the worst Roman Emperor. And neither our Lord nor His Apostle denied or reviled the ‘authority!"

4. Don't shout down or drag a political leader through the mud. Paul never yelled about or shouted down a political leader. In fact, he attempted to lead them to Christ. I highly doubt he inked a meme on parchment.

This is kind of a restatement of number three. But I'm sure most of us are guilty of this. I know I am. In a world of internet memes and pithy phrases and jokes about political leaders why should Christians be the ones to stoop to the levels of night time comedians?

Clearly we can be critical about policy without name calling and showing disrespect.

In Conclusion: In November approximately 50% of people will dislike the current occupant of the White House. One could probably gather that a good majority of Christians might not like the occupant of the White House. So let's focus on the things that matter. The things that are heavenly and not temporal. Let's redeem the time and remember that Romans 12:18 states, "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."

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