In Part 1 of this series we introduced the topic. If you check Doug‘s blog, it quickly becomes obvious that is very unhappy with President Trump. Like many in the news media these day, he tends to see every issue in terms of President Trump. He himself says: “I do not in the least believe the two can morally or ethically be separated..”
Where Is The Focus Of The Christian?
is not alone in his belief that we cannot separate the man from the issues. Even some of President Trump’s supporters see it this way.
It is rationally impossible to separate the man from the issues.
The Founding Fathers make that clear and so does the Bible.
We are led best by upright, responsible people who are guided by their moral compass.
And since Christians are ordinary human beings, asking “How should Christians vote?” is a pretty stupid, insulting question.
Good and evil affect everyone.
Does have a point? Up to a point he does. Human history is about what humans have done, but when we study history I think we make several mistakes.
- People often write history the way some write plays. This great man or woman did this, and this great man or woman did that. We end up with a small cast of characters surrounded by extras, disposable people (the ignorant masses) who seem to matter but little. How much do the extras matter? No one actually knows.
- People often write history as if only what Man does matters. Thus, the record of history concerns what men and women have done. Yet behind every deed of man, there is an unseen spiritual war. The story of man is filled with unlikely events and accidents, the significance of which we cannot know or measure. To what extent are we following a script written by the Almighty? No one actually knows.
- People often write history is if they truly know the truth of the matter. We do know something about the major events. Historians write about great conflicts, the noisy things that seem important. However, much that matters garners little notice. Is it not the little things that form the character of men and women that determine whether a society will thrive? Some historians even try to understand such matters, but they lack the data and the tools required to do so. So what is the truth of history? No one actually knows.
So what is history about? Who shapes the course of a society? Is history about great people or something else? What does the Bible say?
Each of us, because we are each a unique creation of God, tends to have our own viewpoint and opinions, but few of us think of ourselves as an actor in the unfolding drama that is the story of man. Yet in the story that God is writing, each of us has a role. That is what the Bible tells us.
The Bible points to only one great man. That is Jesus, the Son of God. The story the Bible tells is the history of our redemption by Jesus Christ.
In the Bible, we learn of the struggles of ordinary men and women to understand and obey God. We learn of ordinary people God called to Himself. Either they listened to Him, or they did not. Even Jesus demonstrated this struggle for us.
So what are each of us to do? What is our role in the unfolding drama? Consider what Jesus told the Apostle Peter.
John 21:20-22 New King James Version (NKJV)
20 Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” 21 Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?”
22 Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”
The focus for the Christian is following Jesus. Others have their calling. Others may listen to Jesus or they may not. That is their choice. Our concern must be what would Jesus have me do? As Christians we don’t devote our lives to great men or great women, enemies or foes, friends, neighbors, or loved ones. As Christians we follow Jesus. We do our best to devote our lives to following his example. We do our best to serve as His hands and feet and accomplish the good works He has prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10).
So what about President Donald Trump?
Romans 13:1 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
From our perspective Trump is an accident of history, but God does not have accidents. Instead of doggedly opposing President Trump just because he is Donald Trump and we don’t like him, we are suppose to pray for him.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 New King James Version (NKJV)
2 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
What if Donald Trump is a bad and awful president? Jesus calls upon us to love our neighbors. that includes being good citizens. If we can point to a specific reason for impeaching the man and removing him from office, then as good citizens we should write our congressman and demand that he or she do their job. Otherwise, as good citizens we should respect the results of a proper election.
Romans 13:7 New King James Version (NKJV)
7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
And yes, I know this is difficult. After eight years of wondering how President Barack Obama ever got elected, many of us know that from personal experience. Yet if we are going to have a constitutional republic, we have to honor the authority of our leaders and allow them the dignity their office requires.
So will we one day see Donald Trump’s head carved on Mount Rushmore? Probably not. At the rate things are going, the iconoclasts will have destroyed that one along with the Confederate Memorials.
What is next in this series? My guess is that it will probably have something to do with how a Christian should vote.
Tom, I started a comment that suddenly quit and disappeared… so if it shows up at your place I apologize for trying to rewrite and resend—you’ll either have two or one…go figure..
What I was recounting another aside to your post regarding Mt Rushmore.
Even as an educator, I never felt compelled that I had to go see Mt Rushmore. I thought it to be one of the more hokier tourist destinations stuck out in the middle of nowhere South Dakota…that is until the summer I actually ventured to that very place.
One first notices the familiar image sitting far in the distance… an odd sight perched in the middle of a quiet majestic wilderness.
It begins rising in both height and stature as one makes the ascent along the lone wending road that leads upward through the beautiful Black Hill scenery.
Just as a sleeping giant begins to slowly awaken, so awakens one’s senses to an anomaly that is slowly growing ever more encompassing to the surrounding landscape
Once parked and gathering a ticket, you make your way to the viewing platform…
but first you are greeted by a walk through of double rowed large single file flags restlessly fluttering in the wind.
A sense of awe began to take over as I actually felt warm tears forming in my eyes.
The day we visited one of the few remaining workers or “carvers” was there in the visitor’s center signing copies of a small book he’d written about his time “on the mountain”.
He was 19 when he came to work at Rushmore (work latest from 1927-1941)
and he was lucky to have survived nearly being blown to bits by a dynamite explosion during carving,
He was now in hid 90’s yet still had a story to share.
Gutzon Borglum, the man behind the mountain, was a american sculpture, artist and visionary who was born to Danish immigrant parents….who were actually Mormons living in Idaho where Borglum was born.
He eventually became an artist and sculptor who had a fascination with larger than life,
historic nationalistic themes…and thus finding his way to Mt Rushmore….
It really is a marvelous tribute to our history, patriotism, dynamic leadership and creative endeavors that makes us as unique as a sculpture on the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere South Dakota—
What a neat comment!
I have always wanted to see the place. It was an astonishing project, well beyond my puny capacities.
When I was a boy, my family visited South Dakota, but we did not have any time for side trips. My father was bringing us back from a military assignment in Japan, and a breakdown in Nevada had used up too many dollars and too much time. But he wanted to visit a cousin. So we made our way to South Dakota, and we drove by the Black Hills.
Thanks for the story. That’s how we add things to the bucket list.
You need to go—I never would have thought such—but seeing is believing…
As someone who teaches history, I am always fascinated to see how other people define history. History is more than events. It is the story of people, of course, but it is also the interpretation of people’s actions, individually or in groups. Usually the winners write the histories and interpret themselves as good and their defeated opponents as bad. In recent years it has become more common to strive to understand both points of view. More significantly, it has become common to look at the bystanders as well as the prominent actors.
When the history of Donald Trump’s presidency is written, his flaws as a man will be included. But if, in the days of Nero, Peter and Paul required respect for those in authority and prayers for secular leaders, then the same is expected of Christians today. Which doesn’t answer the title’s question about how we should vote, but deals with the more important topics that you have covered in these two installments. J.
Thank you for that comment. Much appreciated.