It’s been a tough couple of years in America. Whether Biden wins or Trump, Christians can exit campaign mode, take a moment, and regroup. Let’s talk about why that’s a great idea.
It seems that many Christians have become like the proverbial frog in the cooking pot. We want to protect the most vulnerable, so we’ve jumped in the pot marked “Trump.” Or we want to see equality, so we’ve jumped in the pot marked “Biden.”
The problem is, both of these pots are on the stove, and the heat is on. It’s been on for some time, but like frogs, we haven’t paid attention.
Our environment has become downright dangerous – and, instead of getting the heck outta there, we’ve adjusted.
And when we Christians in the Trump pot are criticized for being indifferent toward the suffering of people outside the womb, we think we’re being tormented by baby-killers. We see ourselves as toiling to make the world holy – a thankless job on earth – but, “blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
We don’t mind being persecuted. We expect it. We’re in good company: “…for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Christians need to cross-examine Trump
To identify with the prophets requires the assumption that we are representing God – but hold on: are we representing God, or repeating the ideology of someone who claims to represent God?
If it’s the former, then our words should line up with Scripture, and we should be willing to enter into dialogue that challenges our position.
If it’s the latter, then we’d better be darn sure that person and ideology are really of God. We should be eager to interrogate them fully.
Either way, we should be humble enough to recognize where we need to change.
I haven’t seen much of that from Trump pot Christians.
We seem to believe that (to paraphrase), “he who began a good work in me has already pretty much completed it.” We don’t look critically at our beliefs and assumptions.
I long to hear a Christian say, “I’ve realized that Trump is a terrible man. I object to everything about his lifestyle, but I’m sticking with him only because he promised to help outlaw abortion.” Words like this might begin to rebuild the world’s respect for Christians – because we are (along with our country) a laughingstock. (The wisdom of outlawing of abortion is a whole separate, important subject.)
We’ve been too proud to admit – even to ourselves – that this man is an embarrassment. We tout his anti-abortion stance, but we’ve refused to look at him objectively and in his entirety. And we’ve dared not examine the degree to which we’ve compromised in our alliance with him.
Time for a change – in us
Christians: whether Trump wins the day or not, the election battle is about to end. We can soon choose to disengage with him and start a new chapter.
Regardless of the outcome, we need to take a good, hard, honest look at ourselves in the coming months. What have we become? And is this who we want to be?
No more dodging the issues, no more excuses, no more refusal to dialogue.
No more frogging around.
We must engage with the words of Jesus,
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.