Faith, Politics, Social Justice

This is Not Donald Trump’s Church

Well, white evangelical Christians. You’ve won. 80% of you voted for Donald Trump on Tuesday and made your voices heard. You have control of 2 branches of our government and are looking to have control of the third. I hope that you take very seriously what this means. You have an immense amount of power and authority over our country that many are very fearful of. Christian, did you hear that? Are you listening while celebrating? There are millions upon millions of people in our country who are fearful of your power and authority over them. Jeremiah 8:21 calls us to collectively mourn when our brother’s and sister’s mourn. Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me. We have people in our midsts who have been crushed and who are mourning, rightfully. And have been for centuries. How are we listening and mourning with them?

I know that many of you voted for Trump out of fear yourselves: fear from the encroachment of political correctness, black lives matter, fear for the unborn, the liberal media, supreme court seats, undocumented immigrants, etc. But you do have to realize that you put your lot in with a man who has said horrible and unacceptable things about our own brothers and sisters: people who bear the image of God. And you have to realize that your vote for him, someone who has isolated and scared many, many people, puts you in the position of aligning yourself with him and isolating those who aren’t like you. And there are consequences to that vote. Christian, it makes me sad to tell you that our country and the world is looking at the church with eyes of sadness and fear because we’ve put our allegiance alongside of a man who disparages those who bear the image of God and who uses a very unhinged rhetoric of hate and fear to divide us. Church, have we lost all humility, compassion, and love that we cannot see this? Christian, you must recognize the consequences of your overwhelming allegiance to Trump and how it has hurt so many in our congregations.

And I realize that there is no one right way to vote as a Christian. Clinton called black youth “super predators,” and hurt and isolated many in the black community. She supported mass incarceration during the 90’s and foreign policy that has devastated countries in southwest Asia. But we also have to understand the perception of our votes and put the two candidates into context with each other. This race was never about Republicans versus Democrats. This race was about an unhinged and inflammatory candidate running on a platform that isolated and demeaned those that weren’t like his targeted electorate. But perhaps that’s what white evangelicals wanted: the power of being back on top. Because there is no right way to vote as a Christian, we must stop and look at the numbers: 80% of white evangelical Christians voted for Trump. That is an overwhelming majority. And we must pause. We must understand the consequences of this. No political candidate or party should have the allegiance of the church of God. There should be Christians in every political party and branch of government critiquing it and providing a voice and act for the oppressed, the weak, the marginalized (Isaiah 1:17). And not just for the unborn. Hear me again, Christian: the unborn are not the only care of the Lord. They are not the only weak and oppressed. In all honesty, the Lord gives direct calls for Christians to the poor, the widowed, the alien, and the orphan. These are all who Donald Trump have directly disparaged and we must return to scripture to set this right:

The Lord loves social justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. (Psalms 33:5)

This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness and social justice on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-when you see the naked, to clothe him…? (Isaiah 58:6-7)

There should be no poor among you, for in the land of the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commandments I am giving you today. (Deuteronomy 15:4-5)

If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tighfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs. (Deuteronomy 15:7-8)

When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind… (Luke 14:12-13)

Watch our for teachers of the law… They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely. (Mark 12:28, 40)

But woe to you pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done without neglecting the others. (Luke 11:42)

I could go on and on. The truth here is that where we put our possessions and our allegiance is also where our heart goes. And church, we should be startled that our allegiance has overwhelmingly gone to a man who is antithetical to all of the scriptures above. So it should not be a surprise to us at all the those who are oppressed and who have been oppressed in our country for centuries are feeling the sting of rejection and hurt by our collective votes and allegiance to Trump. Here is the truth, church. The world will know us by our LOVE. Our love! How do we care about and love those who aren’t like us? How do we give up what is ours and that we think we deserve for others, humble ourselves and give our rights away? This is where we, the church, must recognize where we’ve failed and continue to fail. We should be very startled that 80% of evangelicals have joined together and aligned themselves with Donald Trump. We must repent and condemn the ways that we have put our allegiance to party politics above our allegiance to God. I am guilty of this. And I am working to repent and condemn how I value my identity as an American before my identity of a Christian and beloved of God. And so I call you to that same repentance. We are God’s beloved. His chosen people. Those for whom Jesus died and rose again. And as such, he deserves our allegiance above all else.







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