Christians in the Age of Trump

How does a follower of Christ respond to a President Donald Trump? What is the role of church in the age of Trump?

The evangelical leaders who endorsed Trump looked oblivious and uncaring because he so obviously violated Christian values and even common decency back when he was candidate Trump. I believe that Jerry Falwell, Jr., James Dobson, and Robert Jeffress were wrong for their endorsement. Consider Trump’s ever changing positions, his lack of specifics, his bullying tactics, his objectifying women, his remarks admitting his bent toward sexual abuse, and his denigrating the other candidates, the disabled, a war hero, a gold star family, the press, and anyone who disagreed with him.

It seemed obvious that their love of conservative policies and hate for Hillary Clinton was more important than their spiritual values.

Liberals, progressives, and younger people of faith endorsed Hilary or Sanders. Some have become a part of “The Resistance” once Trump became president. I applaud their upholding common human rights for all people, but dislike the self-righteousness and mean spiritedness that I have  witnessed. It seems like you have to use the exact terminology they use, down to the s/he pronoun, or you will quickly be labeled sexist, racist, homophobic, or xenophobic, even if that is the furthest thing from the truth.

They are as narrow-minded and mean spirited in the name of inclusion (the ultimate irony) and human rights as their conservative counterparts are in their zealous support of the free market and minimalist government.

Isn’t it funny how both groups believe God is on their side?

What always strikes me as counterintuitive is that Jesus had almost nothing to say about a totally corrupt theocratic puppet government that functioned in partnership with one of the cruelest, militaristic, occupying superpowers in world history.

He said pay your taxes. Paul said to pray for those in authority. They both indicated that we are part of another kingdom. Yet, we act like government should embrace our Christian values (as we understand them), as though that will change everything for the better. It won’t. There have been plenty attempts at theocracies throughout history. How did that turn out?

It is a privilege that we have something of a voice in our government. Many believe it is a responsibility to be involved. We can fight the good fight for our government to be better, more just, and more compassionate.

But there is also this other kingdom, the simple, subversive one that runs parallel with the corrupt, political one. It does not place any sort of responsibility or expectations upon the kingdom that we hear about on the news every day. 

It simply reminds us that our main responsibility, our main privilege, is to love. That’s right, more effective than a conservative revolution, or a liberal resistance, is simply loving people.

 

Photo Credit: Gary Skidmore. Creative Commons.

About Glenn

Glenn Hager is the author of An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith. He encourages independent minded people of faith through his writing, speaking, consulting, and one-on-one relationships.

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4 Comments

  1. since the choice was clinton & trump, don’t believe it was a contest.

    • Bruce – We were presented with two terrible candidates, but that is not really the point here. The responsibility for those who love and want to follow Jesus is unchanged. While a bad president can wreck a lot of havoc, love is still the most powerful way to affect people.

      • no one denies that. but your assertion that conservativism was more important than spiritual values is just that an assertion. some of the evangelicals if not most cannot connect the dots. we were not electing a church elder but the POTUS. don’t know if you are a part of the gospel coalition but you would find some agreement with your assertion there. although a couple of them have apologized.
        i encourage you to chew on 2nd John for some good advice. i will not vote for a prochoice potus, nor one who is trying to saturate the nation with enemies. yes love is the way. stupidity and tolerance for open sin is not love

        • I have no idea why Christian leaders think they need to publically endorse someone for president, especially when both candidates are so unacceptable. I can find no precedent for it in the life of Christ or the Bible. It seemed this election was about not voting for the person we thought was the most deplorable.

          Your last sentence came off a bit mean spirited. I believe we can disagree respectfully.

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