"There is nothing that the government can do for Christians that the Christian could not do without them and there is nothing that the government could do to a Christian that Christ hasn’t already suffered."
Despite the fact that many of the leading evangelical leaders who once supported Donald Trump have pulled their endorsement, there are still several who are adamant that he is our only hope during this election. While I have no desire to dissuade anyone from voting their conscience, much of what I have seen from those still supporting him has been troubling.
Every election comes with a mixture of panic and dread. Politicians and the Mainstream Media don’t help in this matter either. They feed the flames of fear by exaggerating the worst case scenarios in order to leverage the most voters for their cause. Some of this fear is warranted, but much of it is manufactured in the imaginations of anxious people. But God has not given us the spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7).
Telling other Christians that they will be held accountable for the destruction of the United States if Trump doesn’t get elected is unjustifiable. This sort of doomsday tactic has been used in just about every election I have been around for, and yet the end of the world has not occurred.
It saddens me in these two ways:
Number one, it is legalism.
Telling a fellow Christian how they must answer to their conscience is pure evil and perpetually reprimanded by the Apostle Paul (Romans 14, I Corinthians 8-10). In his letter to the Philippians, he even goes as far as to call the legalist ‘dogs’ for their brutish behavior (Philippians 3:2). While there may be good and justifiable logic in voting for Trump, telling people that by not doing so they will have to answer to God is downright sinful.
Secondly, this effort to elevate a candidate and make exemptions for his crude and offensive behavior shows a love for this world that is out of step with the Kingdom of God.
The beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount lay out the character of those who make up God’s Kingdom: poor in spirit, mournful, meek, hungry and thirsty for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, and persecuted. The sort of kingdom these prognosticators are trying to protect is completely out of step with the Kingdom of God. Perhaps that is the very problem. We are so concerned with protecting our best life now, that we are not able to see how God can work in the most extreme of circumstances.
I am not suggesting that we should throw away a good thing. Nor am I implying that we should welcome persecution and simply give up all of our religious morals and rights, but I am saying that we should have a greater perspective of what God is doing and what He is able to do in the most dire of circumstances. Despite who sits in the oval office tomorrow, Christ will be seated on His throne in glory.
So here is my encouragement.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6 ESV)
Don’t panic. Don’t stress over what you cannot control. Instead, turn to God, trust in Him, and be glad with the outcome.
Stop looking to government to do what we, the Church, can do without it. The Church in Syria, Iran, and China is growing despite their oppressive governments. Don’t look to the White House to make the path to the Great Commission easy. Just do what God has called you to do. All of the politicians in the world have no power over one individual who is filled with the Spirit. No one ever said we needed the government's permission to build the Kingdom of God. “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 ESV)
Don’t use your position and conviction as a bullying tool for others, but don’t let that stop you from having civil conversations about your firmly held beliefs. Just remember that a conscience is between God and individuals and not between peers. “Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” (Romans 14:4 ESV)
Keep your focus on Jesus. He has said that He will never leave us (Deuteronomy 31:6). The gates of hell cannot prevail against the Church (Matthew 16:18). He can make a way where there seems to be no way. Don’t lose sight of what God can do for those who trust in Him (Psalm 125, Jeremiah 17:7).
Rev. Adam Miller is the President and Host of Songtime and can be heard daily on the Songtime Radio Broadcast.
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