Christ Jesus and President Trump

When I opened my email this morning, I saw that I had been tagged on Facebook. The tagger was a Facebook friend, someone I knew in college and have not seen since. Although we are Facebook friends, we do not comment on each other’s posts very often—far less than once a year. In this case, though, I was flattered that she chose me as one of several of her Christian friends. She wanted our reaction to a video regarding Christianity and American politics.

The video, which runs for several minutes, shows a man discussing the politics of Donald Trump and his supporters, comparing them to the teachings of Jesus Christ in an attempt to show dissonance rather than agreement. Although the speaker’s presentation is calm, he accompanies his message with stock media footage of the President—including two images of conservative Christian preachers praying with the President—interspersed with images of White Supremacist demonstrators, violent confrontations between individuals, and even the photograph of a high school student apparently smirking at a Native American speaker in Washington DC, even though that last event was quickly revealed to have contained no hostility between the student and the speaker.

The tone of the message left no doubt: the speaker believes that, because President Donald Trump is supported by racists, white supremacists, homophobes, and other deplorable people, real Christians cannot support the President, cannot vote for the President, and cannot even sit out the election if Trump is on the ballot. Jesus Christ is portrayed as loving, accepting all people, defending the rights of the poor (including immigrants), and opposed to any expression of hatred or disapproval. The other Christians who had commented were strongly supportive of this position.

I carefully considered how to respond. I wanted to be gentle. I wanted to be brief. I wanted to oppose the thought that no real Christian can support President Donald Trump. Here is what I said (as best as I remember):

“Interesting. Jesus Christ is far bigger than American politics. Sincere Christians can be right-wing, left-wing, or in the middle. There is plenty of room in Christianity for political conservatives and political liberals, for Democrats and Republicans. Jesus expressed compassion for victims of abuse, for the poor, for widows and orphans and foreigners. When he forgave sinners, he also said, “Go, and sin no more.” People on the right and people on the left have both sifted through the words of Jesus seeking support for their political positions. In both cases, this is wrong. Jesus came to be our Savior and our Redeemer, not to support our political choices.”

The speaker wanted to speak for all Christians in his disdain for President Trump. He wanted his audience to believe that Jesus would stand up today and reject President Trump. He severely undermined his case when he quoted Jesus as asking, “What is truth?” For it was a corrupt government official named Pontius Pilate who asked that question of Jesus and then did not stay around for an answer. And it was Jesus who allowed himself to be mistreated without fighting back, without calling for a change in government, without protesting what the Romans were doing in Jerusalem.

Christians have an obligation to participate in the government of nations where that privilege is granted. We should vote, and we should share our opinions with our elected leaders. Christians also have an obligation to help the needy, to defend the oppressed, and to be kind to all our neighbors. That kindness does not include approving of their sinful choices. When the occasion was right, Jesus preached against sin. He did not focus only on the sins of the elite and powerful; he condemned sin in all cases.

We Christians should oppose hatred and violence. We should not be known for what we hate; we should be known for what we love. Because we love Jesus, we will not use his name or his words to advance a political agenda or any other worldly plan. Instead, by sharing his word and by living according to his example, we will make this sin-polluted world a better place while we await the Day when Jesus will complete his work of casting out all evil and making this world his kingdom. J.

10 thoughts on “Christ Jesus and President Trump

  1. A fair and balanced approach, an objective outlook, moderation in all things, is an admonition true Christians aught to employ. Often this leads to a choice, not between good and evil, but merely the better. In this fallen world, there are few easy decisions. Apart from the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I fear none can be universally prudent.

    The fact that so many denominations of so-called Christianity exist is evidence of an abundance of disagreements among professing followers of Christ. If there is any degree of sin that is thought to be a greater transgression (Christ implied one as unforgivable), then weighing the violations of opposing sides becomes appropriate. Perhaps this is becomes a choice of the lesser of two evils.

    Trump’s support of many moral platforms consistent with Christ outweigh his many shortcomings. No one is perfect, and his critics have ample reason to judge. However, their support of wholesale abortion, socialism, coupled with blatant hypocrisies constitute a telling similarity to the group most often called out by Jesus.

    ““Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. … you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness”.- Mt. 23: 25-28.

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  2. it seems, that according to your “friend” Christians just don’t need to vote or participate in much of anything…
    I think God does prefer that we do participate in our society rather than isolating ourselves—exerting our faith into an often faithless process.
    I debated not voting.
    I was vehemently against Clinton particularly because of Benghazi.
    So my choice was Trump or not vote at all.
    I went with Trump.
    So now I am a faithless false Christian who is equally deplorable…just lovely

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  3. Very cool, Salvageable!

    Some people have pointed out that that nature of the problem is that we are measuring loyalty, humanity, unity, exclusively with head knowledge. So do you believe as I do? Then you are made in the image of God and a member of my tribe. Otherwise you are out. This is why there is so much division and trying to cast people out of the cool kid’s club. If instead we try to relate to one another on a heart level, connect to people emotionally and spiritually rather than intellectually, than all those divisions fall away. So like Ellen and President Bush probably have lots of intellectual belief conflicts, but they could relate on a heart level and enjoy one another’s company.

    I’m not fond of white supremicists myself, but I’ve chased down a few of them online and encountered some lost boys, some really broken and wounded men. These aren’t scary boogeymen in the dark, they’re hurting people made in the image of God.

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    • My Facebook friends span a wide array of beliefs, interests, opinions, and choices. Some days both extremes are so shrill that I cannot even bear to visit Facebook. But at least I can say that I’m hearing both sides… from my friends. J.

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  4. Yes! He is the proper balance between the spirit and letter of the law. Do you notice how shame driven most leftist, not liberal, thinkers are? It’s always a repackaging of “think like me or I can’t hear you” or “if you think that you’re a bad person”. Lord, have mercy on ur blindness, and release our populations from the shame campaign of the Enemy.

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    • My high school math teacher used to quip that there are three things he cannot stand: football players, cheerleaders, and prejudice. But now it’s become the norm to judge people as intolerant and then refuse to tolerate them. J.

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