Wednesday, January 25, 2017

LIVING FOR JESUS IN TRUMP'S AMERICA

I haven't posted anything for quite a while.  After the election in November, I posted three angry rants for which I make no apology.  My feelings have not changed much since then except to go from anger to befuddlement.
 
I'm befuddled at the thinking of some persons I know, for whom I had had great respect - even some who had quite an influence on me in my life as a Christian.  And there were some others whom I had thought that I had influenced.  I've seen their posts and shares on social media and have wondered where they are coming from - an alternative universe?  They praise our new president Donald Trump as God's man for America.  They praise the "testimonies" of Trump's minions; they seem to see a new and brighter day for America - and apparently for the church.

Yet whenever I turn on the television news I see and hear a ranting, lying, racist, misogynistic, narcissistic bully, a man whose speech and behavior is completely opposed to every-thing a follower of Christ would stand for.  And his minions support him in  this.  We're told that the lies he used last week were actually the fault of the "news media" or someone else.  And, of course, we have this great new phrase, "Alternative facts."

I could go on and on about the bizarre looniness that our new president and his minions spout.  I could go on and on about my fears regarding his actions in the next few weeks and years, but all anyone has to do is turn on the news to hear and see this circus.  I am afraid for my country.

But America is not my greatest concern.  Our nation has gone off in the wrong direction many times in the past and so far we as a nation have survived.  And even if we don't, I realize God is sovereign.  And I realize that my hope is not in America.  It may be that we who follow Jesus will have to stand alone -  even in America!

My greatest concern is for the Church of Jesus Christ and my relationship to it.  I'm speaking of the total visible church - what Paul calls "the body of Christ" and to which I belong.  I cannot understand the fact that so many who claim to be followers of Christ are infatuated with a hateful, narcissistic playground bully.

I hope that the reader will understand - this post is not simply a rant against our president or a complaint about America.  It is an expression of the dilemma I - and many of my fellow American Christians face:  how do we live for Jesus in opposition to our ungodly national leaders and not find ourselves in opposition to the Church of which a great share are infatuated with these leaders - of which church we are a part?

There are some, I fear, who feel they should separate themselves from that Church.  But we can't if we belong to Jesus Christ.  We may separate from a particular organized group (and I have done that in the past) only to find the same situation in another group.  Do we isolate ourselves from others totally? We cannot do that.

I love the Church; I love the local group of which I am a member.  I have many Christian friends in this city and others all over the world with whom I communicate.  How am I to react when our conversation turns to their love affair with Trump?  Or when it turns to their hatred for our former President?  When I find it easier to talk with my unbelieving friends than with my brothers and sisters in Christ?

I know I am not alone, that there are many who have not drunk the Kool-Aid, who have  the same dilemma I have: following Jesus demands of us that we refuse to compromise truth and yet demands that we act in love.

5 comments:

Sandy Kendell said...

You are definitely NOT alone, Pastor Bill! As I shared in a Facebook conversation earlier this week, I have woken up every day since Monday in utter disbelief that this man is our president. As for how to react to my brothers and sisters in Christ who support him, I think I'm just going to have to share the truth as I see it when the opportunity arises.

I am praying for God to help me not be so overwhelmed by this and/or so focused on it. Because it's so, so hard. And like you, I fear for our country and the church. God is sovereign, and he wins in the end, but I am not looking forward to living through this.

Today I also found myself praying for the veil to be lifted from the eyes of those who are unable or unwilling to see the danger our new leader represents. I truly believe he lives in his own reality with his "alternative facts". Which makes him much more of a danger than someone who is merely a liar.

Sherry B said...

I believe Roger Williams' reason for separation of church & state was to keep the church pure.

EVERY time the church takes up with the state, it suffers, losing the whole idea of service & love in its grasp for more & more power.

The marriage of the religious right to the Republican Party is no different. They are now tied to the most immoral president ever and, by doing that, have proven themselves to be hypocrites.

They are Pharisees.

Jay said...

I don't understand the "Trump worship" either, Bill, but I also didn't understand the "Obama worship" or the canonization of Reagan as some sort of conservative "saint". I don't know why the "religious right" is a thing.

I didn't vote for either major party candidate. As a political "small L" libertarian, I think the President is way too influential and powerful as it is, no matter which party holds the reins of power. Lately, I have found myself in the awkward position of trying to explain to my exasperated friends and relatives on the "D" side how and why Trump "happened" but often find I don't have words that make sense to them, (yes, many folks actually thought Hillary was a bigger "threat" than Trump) and then they assume I'm a "right wing nutjob" who is against progress. If progress means centralizing power more and more (both Bush II and Obama were guilty of this along with an acquiescent Congress) then I am against it as I see it's a threat to religious liberty in general.

So, if Trump ends up being the catalyst by which America rediscovers concepts like limited government, and separation of powers then that might work out in the longer term. Obama's "pen and phone" are now Trump's pen and phone, and I'm leery of that, not only because it's Trump holding them, but because they are there in the first place.

Bill Ball said...

Jay, I think you missed my point!

Jay said...

Oh, I get your point, Bill...I just have a bad habit of going off the rails and rambling. :) I am with you...I have seen devout Christians online who absolutely think Trump is a literal Godsend. That said, I would take heart in that I don't think the vast majority of Trump *voters* are the same as Trump *supporters*.