Trump, Christians, and Politics in 2016

America. There is a political train wreck unfolding and we can’t seem to look away.

If you’re anything like me, conservative or not, it’s hard not to grow increasingly concerned as Donald Trump seems to amass a small army of delegates on his way to (his) hopeful nomination for POTUS.

Perhaps if you’re a Democrat, this is just good news. There’s no way he can win…right?

But what if he does win…??? Take a second and think on that. The Donald as President of the United States. It’s hard not to throw up a little (or a lot) in your mouth at the thought.

And if you didn’t like the way Obama used executive powers, I shudder to think of Trump in that position.

After yet another baffling win in South Carolina last night, I woke up with this old hymn in my mind this morning:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for democracy and I will be casting a vote on Super Tuesday. And though I pray that our next leader will be competent and good, my faith is not and cannot be in him or her to fix all of the problems we have as a nation.

No politician can be Jesus to us, but sometimes we (Christians) act as if they can be.

Perhaps, had we worried more about our neighbor, or the poor, or our own children, or widows, or just obeyed what Jesus told us to do when he said, “Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you,” or “take care of the widows or orphans,” perhaps we wouldn’t all be fighting about how to fix things and people and systems. Perhaps had we lived and breathed the Gospels…we wouldn’t be in this mess.

Perhaps the modern political atmosphere exists because we have failed to do our job as Christ followers. We have failed to live like the New Testament Church we see in the book of Acts.

If Trump is teaching me anything, it’s that maybe a political party does not deserve a place in my personal bio anymore. Trump doesn’t speak for me as a conservative with his vulgarity, or sexism, or racism. He certainly does NOT represent me as a Christian. Nay an evangelical.

But maybe, just maybe, politics and Christianity were never meant to be married so fervently.

While typically faith determines which way we vote, sometimes we can’t tie it up in a pretty bow. Wait. Actually. We can never tie it up in a pretty bow. Politics IS NOT religion. It’s not.

Religion is personal, sometimes private, sometimes corporate, but not often nationwide. That’s why we started this country, remember?? Religion/relationship drives us, not the other way around.  We practice religion from our hearts and not from compulsion. Religion is not law, it is relationship. It is love. Politics is NOT religion.

I guess what I am saying is this: we should vote for the person we deem most honorable and worthy to hold the position of President of our country. But we should not put our faith in politics. We should never trust a politician to do the work we were called to do. Our faith is in something better and higher than any Republican candidate (or Democrat for that matter) can ever be. Our faith is built on Jesus’ blood and righteousness. Our example is founded in Him and it is our privilege and calling to emulate him while we walk this Earth.

 

(I write this post as a Christian. I’m only speaking for and to Christians. While I have a lot of friends who don’t identify as conservative or Christian and I love and value them dearly,  this is my perspective on the church and it’s relationship to politics. Nothing else.)

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