The victory of Donald Trump has stirred the widest range of emotions, ranging from euphoria to abject hopelessness, and Christians are no exceptions. Everyone is talking about what they will do now that he is president – ranging from dancing in the streets to leaving the country. In the midst of all this, here’s some thoughts on things Christians should NOT do following this election.
– Don’t gloat
There are people in our nation who are fearful. Correctly or not they’ve been given the perception that they, their livelihood, and their families are endangered by a Trump presidency. Hearing Christians inordinately revel in the ascendancy of the man they believe to be the embodiment of that fear can only serve to heighten it.
These are people who have heard us say, “Character matters.” Hearing Christians inordinately revel in the ascendancy of a man they believe to be the antithesis of that statement can only serve to diminish that truth.
If we desire unity as we claim, reconciliation begins with us. If you are a believer, you have a special mandate to demonstrate such grace-filled reconciliation on an earthly level as a means of conveying the truth of a heavenly reconciliation that is far more important.
– Don’t be silent
While many could not bring themselves to do so, numbers of evangelical Christians voted for Mr. Trump. Some (certainly not all or even most) went so far as to become Trump apologists, defending and excusing character they found reprehensible in other leaders. Perhaps out of fear that criticism might hurt his chances of winning, they were either silent or defensive.
The church must not abrogate its prophetic voice in culture. It may now be diminished or weakened, but we must be ready to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Speak the truth, about good or evil, when we see it. If the administration does well, praise it. When it does not, be ready to address it. And always do so in love. Being right does not absolve us of the responsibility to be kind.
– Don’t be satisfied
This election is not the resolution to the problems in our nation. The underlying societal issues remain unchanged. We may have been given a brief reprieve, but unless there is significant spiritual change, we will be worse off by the next election than we are now.
This election is not the resolution of the problems for the Church. In fact, if anything, it has magnified the flaws in the complexion of the church. Pragmatism, political expediency, and weak hermeneutic are just a few of the things which are deep embedded in the DNA of American Christianity. They have been drawn to the surface and are now exposed like an unsightly blemish.
There is much work to do in both our country and our congregations. It would be an egregious error to think electing any human being would successfully make either one great again.
– Don’t despair
While some of us run the risk of undue optimism over this election, others of us are in danger of undue pessimism. We need to face the future through a trusting realism.
Nothing has changed. God is still the sovereign ruler of the universe. The pollsters and pundits were surprised, but He was not. A president may have just been elected, but a King still rules. His throne is not subject to the will of the people, and He will not abdicate or be impeached.
Nothing has changed. Our mission goes on unaltered. The work of God goes on. What is expected of the Church two days ago is the same thing that is expected of us today. Let’s repent of the spiritual lethargy that has brought us to this place. Let us rise up and be about the Father’s business.