During their recent walk through the Republican primary forest, the happy little chicks of evangelicalism were wacked on the head by the Trump nut. And now they are scurrying in every direction, calling for all to flee the coming Trumpmania doom. The sky is falling! The Sky is falling!
And though I have am not eager to see Trump become the next president, I think evangelicals need to back away from all the predictions of doom. The sky is not falling. God still reigns. Yes, America could take a turn for the worse under President Trump. We may see Religious, social, and personal freedoms all venture into the fox’s den never to be seen again. But God still rules (Is. 46:8-11). God appoints and tears down nations for his purpose. The even better news is that the worst, most despicable rulers can and are used by God to advance His purposes. No matter how successful Trump becomes, he can never dethrone God. We need to place our trust in Christ.
What does this look like?
1. Express Opinions With Grace.
As American’s, we have the freedom to speak into our political system. We should exercise such freedom, advocating for Christian liberties, fighting for justice, and voting for the candidates that best represent us. But such political engagement must be tempered by Christian speech. Paul’s command to “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place,” extends to our political discourse (Eph. 5:4). At the end of the day, we need to only offend people with the good news of the gospel and not our political philosophy. When this election cycle is over, we are going to have to work with Trump supporters and a whole host of people with a host of political backgrounds. Let’s not limit our future ability to reach the nations by planting seeds of discord on Facebook and Twitter. One day soon, we will need to work together with the duck, the hen, and maybe even a fox or two to advance the gospel. Will we be able to?
2. Hope In God.
If we get worked up into a sinful frenzy over any political candidate, party, or issue, we have a worship problem. When we are expecting this candidate, that party, or those issues to save us through restoring the economy, expanding freedom, or defending decency, we are seeking after an earthly rescuer. And though I am for all these things, we shouldn’t believe any of these things will really save us. No amounts of cash, free press, or marital laws will fulfill us. Longing for these things above all will not lead us to peace. Rather, they land us in turmoil deep within the fox’s den.
Hence, Christ tells us to layup treasures in heaven instead of earth (Matt. 6:19-20. Our ultimate hope is not a better economy; our hope is the perfect savior and the new heavens. As long as Jesus reigns and is working all things together for our good, we can be joyful people. Let’s stop looking hopefully at little politicians who promise what they cannot deliver. And let’s turn our eyes heavenward toward the God who has already delivered what he promised. What are you hoping in?
3. Don’t Fear Evil.
I fully understand that a Trump Presidency is a scary prospect. In large part, we don’t know what we are getting. But regardless of what “Make America Great Again” actually translates into, we don’t have to be afraid. Even if Trump is Hitler (I don’t think he is; see point 1.) God’s church will be fine. Think about Abraham, Joseph, Daniel, Paul, John Huss, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Chinese underground church and the many others who have thrived under unjust empires. They all were and are being used by God in the midst of pagan kingdoms to advance His glory. If anything, the destruction of America may actual grow God’s church exponentially.
I hope our future is not dark. I do not long for our country’s collapse. I don’t want the duck and hen to waddle down into the fox’s den. I want my kids, grand kids, and neighbors to enjoy the wealthiest, freest, and most just society ever. But if God has other plans, we will be ok. After all, even the worst dictator can only kill the body. He can never separate us from the love of God (Rom 8:38-39). At some point in the not too distant future, God will descend from the sky and set the world aright. What should we really be afraid of?
The political landscape may not look very cheery today. But, the sky is not falling. Christ is still reigning brightly above! Do evangelical really need to keep scurrying around.