Last night closed the Republican National Convention with the acceptance speech of the nominee, Donald Trump, and the traditional balloon drop. His campaign slogan, Make America Great Again, was the Convention theme.
Like many of my Christian brother and sisters, I’m in a bit of conundrum regarding this election and the decision whether to even vote. I can’t say this week has moved me any closer. And I doubt next week’s Democratic convention will either.
In the past several months I have read numerous facebook posts practically condemning any Christian for voting for Donald Trump. Or voting for Hillary Clinton. Or for not voting. This year’s election in not only very contentious, but has become a wedge of contention among Christians. Some are adamant that even though Donald Trump has his flaws, he’s better than the alternative. In fact, it’s even been suggested that maybe God is using him to preserve our way of life.
While ruminating on these thoughts, I came across a blog post by Chris Gilmore who describes himself as “a pastor, human, and boundary tester.” He also says he “desires to be reasonable as well as faithful.”
Chris raised some intriguing questions: “What if God doesn’t want to Make America Great Again? Or maybe, what if God’s definition of great looks a lot different from what many of us are hoping for? What if saving our country (whatever is meant by that) is not really what God has in mind?”
Chris’ post speaks to some issues that we have been writing about over the past four years. Values. Morality. Spirituality. Ethics. Honor. Kingdom citizenship. And allegiance to the Lord.
Christianity was born into a wicked world where the Disciples did not enjoy the freedom and material advantages afforded to us. Yet, Christianity not only survived, but thrived. The ministry and message of the Gospel “turned the Roman Empire upside down.
I doubt of God’s idea of greatness is exactly the same as Donald Trump’s. Or even that of many professing Christianity. To the nation of Israel in the Old Testament that frequently strayed away from God and suffering at the hands of their enemies, the Lord issued this challenge.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2chron. 7:14).
I am not equating ancient Israel with modern-day America. I’m simply saying God’s definition of a great nation, may not be the same as many today. How can our country be great again when nearly 60 million babies have been slaughtered on the altar of immorality, selfishness and arrogance?
How can America be great again when behavior that God calls an abomination, is not only tolerated, but celebrated?
How can America be great again when justice is not applied equally regardless of power, position or prestige?
How can America be great again when the ungodly and unprincipled men and women are in power? The wise man was right, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan” (Prov 29:2).
How can America be great again when entire groups of people reject divine guidance, run wild in the streets and promote anarchy? (Prov. 29:18).
We cannot be great apart from goodness and godliness.
What is greatness? Jesus said, “but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.” (Mk. 10:43-44). Do we aspire to that kind of greatness?
No doubt we are in for turbulent days ahead. A contentious election. Crime in the streets. Terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists. And, a sharp difference between people of good faith.
Through it all, let’s remember who we are. To whom we belong. And why we are here on earth.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman