Four Issues to Consider Before You Vote Trump – What is Really at Stake

Source: Four Issues to Consider Before You Vote Trump – What is Really at Stake

Samuel Whitefield’s  text is one of the best articles I have found, on the conservative side, about the dangerous moral and spiritual implications of Christians voting for ridiculous Trump. Reading it, made me shiver again andd again. This is the messag for a true prophet of God.

I will paste below what I consider to be the most significant quotes. I beg you to read the entire text, if you have time. It is really worth it. What Whitefield writes here is true not only for the US, but also for Iohannis’s Romania or for Orban’s Hungary. If yoou  read it, you will know what I mean.

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To become the prophetic voice the church is intended to be will cost us far more than we think. It is going to be more painful than we think to abandon our fixation with political solutions. We are used to political friendships, and we are used to a measure of respect from the system as a compliant and loyal voting block. I want to reframe what is at stake this election. There is something far bigger than economic policy at stake in 2016 – it is the church’s prophetic voice.

I want to address the issue of the church’s public posture towards a man who is the antithesis of biblical values and what it reveals about the condition of the church.

The nation now more than ever needs a church who is not caught up in our nation’s own desperate search for a political savior. We desperately need the prophetic lens of men like Isaiah and Jeremiah who were able to bring God’s perspective in the middle of national crisis. With that in mind, let’s address four key issues related to Trump and the church.

Some Things are Wrong

The fact that a candidate may be better on abortion does not then mean we overlook everything else a candidate stands for. The church is called to define righteousness for the culture and when we promote men who are the exact opposite of the biblical standard for righteousness, the church loses its prophetic voice.

Trump has repeatedly made disparaging, and racist remarks towards minorities. His narrative on illegal immigration is replete with race baiting as he identifies Hispanic immigrants predominantly as rapist, criminals, and killers. His posture towards other racial minorities is equally disturbing. His election rhetoric has been concerning enough, but his business history seems to reveal years of outright prejudice against African-Americans. The white ranks of the evangelical church have traditionally shied away from racial issues, but as long as the church cannot find its voice on justice issues we are revealing the shallowness of our gospel. Abortion and marriage are critical issues, but these other issues are serious as well and the Bible repeatedly addresses social issues. This is an area where the white evangelical church is behind the times, and now is the time to begin to recover ground lost on this issue. It is a gospel issue.

Trump has openly bragged about his adulterous affairs and sexual conquests. No other Presidential candidate has ever been such a bold proponent of adultery. He has been so base as to suggest that his daughter is fit to pose for Playboy and that if he was not her father he would be dating her.

He openly evaluates women according to their bodies and has repeated expressed willingness to sleep with other women including married women. When asked if he would leave his current wife if she were involved in an accident, Trumps response was that it depended on what happened to her breasts.

He has mocked the disabled. He ridiculed a disabled veteran because he was captured and Trump likes those “who aren’t captured.” At the same time, Trump managed to avoid being drafted for military service and has boasted that, due to his promiscuity, avoiding STD’s was his own “personal Vietnam.” His attitude towards human rights is deplorable and he openly admits to supporting torture and other inhumane acts. This is just the tip of the iceberg. A simple look at Trump’s media reveals a distain for both decency and virtually everything Christians would call biblical values.

A simple look at Trump’s campaign and his public life over the last few decades makes it readily apparent that he is bold in his sin. By simply looking at how the Bible describes a foolish leader, we can easily see that Trump is the embodiment of nearly every description the Bible gives of a foolish leader.

Many supporting Trump have criticized Obama’s use of the Executive Order, but Trump’s entire campaign is an executive order. He speaks like a dictator because Trump’s platform is not ideology – he is his own platform. Christians who argue that sometimes it takes a personality like Trumps to “tell it like it is” or “get things done” should remember that in the Bible, every time the Lord uses someone like Trump to “fix” a nation it is a judgment on that nation.

Just twenty years ago, evangelical leaders were calling for the resignation of Bill Clinton because an alleged secret affair making the claim that Clinton was no longer fit for office because of his indiscretion. Now we have evangelical leaders campaigning for a man that openly brags of far more. Trump makes the Monica Lewinsky scandal look like a non-issue. We cannot be a voice to the culture with this kind of hypocrisy. We have to ask why adultery qualified Clinton to be removed from the Presidency while it qualifies Trump to be elected to it. The answer may be uncomfortable, but it the question must be asked – could it be that we condemned Clinton because he was a Democrat and we are willing to overlook Trump’s sins because he is a Republican?

Some may argue that Trump will be better for the Supreme Court, but are a few Supreme Court judges worth our integrity? Would the ancient prophets have held back their rebukes to get a few political appointments or would they have considered that selling out – equal to selling a birthright for a pot of soup? Are we willing to trade our integrity by supporting a man who promotes wickedness in the hope he will appoint “better” judges?

Some will say that God can use anyone and frequently uses people we wouldn’t expect him to use, including wicked rulers. That is true and the Bible repeatedly describes God’s unusual orchestration of history. However, there are two key points we have to remember. The first is that over many decades I’ve noticed that these kinds of statements are much more frequently applied to Republican candidates than to Democratic candidates. If God is going to use someone we least expect, why does that automatically mean Trump? Why could it not also mean that the Lord wants to use Clinton? As a church, we should refuse to entertain this kind of reasoning until we have a much more robust view of God’s sovereignty that extends beyond the Republican Party.

Many of those who argue that God may want to use someone who offends us, like Trump, have refused to give the current President that same consideration. If God is sovereign, perhaps he is using the current President for His purposes though there are serious issues with his presidency. It is theologically inconsistent for us to provide a rationale for the Republican candidate that is unrighteous while not giving the same consideration to other candidates.

The second key point to remember is that just because God uses wicked men does not mean we are to agree with them. It is one thing to say that the sovereign God uses wicked men to accomplish His purposes in the earth. It is another thing altogether to say that therefore we should vote for wicked men and promote them. We are called to raise a standard for righteousness and reject wickedness. If the Lord chooses to use a wicked man for His purposes then we submit to that, but the Bible never calls us to anticipate it and campaign for it.

…some evangelical leaders have pointed out that we do not elect a national pastor, but a president. There is no perfect candidate, but there has to be a point at which we refuse to endorse wickedness – especially when it is presented in a Christian package. Trump is arrogant about his sin, which leads us to the next issue.

Our Gospel Witness is at Stake

Because Trump has claimed to be a Christian and yet lives a lifestyle that is the exact opposite, we are commanded by Scripture to not associate with such a man, let alone promote him. According to Scripture we have a responsibility to give a witness to Trump about the condition of his soul by refusing to associate with him. I am not talking about being mean spirited, but I am talking about refusing relationship with a man who claims to be a Christian in order to make a statement to him about the condition of his soul and the danger he is in before God.

The church also has to beware of election conversions. There is already a narrative forming that Trump has prayed a prayer and could be a “baby Christian.” I have no doubt that Trump would pray a prayer if he thought it would give him access to a voting block, however Jesus was clear that we are to evaluate men by their fruit.

Nothing presently indicates Trump is a Christian, “baby” or otherwise. If fruits of repentance emerge over a long period of time when an election is not at stake, then we can joyfully welcome him into the family.

Because Trump has claimed to be a Christian the gospel is at stake in whether we implicitly affirm that statement by promoting him. Had he not claimed to be a Christian, it would simply be a matter of issues (and on that basis alone Christians need to distance themselves from such a man), but it is more than that. It is an issue of the gospel and whether we are willing to be obedient to Paul’s instruction in 1 Corinthians 5 for the sake of Trump’s own soul and the sake of the gospel witness in our society.

Jane Eisner has already pointed this out in her editorial, “Sorry, Evangelicals, You Can’t Play the Trump Card and the God Card at Same Time”… Listen to that final phrase one more time – “I don’t know what their gospel looks like anymore.” That is a completely reasonable statement to make from an unbeliever looking on as the church supports the antithesis of our stated values. Here’s my question – regardless of how some feel about Hillary is it worth it to you to confuse the gospel? Is preventing a Clinton presidency worth leaving Jane and a nation without a clear witness of the value and truth of the gospel?

Evangelical support of Trump gives society every reason to name us as hypocrites. When a man like Trump claims to be a Christian, for the sake of the gospel we have to refuse to go along with it. The church is meant to be God’s tool to release light into a dark culture. Have we truly considered what an awful thing it is that we are saying to Trump and the nation that his behavior is within the bounds of obedience to Jesus?

There’s a Bigger Question about Christianity and American Politics at Stake

Despite his wickedness, many Christians are being rallied to Trump’s cause by the idea that we must do anything to prevent a Clinton presidency. However, I want to say boldly that a Clinton presidency is not the biggest thing at stake in this election. The biggest thing at stake in this election is the church’s prophetic voice to the culture. The church’s role in the national discourse is at stake and that is far more important than who the next president is. Trading our voice in culture in an attempt to prevent a Clinton presidency should be a horrific thought to us.

If the church breaks her slavish ties to the political system, and recovers her prophetic voice in the culture, that would be far more valuable than avoiding a Clinton presidency (Never mind the fact that a reasonable case can easily be made that a Trump presidency could do far more damage to this country than a Clinton one.) What if Trump is elected, but we lose our prophetic voice in the process by campaigning for a wicked man? Why aren’t we in more pain over this than over the next President? Have we become more American – or dare I say Republican – than Christian?

Could it be that the church in America is failing to truly challenge the powers and authorities in heavenly places because we have traded our calling to challenge the true powers of darkness for a political battle? It is quite ironic we are losing the fight to present an authentic gospel witness to men because we have chosen to wage war in the area of men.

Sadly this is precisely what has happened in the last 2 election cycles. In each election the church so set its hope on a candidate that when that candidate did not win, the church adopted a position of war with the President rather than a position of prayer (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

If we valued prayer as much as we say we do, we would thank God for provoking his church to prayer rather than continuing to lull it to sleep. What if a Clinton presidency causes intercession in the church to increase? If we truly believe in the power of prayer as the spark for national awakening it’s quite possible that could be a much greater gift to the church than another Republican president who will not contribute in any way to spiritual vitality in the church.

If the church does not recover her prophetic voice to the culture in this election, I fear it could be completely lost in this nation. The early signs in this election season are beginning to confirm these fears.

Reflecting on Trump’s shocking support from evangelical figures, Steve Mitchell, who leads a firm that provides consulting and polling data believes he has found the answer based on polling they conducted almost 30 years ago. Mitchell did an analysis of the most dedicated evangelical voters to discover what moved them and had the following conclusion:

We found that evangelicals are drawn toward politics by messianic figures. Although Trump may not be Christ-like, the term messianic does have other synonyms such as “liberator” or “defender,” words that Trump supporters might easily use to describe him.

…we found out what did draw this group toward politics: strong, decisive leaders, not issues. They got involved in politics for the same reason they got involved with their church — because they were looking for someone to help “show them the way.” Evangelicals were drawn into politics by messianic leaders.

Mitchell, though not a believer, seems almost prophetic in his analysis.

We need to recognize what is happening. The Lord is forcing the issue by presenting us with worse and worse leaders to expose where our true loyalties lie. If we continue to cling to a political platform at all costs, we may find that the Lord gives us over to our blindness until we lose all ability to be a voice in the culture.

It is humiliating that the church bows to a man who is the opposite of everything we stand for because we have fallen prey to a political narrative that motivates us by fear. If we were truly free and truly found our hope and citizenship in heaven then we would not be so fearful and easily manipulated by the threat that if we don’t fall in line then another candidate will be elected. Beloved, our hope is not affected in the least by a Clinton presidency. Perhaps the God who so often brings nations to repentance in the most unusual ways might do precisely that through a Clinton presidency. We have to stop being driven by fear.

The Politico, a secular publication, gave a profoundly prophetic view of what has become of the evangelical voice in culture:

“Though it’s common to talk about the Republican Party having been captured by white evangelical activists, if you really look at the way the two groups have interacted over the years, it’s more accurate to say that evangelicals have been captured by the Republican Party…

Whether they are conscious of it or not, Trump and his campaigners are simply revealing that the emperor has no clothes.

All the hysteria calling us to avoid a Clinton presidency at all costs is drowning out a critical conversation for the church in this hour. If we are wiling to hear it and consider it, Trump is exposing things in us. Over decades we have slowly developed a blindness that has caused us to be political puppets seeking human saviors. If we have the courage to break the fog now, we could see the church become a truly prophetic voice in our nation. To do that, we must get past all the fear driven rhetoric that tries to silence a prophetic church with the threat of a Clinton presidency. If Clinton becomes president and, in the process, the church recovers her prophetic voice, it will be an incredible victory for the church, a far greater victory than electing an egotistical tyrant.

Perhaps we are too addicted to the semblance of political power, but affinity for political power always disqualified prophets. Are we willing to go outside the camp and bear His reproach? The reality is the evangelical vote is not nearly as powerful and influential as we think – which is precisely why it is manipulated far more than we realize.

We Must Understand the Season of a Nation

Finally, we must briefly consider what season our nation is in and what messages should resonate with the church at this time. Nations go through cycles and, as nations intensify in their embrace of darkness, the Lord begins to humble those nations. Seasons of humbling are intended to cause a nation to reflect on what true greatness is, but nations rarely do that. They tend to intensify their wickedness until they are discarded on the ash heap of history.

One of the things that President Obama is being most criticized for is the way he has postured the nation among the nations of the earth. During President Obama’s administration there has been a notable shift in foreign relations and diplomacy. The shift has been away from the United States as the dominant player in every arena more towards a member of the international community that is not necessarily superior in every conversation.

The President’s enemies have accused him of weakening the nation, not supporting “American Exceptionalism” and generally not enforcing the nation’s greatness. In a way we could say that Obama has humbled America in the sight of the nations. In all the angst over the President’s foreign policy I have yet to hear the church asking the question, what if it is the Lord, and not the President, who is beginning to humble the nation?

What if we are in a generation where He wants to humble the nation? What if this is not the time when He wants the church to be driven by a vision of America’s greatness as defined by power and economics? What if He is the one fundamentally arranging the nations in our generation? We all agree the Bible predicts that He will. Is it possible He has already begun? …if we are in a generation when the Lord is humbling the nation, then Trump’s rally cry is essentially a rejection of what the Lord is doing in our nation. Trump is not defining greatness as goodness. He is describing it as power, might, and economics. If the Lord is humbling those things in our nation so that we will consider our ways, rallying behind that phrase is rejecting the Lord’s purposes in our generation.

When God begins to humble a nation and that nation resists humbling, God gives the nation more and more inferior leaders, which is precisely what is happening in this election on both sides. Perhaps we need as a church to seek the Lord rather than grasping at one of those inferior choices.

What if we are in effect repeating the error of the religious leaders in Jeremiah’s day and assuring a man, and his supporters, that the Lord supports his agenda when in fact it is entirely the opposite? This is another reason why we must be liberated from fear-based rhetoric regarding a Clinton presidency in order to ask thoughtful, biblical questions so that we can lead the church and have a real voice to the nation.

If the Lord is humbling the nation, Trump represents something entirely different – pride, arrogance, and tolerance of sin. Promoting and embracing Trump is a statement of our trust in human strength at the cost of decency and morality.

The Church is the Biggest Issue in this Election

In the election cycle, like most others, I hear a lot of grief over the condition of the nation but little grief over the condition of the church. I propose in the midst of the election that we shift our focus to the condition of the church. Both candidates are morally compromised. Both parties are breaking down. If we step outside the political fervor we may just hear God’s voice inviting us to recover the church’s voice in the culture by once again setting our hope on the one true Messiah.

In the absence of a focus on the beauty of Jesus, the “lessor of two evils” and “anyone but Hillary” arguments have created a context where most of American Christianity is being fearfully motivated to remain essentially subservient to Republican politics. Now is the time for the church to break free of every political machine in order to become a prophetic voice to the nation.

As a church we are seemingly neutered of our prophetic voice and not only are we silent on these issues, we have gone so far as to ignore the fact that Trump campaigns like a tyrant. The real crisis is that the church has not yet awoken to the great hypocrisy of it all.

As a church we have put too little value on our call to be a prophetic witness to the nation. We have allowed the siren call of political saviors to obscure our higher calling to function in society as a voice with a single allegiance. For too long we have had competing allegiances that have not been in their proper place, and any time the church makes an alliance with anything else the Lord will make the allegiance uncomfortable and awkward until He forces us to break our alliances. He did it with Israel and he will do it with us.

This election in particular I am concerned that the church may never recover our prophetic voice if we do not create a real break with the party politics… There’s never been a better time to liberate the gospel from its political cage. The Lord has given us a gift in the form of Donald Trump. What a great time to see evangelicals refuse to submit to fear and instead courageously call Trump out in the areas of ungodliness that he promotes. The nation recognizes that it is wrong and is looking for its prophets. The church is called to be that prophet. The unbelievers in the nation know that the evangelical world has a lot at stake in being a truly prophetic voice to Trump’s campaign and our silence sends the signal that we have been bought and sold. Now could be our finest hour. Do we have the courage to do it?

A Trump presidency as a result of a complicit church is much worse for the position of the church in the nation than a Clinton presidency as a result of the church boldly stepping into its prophetic voice to every area of culture. I for one will be overjoyed if the post election analysis shows the evangelical church sticking to biblical principles is what cost a wicked man the presidency. That will mean we are recovering our voice. Politics is a game of pragmatism, but we are people of principle. Let’s stand on those principles without partiality. We tend to act as though the Lord’s sovereignty over nations ended with the invention of democracy, but He remains sovereign. We are faced with two unqualified options because the Lord wants to break our search for political savior.

We must learn from history. When a nation is in crisis, people are far too often willing to acquiesce to a nationalistic narrative that sets the stage for oppression.

If there is not a significant shift in the posture of evangelicals towards Trump, it is going to ultimately hurt us very badly – whether Trump wins or loses. It just may set back our gospel witness a generation.

Let’s pray that is not the case and the Lord makes the entire church a prophetic witness.

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Samuel Whitefield

Samuel Whitefield’s primary labor is as an intercessor in the context of a night and day prayer because Jesus is worthy of love and adoration on earth as it is in heaven (Luke 11:2). He is also a preacher, teacher and writer. He currently serves on the senior leadership team of the International House of Prayer of Kansas City and as faculty of the International House of Prayer University. He is also the director of OneKing, a ministry the helps connect the global church to God’s purposes for Israel and the nations.

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Four Issues to Consider Before You Vote Trump – What is Really at Stake

  1. Notorietatea lui Trump nu are legătură cu politica. Omul a fost şi este o trompetă, a proştilor, a frustraţilor care nu înţeleg cum funcţionează lumea. Dar nu are şanse să iasă preşedinte, săracii şi clasa de mijloc nu au încredere în el, cum să ai încredere într-un afacerist care la 70 de ani nu are experienţă politică, toţi foştii preşedinţi au urcat acolo prin experienţa acumulată în politică, guvernatori, parlamentari, vicepreşedinţi.
    Multă lume ştie mitul că George W. Bush e prost, tâmpit, se face de ruşine, seamănă la gândire cu un cimpanzeu, nu poate vorbi, e beat. Realitatea e că George W. Bush nu a fost precum s-a vehiculat în mass media, cel mai prost preşedinte din ultimele decenii, mulţi din echipa lui care îl consultau pe diferite probleme au fost uimiţi de inteligenţa şi timpii rapizi de reacţie, adaptarea lui, precum şi alte aptitudini. Păi şi atunci de ce are o imagine aşa proastă în lume? aici intervine Trump cu miliardele lui, a plătit bani grei ca să îi modifice imaginea prin mass media, pentru că asta faci cu banii, manipulezi opiniile. Pentru că din asta constă în primul rând mass media, nu din informarea oamenilor, ştirile negative sunt în prim plan şi repetate mai mult decât cele pozitive, din care am putea învăţa ceva. “Postănacul” de Bush W a făcut President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR/Emergency Plan), prin care a salvat cam câteva milioane de africani de a primi infectia cu virus de la alţii infectaţi.

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