Donald Trump – He’s YOUR President.
It seems like it's been forever since I've written. Between the building campaign/project, holiday season, and the new year's meetings; it seems like I have literally had no time to write. But then again, it's not like I've had anything that I've just been dying to write about…. Until now.
You see, I think we've got to address the republican ELEPHANT in the room; that's right, I'm referring to the man of the hour, Donald Trump. Lately it seems as if Mr. Trump has ruffled quite a few feathers. These feather-ruffled Trump haters have risen up and voiced their concerns. This, of course, has led to an all-out political debate on America's greatest political platform – Facebook!
The truth is, it seems like this happens every 4 years or so, doesn't it? I feel like I've gotten somewhat used to the political backlash that happens after every election, so the political debates are not my concern. My concern is the great number of people who continue to use the Bible to support their political viewpoints, and the people who continue to display their biblical ignorance as they pull verses out of context to push their political agenda.
Where I do not want to address all of the specific POLITICAL issues, I do want to address some BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION issues. So, here's some food for thought:
First, know this – You can literally make the Bible say whatever you want it to if you take verses out of context and use them the way you see fit. For instance, I could take you to the passage of Scripture that says "Judas went out and hung himself" (Matthew 27:5) and then take you to a passage of Scripture where Jesus says to "Go therefore and do likewise" (Luke 10:37). If I take these two verses out of context and combine them, I could then argue that the Bible encourages suicide. Obviously, this is ludicrous, but it's very similar to what many people are doing as they argue for their favorite political leader.
Second, understand this – The Bible is applicable from Genesis to Revelation, but a descriptive story in the Bible is not necessarily a prescriptive command for the church. Just because things were done a certain way in ancient Israel, doesn't mean that we should do them that way today. Likewise, just because something was not done a certain way in ancient Israel, doesn't mean that we should avoid doing things that way today. Surprisingly enough, in the biblical days there was no donkey, elephant, or electoral college; and the leader of the country didn't reside in Washington D.C. My, how things have CHANGED!
Finally, keep in mind that there are many issues in politics that could be legitimately argued from either side of the coin; and could be argued effectively with biblical support. The reality is that just because somebody doesn't agree with you, that doesn't make them a hypocrite or a non-believer.
For instance, one of the hot topics in politics right now is how we are managing and protecting our borders. The reality is that this could be argued biblically from both sides.
I mean, you have verses like Leviticus 19: 33-34 that says, "And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God", and then you have MULTIPLE verses that command the believer to take care of those who are oppressed and taken advantage of. Not to mention, there are also multiple people in the Bible who sought refuge from another land. Some of these well-known biblical heroes include Joseph (Genesis 45-46), David (1 Samuel 27: 1-4), and Joseph (father of Jesus, Matthew 2: 13-15). These verses and records would allow a born-again believer to argue for open borders.
But, at the same time you have multiple examples of borders existing among God's people in the Bible. For instance, Deuteronomy 27:17 says that anyone who moves their neighbors landmark is cursed. Then, in Numbers 21: 21-22, the Israelites ask for permission to pass through the land of the Amorites. Have you read the book of Nehemiah? The ENTIRE BOOK of Nehemiah is about Nehemiah's project to rebuild the walls and restore the gates. Anybody want to guess what those walls and gates were designed to do? Ummm….. I'll take Donald Trump for 400…… That's right, they were designed to keep the enemies out! On top of those verses, Exodus 22 describes man's right to protect himself. It would be assumed that if mankind is allowed to protect himself then a country should be able to protect itself as well. And let's get real – the law impacts the little cute girl seen in the picture trying to escape her country, but it's not meant for her – it's meant for the dudes that are trying to literally destroy EVERYTHING this country stands for. So, yes, people who love Jesus can argue from Scripture that it is wise to have closed borders.
At the end of the day, there are many other verses we could explore that could have some application to the issues at hand as well. However, none of them are going to provide a definite, absolute answer as it relates to some of these policies. One just has to do their best to make a wise decision based on biblical principles. And get this – to understand those biblical principles you have to READ THE BIBLE. You can't just repost what everybody else says!
As you seek to make your decisions about how to respond to all of these new policies going into effect, please consider the following things:
1. Donald Trump is YOUR president. It doesn't matter if you voted for him or not. He is YOUR president.
2. As a believer you are called to obey the laws of the land and pray for your political leaders (Romans 13: 1-14). Keep in mind that when Paul wrote these commands to the church at Rome there was no democracy. Therefore, saying I don't have to go by that because "I didn't vote for him" is a ridiculous argument and has absolutely no biblical support.
3. The purpose of the new policies is to make America a better country, not to encourage hatefulness, bigotry, or oppresion. Whether you agree with the policies or not, understand this – You are not the president! You have the right to vote and voice your opinion but at the end of the day, none of us are responsible for making these decisions. We are responsible for obeying the laws of the land. I can't imagine how difficult some of these decisions would be to make, and we should pray for wisdom for Mr. Trump.
4. Finally, and most importantly, remember this – This world will never be GREAT again until Jesus returns. Only then will we have perfect peace, perfect policies, and a perfect leader. Until then we will continue to be reminded of the sad reality that this world is broken, our political system is broken, and our political leaders are fallen; and we will look forward to the return of our KING!