On January 20th, 2017, conservative evangelicals experienced a huge win in the White House. There were many full on board the “Trump Train,” and many simply relieved that his opponent was not headed for the Oval.
Since that time, many things have happened. Some approve of things that have happened since then; some do not.
Some of us have settled back into our “American complacency,” and will live on with a “ho-hum” attitude until it is time to consider re-election.
This is not a political blog–however, morality can and will be legislated. It’s all you can legislate!
I think it would be in order to look at what things Christians can learn from Trump’s first 100 days. We need not examine individual incidents; I’ll leave that to the political bloggers.
Rather, I think it wise to look at some timeless principles.
Principle #1: Integrity Matters
I see something brand new in this presidency, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. For the first time, the President of the United States is making a serious effort to “get on our level.”
Trump feels the need to tweet incessantly, show up in my email inbox every day, and update us with a 4-5 minute video each week about what was accomplished.
I still hold the sentiment of my first reaction to this, which was, I LOVE IT!
Nevertheless, I am reminded of an old saying, “No one will know how stupid you are until you tell them!”
Now, I realize that Trump’s personality is a bit brash; I also realize that, as far as I know, he is not actually a Christian and lacks the necessary “tenderheartedness” that only the Spirit can bring.
Despite his influence, Trump seems to be a bit rigid in some of his communications, and while that may keep him in the popular news, I’m not sure how well it reflects his position as the leader of the country.
Principle: As a Christian, when given a platform and making your voice heard, you must continue to uphold integrity in your conversation. Ephesians 4:29 – “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
Principle #2: Division is Resolved in Christ; not Politicians
I think many evangelicals fallaciously assumed that once Trump took office, there would be this overwhelming sense of togetherness, unity, and American pride.
What many Americans found, however, was quite the opposite.
In fact, I would say that we saw a new side of many liberals. The same who cry for tolerance from conservatives and evangelicals are now burning down buildings and plundering properties in the name of “justice.”
Suffice it to say–neither candidate could have possibly brought the unification we so much desire.
As a matter of fact, I don’t think it is possible for unity to be fostered in a free environment. And since we are not looking to become a dictatorship any time soon, this becomes a real problem.
I believe the problem is that we are looking for the wrong kind of unity. We are looking for everyone else in the country to share our own basic ideologies, but that will never happen. I believe that unity, true unity, can be found only in one person–the man, Christ Jesus.
Principle: Rather than seeking unity on social issues in our country, let’s place the focus on sharing Christ with others. If we point people to Jesus and let Him work on hearts, many of us would see the type of national unity we so desire. Let’s not take on the “issues”–let’s address THE issue.
Principle #3: America is Great, but National Greatness does not Define Us
America has long held the title as “the greatest country on earth.” I suppose, depending on who you are, that may or not be true!
Don’t misunderstand me; I have a huge sense of national pride!
But we, as Christians, are not defined by how great of a country we live in. We are not defined by our stance on foreign policy or gun control, and we are most certainly not defined by how our leaders feel about social reform.
Jesus had a deep love for the people of Nazareth, His hometown. But when He returned, he found an unbelieving people. The Bible says that even He could “do no mighty work” there.
But see, Jesus was not defined by His nationality. Ultimately, after He did what He could, He left!
Jesus was concerned with one thing–His mission to save a lost and dying world. Christian, it is our mission to spread the good news! We must put Christ before Country.
Our identity is defined by who we are in Christ and Christ alone.
Principle: Do not get caught up in this “America first” mentality. It sounds good, but America will be gone someday! Whatever you do, make sure it is done with eternal significance. Have a local business? Good. What are you doing to have an eternal impact through that business? Let’s adopt a Christ first mindset, and the rest will follow according to His sovereign will.
Principle #4: Convictions Are Still Important
In Matthew 22, we find the account of a few precocious Pharisees who desired to get Jesus caught up in a mess. They asked him, essentially, “Since we know you’re from God and will tell us the truth, to whom should we pay our taxes?”
I wish, this one time, Jesus would have given a different answer!
Instead, Jesus told them, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” The problem comes in only when Caesar asks us to render unto him what we ought only render unto God.
Now I’m extending the meaning of this text a little bit, but I believe I have room to do so. Our Christian convictions ought to be the most important thing in the world to us!
I believe that God wants us to obey the law of government fully–after all, He established the government (Daniel 2:21). In Acts 5 we have a scenario where Peter and some of the other apostles had been taken captive by the council at Jerusalem for preaching in the name of Jesus.
Peter’s response? “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
I’ve taken these verses and tried to glean this truth from them in my life: Obey the government until they ask me to disobey God; then obey God!
I don’t think you can do much better than that.
Principle: We will always have to do some things we don’t like, especially when it comes to our patriotic duties. Naturally, we do not agree with our government on many matters, but we must obey them unless we are explicitly disobedient to God by doing so. Remember your Christian convictions–they will last for eternity! Don’t compromise those for anything or anyone, and keep your prayer and Bible study life in check to make sure you are communicating with God.
Principle #5: Growth and Change are Still Possible
It’d be so easy to throw our hands up and give in at this point, wouldn’t it?
Even though we have recently seen a President come into power who we believe will speak for us, we know that on many matters, he simply doesn’t!
Many of us had issues coming to terms with voting for him on a moral basis, and many still just weren’t so sure he would be able to follow through on his promises.
There have been let downs in Trump’s first 100 days for sure. However, he has remained consistent. And, if the constant updates and communication accurately reflect the man’s schedule, he does seem to be busy on his mission to “make American great again.”
While we should not lose sight of the fact that “greatness does not define us” (see Principle #3), we should still do our part to ensure the country we leave for our children and our children’s children is better, in some way than the one we had.
Principle: Don’t wait for the government to institute the change you see necessary. Get involved, get active, and get burdened for lost souls. The more we can turn to Jesus during this time, especially young people, the better America we are going to hand down! Remember, keep the Kingdom in view. It IS the priority. If we get that right, the country will soon follow. This is a long-term play; it won’t happen overnight! But it won’t happen at all if we don’t get busy.
Questions? Feel free to comment below and start the discussion, or click the blue button on the right (desktop only) to ask a question with a voicemail. We will do our best to answer in an upcoming post. Thanks!