Trump doesn't use us
Several religious leaders laid hands on President Donald Trump at an informal meeting in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, DC on October 29, 2019.(Photo: Twitter / Johnnie Moore)
I just had the privilege of hearing from Jack Hibbs, Paula White, Jentezen Franklin, Bishop Harry Jackson, Charlie Kirk, and others at Evangelicals for Trump in Las Vegas. Here are some key takeaways from the event.
1. Silence is not an option.
We can no longer hide behind the excuse: "I don't want to interfere." As citizens, we initially have the privilege of putting people in leadership positions. Like it or not, we're involved. Millions are not registered to vote and millions of registered voters are staying at home. We will stand in line to see a movie, but we will not stand in line to vote and choose leaders who will influence the direction of our country. This makes a statement about what we value – isn't it sad?
2. Now is not the time to wrestle our hands and think about ourselves.
Many of the things we have prayed for in our nation are finally happening. At this stage, many of us will neither apologize nor be intimidated for supporting the President. Unless the millions of Americans and I who pray and truly seek the Father's will miss Him, we will continue to argue: "If the foundations are broken, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11: 3). We don't follow a man, we enliven a movement – a movement back to God. I care more about the national character of our nation than the President's tweets.
3. Share the facts as often as possible.
Let this sink in: innocent children are protected, divine counsel surrounds President Trump, terror is withheld, good judges are chosen, socialism is combated, families are encouraged through employment (black employment is at an all-time high), prayer is in Brought back to schools, God's wisdom is sought and it goes on and on, but the mass media is doing its best to hide all of this. We have to do our best to encourage this.
4. Wear criticism as a badge of honor instead of fear.
Calling Christians hypocrites, racists, and hatters is really just a defense mechanism for those who do not want to see the truth. It is often Christians who serve as our moral compass to get us back on track. For example, when I talk about ungodly entertainment, I am referred to as a fundamentalist. When I talk about purity and abstinence, I am referred to as legalistic. When I talk about defending babies, I am referred to as being directed against women. When I say there is marriage between a man and a woman, I am referred to as homophobic. If I support the current president, I will be labeled a hypocrite. And on and on it goes. Whenever you stand for the truth, you are labeled. Granted, the truth has to come from a loving, gentle heart. The truth will offend, but our attitude shouldn't.
5. Don't buy into the false narrative: "Godless does not mean justifying a divine ending."
For me it's a piece of cake. The Bible says don't kill innocent children (abortion). It also says that we should work hard when we can (not socialism). It also says that the government should protect the nation, secure borders, and fight terrorism (see Romans 13). The Bible adds that we should have honest judges and that we should bring God's Word into all areas of life. And on and on it goes. Many of President Trump's employees do this and more. How a person, let alone a Christian, can overlook these things is a mystery to me. No, I do not believe that all ungodly means are good when they lead to divine ends. It depends on the situation and the means. There are many variables and a blanket statement – like so many who speak against the President – will not be enough.
6. Our past does not disqualify us.
The president's past isn't perfect, but he's leading America in the right direction (in fact, many government agencies are now hosting Bible studies). He still sins, but it seems that he wants to bring our nation back to God. His way of communicating is not always Christian, but he honors God in many areas of legislation. I see a man who, like the rest of us, is flawed. I see a man who probably isn't proud of some of the things he's done. We are not looking for perfection; We are looking for a direction – a direction back to God. Throughout biblical history, God has instituted broken, flawed leaders. Is there any other species besides Christ? I'm pretty sure that if unborn babies could talk, they would tell us that they are not too concerned about the president's past. You would be far more concerned about the character of the doctor with an abortion tool in hand.
7. Don't let the separation, divide us.
Yes, I am at a loss about the divide in the Christian community over President Trump – but I am not surprised. The media stirs up lies and the world listens. And many of those who come against our president are commonly referred to as liberal Christians. They love to quote scriptures out of context when assisting their narrative. One wonders what really leads them: secular mandates or biblical principles. Kingdoms collide and worldviews are challenged. Of course there will be a gap. . . a separation between light and darkness, right and wrong, good and bad.
8. Trump doesn't use us, if at all, we use him (and I mean that right).
We don't follow a man, he forms a movement. A better question, however, is "Which way is the country going?" If a leader is not Christian in character but the nation rejects God, is that a bad thing? If you are minimizing the killing of babies and maximizing divine values, is that a bad thing? If they are a terrorist for terrorists and secure America, is that a bad thing? If they honor hard work and minimize free handouts, is that a bad thing? If they respect law enforcement and punish disobedience, is that a bad thing? God does not judge a nation by the character of a man; He judges it by the sanity of their people. Never forget that.
9. "I don't vote for the lesser of two evils" is just an excuse.
This statement is often used by those who wish to remain silent, but it is a flawed argument. We actually vote for principles, not people – all candidates are sinners. In which direction will they lead our country? More importantly, which country are we going to leave for our children? A third is not a bad idea, but it has little influence at this point. When they get votes, they take votes away from others.
10. The process of change and hope must begin with humility.
"Pride must die in you, otherwise nothing of heaven can live in you" (Andrew Murray). The pride in the church is amazing. We have created an American Idol mentality where many want attention to be the center of attention. We often look more like Hollywood than the character of Christ. If we want to see a real movement of God (which is the only hope for our nation) we need to humble ourselves and confess our pride. Our blessing has become a curse; Our abundance has taken us from God. The pride is so powerful that many reading this will get upset rather than humble and seek God again. I haven't mastered this area. I am a proud person who works on humility every day. But we need to recognize pride, repent, and return to God with a broken and teachable attitude.
Some time ago I sat speechless listening to a man talk about his trip to a Holocaust museum with his young daughter. As they passed photos of the death camps, gas chambers and countless corpses piled on top of each other, his daughter thought in silence about the horrors that were unfolding before her eyes. When the tour ended, they drove home without a word. The father wondered if she really understood the significance of the event. Was she too young to see such depravity? Was she too fragile to deal with the truth of the Holocaust? Would it negatively affect their lives? Would it leave her scared and wounded? Would she start to doubt God?
His questions were answered almost two hours later when his daughter finally spoke. She looked at her father and asked, "Dad, why has nobody done anything?"
Will we hear the same haunting words from our children and grandchildren? Yes! If we don't fight for what is right, we may see a time in our history when our children ask, "Why hasn't nobody done anything?" Unfortunately we will know the answer.
Shane Idleman is the founder and senior pastor of the Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California, north of Los Angeles. Shane's sermons, articles, books, and radio programs are available at shaneidleman.com or wcfav.org. Follow him on Facebook at: facebook.com/confusedchurch.
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