I am not a prophet, and I am not inspired. Only the Word of God can be depended on to provide absolute truth. But after nearly a lifetime of Christian experience, thought and study, I can offer what are some very strong convictions I have, and throw them out there for your consideration.
These three things I am about to share are among the most strongly held beliefs I have had as a believer. They come from the very depths of my soul, and I feel compelled to share them, regardless of how they will be received. As mentioned, none of this is infallible, but it is something that lies so very heavily on my heart that I feel compelled to share it.
I have been saying this for months now. I simply can see no other way around this. How else can we explain the situation we find ourselves in? To end up with the two most corrupt, decadent, immoral, lying and arrogant pagan candidates in memory is not only incredible in itself, but it must mean that God is rightly bringing his very just and long overdue judgment on a decadent, corrupt and ungodly America – and by extension, the rest of the West.
If God is bringing his righteous judgment on a nation that has squandered its Christian heritage, told God to get lost, and has embraced every sort of unrighteousness and immorality, then I say ‘Bring it in God’. We can plead for his mercy, but we certainly deserve his judgment.
I will keep praying that God might somehow be merciful to this once great nation. But I will equally rejoice if he unleashes his fully justified wrath on this wicked and godless nation. And of course judgment must first begin with the household of God, so the church is every bit as much in need of judgment as the surrounding secular culture.
Two. This is far more than about just politics, but it concerns the church of Jesus Christ.
All this is much, much more than mere politics. Politics is of course very important and impacts all of us, one way or another. But spiritual matters are even more vital. And since the church of Jesus Christ is being fully dragged into this, we must take this with the utmost seriousness.
I have already written about how so many in the church have thrown out their commitment to biblical moral absolutes, and are now simply card-carrying moral relativists. The excuses made for the latest revelations of Trump’s despicable behaviour confirms all this: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2016/10/09/moral-relativism-winning-evangelicalism-losing/
We are utterly destroying our witness and testimony before the whole world as we spruik for a debauched, arrogant pagan womaniser. And we do it proudly and happily. And we do it foolishly thinking it will somehow make “America great again”.
Plenty of committed Christian leaders have spoken out on this wretched idolatry and apostasy. Britanny Pounders shares my heart here in her piece, “Trump and the Apostate Church: The Destruction of a Testimony”:
I sat in church yesterday morning and I just felt grieved. It was hard for me to participate. In fact, I left early. The amount of “church people” who are dismissing this entire debacle as acceptable and normal, and attacking the voices who are saying, “no, this isn’t who we are!!!” makes me question everything. Do I even want to leave my little girl in the nursery with groups of people who feel it’s morally acceptable to defend this all for the sake of their party? The amount of church leaders who work in the youth groups who aren’t fighting this on a spiritual front and remaining silent leaves me wondering why bother? Where are the courageous men who are standing up and leading our boys towards Christ and demanding that they not become a part of the group who gives it up to go along? These are the men and women I entrust influencing the spiritual lives of my family… where is the righteous outrage? Where is the accountability as a body towards one another?
And for those of you who are wondering, I can assure you, my church is probably symptomatic of your church. The Church as a whole is destroying their testimony, their integrity, by their silence or outright acceptance.
As Collin Hansen of the Gospel Coalition puts it:
An aspiring president of the United States can brag about sexually assaulting women and still claim the backing of many if not most of the older stalwarts in the Religious Right. Trump can maintain nearly all his evangelical support in the voting booth despite unrepentant lying and cheating. But these same leaders still insist on a traditional, biblical ethic when it comes to views on same-sex marriage in evangelical ministries. You can say we’re electing a commander in chief and not a Sunday school teacher. You can say that God often raises up pagan leaders to deliver his people from their enemies. But no one is fooled by your arguments. They can see you will apparently excuse anything in a Republican nominee so long as the alternative is a manifestly unqualified Clinton. And they will conclude that they don’t really need to listen to you when it comes to “traditional, biblical ethics.”
Or as Kevin Baird has rightly said:
It is time for conservative Christians and in particular evangelical leadership to tell Donald Trump…”You’re fired”. You are fired as our nominee. We are asking that you step down for the good of this nation. Reason? Total and complete undermining of our concerns, objectives and goals as Biblically-based Christian citizens. A complete loss of moral authority to bring leadership to moral concerns and an inability to execute a campaign that solicits the evangelical base….
We are not hirelings for the conservative movement. We are not window dressing for what’s left of the Republican Party. Our voice cannot be prostituted for the pragmatic cause of defeating the evil Clintons. It is time to call this WHOLE political system to account. We have spent untold hours excoriating the Clintons through the years (which was and is well earned), but we cannot now put our head in the sand acting like our principles do not matter because OUR candidate must prevail. If you do not think a watching world is taking note…I can assure you they are. Does it feel like they are exploiting this moment for their leftist agenda? Yes, it does. But we have no one to blame but ourselves as we let our anger rule our primary voting. That fact, however, is not justification to stay quiet now.
Andy Couch says this:
There is a point at which strategy becomes its own form of idolatry—an attempt to manipulate the levers of history in favor of the causes we support. Strategy becomes idolatry, for ancient Israel and for us today, when we make alliances with those who seem to offer strength—the chariots of Egypt, the vassal kings of Rome—at the expense of our dependence on God who judges all nations, and in defiance of God’s manifest concern for the stranger, the widow, the orphan, and the oppressed. Strategy becomes idolatry when we betray our deepest values in pursuit of earthly influence. And because such strategy requires capitulating to idols and princes and denying the true God, it ultimately always fails.
Enthusiasm for a candidate like Trump gives our neighbors ample reason to doubt that we believe Jesus is Lord. They see that some of us are so self-interested, and so self-protective, that we will ally ourselves with someone who violates all that is sacred to us—in hope, almost certainly a vain hope given his mendacity and record of betrayal, that his rule will save us.
Exactly. Forget the “But Hillary…” baloney I hear a million times a day from the Trumpites. What matters here is Jesus Christ, and his reputation. Right now his name is mud, and the whole world can see the rank idolatry of millions of evangelicals who put Trump on a pedestal while dragging Christ through the dirt. Enough already.
Three. This is part of the separating and sifting work that God is bringing on his people.
The separation of the sheep from the goats, or the wheat from the tares, of course centres on Jesus Christ and what we make of him. But by way of extension, this election cycle is bringing all this into sharp relief, especially when it comes to Christians and Trump. There we see a very real division and separating process, even with brother turning against brother.
This election is certainly bringing out the divisions – big time. And so much of it involves this simple thing: do we regard Jesus Christ and him alone as the answer to our problems, the one who we alone can trust in, the only one who can make America great again?
Or are we now putting all that faith and trust in a bogus political messiah? Have we as the people of God sunk so low that we now almost seem to be saying, “For me to live is Trump…”? I have never witnessed in all my Christian life so much hideous idolatry and blasphemy when it comes to this man.
Millions of believers seem to have made a pact with the devil: ‘You make America great again through Trump, and I will throw out every single biblical truth and value I used to hold to about the importance of integrity, character, humility, godliness, righteousness and so on.’
Yes they really do seem to be that bad. And I have personally witnessed all this hundreds of times now. I have been on the receiving end of all this damnable Trump worship. For example, I have been called just about every ugly and filthy name out there by ‘Christian’ Trump supporters, all because I will not join in their devotion to Trump.
I can truly say I have only experienced this much hate, abuse, ugliness and poison from a few other groups, such as the militant homosexuals and angry atheists. When things get this bad, you know something sure ain’t right.
When people who claim to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ can treat fellow believers with such utter contempt, derision and hatred – all because of a political candidate – then you really have to ask about their spiritual bona fides. Jesus made it perfectly clear that if you claim to love God but hate your brother, you are none of his (1 John 2:9-11; 4:20-21).
So this really has become a sifting time, where those whose supreme allegiance to Christ is being clearly identified, while those who are carnal and fleshly, and think that politics alone can save us, and all moral principles must be sacrificed in order for the right candidate to win, are also being fully exposed.
Thankfully not all Trump supporters are idolatrous apostates. But far too many are, and it is to those people I speak here. There is only one thing these people need to do: they need to get on their faces before Almighty God and repent of their idolatrous worship of this pagan pretender to the throne.
And the exact same thing can be said about any Christian who is doing the same with Hillary Clinton.
America today is at a crossroads. But more importantly, the American church is at a crossroads. And the whole world is watching. Will we sell our souls to the devil for mere political gain, or will we proclaim that Jesus Christ alone is Lord and Saviour?