I have been puzzling over why I am so upset by the “never Trump” movement since I completely understand that Trump has lived a completely ungodly life. I also understand that he has changed positions on a number of things and why people say they don’t trust him. I also understand that he has let his mouth run where it shouldn’t have and left impressions much different than the actions of his life have spoken. My lack of peace was frustrating to me since I also know God is in complete control of everything and nothing can thwart what He’s are doing.
An article by a leading Christian leader yesterday really seemed to bring to the surface some feelings that I’ve had and as I tried to figure out why, some things became clear. First, believe God is bringing judgment on our nation and on the Church of America for our failure to keeping our eyes on Him and truly worship and serve Him. The first thing that caused my antennae to go up was the article that someone posted stating that the closer you are to Christ, the less likely you would be to vote for Trump. Then the idea in the article yesterday was that every Christian leader that says they will vote for Trump is living a life that is duped or, as a friend said, bamboozled by him. That thought is the same as the first article essentially saying you cannot be walking in truth or the Spirit if you vote for him. Somehow those who vote for him are less spiritual.
This election seems to me not to be about this nation. I believe that no matter who wins, chaos will reign and this nation will be torn apart. I also believe thousands will die and much damage to cities and personal property will come after this election for I fear there will be rioting and even a civil war no matter who wins. I am beginning to see that this election is not about our country at all, but it is about the Church. It is splitting the Church as one side is accusing the other of not really following God.
Before the election in 1999, I felt that God was telling me that George W. Bush would become President and God would give the Church eight years to get their act together, and if we didn’t, He would bring judgement on the Church, and in doing that, bring judgement on the nation. Obama’s election was the beginning of that. Many in the Church view the policies of his administration as bringing the nation to its knees, and that God allowed it because of the sin of our nation. This election is bringing the Church into focus and I believe the judgement of the Church has begun.
The Church is one body, and a body split isn’t a healthy one. That isn’t to say that everyone has to agree, but the respect and working together as one is being shattered. Well, maybe it never was there and this election is just highlighting the deep divides between members of the same body. It is showing the unhealth of the Body of Christ. It is bringing to the surface the judgmental, kingdom building (with a small k) aspects of the Church.
I remember a woman taking me out for lunch in Champaign. She was sure my outlook was tainted by the New Age Movement because I saw things differently than she did. I explained to her that I had grown up with eyes that saw only a narrow focus (my Mennonite background) and how God had broadened my view over the years, sometimes over me kicking and screaming that where He was leading me couldn’t be right. I told her we were like parts of the eye. One part was the focus part and one was the peripheral vision. She was the focus and I the peripheral vision. I told her we needed each other to see the full picture as we worked together. She told me, “No, you are wrong. You need to see like I do.”
This election is like that. It is showing the world and the Church just how broken we are. Everyone is saying they are the ones seeing clearly and the other is wrong. I don’t care how people vote, because God is in control and will control the outcome. I do care how people see those who don’t vote as they do. It’s the attitude of “I’m more righteous and you should be like me” that I have been reacting against. It is the attitude that “As long as my conscience is clear, I don’t care what happens to anyone else.”
The Church is all over the place. A solid Christian told me that socialism was fine because that is what the New Testament teaches. Another believer said she felt being a liberal was a way to obey Christ. One person said, “I am voting the way the Holy Spirit told me to vote and if you don’t vote that way, you are not listening to the Holy Spirit because He would never tell one person to vote one way and tell another person to vote a different way.” I think of what Jesus told Peter when he asked about what would happen to John. Jesus said, “What I do with him is not your business. You follow me.”
I guess it is the “holier than thou” and “my conscience is clear” attitudes that have roiled me. No one in this election has agreed to disagree. When I interacted with some people, they put words in my mouth and motives in my heart. I just want people to see that this is not about Trump or Never Trump. It is about the Church. It is about unity. It is about being one body. At a time when our nation will need the love of Jesus and a unified Body to minister to the hurting, we are falling apart. The article yesterday stated she knew people would point fingers at her and blame her for what happens. That may be the way it is, but blame and finger pointing do not lead to unity. We need to get to the real issues, to the heart of God.
My prayer is “God, what You are doing? Open my eyes to see, my ears to hear and my heart to understand.” I also pray as Christ prayed in John 17:20-21 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
Lord, make us one so the world will see You.