Well I didn’t see that coming. A number of months ago in a staff meeting, I sagaciously proclaimed there was no way Trump could possibly become the Republican nominee. It appears I was wrong!
So where are we now? I’m not sure. I have learned I am not wise enough to decipher all the trends and ups and downs of the American political scene. I’ll leave that to the talking heads and bloggers. This election will be dissected ad nauseam over the next days and months.
Also, I have no idea what’s in store for us in the next four years. I am a Christian and a pastor, but not a prophet. I have no idea what kind of president Trump will be. He seems to me to be the definition of wild card. Some seem to believe he’s the next Hitler. Others are convinced this is some type of resurgence of Evangelical Christianity. I’m pretty certain neither are the case. But I’m not ready to predict what kind of president he will be, even if I am not overly optimistic.
That said, I remain less concerned about the person in office, and more concerned about the shifting morality of the American Church and our Gospel witness, and how this election has shaped, or simply revealed, who we are. I am concerned that the divisiveness we have seen in the past number of months will only intensify over the coming years. I am concerned that we will seek our own benefit over against that of our neighbor.
Again, I have no idea how all this will shake out, even as I trust God’s goodness, righteousness, and justice (which, by the way, may or may not be good for us nationally). But the Lord is for His Church, always, and in that I rejoice. I am truly, truly excited for ever-present opportunity for Gospel clarity and witness in the coming days.
In the meantime, by the grace of God, I’ll continue to pray for my leaders as Scripture calls me to pray for my leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-3). I’ll submit to my leaders as Scripture calls me to submit to my leaders (Romans 13:1-7). I will not put my trust in leaders as Scripture calls me not to put my trust in leaders (Psalm 146:3). I will continue to speak truth, even to/about those in power, as Scripture exemplifies (Acts 2:36, Mark 6:17-20). I will continue to prioritize God’s kingdom over against any earthly kingdom, as we are first and foremost citizens of the kingdom of Christ, of that different city (John 17:11-21, John 15:19, 1 Peter 1:1, Hebrews 11:13-16). I will continue to be united to my believing brothers and sisters through Christ and His gospel, and not through political, sociological, ideological, or biological identification (Ephesians 4:4-6,11-16). I will continue to love God, and love my neighbors as Jesus calls us to love God and to love our neighbors (Mark 12:29-31, Luke 10:25-37). And the Gospel will remain my focus, as it has been for Christ’s unflagging Bride, the Church that has lived on through the rise and fall of many nations. That much has not changed.