Thursday, January 19, 2017

Just This Once

I've become pretty good at keeping my mouth shut when it comes to politics. All of the arguments and vicious attacks on social media do nothing but add to the discontent and frustration many of us already feel. I am unapologetically Christian, and I believe that respect for authority is paramount to my faith. Romans 13:1 commands us, "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." To outwardly rebel against what God has established is to rebel against God.

For the past eight years, I have prayed for President Obama and his family. I have written him to encourage him, and I have written when I disagreed. Respecting authority does not mean that any of us are forced to agree with a leader who defies God's laws and mandates. It simply means we respect the office and the man or woman in that office through prayer and positive words. Negativity only serves to deepen the chasm that exists in our country. 

I am writing these words on Mr. Obama's last day in office. Tomorrow, we will inaugurate Donald Trump as our new President. With that in mind, I offer my thoughts about the recent past and future of our country.

I am deeply disappointed in President Obama's administration. He has outwardly and proudly defied God's standards regarding the sanctity of human life and of marriage. His administration has sought to literally force Christians to change the very moral standards by which we choose to live, under the guise of "equality" and "freedom." His tepid responses to police shootings served to add to, rather than heal the racial divide in this country. Despite my disappointments and frustrations, I have prayed weekly, and led my church in praying for God's guidance on his life, and protection for his family. Why? Because at the end of the day, I want my government to serve the people according to the righteousness of our Creator who has blessed our nation for so many years. 

And now, Donald Trump becomes our new President. I did not vote for him, nor did I vote for Mrs. Rodham-Clinton.  As one of my missionary friends put it, "I'm relieved that Hilary didn't win, but I'm scared because Trump did."  Again, I will pray for the administration. I am pleased that Mr. Trump has chosen a seemingly devoted Christian man as our next Vice-President. I hope and pray that he will make Godly choices for his cabinet, and Supreme Court Justices. But I also hope that Christians don't continue to give him an automatic pass on the garbage he has spewed,  just because he's not Hilary. If a Democrat were taking office tomorrow, and had pulled even half the shenanigans that Mr. Trump has pulled during his campaign, you can be assured that the conservative right would be up in arms. Putting blinders on and accepting continued childish behavior does not serve to advance the gospel message we profess to love. It's nothing short of hypocritical to turn a blind eye and simply accept clown-like foolishness from a world leader because he represents the supposed favored political affiliation of Christ followers. Let's respect the office, but let's not support what displeases God.

And so I will join others in praying for President Trump, his family, Congress, state, county, and local government. And during his tenure, I would hope that all Americans join in supporting him through prayer, even through disagreements over policies and decisions he makes. Ultimately, we all want to see a successful and thriving United States of America. Division, arguments, loud protests and complaining will only serve to accomplish what they have in the past - absolutely nothing.