Some Thoughts On President Elect Trump

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Some Thoughts On President Elect Trump

15 November 2016 Hits:6711

Last week, on the morning of the US Elections, I put the following status on my Facebook page: “Well, after almost two years of Primaries and the race for the White House, Election Day has finally arrived for the US. There’s a part of me that would like to see what would happen if Trump got in. Maybe he is the bulldozer America needs right now to get the country back on track. Or maybe he’d be a total disaster that would see a decrease in the scary extreme right wing groups (with all their conspiracy theories) in the US. If he doesn’t get in, these groups will increase and the next candidate could make Donald Trump look like Prince Charming.”

As we know, Donald Trump is now President Elect and will be sworn into office as President of the United States at midday on Friday January 20, 2017. So the “part of me that would like to see what would happen if Trump got in” won’t have to wait long to find out. In the meantime there are protests (and some riots) happening in the US by people who don’t want to find out. I don’t doubt that Trump supporters would be protesting (rioting) if Hillary Clinton won. After all, the polls were rigged and Trump was possibly going to challenge the result if he lost.

There is no doubt that the USA has major problems. The country is in massive debt and it’s the divided, not the united, States when it comes to race – reaping what it’s sown from years of African slavery and oppression. Trump made some pretty concerning statements in the lead up to the election, but it is possible that he was just playing a part in order to gain votes. Even in the last week he seems to have toned down some of his threats. He’ll need to continue along this line to bring his policies more in line with the GOP and to get his policies through Congress.

According to the American Action Forum, if Trump fully enforced current immigration law, as he has suggested, it would cost the federal government from $400 billion to $600 billion, shrink the labour force by 11 million workers, reduce the real GDP by $1.6 trillion and take 20 years to complete (Trump has said he could do it in 18 months). It will ultimately harm the US economy, and of course, the economies of many other countries as well.

His talk on trade, health care, defense and taxation will also need to be carefully examined as to their ultimate effect on the nation and the world.

But maybe he is the right man for the job at this time. He’s promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington of the politicians and lobbyists who he railed against throughout the race. Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway said, “The gravy train is about to have its wheels blown off and its engine completely ripped from its bearings because there is just no reason to keep this consultant-lobbyist axis at such a level where people feel like their interests are not being served … Part of the rigged, corrupt system that he was giving voice to so often was the one we heard from voters.” Only time will tell if Trump actually does what he’s promised to do to “Make America Great Again” or maybe he’ll be a total disaster (ref: Conway Trump Swamp).

Of course making America great means different things to different people – and it should certainly mean something different to Christian people. Jesus defined greatness as serving others rather than reflecting the world’s self-interest and ladder climbing (Matthew 20:20-28). One of the saddest things I’ve observed during this election campaign is so much of the US Evangelical & Pentecostal church publicly taking sides with Donald Trump. Three things need to be clarified here:

Firstly, the church must be neutral when it comes to political parties. The church must not align itself with a particular party because the church’s FIRST priority is being obedient to Jesus’ LAST words (Matthew 28:18-20). For pastors to align their churches with one party over another means that the effectiveness of that pastor and church will be decreased in reaching people of other political persuasions. Read the book Unchristian by David Kinnaman for some excellent research on why and how politically aligned churches hinder the Gospel.

Secondly, the church must be consistent. For example, it’s one thing to talk about the President of the United States as God’s appointment because “there is no authority except that which God has established.” But why then did so many US church leaders endorse the war against Iraq? If “there is no authority except that which God has established” did that not include Saddam Hussein? What of the resulting mess from the unilateral offensive against Iraq? Why is there such hypocrisy in the US intervening in some situations and yet not in others (Rwanda, Bosnia, Ukraine and Sudan for example). Where is the church’s outcry against this hypocrisy and lack of justice?

Thirdly, the church must be involved in, and speak out about, issues of ethics and justice – the most important one being the relief of poverty (see Galatians 2:9-10). The church must shine it’s light bright so that people “may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Instead America sees the church in bed with the GOP and Donald Trump and simply can’t reconcile the Christian faith with the racism, misogyny, torture, violence, insults, hypocrisy and lewdness they hear from him.

This is where the contradictions come in. There are some church leaders in the US who have suggested that Donald Trump is like the Persian King Cyrus (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1-4). God anointed a pagan king to encourage the Jewish people to return to their homeland and rebuild their temple, also helping to finance the venture. But God did not call King Cyrus to rule over Israel, which is what these church leaders are “prophesying” about Donald Trump. And in any case, these same leaders also say that Trump is now a born again Christian (so is he a pagan king like Cyrus or a believer in Jesus?). I am not judging Donald Trump or his faith but you can’t have it both ways.

There has been so much Scripture twisting by church leaders who distort the Word of God for their own political agenda (2 Cor. 4:2). Consider the several self-styled “prophets” who suggested that, because it’s the 70th Year of Jubilee (which it isn’t) – the year the “trump” will sound and the year Donald Trump turns 70 – that it stands to reason that Trump is God’s choice to lead America. Others have suggested that Trump is God’s choice because he will hold back the Antichrist and the New World Order. This sort of doctrine, espoused by many in the evangelical and Pentecostal church world, is based on a relatively new understanding of end time events that was made popular by John Nelson Darby, founder of the Exclusive Brethren Cult. The fact is the Antichrist came and went in the first century AD and right now we’re not waiting for the devil’s kingdom – or the great tribulation – we’re waiting for the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ.

I hope and pray that Donald Trump does a good job for the next four or eight years as President of the United States. Whether you like him or not, we all have a God-given duty to pray for him and “all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Tim. 2:2; Romans 13:1-7). I also pray that my colleagues in the American church get a revelation of their priority of leading their churches to reach out with good works and good news to a world that God loves and for whom Jesus died, in order to build a kingdom that is not of this world!

Rob Buckingham

Senior Minister

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13 replies on “Some Thoughts On President Elect Trump”

Ann Mihaeresays:

Great blog and message yet again Pastor Rob thank you for your time and effort

Sunny schalanskysays:

I don’t go to church anymore because they supported Donald Trump’s racism, bigotry, and intolerance for refugees. It’s nice for me to know that you see these problems for what they are.
I think we should be praying for him to resign.

David Oldhamsays:

Thank you Pastor Rob for the great blog.

Taniasays:

Thank you Pastor Rob. This was a great read and helpful in allowing me a deeper understanding of recent events..

Jemma Ssays:

Thank you Pastor. I was very disturbed and really struggled in myself when the evangelical church took political sides but in it all I pray that God will lead and protect

Samsays:

Thank you Ps Rob. Appreciate your insights here. It seems both sides had quite different directions for the Supreme Court and impending justice appointments. Do you have a view on how that may have influenced freedom of religious expression and the advancement of core Christian values going forward? Knowing how influential the US SC has been, how should a Christian vote with the prospect of the next administration having huge sway on the make-up of pivotal SC justice appointments? Welcome your perspective.

Rob Buckinghamsays:

Thanks Sam. You’re correct in what you say about the US Supreme Court and I think that’s the main reason some Christians voted for Trump as they saw him as someone who would appoint justices whose views were closer to Biblical values than Clinton’s. I spoke to a number of American friends who held that view but they were also highly conflicted by seeing Trump as their best option out of two very poor candidates. I know it was an extremely tough election for them and I’m sure many others. One thing I’m praying for re the US is that, at the next election, the people will have better choices.

John Edwardssays:

If I read your points in this Post before the election, I’d think you preferred Hillary’s policies over Trump’s.

Interesting you view Antichrist/Tribulation as already-past: and bold of you to express such a thought.

Marianne Memariansays:

Thanks for your views, in particular why the Church can’t take political positions with a candidate! Was so disappointed to see key Church Leaders be so zealous and vocal to manipulate Christian voters. Concerning if President Elect attempts to lead as he campaigned— how OPPOSING this is to the Church’s central message: the GOSPEL!

Simba Chivirusays:

Thank you Pst Rob.I searched for a certain neutral answer and you have given me a broad insight. Surely they must reap what they sown in the years of oppression.I will not judge Trump in anything. At some point God knows more better than we do. He Trump will likely slow down the Russia. He will extend God desire that every soul hear the Gospel. I thank you for your insight. From Cape Town and we miss you.

Darren Breedensays:

Boy, did I give a fist pump when I heard that Trump was leading in the count. Not because I’m pro-Trump, but because I was so anti Hillary Clinton with her email scandals, identity politics as well as wanting to pump mega-millions into the Planned Parenthood death clinics. God has graciously spared America from a wicked woman, who would’ve been a threat to the church’s freedom. Rob, I agree with you on Trumps personal immorality, although I don’t know about his “violence” and “torture” and you neglected to mention that Trump’s success was the result of Obama’s Democrats with their liberalism and identity politics neglected the working class, which is why the rust belt voted accordingly. As well the violence against Trump supporters, why didn’t Obama and Clinton decry this during the campaign?

David Vowlessays:

I agree with the previous comments about the importance of future appointments to the Supreme Court. This court (and others) have continued to silence the christian voice in the US by redefining the First Amendment right to freedom of religion as the right to practise their beliefs in private but not in the pubic arena. I read recently a pastoral letter – a wake up call – by the leader of the AOG in the US (https://shar.es/1INdpG) in which he says that, unless they engage in the cultural and political systems, christians are on the precipice of losing critical religious liberty protections in that country. We would be naive to expect that this will not happen in Australia.

Eugenesays:

As a hardcore Trump supporter I have to disagree with some things that you said but I feel this is actually a pretty balanced article. 🙂 Keep going

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