You are a Pharisee! You don’t love America! You are a sellout! Jesus says you should/shouldn’t vote for Trump! You don’t care about Morality! What about the Supreme Court? You can’t be saved and vote for Hilary/Trump/Johnson.
Bickering, name calling, questioning others faith – It is getting ugly out there folks and I am not talking about the world. Church, I am looking at us. Jesus is too, which actually matters.
To our shame, people who are not followers of Jesus are watching as well and frankly they are not impressed. Why? Because the church is looking really bad over politics, over something and someone that will be gone in a moment in the eternal time scale. Life is a vapor and whether it is President Obama, Clinton or Trump, their time in power means very little on the eternal scale The church is divided and turning against itself over something that simply will not matter in the long run…and that is incredibly sad.
Voting or not voting for Donald Trump (or Hilary Clinton for that matter) is not specifically prohibited in the Bible. It just isn’t, no matter how hard you torture the text. People can prayerfully examine the issue and come to different conclusions. Some may say that Trump is the best of a bad choice. Some may say that they cannot hitch their wagon to someone who is amoral in their opinion. Either choice is justifiable. You might have super strong opinions and one of the options may have you red in the face, but put simply the Bible does not say vote or not vote for a particular candidate. That is all on you.
What is not justifiable according to the one we are supposed to listen to, you know Him, King of Kings, Lord of Lords is division over this. In case you missed it, let me be clearer — never, ever, ever, never is it ok to divide the church over something as clearly not heaven related as a political candidate. If you hate your brother over his choice of political candidate, you may want to read 1 John 4:
20If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And we have this commandment from Him: Whoever loves God must love his brother as well.
That isn’t fun to read is it?
In John 17 Jesus prays to God on behalf of His people, first for those who were then alive and with him and then for those who will come after and follow Him – us. He prays very clearly that we would be one…..just like He and the Father are one.
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will[e] believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
How does the world know that we are disciples of Jesus — that we do/don’t support Donald Trump? That we yell at people who do/Don’t support Donald Trump? — of course not, that we are one, united with one another in love regardless of what is going on in the world. Paul sets out this same idea in Ephesians:
1As a prisoner in the Lord, then, I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling you have received: 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3and with diligence to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Jesus takes care of our standing before God at the moment of our salvation, the doctrine of justification by faith, but after that point the question arises of how are we going to act. Whether our walk, our life, looks like the life of one who has received the greatest gift of all time and was freed from an unpayable debt by Jesus. Walking worthy of the calling you have received means walking through life acting like Jesus. Paul describes what that looks like, with humility, gentleness, patience and bearing with one another in love. Not wearing a Make America Great Again hat or Hilary in 2016 pin or even a Giant Space Rock 2016 t-shirt for the snarky. Rather, Paul points to the fact that we are all one body through Jesus and we should be diligent and preserving that unity. It is our unity that testifies to what Jesus did on the cross. He died for the party that was diametrically opposed to what He stood for out of love. That party is us by the way.
Bearing with one another in love does not mean calling people who refuse to vote traitors or saying that they are legalists for disagreeing with a political candidate. Preserving unity does not look like questioning the salvation of those who will vote or not for a political candidate. It means loving each other united in Jesus even if we disagree strongly. We are just clay pots after all, who are we to think it is about us?
Paul also covered this in 1 Corinthians where he asks them the very pointed questions:
10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
This does not mean that we have to agree. This election season in the US has been filled with disagreement and confusion from every aspect and people have often found themselves disagreeing with themselves, not to mention their neighbor. But in order to walk in unity worthy of the calling that we have received, if we disagree we must do so with humility, with gentleness and most of all with love or else we are harming the church in the name of the world.
If you need more convincing, just do a quick internet search on articles from non-believers regarding Christians and Donald Trump. The world is not impressed with the church on this issue.
God directs the hearts of the leaders of a nation according to His plan in His timing, whether that leaders is a good person or bad person. God used evil Pharaohs and evil Emperors and evil Kings to accomplish His tasks and for His glory. Regardless of what you think of the Donald or Hilary, God will use them according to God’s plan for the good of His people. Our job is to simply remain faithful to God and testify to what Jesus already did through unity in the Body of Christ. Keep sight of Jesus and what He did for those who were literally killing Him and loving the neighbor with a Trump or Hilary yard sign gets a whole lot easier. Is Christ divided? Did Trump die for you? Did Hilary die for you?