This post is for all persons who call themselves Christian and are facing a Trump presidency, whether or not you voted for him. As Christians, what is our response? What should we do? Here are six things that seem obvious to me.
- Pray for Donald Trump and everyone in his administration. Not only are we commanded to do this, it is also a very practical thing to do. It focuses us on God and on God’s ability to shape events and people, even those with whom we disagree. It also reminds us that all persons are loved by God.
Note that I did not say “pray for Donald Trump to be successful.” As you shall see below, there are times and issues where praying for failure is the right thing to do. Instead, our goal should be to pray for wisdom, and insight, and choosing love over hate.
- Listen without preconception or prejudgment. Most of us have strong opinions of Trump, both of his person and of his positions. Nevertheless, we owe him the courtesy of listening to what he says now, before we either support or condemn.
- Dialogue where possible. If you begin with the belief that all persons are loved of God and made in God’s image, then you start from a framework of dialogue. As hard as it may be, we must strive to understand and to work together, where possible.
- Speak the love of Jesus for all. Here is where we must begin to take our stand as Jesus followers. We must call out racism, sexism, xenophobia, misogyny, and all forms of making people into The Other. We have to say that the LGBT, the Muslim, the immigrant, the disabled, ALL are worthy of respect and treatment as fellow human beings.
- Name the wrongs, even when others do not. There will be policies and laws and actions that go against the law of Love. We must call these out, and name them as wrongs – not because we personally disagree with the policy, but because it is wrong in some moral or ethical way. Note that this means we cannot couch our own political leanings in Godly talk, as this cheapens our moral authority. We must save the “not of God or God’s way” claim for those things that clearly violate God’s love for the world.
- Stand with the marginalized and oppressed. It is possible that this administration may adopt policies and pass laws that make marginalized people even more discriminated against. As Christians we must stand with these people, and against the forces of power and control that would oppress them. This may mean taking stands that are hard, or unpopular. It could even mean risking our own freedoms or even our lives. Let us hope it does not come to that – but if it does, our call is clear.
These are the top items that come to me as I contemplate living out my faith in this time. What else would you add?
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