Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Friday, October 14, 2016

Just call me Nicodemus

  There is a  popular article used to slam and attempt to shame we who are not voting for Donald Trump that drives me crazy. It targets Max Lucado by name, and anyone else who is against Trump and calls us Pharisees. I could come back with a very good response that wouldn't be kind at all, so I will refrain from that. I am going to go a different direction and talk about a Pharisee.

   In the third chapter of John, a Pharisee came by night to visit Jesus. This visit resulted in the most well known of all Bible verses.... well, other than "judge not"..... For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes on Him will not perish but have eternal life.

  One might look at this passage and think Nicodemus a coward. Really, sneaking off to see this man that his buddies wanted to kill...It could be that we judge him too harshly. These religious leaders were very much against Jesus and considered him a blasphemer and troublemaker. It would almost be like a Muslim Iman going to talk to a Christian pastor and expressing interest in his teaching. I had to take a lot of guts to admit he might be wrong, and a even more guts to go through with going to see him. I doubt it was a spur of the moment thing. He may have been thinking about it for days, trying to talk himself into it, and then out of it. We don't know how long it took him to decide to do it, but we know he finally did.

  Nicodemus is only mentioned two other times outside of John 3. In John 9, the Pharisees were asking why Jesus had not been arrested for words He had said. Nicodemus spoke up and pointed out that the law was supposed to give a man a fair hearing before they judged and tried him. That is no coward speaking up. It earned him an accusation of being from Galilee also.

 The other mention of Nicodemus comes after Jesus' crucifixion. If you read the account of the crucifixion, you won't see any mention of the disciples when they took Jesus' body down. Joseph of Arinathea asked for Jesus' body, and Nicodemus came bearing spices to bury Him with and helped bind the body of Jesus and put Him in the tomb.

 The men who openly followed Jesus were not around. They were hiding, while two men who had followed Jesus secretly came out of hiding and pretty much announced to the world that they were followers of Jesus. It would appear these men were also at the crucifixion. They both came through when it mattered. They were faithful when it mattered. While Jesus' disciples were deserting Him and hiding in fear, Nicodemus (and Joseph) were there for their Savior. When Jesus' faithful followers were being not so faithful, Nicodemus came through.

   So call me a Pharisee for standing by my principles. Call me a Pharisee for being consistent and opposing the GOP nominee for the same reasons I would oppose him if he was still a Democrat.

   I have not always been faithful. I have been unfaithful for more of my life than I have been faithful, I have tried to serve God out guilt and out of fear of going to hell. I doubted His love for years, and my relationship with Him was shallow at best, if you could call it a relationship.

 That all changed a few years back. I finally came to believe God loves me, and it has changed everything. I am still not perfect and fail God occasionally, but I finally have a relationship with Him and don't serve Him out of the fear of going to hell.

 I've not always had the right attitudes about Trump voters, and I want to be careful how I say what I want to say here... and I am not calling anyone anything.

I would be very careful throwing the Pharisee (the non-Nicodemus kind ) label at people:

If you condemned Bill Clinton, Gary Hart, Anthony Weiner, and other politicians for their moral lapses, but don't condemn Trump.

If you were silent about Trump's treatment of Cruz and Rubio but are offended at what people say about Trump.

If you are against porn, but aren't bothered that Trump and his wife were both in porn

If you are angry that jobs are going out of the country, but ignore the fact that Trump has his clothing line made in other countries.

If you are offended by vulgarity in others, but defend it in Trump

If you say character matters

If you have a problem with liberals furthering gay rights, but not with Trump doing it

If you believe strip clubs are evil, but don't have a problem with Trump having them

If you have more problems with me for not voting for Trump and supposedly voting for Hillary by default, than you do with Trump supporting Hillary and Bill for years and saying she'd make a great president

If you claim to be against women being objectified, abused,  and used by men, but are offended by people bringing up what Trump said about women and has done to women.

If you're pro-life and have no problem with Trump saying the biggest abortion clinic in the country "does a lot of good"

If you think the liberal media is evil for their coverage of Trump, but are fine with the conservative media exposing the same things in liberals.

If you're angry with people posting political posts against Trump, but you post positive things about Trump.

If you claim we need Trump to save guns and the Supreme Court, but are vowing to vote against any Republican who doesn't support Trump

If you have stood up for something right, but oppose those who are doing it in this election

If you're more offended by Trump's faults and moral lapses being pointed out, than by what he actually said and did

If you judge us for being wrong for "judging" Trump

If you are OK with judging Hillary, but not OK with Trump being judged

  I could go on, but you get the point. Now back to Nicodemus....

  What if the #nevertrump Christians ARE doing the right thing? What if we are right to put principles above country and our freedoms? What if we are being more faithful to God by refraining from voting for a man like Trump, than the ones supporting him to stop Hillary Clinton?

 What if we against Trump are like Nicodemus, standing with God and against evil, as all of the other followers desert him, in this case to go after an ungodly immoral man?

 What if it is better to let a person like Hillary become president, than for the church to support a man like Donald Trump just in an attempt to stop her from being president?

   Now I am just asking questions. I am making no statements..... just trying to make a point. People who live in glass houses, should not throw stones.

  So I'll take that pharisee accusation as a compliment. Just call me Nicodemus, one who was faithful when it counted.

**as much as I am against Trump and believe that Christians should not vote for him, I get that not all people voting for him have the same mindset as I have addressed here.

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