Sunday, November 6, 2016
Daniel Stetler. Max Lucado, Sampson, and Donald Trump
When Obama ran in 2008 and 2016, but especially in 2008, we conservatives sat back aghast at how his supporters acted. There was a lot of hate and accusations aimed at anyone who wouldn't support him, but the adulation and basically worship of him was nauseating and scary. There were songs written about him, people passing out at his rallies, and other things that made you go "huh?!"
And now the Republican party, conservatives, and Christians are doing the same thing with Donald Trump. I get the people who are reluctantly voting for him in an attempt to Hillary. I don't agree with them, but I get it. What I can't get is the people who insist on justifying their vote and attempt to shame everyone else into voting for him, and I also don't get those who defend everything about him and act like he is the Republican messiah or savior.
He has been compared to David, Cyrus, Esther, Sampson, and even Jesus Christ Himself. We are told we are pharisees for not voting for him, that he will bring God back into the White House, that it is the Biblical thing to vote for him, and more.
There was a day when Donald Trump would never have gotten support and votes from conservatives and Christians. There was a day when we would have recoiled at his vulgarity, bullying, his strip clubs, and immoral lifestyle. Now those who dare stand against him are mocked, accused of being pharisees, degraded, demonized, and more.
There are some brave Christian leaders who have taken a stand, and the very people who should be agreeing with them and supporting them are the ones crucifying them. Men like Max Lucado, John Piper, and others have taken an unpopular stand. And those who should be taking a stand are not. Men like Daniel Stetler, Mike Huckabee, Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr, James Dobson, and many others.
I read an article this morning that resulted in this post, although there are a few other factors that have contributed. If you know much about the American Family Association, they are a very conservative radical organization that fights for the right things, though I feel they go overboard at times. This very extreme organization which has taken very radical positions on pretty much everything, has published an article denouncing pastor and author John Piper. Why? Because he dared tell people Christians do not have to vote, and that they don't have to feel constrained to vote for either of the two main candidates. If you took everything the AFA stands for and against over the years and stacked it up against Donald Trump, he wouldn't even be in the same universe as them....but yet they have thrown everything out the window they have ever stood for and against and embraced a candidate who would get a very sound and glaring F on their score card. And that isn't the worst of it. They then turn around and attack a fellow Christian for taking the stand they have always taken and should be taking.
I was raised in a very conservative church. I still attend there, though I don't believe everything the church teaches. Some would say our beliefs on some issues are extreme and unnecessary, and maybe some of them are. Anyway, I said that to say this: a preacher from my very conservative church background, who also teaches at a conservative Bible college, has penned an article that has been shared by several of my friends on Facebook. He tries to make the point that God may have held His nose to use Sampson, so therefor we should hold our noses to vote for Donald Trump. The idea of God holding His nose is ludicrous. He is God, and can use whoever He wants however He wants...... He wasn't there wringing His hands trying to figure out who to use at that time......but this is just one of many insane arguments and attempts to justify voting for a man that the writer knows he should never support and vote for.
I follow a man named Erick Erickson on Facebook. He is a Christian conservative media figure. He has taken the unpopular stand against Trump, and has gotten a lot of hateful comments. There are those suggesting that his wife wouldn't have cancer if he voted for and supported Trump, and other outlandish comments.
Another recent article condemned Max Lucado and all other Christians as Pharisees who won't vote for Donald Trump.
Have American Christians lost their minds? I am as anti Trump - and anti-Hillary - as anyone can be..... but I can understand and sympathize with those voting for him reluctantly, and looking at it as the lesser of two evils (though I don't think there IS a lesser of 2 evils)..... I cannot understand and sympathize with those trying to justify voting for him with crazy Bible comparisons and other outlandish statements..... nor can I understand and sympathize with those trying to shame and degrade those who feel they cannot vote for him.
(above picture taken this past week at a Trump rally)
Donald Trump is everything a Christian should stand against: adultery, immorality, pornography, strip clubs, arrogance, narcissism, pride, bullying, lying, misogyny, pro-gay, and more... and that is to not even mention his past politics and who he has supported and defended. Again, I can understand the reluctant Trump voters..... but no matter what your feelings are about him, you should at least understand those who feel they cannot vote for him. You should at least be able to look at us and realize that just because you can vote for him, it doesn't mean other Christians feel that they can.
I have been amazed at what I have seen from those who were previously against Trump. They are criticizing me for saying the same things they said a few months ago.... it was OK for them then, but not OK for me now. They are very defensive and go for the jugular if you say anything negative about DT or voting for him. My best friend suggested it is from a guilty conscience..... and that could explain a lot.
Just this week, a long time friend of mine who I didn't even know was on Twitter, replied to a tweet I did from Evan McMullin and said if I am not for Trump. then I am for Hillary and for killing babies. Come on.....he knows me very well, and he knows I am not for Hillary and definitely knows I am not for killing babies.... but his extreme pro-Trump feelings caused him to lash out and tell a whopper of a lie. And it is a lie.
Is a guilty conscience possibly the issue with these Christians supporting Trump so loudly and taking offense at anyone who won't join them? Could it be that they know down deep they should not be supporting and voting for him and feel guilty for doing so, so therefore they feel an intense need to defend their stand and attack anyone who won't go along? I am sure that would be true of some.
Never have I seen conservative Christians push other Christians to do what they feel is wrong. Never have I seen Christians in the Republican party try to get their Christian brothers and sisters to compromise their principles and values.
There has been a lot of anger and hateful rhetoric on both sides, but I would contend that the worst offense would be of those who are trying to shame and bully their fellow Christians into doing something they feel they cannot. Is stopping Hillary really more important than being true to our principles, values, conscience, and God? If a person feels they should not do something as a Christian, who on earth do we think we are to try to convince them otherwise? Most of we conservative Christians would never dream of doing that, until Donald Trump and Hillary came along.
A friend of mine has 2 atheist friends who are disgusted by Christians defending and supporting Trump. One said she never wants to hear a Christian say anything about morality after this election..... and she is just one of many who are looking on disgusted, and some mocking us because of this.... oh how the devil must be laughing at American Christians for the same thing,
Is politics the exception to holding to our values and beliefs? Is the perceived good of our country and freedoms so important that people must be shamed or bullied into doing what they believe to be wrong? But Hillary.... but the Supreme Court... but, but, but, but.....
There are a lot of things I don't believe I can and/or should do as a Christian, and are things I don't really believe a Christian should do:
Sleeveless shirts.. or no shirt
Certain activities on the Sabbath
Drink alcoholic beverages
Watch certain things
Read certain things
Have a sexual or romantic relationship with other males
And I am not saying all of those are wrong for everyone, though I do believe those are things a Christian should not do.....well surely a few wouldn't be debated by conservative Christians.
I have come a long way on my spiritual journey. God has truly worked a miracle in my heart and life, and actually more than one miracle. I am doing my best to live as He wants me to, to keep my conscience clear, and live a life that pleases Him. Do I always succeed? No, but that doesn't mean I should intentionally go against what I believe to be right just to please other Christians.
If you are going to tell me that I should go against my conscience and values and vote for Donald Trump, then you may as well tell me to get piercings, to go ahead and view porn, to give into my sexual desires, to get tattoos, don't worry about what I do on Sundays..... Because you see, if we let down in one area, we will soon let down in others. You can't go against your conscience and what you believe God expects of you and it not cost you. It always does, and it always goes downhill from there.
Am I saying if I vote for Trump that I will cave on everything else I believe is wrong? No, but it will tarnish my conscience and will most likely cause me to be more susceptible to giving in to other things. Plus, I'd feel guilty and hypocritical if I voted for him... I would truly be a pharisee then.
I am used to defending my beliefs. I've had people argue my stance on alcohol, tattoos, Sundays, sexuality, and more.... so this Trump thing isn't new, it is just more widespread and coming from people in my own church. That is when it becomes really rough to take a stand..... when those in your own church are attacking you.
I am not attempting to tell anyone not to vote for Trump. If you do vote for him, I hope you at least prayed about it..... but I am attempting to point out no one has the right to try to get another person to go against their conscience...... even to stop the big, bad Hillary Clinton.
So vote for Donald Trump on Tuesday if you feel you must, but if you are a Christian, you should understand that there are many Christians who truly believe they cannot and should not do so. If you are a Christian and "doing it the right way", surely you have had times in your life when you took an unpopular stand on something......so remember that when you look at we who cannot conform and vote for the candidate on the GOP ballot this time.
I'm imperfect, a work in progress..... but I am not a pharisee, and I am not for Hillary OR Trump.
Vote your conscience, not how others want you to vote.