This specific version of this post was spurred by a Facebook post yesterday by a Christian. He posted that in this recent election, Trump got 26% of the vote. Hillary got 26% of the vote, and that 48% didn't vote, and that if you are part of that 48%, you can go pound sand. I honestly didn't realize where he was going with it, and pointed out his numbers were wrong as they didn't include we who voted 3rd party......he informed me that I was counted in the group who didn't vote, because my vote was a throw away......so this Christian was telling me to "go pound sand" because I didn't vote for Donald Trump. (How does one pound sand anyway? It is usually soft, so can it even be pounded?") I googled it, and it really doesn't sound very Christian........
Has politics become more important to us than Christianity, and how we treat people? Can we honestly say our actions, words, and how we treat people during election time line up with how the Bible says we should talk and treat people? Could we say Jesus would have acted like we did?
Let me say up front that I am not guiltless, though I will be coming from the standpoint of someone who was and is very much against Donald Trump. I still feel 100% that he should never have been nominated by the Republican Party, and that the party as a whole has a big double standard when it comes to him, his political past, and his immorality. The more heat I got for not supporting him, and the more I was attacked for daring to speak up, the angrier I got and the more vocal I got.
Pretty much anything thrown at me was by Christians, and some from people in my own church:
1) I was told "with my past", I should be OK with Trump's strip clubs, serial adultery, etc. The lady then deleted me on Facebook. (Lady from my church)
2) A friend "liked" a post where people not supporting Trump were compared to ISIS. Seriously.
3) I was told I was for Hillary if I wasn't for Trump. (In what Biblical reality is that NOT a lie?)
4) A long time friend posted that I was for Hillary and for killing babies if I wasn't for Trump.
5) I was called stubborn and holier than thou.
6) I was told a vote for a 3rd party was a vote for Hillary. Again, how is that not a lie? Have Christians bought so much into a 2 party system that they are too ignorant to realize there are more than two parties?
7) A cousin said I was not on God's side if I was not for Trump.
8) A Facebook friend - a Christian - ran and tattled everything I said about Trump to my sister and brother-in-law who are not on Facebook, which caused some family problems. (If I knew who that was, I WOULD delete them)
9) Then of course yesterday I was told to "pound sand" since I voted 3rd party. (by a Christian, so hopefully he didn't intend the "go to hell" part)
10) I felt early on that I could not vote for DT as a Christian, and that I'd be a hypocrite and going against my conscience to do so........ but I had several Christians try to get me to go against my conscience.
11) I had people who had been silent for 8 years about my criticisms of Obama message me, text me, and jump all over me telling me I needed to quit criticizing Trump and that I must support him because he won.
12) A pastor friend bragged how he convinced a woman from his congregation to vote for DT who felt she could not vote for him - was that really his thing to do as a pastor?
13) Someone I think highly of said "we need someone to speak up" when I pointed out how badly Trump behaves on Twitter, and how he bullies people.
14) A pastor's wife who wouldn't even watch TV, posted recently that Bill Clinton and others are worse than Trump, as if making others worse makes Trump any better.
15) The over the top comparisons of Trump to David, Jesus, Esther, Sampson, and others...... the almost worship and deification of him by many Christians.
And then you have the support and defense of DT and everything he has said and done. I believe this with all my heart: had he been running as a Democrat, those same people would have been using against him what they defended - the strip clubs, his serial adultery he bragged about, his bragging that he grabs women by their genitals, his vulgarity, his wife's appearance in porn, his years of funding liberals and their causes, his saying Planned Parenthood does a lot of good....... and more. None of that mattered. Hillary must be defeated and all Republicans must vote for DT, and convinced to do so at any cost.
Can we read through what I wrote and honestly say politics is not more important than Christianity and how we treat people?
Should Christians in either party so quickly and easily ignore and defend everything their candidate does?
I'll be honest: my faith was shaken severely this last election. First was the nomination, defense, and total support of a man far removed from Biblical values and morals. Second was the unreasonable push to get any Christian to vote for him, no matter what had to be said or done. I was hurt, angry, and bitter at the way I was treated and at the double standard surrounding this man. I still haven't gotten over it, I just have withdrawn into myself and don't say much about DT or the election. And I'll be blunt: Here I am struggling to live a clean moral life while dealing with a very difficult struggle - same-sex attractions - and the same people who would condemn me if I gave in are the same people defending just as bad or worse behaviors in their candidate. I know these Christians would not vote for a gay candidate, yet they support, defend, and voted for a man who owned strip clubs, cheated on at least 2 wives and bragged about it, is vulgar, promised to further gay rights, and more.... and I was condemned for daring to point that all out. Truthfully, I felt - and still feel - a sense of betrayal that no Trump voter or supporter will ever understand.
I'm not sure Jesus would even vote if He were living here in America today. He'd be all about souls and people. He'd be more interested in how He treated people than how - or if - they voted. IF He voted, He would never tell someone to "pound sand" if they didn't vote, or voted 3rd party. He'd never agree that someone was like ISIS for not supporting a certain candidate. He'd never badger anyone to vote a certain way. or make false accusations against that person for not voting how He wanted. I don't think Jesus would even vote. He wasn't political when He was here, so why would He be now? (I wonder if my Facebook friend would tell Jesus to pound sand for not voting)
God is most likely not as concerned about who is president as we are. God cares more about what we are doing for Him and our fellow man than with us keeping our freedoms and comforts. Oh, I care about those too, but we are too focused on those things. I doubt the condition of a person's soul was on anyone's mind during the election. Which is more important: Letting "John" know God loves him and will save him, or getting John to vote for Donald Trump?
I have always voted Republican, even when I didn't care for the candidate.....but those days are over. I may never vote again. I am way past being sick of being badgered, lied about, falsely accused, etc in an effort to get me to vote like someone wants me to vote. If I do vote, I am going to do my best to vote my conscience and keep it to myself how I vote. It really isn't anyone's business, after all.
One problem we have, is we look at everything as an American, instead of a Christian. One guy who tried his dead level best to get me to vote for DT asked me something via text - can't remember what it was. I replied, "are you asking as an American, or as a Christian". He replied "can't I do it as both?" We have so intertwined the two, that we equate the two.... and they are not the same. I love our country and freedoms, and hate what liberals and atheists are doing to it. We are too concerned with what happens in America.
Which is more important according to the Bible: getting someone to see things your way politically, or how the other person will feel after make your points? Which is more important: Getting that person to vote the way you want, or how you will affect his spiritual life........ and how his spiritual life will be affected if you convince him to go against his conscience?
Let me get really nitty gritty: To tell someone who you know is conservative and would not vote for a liberal that he is for Hillary if he is not for Trump is a lie. Oh you can call it whatever you want, but it is a lie..... and yet Christians have no problem telling me that. To say a vote for a 3rd party candidate is really a vote for Hillary is a lie. It is not a vote for Hillary, but a vote for someone else. So yes, I am saying many Christians lied during this election as they did their best to guilt or shame people to vote the way they wanted them to vote. Did they ever think that maybe the way they wanted them to vote was not the way God wanted them to vote? Would that even matter to them?
Here's the thing: Christians are fine with you not going against your conscience as long as they agree with you. No one among my evangelical friends would ever tell me to embrace my sexual desires and have sex with other guys........for they believe it is wrong. But I have had people claiming to be Christians urge me to do exactly that.......so why is it OK to go against my conscience when Christian A wants me to, but not when Christian B does? And is there a danger of going against your conscience? What if giving into Christian A and going against my conscience leads to me going against it in the other area further down the road?
I am not saying Christians should not be involved in politics nor vote. I am saying for too long we have put politics before Christianity. We set Christianity aside and pull politics to the front during the election. Living by what the Bible says doesn't enter our minds. How we treat people doesn't matter, as long as we make our point and convince them to vote a certain way.
In closing, a personal illustration: I am friends with the guy who founded and ran Hope for Wholeness until a few months ago when he resigned. HFW is an organization/ministry to help people with unwanted same-sex attractions. During the election, he was being very vocal about voting for Trump and really bashing Hillary a lot. I sent him a nicely worded email cautioning him that maybe in his position he should not be too political. The chances of having pro-Hillary Facebook friends was not only likely, but very high. I cautioned he might turn off some of the very people he was trying to help. He thanked me, but it changed nothing.
But let's take it a bit further. One of the people who tried hardest to convince me to vote for Trump and insisted I was for Hillary, cautioned me once that with as vocal I was being against Trump, it could hurt my Christian witness and make my reasons for not voting Trump null and void to some people. (Ironically, he never said that to me when I was saying worse things about Obama.....). But think about that......what if we are turning people off on Christianity by being too political.....no matter who we are vocal about for or against? If Susie loves Hillary and is not a Christian, will she want your religion when you are constantly blasting Hillary on Facebook?
People do need to know where candidates stand, but do we Christians too easily resort to un-Christian tactics and name calling when it comes to politicians we are against? I have called Trump a sleazebag, and got called out for it..... but called Obama as bad or worse and did not get called out for it......is it any worse for me to call Trump derogatory names than Obama? Evidently as a Republican it is, but what about as a Christian? Should we celebrate the take-down of a liberal politician? Should we take up stones and cast when one is accused of sexual allegations?
Why do Christians have no problem with criticisms of politicians on the other side of the aisle? Why is it OK for me to criticize and call Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi names and point out their faults, but suddenly I am holier than thou, judgmental, and going against God if I do the same with Donald Trump?
There are those on Facebook who never post political posts......I admire that, and hope to be like that some day. I am working on it. That may mean un-following even more people and staying out of the voting booth completey - I'm sure I'll get a lot of Christian understanding and support if I do that!
Jesus was all about loving people and doing good. That is more important than politics and who wins an election. Which is more important to us?
Some day we will all stand before God. Who was president will not matter on that day, but how we treated people will matter........even during an election.
**Disclaimer: I am in no way guiltless in these areas. I despise Donald Trump - just as much for what I have gotten from his supporters as what the man is. I am sure I have been too vocal about him - but again, I was just as vocal about Obama and no one ever said anything about that........but anyway, I too am guilty of being too political and caring too much about winning arguments.