Tag Archive: trump


Who’s Redeemable?

Both before and after the US election, there has been a lot of talk about Donald Trump and whether he can be an effective president. Part of that dialogue is this premise that, while they don’t condone the behaviours and attitudes of Trump, they still claim that God can use someone like him to still change the world for the better.

Let me begin with this: the grace and salvation God offers is available to ALL, regardless of what their past is. This includes Donald Trump. Scripture reminds us that Jesus’ foundational and primary challenge to everyone, regardless of ethnicity, history or philosophy is “Come follow me”. In that submission to Jesus as Lord, we can be redeemed by Christ and transformed by the Holy Spirit.

This is available to everyone, including Donald Trump. So from that perspective, yes, God can use someone like Trump to still change the world.

What I find interesting (or maybe I’m not looking in the right place) is that premise was rarely extended to Clinton. I’ve heard many people state that they couldn’t support Clinton because of the opaqueness of her political life which included the misuse of emails as well as inappropriate relationships between her foundation and her political work. They also point to her views on LGBTQ, same-sex ¬†marriage, abortion, etc. which they can’t support. They look at Trump and rationalize that, in spite of his misogynistic, racist and bigoted expressions, because he made statements that seemed to align with their political (and moral?) view, God can still use him.

(BTW, my cynicism suggests that, while Trump may have made promises that align with the religious right, his track record of truth telling suggests otherwise.)

The fact remains, if you’re going to extend that hope of grace and redemption to Trump, it should also be extended to Clinton as well. God is willing to redeem ANYONE who is willing to follow Jesus.

Since Wednesday, my cynical side looks at what Trump and especially some of his surrogates (like Gingrich, Giuliani, etc.) have said, and I gotta say, I have huge doubts that they’ll change. But it is still possible with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus, our hope of glory.

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I’ll be honest, I have not faced the adversity and oppression that many around me have faced in their lifetime and in their shared experience. So I cannot truly feel the depths of emotion that many have endured in the last 12+ hours after the US presidential election. I’ve also realized I have not such a disturbing dissonance within me for a long time.

As I’ve been trying to process where my thoughts and feelings are on all this, I’ve recognized a couple of things.

First, “Is this what God wanted?” With so many evangelical leaders, and with a segment of Christians who vocally proclaimed that “God wants Trump to be president” (as a YouTube search will verify), I adamantly couldn’t come to that conclusion. And yet here we are. Which makes me start wondering, am I not understanding the will of God? Are my understandings of who God is and his desires really that far off? At this point, I don’t think my understanding of God’s intention for life or for his creation is completely wrong. (But I did get pushed to that at one point.)

Secondly, the word that’s recently been popping in my mind is “injustice”. There’s that part of me that still clings on to the idea that you “reap what you sow”. Recently, I heard some news-talk callers state that late-night TV shows (like Seth Meyers, SNL, Stephen Colbert) were bullies to Trump. Part of that was because (sounding like a 3-year old), he started it! The arrogance that exhumed from him seemed unmatched. (To be honest, part of the reason why I watched those clips was as a defense against that arrogance.) As Van Jones stated recently (and I’ll paraphrase), we tell our kids not to be bullies, not to be bigots and to study and be prepared, and yet this guy succeeds in spite of contradicting all of that. Even with that arrogance, all that hatred and seemingly lack of respect for anyone except himself, he still managed to win the White House. It seems as though he didn’t reap what he sowed, that someone can win while so explicitly disregarding others in such a profound manner.

A sermon I preached a few weeks ago on moments when God seems far, far away came flooding back to my mind (always interesting how God reminds me of those). This feels like one of those moments when what my head knows and what my heart experiences are two different things. On the one hand, yes, I do believe and cling to the truth that God is still sovereign (because he’s been sovereign through so many other reprehensible moments in history before). On the other hand, my heart looks around and asks, Where are you God in all this?

On this side of eternity, I don’t know. That dissonance I don’t believe will cause me to throw away my faith in Jesus. It’s definitely not a state I want to remain in forever. Somehow, may God continue to reveal how all this unfolds. In the meantime, I must continue to seek him and his will not just on this subject, but for everything else that’s coming.

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