What a time we live in. What opportunity to speak into the lives of people and to talk about the two forbidden subjects, religion and politics. Ever since I came to Christ, at age 46, I have strived to learn and grow and to become closer to my Lord and Savior. I also have had a lifelong love for this country. At one point, I’m sure my patriotic devotion seemed jingoistic. But now, I’ve come to learn, that our patriotism and love of country must be through the lens of our faith, not our faith through the lens of our patriotism.
Os Guinness and Eric Metaxas both talk about the Golden Triangle of Freedom, which simply says that to have liberty, you must have virtue. To have virtue, you must have faith. To have faith, you must have liberty and so it goes. If you want to learn more about this Golden Triangle, look at Eric Metaxas’ book, “If You Can Keep It.” I believe that both Guinness and Metaxas are on to something. There is a feeling of truth to this simplistic model.
With that as the backdrop, and scripture, I will quote in the text, I feel I must respond to Mark Galli’s attack on President Trump and his call for impeachment.
President Trump is by no means the most virtuous of President’s we have had in this country. Mark Galli does correctly point out that his twitter feed alone is repugnant, self-serving and misleading. I agree with him on this point. I also agree that President Trump must be held accountable for his actions. As is stated by Os Guinness and Eric Metaxas, when the country loses it’s moral center (which comes from our country’s foundation in the Christian religion), liberty will be the next domino to fall. I cannot defend President Trump and his twitter feed. It is obvious that he is suffering from an inferiority complex, as well as a deep-seated pride. Both of these are major problems for a Christian, much less the President of the United States.
At the same time, we have to look at scripture and see which of the heroes of the bible were above reproach. In the breadth of the three thousand years of human development documented in the bible, there is but one man who was perfect, without sin. That was Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Yes, the obvious conclusion is that President Trump is not Jesus Christ. I get that. But was Jesus the only one in the bible who did God’s work? Not by any means. David was and adulterer, Moses was a murderer, a prostitute helped doom Jericho. We, as a society, not just fellow Christians, have fallen into a trap where we expect our leaders and (dare I say) idols to be perfect. Surgery and diet can make the outside look perfect, but inside we are all fallen, we are all marred by the sin that is part of this world. We as a society cannot expect perfection, and seeking that perfection in people, not in Christ, itself is idolatry.
Jesus himself said in Matthew 22:21, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” It is my belief that Jesus is saying that we must be careful in mixing God’s world, with Caesar’s world. President Trump is in the middle of the modern equivalent of the Roman Forum and is our current elected Caesar. I thank God that he is not elevated to god-like status and his word is not law.
Furthermore, in Daniel 2:21, the bible says, “He changes times and seasons; He deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” God raises up leaders. If we are to believe that we must believe that God raised up President Trump. At the same time, God will depose him, when and how he sees fit. The point and the goal as a Christian is to make sure we don’t make a holy idol out of President Trump, nor should we make a holy idol out of the effort to resist or impeach him.
This is where Mark Galli made his mistake. He turned the effort to depose the President into a holy idol. Look at the second half of the Daniel scripture again, it says “He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” That is what we should be seeking. We need the wisdom to lead our lives the best way as a Christian. We need knowledge to make godly decisions not only in the public square, but in the voting booth, and in the church pew.
In this age of instant denunciation, we have to be careful to not step in to that other cultural trap to start an online argument, not for the dialog and debate, seeking to get at the roots of the problem, but instead to revel in the rancor and vitriol that follows. We have an image for those who seek to do that, thanks to William Shakespeare and the play MacBeth. The witches in the play sang, “Double, Double toil and trouble.” We cannot stir the pot, and giggle with glee as we see more people jump in to fan the flames. That is why I have taken a week since Mark Galli’s article has come out. Yes, I have seen the articles for and against. But time to listen to the Holy Spirit, and time to let the flames die to embers.
If we wish for this country to stand, we must hold up the foundations of liberty, virtue and faith, and to ensure that we give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and ensure we give to God what is God’s. We also need to follow the urging of Paul and to, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-4 We must pray for President Trump, and Mark Galli, and Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, and Adam Schiff. We need them to make virtuous decisions as our elected representatives and church leaders. We must not make an idol of President Trump nor his demise. We must continue to stay on the path with wisdom and discernment.
Whether you agree with me or not, I ask that you pray for our leaders, and for the truth to come out, regardless of which side it benefits. Also, I welcome your comments and debate.