Stop talking about politics, Jesse!

Why do you write so much about faith and politics?

Look, I get it. It wouldn’t be the first time someone thought I should (or even told me to) pipe down about politics. But for those of you who have managed to make it this far, here are a few reasons why I feel compelled to speak up:

  1. The current President claims to be a conservative Republican, which I also claim to be. Yet his view of the world and his actions endlessly reveal that he is neither a true advocate for nor a true representative of my worldview. Since his job is to be my representative, this is a problem for me.
  2. He has consistently leaned on “my people” (white, conservative, evangelical) for support and has largely found it. He enjoys tremendous support from evangelicals (over 75% voted for him in the primaries, when there was more choices than just him). Most of these folks are so supportive of Trump that they fight impeachment, even though it would mean Pence would become President.
  3. He has stepped up the appeals to Christians in the wake of his impeachment. Several Republican congressmen compared Trump to Jesus during the impeachment hearings. He held a “Merry Christmas” rally in Michigan during the impeachment vote. He brought a host of worship leaders to the White House for a photo op and social media fodder. Yesterday, he asked his Twitter followers to “say a prayer.” I’m guessing he would prefer I pray for political victory and not like Jesus did just before the cross: “not my will, but thine be done.”
  4. This propaganda seems to be working, to some extent. Other Christians with a far greater reach than me are using their platforms like a MAGA-phone. They’re using their massive reach to proclaim the divine right and political inevitability of Trump along side the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And those who aren’t actively promoting are largely remaining silent about this.
  5. Because of this professed alignment to my people and my worldview, I feel a greater compulsion to speak. It would be like if a member of my church got on Facebook and said, “My church believes women who have abortions should be killed in the street.” Because I go there and identify with the church, I would feel especially compelled — even responsible — to say something about it. Of course Democrats and atheists are going to say things I disagree with, but they have a completely different worldview than I do.

At the end of the day, I do pray for the President, but I don’t pray that he succeeds or that people don’t bring him down. I pray that God will be glorified through him — and sometimes, like Nebuchadnezzar, that means he may have to go out to pasture (pun intended).

But that’s not my greatest concern. Trump is a narcissist driven above all by his own self-interest. As Psalms 37 says, people like that eventually fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.

My greatest concern is for the followers of Christ who are willing to embrace wanton sinful behavior in exchange for political gain.

I’ve long believed that our responsibility is to do what’s right and let God work out the consequences. But many Christians feel the allure that the early Zionists did — wanting Jesus to bring political salvation instead of spiritual salvation, and feeling disillusioned and disappointed when he didn’t. They’ve confused (and in some cases even co-mingled) American nationalism with Christianity, and the results are a mutated, cancerous faith and a frightening, godless theocracy.

That’s why I write about faith and politics so much lately.

For those of you that made it all the way through this without rage-quitting… any questions?