“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” Romans 13:1-2
In the run-up to the 2012 election, I “unfriended” a close relative on Facebook for posting a meme that pictured President Obama as a monkey. While not a fan of President Obama, I found the post beyond the pale in its disrespect, not to mention its explicit racism. At the time, there was much about the president’s platform that was cause for concern for Christians. But, the Bible is clear: all authority comes from God and we should react to our governing authorities accordingly. This makes waking up on November 9, 2016, a little more difficult than usual.
My #NeverTrump position is well-documented, and anyone who is unaware of it either doesn’t know me or believes that when I say “stop,” I mean “go.” Contrary to what many may believe, I don’t relish my role as a conservative provocateur. I would prefer to be able to write almost solely about my faith. But God has placed my hands on multiple writing plows. Now, just a few hours into the post-election reality, I’m beginning to believe that being #NeverTrump prior to the election will prove to be a cakewalk in light of what it will mean to be whatever my position looks like with Donald Trump as the president of the United States.
My first test was discussing the election results with my children. My five-year-old son simply parrots what he hears and has very little conceptual understanding of what happened. After voting for “Duck” in his class election on Monday, he sternly informed me that he wouldn’t be able to vote on Tuesday because he had already voted. My almost eleven-year-old daughter, on the other hand, is deeply disturbed because Donald Trump won.
My initial conversation with her was an opportunity to talk with her about the full and final sovereignty of God. For that, I am thankful. And, it’s the same discussion that I would’ve had with her had Hillary Clinton won. But, since my daughter is quickly entering her teenage years, I’m fearful of the impact on her that will come from knowing that a large percentage of men in this country share or simply shrug off the hateful, misogynistic rhetoric and actions of President-elect Trump.
Sisters in Christ have confessed to me that they feel betrayed by many professing Christian men. Horrified, they have listened as men around them have scoffed at their very real concerns over President-elect Trump’s words and confessed deeds. Being faced with the reality that their concerns have been dismissed or even angrily rejected by those who confess to be their brothers in Christ, sisters in Christ are hurting and scared.
As Christians, we adamantly believe in two distinct genders. We believe that God created men and women to reflect who He is in different ways. Telling women to “suck it up” or passing off jokes about sexual assault (which I don’t believe were mere jokes, for the record) as guys being guys and locker room talk lets them know that the liberal lie about gender being a social construct will be co-opted by Christian men when convenient. Men who defend Trump have abdicated their God-given role to stand up for and protect women. And for that, I am angry, almost sinfully so. Apart from God’s grace, it will hard for me to consistently live out Romans 13:1-2 these next four years.
But, God has given me a job to do, and over the next four years, by God’s grace, I’m going to do my best to respectfully make sure that both my daughter and my son know that Trump’s objectification of women is rebellion against God. I’m going to reassure my daughter that she is of equal value in God’s eyes because she is made in the image of God. Whatever crass sexual appeal or lack of sexual appeal that lustful men feel for her does not define her. Now, however, thanks to President-elect Trump, with the gleeful support from professing Christian leaders, that message runs the risk of being shouted down. The Bride of Christ in America’s unholy whoredom with gloating words and deeds tells women that they are mainly defined and have their highest value in their ability to slake the lust of men.
I will also continue to pray that God uses this past year’s election and the subsequent result(s) as a means to separate the cultural Christians from those who are truly His children. I’m afraid that many who claim the name of Christ in this country have revealed to their unbelieving neighbors, friends, and family members where their true faith is placed.
This morning I watched in tears as professing Christians posted racist and misogynistic memes, reminding their Democrat neighbors that they had lost. I even saw one meme scoffing that “Hillary is finding out how it feels to be aborted just before delivery.”
Prior to this election season, I would never have guessed that Christians would resort to using the horrendous evil of abortion as a punchline. How can followers of King Jesus make light of the murder of babies? Sadly, this election season has revealed that much of the church in America would rather take their cues from an openly obscene and proudly unrepentant man than have their words and deeds shaped by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Lord willing, as the true Church becomes more obvious to unbelievers, the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will go out, unhindered by the baggage of cultural Christianity.
To be clear, open disrespect to the authority that God has sovereignly placed over us would be a hindrance to the American church’s ability to share the gospel, too. Romans 13:1-2 applied when Nero was the Roman emperor, and it still applies as Donald Trump prepares to take the oath of office for the president of the United States. Romans 13:1-2, however, doesn’t mean that Christians are not allowed to call out sinful and unbiblical words and actions from President-elect Trump.
While not sure yet what my “official pundit position” will evolve into over the next few months, I pray that my perspective as a follower of King Jesus remains steadily focused on the sovereign God over all of creation. I will also pray for the grace to respectfully and humbly live out Romans 13:1-2, even as I continue to hold Trump and his supporters accountable for their words and deeds.