Even my readers abroad will know that the US presidential elections are in full swing with the Iowa primaries.
There are many sub-plots but the main one is the candidacy of Donald Trump for the Republican nomination. He has been and currently is leading by substantial margins in all polls nationally. His candidacy is filled with controversy and most of the pundits cannot explain his popularity among voters.
His appeal is centered around these general ideas. Much of America is sick and tired of “political correctness,” and Trump is definitely not politically correct. He is seen as the champion who will overthrow the deeply entrenched philosophy of the left under President Obama. Much of America is tired of the politicians in Washington and Trump is the non-political establishment candidate. Much of America is tired of the out of control immigration, the lack of directness in confronting Islam (the threat from ISIS), and the poor economy.
And here is the key summary point. There is a huge part of America to the right of center politically who desire revenge for the past 8 years of President Obama’s leftist agenda. For many Americans, Trump is the revenge candidate and is seen as the one who can tip over the tables and wreak havoc where havoc is needed.
But what about the Christian vote? Trump is a polarizing figure among American Christians. Much of what he says is definitely non-Christian. He clearly is not a Christian (the born again type!) and his lifestyle and character are not in any way reflections of the gospel. Just to name a few: he is revengeful, judgmental, self-serving, narcissistic and a bully. (I think even his most ardent supporters would agree with this list. They see these as assets.)
Despite this, a number of key Christian leaders have come out in support of his candidacy. Why? What is going on? Why would Christians support such a candidate?
There is a biblical and prophetic explanation. This explanation seems to explain what I have not seen explained in any other place. As Barb and I were praying for the elections this morning, she suddenly had some insight, which I sense is of the Lord.
It has to do with sowing and reaping, judging and being judged. As we all know, Matthew 7:1 says “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Most Christians, for the past 7.5 years of President Obama’s reign (he is seen as a king who reigns compared to a president who governs in accordance with the Constitution) have been beside themselves with the direction our country has been going. Many of the moral and righteous moorings of our nation are being ripped up as the secular agenda of the left is being implemented. For a large majority of American born-again, evangelical Christians, issues like abortion, same sex marriage, weak support for Israel, naivety regarding Islam, illegal immigration, anti-prayer and anti-Christian legislation, etc. are headline issues. Christians are being attacked for their faith and their biblical positions at an increasing rate.
Here’s the rub. Most of these American Christians have spent 7.5 years railing against this president and his agenda, judging and condemning him. The result very well may be that the country just might elect Donald Trump, who could well be a right wing version of the left wing man they have come to judge and hate (yes, I said hate). The law of sowing and reaping may be in play here. Sowing hatred against a president and his agenda, and reaping a right-wing version of the same thing.
Donald Trump and Barak Obama are very much alike. One is slick and eloquent and the other is bombastic and unorthodox. But they both are divisive, self-serving, self-absorbed, and vengeful against their political and personal enemies.
As Christians we are called to a much higher road than being in the dirt with those who hate, accuse and name call. We are called to pray for those in authority and be motivated by love as well as truth.
The 2016 elections may be a right-wing version of the past 7.5 years of a left-wing agenda unless the church and very many Christians repent of their judging. Our best hope is to pray that God will raise up righteous leaders who lead in truth and love.
I heard one prophetic voice say in an interview, that when asking God about the elections, the Lord said, “pray for the ‘what’ not the ‘who.'” We tend to focus on personalities, don’t we? It would be much better if we pray for righteous leaders, presidential candidates as well as all other levels of government, local, state, and federal.
This is a crucial juncture in the course of US and worldwide history. Much is at stake. 2016 and 2017, in all probability, will be critical years. We need righteous leadership in many countries around the world. We cannot afford to vote out of revenge. As believers, let us be on our knees asking God for mercy and forgiveness for our judging.