I thoroughly opposed Donald Trump through the primaries. When he was nominated, I searched for a conservative alternative. On election day, I didn’t vote for either of the major party candidates and “wasted” my vote (though I could write a tome about the fact that there’s no such thing as a wasted vote, but now’s not the time). As I posted yesterday, things have changed. He’s now going to be President and we must push him in the right direction.
There’s another angle that I didn’t address yesterday: the conscientious Christian worldview. My opposition to Trump was not based solely on my faith and my view that he doesn’t share it. There were more political reasons that fueled my opposition. Other Christians opposed Trump specifically because of his stated lack of understanding and adherence to a Biblical worldview. To those of you who fall into this category, I now ask you to follow a new direction regarding the President-elect.
You don’t have to like him. You don’t even have to support him (though any American President deserves our respect even if only for the office itself and its role in defending the Constitution). All I’m asking is that you view his presidency with an open mind based upon our understanding of the omnipotence and sovereignty of God.
Do I believe that God “chose” Trump as so many Christians have postulated? Yes, but not for the reasons that people like Michele Bachmann have suggested. Instead of Trump being chosen to make America great again, I believe it’s more likely that he was chosen much in the same way that Saul was chosen. Through the prophets, God warned Israel that they didn’t need a king but they essentially demanded it, so God gave them the reprehensible King Saul. This decision led to David and Solomon, so an argument can be made that Saul was a necessary evil to get to better kings. Unfortunately, Solomon was followed by Rehoboam who effectively split the nation for nearly three millennia.
We must always remember that God is in control. Free will is granted to men, but it is God’s will that brings about our leaders. That’s not to say we have no responsibility for matters. It’s often challenging to reconcile the free will granted to man with the supreme will that enacts God’s plan. I can’t offer a simple explanation other than portions of the Bible that prove it to me, but there’s a long explanation (more like a theory) that I may tackle some day. In the meantime, we simply have to accept the Biblical validity of these apparently contradictory concepts.
God could make Trump a great President. He could turn him into the downfall of the nation. He can use him as a tool to usher in someone else, to take down a system, or to take individual actions that fulfill portions of God’s plan. As Christians, we have to shift from the campaign perspective that Trump isn’t the right man for the job to the post-election perspective that he’s the person we need to watch and even guide at times.
Nothing is impossible for God. If He can free the Hebrews from the clutches of the Egyptians, he can make Trump fulfill whatever role he’s intended to play in God’s plan. That means that we cannot allow our personal distaste or mistrust cloud our own Biblical worldview. We need to watch what happens and react accordingly without the bias we may feel against the President-elect. We don’t have to like him nor trust him, but we should be watchful of his actions and react to where they lead us. When he does well, support him. When he does poorly, we may dissent. It’s the only truly Biblical way to handle any politician.
The difference between Trump and past Presidents is that Trump makes it harder to both support and oppose. That paradox has spread to his supporters. As such, we must remain diligent. Just because we don’t know God’s plan doesn’t mean we can’t recognize it as it plays out.