“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
November 9, 2016 will go down as hosting one of the most shocking presidential elections in United States history. While polls showed Hillary Clinton as the clear favorite, Tuesday showed the opposite. As a result, Wednesday morning came and many in the nation woke up shocked; some appalled, mourning their loss. As Wednesday went on, the hashtag “#NotMyPresident” started spreading and anarchy ensued in numerous cities around the United States. Videos of Trump voters being beaten up for voting for Trump also surfaced. The so-called “United” States is anything but united.
How about the church? How is the unity in the church in the United States? Unfortunately, politics have divided the Church. Some Christians have expressed their support for Donald Trump and some have expressed their support for Hillary Clinton. What is fascinating is that many Christians that express their positions have claimed to come at this election from the same core value: the dignity of human life. Christian Clinton supporters argue that they are valuing human life and loving people as Christ has commanded by supporting women, caring for the poor, working for the minority, and fighting for the oppressed. Christian Trump supporters argue that they are valuing human life and loving people as Christ has commanded by caring for the unborn, and protecting our religious freedom (via the crucial Supreme Court position to be filled). In the Church, politics shouldn’t divide because we all should be fighting for loving people as Christ has commanded by supporting women, caring for the poor, working for the minority, fighting for the oppressed, caring for the unborn, and protecting our religious freedom SO THAT Christ would be proclaimed for the glory of God!
What is our love for the women, poor, oppressed, unborn, and minority if in fact it is not a love that shows Jesus Christ as supreme? No matter what candidate you supported and voted for, you need to grow in your love of God and your love of others. Maybe you are celebrating Trump’s victory today. As you celebrate, realize that there are people who are fearful of what a Trump presidency now means. There are Christians that are mourning while you celebrate. Be sensitive to the needs of the whole body. If you voted Trump, it is time for you to pray that Trump actually follows through with some of what he promised (conservative Supreme Court justices and the protection of the unborn) but also that he will not follow through with some of the horrible threats he made while he was campaigning. It is also your role to go above and beyond how you’ve lived to show true and genuine love to those that are different that you (especially the poor, oppressed, marginalized, and hurting). If you voted Trump, it is time to pray for him. It is time to stand with Paul as he encouraged the Romans in Romans 13 to be “subject to the governing authorities.” You may see Trump as the early Christians saw the Roman Emperor. Even so, it is your calling now to submit yourself to him out of respect for God’s sovereign hand.
As a church, let us be known for our love. Many outside the church simply see the church as getting entirely behind Donald Trump. What that means is that many in the nation will see the church as making the same horrible threats Trump made throughout his campaign. Let our love be extreme. But let our extreme point to Jesus Christ, the one who died for us despite our rebellion, in order to reconcile us to God, the Creator who deserves our ultimate loyalty and devotion.