by Charles Lyons
On January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States.
The Sunday after the election, I made the following statement:
“Like you, I have many thoughts and emotions related to the events of this week. I have opinions and perspectives as you do.”
A few things to think about.
Do not assume people who voted for Hillary Clinton ignored her history, her family decisions, her deceptions, her judgment calls, or her support for abortion.
I think it is reasonable to believe many who voted for her voted for her in spite of any or all of those things. Faced with terrible choices, they made a judgment call and cast their ballots. Though they voted for her, they would not want to be characterized as Clinton supporters.
It would likely be a hasty conclusion to believe all those who voted for Donald Trump were ignoring his flaws, immorality, ill-advised statements, poor judgment, relational disarray, as well as statements deemed racist or misogynistic.
Faced with terrible choices, people made a judgment call and cast their ballot. They did not vote for hate any more than many of those who voted for Clinton voted to kill babies.
Americans considered their options and voted. To paint those in either camp with a broad brush would be prejudicial and biased.
Our nation is reeling from a great divide. Politicians and media have nurtured and fanned the flames of our troubles.
Make no mistake, there are conflicting worldviews playing out in our disintegrating culture.
World peace does not start there. It starts in your heart and mine. There is no room in the Christian’s life for anything less than loving your neighbor, doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. If your life is not marked by love for your brothers and sisters, you are not a Christ follower.
HERE ARE SOME PLEASE DON’Ts:
- Please don’t paint everyone not like you with a broad brush.
- Please don’t prejudge people.
- Please don’t hold grudges, be hateful, or throw things.
- Please don’t forget we live in a marvelous country with a system that allows dissent, pendulum swings, and due process.
- Please don’t engage in emotional ranting.
- Please don’t forget God is on the throne.
HERE ARE SOME PLEASE DOs:
- Please do be respectful, love your neighbor.
- Please do unto others as you would have them do unto you, which means listening and speaking respectfully.
- Please do strive to articulate thoughtful opinion.
- Please do remember God is on the throne.
Following my statement, we read 1 Peter 3: 8-12 (NAS):
To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in Spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For, “The one who desires life, to love and see good days, must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
I live in the deep blue sea, that portion of America represented by those smallish, even tiny dots and splotches of blue on the national political map. The popular vote in this election reflects the mindset and dominance of these areas. Cities function as a primary influence in our country through their institutions and dollars.
I can tell you that in the days leading up to the political conventions, the only signs seen in Chicago were Bernie signs. Not a Hillary sign anywhere and absolutely no Trump signs. After the Democratic Convention, very slowly and almost in a way that reflected the reluctance, Hillary signs began to appear here and there. I never saw a Trump sign.
It seems young, white, urban evangelicals, newcomers to the city scene, were largely, stridently anti-Trump. Giving voice to that sentiment, one professor, author, conference speaker shouted in his post-election tweet: “White evangelicals you could have stood up and said that following Christ and the body of Christ is greater, but you chose to pursue power.”
- Our Ruler is our Ruler still
- Our mission and purpose in life has not changed
- Our responsibilities to God, family, country, and community are the same
- The moral quality of our culture is unchanged
- Never has the divide between urban areas and the rest of the country been so dramatically displayed
- We’ve never had more “Word,” what with endless radio preachers, podcasts, study resources, conferences, etc., and seemingly never been so far from the Word in personal holiness, family health, and church effectiveness
- We are in desperate need of revival