Sunday, February 28, 2016

What am I Missing About Trump? Values?

As I watched the last debate, I wondered to myself, “What in the world am I missing in Donald Trump that some evangelicals see in him?"  Maybe what I am missing is values. Christian values are not something to be talked about or aspired to, but to be actually lived out before the world to see. Tell me, Christian evangelical leaders who support the Donald, do pride, name calling, demeaning and belittling of others look Christian to you? And if not, is there some sort of scale that you use for Donald Trump’s values that allows you to balance out his regular violation of grace, kindness, goodness, and self-control? Tell me, which of the fruits of the Spirit Mr. Trump has displayed in his run for office that the evangelical community should be supporting him?  

Let’s be real here, Christian, and let’s stop a second and think about what some of you, our brothers and sisters in Christ, are doing when you support Trump. You are saying to yourself that the need for change in our country and its political direction allows you to vote for a man who holds few, if any, of your common values. Would you do such nasty stuff to someone that the Donald is regularly doing to anyone who questions him or calls him out? Wow, if you did it on national TV, you would probably expect one of your church elders coming to your door to tell you that you are in sin and you need to repent.

Is the desire for change in America, and a desire to restore conservatism, so enticing that you would eat the apple of a fruit that is proving daily a lack of some of the most basic values of common human decency? You don’t even need to judge Mr. Trump by God’s values, even common sense values teach us to be decent with others and clearly the Donald is not. And this is the man you want as President? Doesn’t it scare you to think what he may do to tick off a world that is learning to hate America?

Where in the Bible does it give the Christian license to throw out values in an effort to restore values? Is it not troubling to you that the man who many want to curtail abortions, protect Christianity and build consensus is the same man twice divorced, and taken four companies into bankruptcy. And he is proud that he used the system to his advantage to not keep his financial commitments. 

Then there many promises without substance. Tell me how we are going to balance the budget Mr. Trump, and give health care for those who can’t afford it while canning Obamacare. We will have lots of jobs, lots of jobs, you proclaim! We will build a great wall, which is now ten feet higher than last week, just because a former President of Mexico calls Mr. Trump on it? WOW! What happens when Mr. Putin or some other leader calls Mr. Trump a buffoon? Will there be 20% more missiles aimed at Russia?

The world is watching Mr. Trump and his antics and they are laughing while at the same time scared to death of what this man is capable of saying and doing. Hey wait, that is you and me also, laughing while we watch a circus takes place, yet sacred to death that this man has the potential to be our next "Christian" President. And he will have been put there by Christians. Are we really that far along in the demise of the Church that we will allow a "Christian" who cannot give us any meaningful discussion on what it means to walk in the Spirit, or worse yet, has never had to ask for forgiveness because he can’t recall ever being wrong? Yes, this is accurate from Mr. Trump himself that he has NEVER asked for forgiveness. Hmm, Bible 101.  Yet he may be sitting in the White House as our representative, because we decided that winning the prize was an acceptable reason to allow a regular violation of Christian values.

Listen, I am not saying I may not vote for Trump over Hillary if it comes down to that choice. And I am open to hearing a change of heart and behavior from Mr. Trump to begin to emulate the Lord he calls Savior. But I am asking, if you took away the man’s wealth, and his TV program, are there really many redeeming values that you have seen in this man that might match your own? Would you ever treat someone the way he has treated so many? Would you stand up and repeat regularly how great you are and how much money you have made?

Unfortunately, what many of us took as originally promising, and entertaining, has now crossed over into school yard behavior; and just what we don’t need in the White House. And this behavior is not new, but has a long history and it will continue for many years to come. America may well indeed elect the rich kid who never learned proper decency in dealing with those who cross him or he doesn’t like, but after all, foul mouthed Joan Rivers was a close friend.  If we get duped, we can’t say that Jesus didn’t tell us so; “And you will know them by their fruit” {Matthew 7:15}. He didn’t say, “You shall know him by his unsubstantiated promises.” Are we being sold a democrat in disguise? After all, with a very few tweaks in his message Donald Trump could have easily been the Democrats pick for office had he run on their side of the ticket.

And Mr. Trump, if you are reading this, please get into the Word and grow up in your Christian faith in these areas. Use self-control and control your tongue. Stop going after a Christian brother’s genetic profuse sweating to try to disqualify him as a candidate. What if he had a speech impediment or was in a wheel chair, would that disqualify a man because Putin might think poorly of him? If your generosity and leadership skills are such fabulous qualities that the American people are to bank on, please tell us that you have given some money to the Lord’s work, and served in your local church. If you think that scaring people by suing them and viciously attacking and belittling them looks anything like Jesus, I invite you to take out your Bible and study the humble man who has asked you to follow Him, and become like Him.

Mr. Trump, you are welcome in my church and in my home, unless of course you see me as a nasty liar who you would rather belittle than to build a good Christian relationship together. Change your ways, apologize to those who you have offended, and live out your faith, even if somewhat imperfectly. Then let’s see what the Lord can do with such a man who truly is sold out for Jesus, and is willing to show it with his life, and words, especially towards those who oppose him.

I am open to discussing this with you Mr. Trump, or coaching you on what a Christian should be like, if you want to return the email I sent to you about this four months ago when you started your campaign. I had such hope, but exactly what I feared has come true. You are winning, but you are losing my heart and the hearts of the remnant who may not be able to vote at all in the fall because we don’t know which Donald we can follow. The one who shows great leadership stature or the one who acts like he is back in junior high? Will the real Mr. Trump please stand up, or is greatness and a stunted personal growth all mixed together in the man they call the Donald?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Galatians 5:22-24