Tomorrow the 45th president of the United States will be inaugurated into office. I did not vote for Donald Trump. I'm one of those evangelical Christians that doesn't identify well with any political party nevertheless feels compelled to enact my right to vote in this country. I could not (and cannot) support Donald Trump's overt arrogance and shameless disrespect for others. He is not a model of self-sacrificial manhood and he is certainly not a model of dignified leadership. My pick for president obviously wasn't chosen and so now what.?
Lots of people feel passionately one way or the other about the President Elect Trump. I try to avoid saturating myself with media commentary, but headline after headline has to do with Mr. Trump's words, actions and selections for his cabinet and most of the mantra is leaning heavily towards either despising the guy or thinking he's the political savior of America. But even staying away from media, the people in my life have very strong feelings about the man who will be the leader of the free world in 24 hours. I have strong feelings too but they are tempered with a hotter and higher view of life than American politics and capitalistic economics. In thinking about where my hope lies, passion heats up. In thinking about what life is all about, faith rises.
I honestly feel embarrassed in my love for this country about the actions and words of our soon-to-be President Trump. Mr. Trump causes me to have to shy away from pointing my sons to the president as an example of decency and leadership. I don't like that. I want a president I can look to as a leader and a role-model. And I have some deep concerns about the tone Mr. Trump sets for multi-cultural and race relations in this country. But, because my hope doesn't lie in Mr. Trump and life isn't all about the United States of America I can breathe and not fear or dread the days to come. There are some things I can do though.
5 Things Every Christian Can Do For the President and the U.S.
1. Live Like A Foreigner Here
"Beloved I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation." -1 Peter 2:11-12
Beloved- that's you and me who love the Jesus we have never seen- we are not Americans first. We are citizens of the Kingdom of the Son of God's first, and forever. Our temporary visa here in the U.S. will not last forever. Only a lifetime- ours or the country's. We are sojourners here, exiles, foreigners, traveling through. So we aren't entitled people. We aren't begrudging people. We are thankful people who know this world is not our home. We don't settle in here. We're on the move. Running the race set before us. Eyes fixed on the Jesus our King.
2. Intercede Like A Priest Here
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time." 1 Timothy 2:1-6
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. -1 Peter 2:9
President Trump doesn't need to appoint me to his cabinet, or employ me as a spiritual advisor to have influence in his life. I don't have to be a Trump supporter to be praying for him. God's people are a royal priesthood called upon to make all kinds of requests and intercessions for all people, including tyrannical kings, and foul-mouthed presidents. Christ's church has greater influence on this country than any election result when we call on the One who appoints kings and brings down kingdoms.
3. Spread the Gospel of Peace Like an Ambassador Here
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. -2 Corinthians 5:20 "...and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace." Ephesians 6:15
In a culture of violence, worldwide terrorism, racial tensions, and with a coming leader who seems to govern with guile and glib from Twitter, living in this country as ambassadors for Christ, with lives and words that implore people to be reconciled to God, we are the peace-peddlers that stand out apart. Tis human to jump on the bandwagon of criticizing one party or another, but Christian to draw attention away from all that to peace with God through Christ. And we don't even need to enter the political arena to be an ambassador of the gospel of peace. Our homes and marriages are a very good place to start reconciliation. The war on the family and marriage is raging. We should be self-sacrificing ambassadors of peace to our husbands and wives and children.
4. Stand Like A Good Soldier Here
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. - Ephesians 6:10-13
Unlike the peace-core, many people- even our elected President- may not think it noble or cool when we stand as ambassadors for Christ in a culture that calls good evil and evil good. It's going to feel like a battle, even in our own minds and in our own skin to be known by our words and actions as Christians. And though, like Peter said, we should be doing lots of good in this world with a humble, servant's heart towards those who malign us, they will malign us. We are not doing good to please people or the president. If we are trying to please people we would not be pointing them to Christ. Pointing people to Christ is sure to get a battle going even though we want peace. So in the coming days we need to preach the gospel to ourselves, stand for the truth and remember who we are and whose we are and where we're going and why we're here and then stand firm, unwilling to be moved by the current cultural tide.
5. Serve Like A Son of God Here
Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one anothers feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. - John 13:12-16
We have a Lord, a King who is not lording it over us but has served us with his broken, rejected, despised life- washing our feet, building us up, calling us what we were not, making us Sons of God. We are his and we are free. And like him, we do not use our freedom to lord it over others or to join the world in godlessness, instead we go low. This is the god-likeness Christ calls us to. In the coming days we Christians should be amping up our going low. The needs are overwhelming- moms in crisis pregnancies, racial divides, an over-burdened foster care system, children being trafficked for sex, our elderly ignored and abandoned, disabled and marginalized people everywhere. That doesn't even begin to cover the opportunities for the people of God to take off their Health and Wealth Child of The King clothes, and put on their Feet Washing Like King Jesus Did cloths.
Our country may be going down a path we feel alienated from, but we can live light and hands off here because our home is not the United States of America. Our 45th president may not be a man we can get behind and support, but he is a man we can ask our Father to grant repentance to and stir and move according to his will. Our political system, international relations and marriages may be embattled, but we can be peddlers of the gospel of peace with God through Christ. Our foundations of family, society and order may crumble, but we can stand covered from head to toe in the impenetrable armor of God's faithfulness, promises and salvation. Our neighbors and society may not respect and honor our Christ-clinging lives and words, but we can serve them anyway with love because we know who we are and where we're going.