As Christians, we are commanded to speak "the truth in love." (Ephesians 4:15) Despite this clear command of Scripture, we often fail to speak the truth at all on the hardest issues, largely because of Political Correctness. Rather than confronting the shifting winds of culture head on, we regularly remain silent for fear of being publicly "shamed," or worse. The result of our failure, as the church, is a culture that's been pushed so far left that it's forgotten what's right. The time to fight back, with truth, is now.
When we do speak, however, we are to do so in love. To that end, we are clearly commanded to "Let no unwholesome word proceed from [our] mouth." (Ephesians 4:29) In an attempt to fight back against PC culture, many Christians (and others) have become uncouth, forgetting that Scripture speaks about our language just as it speaks to our other behaviors. Thus, perhaps without even realizing it, we have also been influenced by the shifting winds of culture, specifically by the often-vulgar language used by many on the far-right. Neither silence nor vulgarity is acceptable for a people called by the name of Christ.
As Christians, we must find ways to make our points strongly, but without using bad words or vulgarity. We cannot let our desire to fight the PC culture become an excuse for our own disobedience to Scripture. And to that end, I give you my most recent sermon. I hope you find it edifying, and welcome whatever comments you may have.
Believe it or not, I was once #NeverTrump. To me, this election is about turning this country back to God, and for that reason I was initially in favor of Sen. Rubio, who I initially felt was the best person for that job. After seeing the moral and social degradation of this once great country over the last 8 years, turning this country back to God with all that we have was more important than ever. In fact, it still is. And strangely and somewhat circuitously, that is How I Got to Trump.
But first, let’s jump back to the primary. After Sen. Rubio was out, I was initially at somewhat of a loss. I had heard all the “bad things” the media kept showing about Trump, but I wasn’t very comfortable with Hillary Clinton, either. My initial thought was that I’d skip voting in the Presidential contest and only vote in the down ballot races.
Nevertheless, I still love both Christ and country, in that order, and find that politics is a good avenue to talk about both at once. In fact, many of my political discussions morphed into Gospel discussions with many friends who otherwise would not have much interest in those discussions. So for God and country, and with my own passion and interests in mind, I began to simply focus on the issues rather than the candidates.
As I did this, I noticed something remarkable: As a Christian, I found myself agreeing with Trump on issue, after issue, after issue. But still, he was Trump. No matter how I felt on the issues, this was still the man who the media portrayed so horribly, albeit that was somewhat of his own doing.
But as time went on, I found myself starting to warm to Trump, and especially agreeing with his positions. But still, I had to ask: As a Christian, could I vote for this man?
Eventually Trump came to Austin, holding a rally here in August. I wanted to see what he (and his supporters) were about for myself. So I went. And I came away truly shocked, perhaps even flabbergasted.
The man was not at all like the media had portrayed him. Neither were his supporters. In fact, both he and they seemed like some of the nicest people I’d ever met. They were passionate, for sure, but their passion was for this country – not against any people group, as the media tries to portray Trump and his supporters.
The most passionate guy I saw happened to be standing right next to me. He was yelling like crazy in support of Trump. He seemed to be a fairly young man, and I found it exciting to see someone who cared so much about politics, and this country, at such a young age.
Did I mention that he was Latino?
Also in attendance at the rally was a man in a “gays for Trump” t-shirt, as well as Asian Americans for Trump and numerous people of Hispanic or other origins. In fact, the very friend that I went with was of a different ethnic origin. But they – and more accurately, we – all shared a love of this country, and a very sour taste from the corruption and immorality that Obama-Clinton-Soros and the Democratic Machine shoved down our throats over the last 7+ years.
Trump also brought the Angel Moms on stage. They were women who lost a child at the hands of an illegal immigrant. Maybe they tugged at my heart strings for once instead of always relying on pure logic, but how’s that any different from the Democrats repeatedly showing the video of the little boy in Syria covered by blood, ashes, and bomb debris? The main difference, of course, is that Trump has actually taken the time to get to know these women, rather than using a video of a stranger solely for political convenience. And perhaps the bigger difference, as I realized only a few days ago, is that Trump didn’t fuel the war in Syria for the sake of Qatar and its natural gas money in the first place. No, that was Hillary and Bill Clinton, the same people who were now trying to profit a second time off that war – the first profit being monetary gain via Bill’s $1M “gift” from Qatar for his wife’s influence as then-Secretary of State; and the second desired profit being more political gain via the manipulation of the boy who was hurt in the war that Hillary helped start.
But back to the Austin rally. I left there feeling completely different about Trump – and his supporters. I already knew that I agreed on most (if not all) of the issues, and after this rally I at least felt comfortable voting for Trump. But I still wasn’t sure if I could openly and consistently support Trump. Nevertheless, with a few months to the election, my decision making process continued, as it should.
Now may be a good time to mention that I voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary, and then voted for Senator Obama in the 2008 general election and President Obama in the 2012 general election. You see, I wasn’t always a Christian, or a Republican. In fact, I didn't become a Christian until Fall 2010, and I remained the Democrat that I was until around 2013. Even after my conversion, I was still a fairly young Christian as of the 2012 general election. I knew Christ and had put my trust in Him for my salvation, but I was still learning much about the faith that I had been called to. In my naivety, I believed all of Obama’s stories about caring for the poor, and about him being a Christian. But then, after the election, I started to notice some things that were off – and really off at that.
The first thing that really got my attention was when Obama celebrated gay marriage in 2013. Scripture is clear, both on homosexual actions (they are sins, and never right before God’s eyes) and marriage (between man and woman). So how could an air-quotes “Christian” celebrate something that so clearly went against God’s Word? The answer is, you can’t. You can’t be a disciple of Christ while claiming to know more than Christ. You can't be a student of Jesus while rejecting the clear words of your “teacher.” This is where the Democratic Party lost me.
But then, things got worse from there. Our “Christian” President began to mock and belittle Christians (which, in retrospect, I perhaps should’ve noticed after some of his previous comments), but yet embrace the false god of Islam. In a sense, this is actually the greatest evil in God’s eyes. Not Trump’s potty mouth or even his adulterous affairs, as bad as those may be. But the greatest sins throughout the bible are consistently two-sides of the same coin: Turing away from the One True God, and turning towards false gods. Apostasy and idolatry. The first two commandments of the Old Testament, and the Greatest Commandment of the New Testament.
Things only got worse from there, as the Democratic Party repeatedly bowed at the altar of sexual immorality on issues from forcing Christians to participate in homosexual “marriages” to forcing our women to unwillingly share restrooms with men, and even showering with them. And that’s before we even get to their open celebration of killing living beings in the womb.
But back to the 2016 election. A few weeks after Trump’s Austin rally, I attended the Act for America National Conference in Washington, DC. You may think this is crazy, but I really felt God telling me to go. And boy, am I glad that I did! Many great things happened there, and I made many wonderful friends. But even more striking was being in a group of a few hundred people, almost all of whom were either Christian or Jewish, or at least pro-Christian and pro-Jewish.
And every one of them supported Trump.
This was where I began to realize that not only could I vote for Trump, but that I could also openly support Trump. I began to realize that he wasn’t the “bad guy” the media portrayed him to be, but rather a Patriot who really cared about this country – and while I’m still not convinced that he is fully a Christian, he at least stands with the Church and with Israel, both of which are very welcome after the left’s assault on God over the last four to eight years.
Then, just as I got comfortable with Trump, the Trump bus tape from 11 years ago was released. Talk about a major reset, and a major time for inward reflection. Could I still support this man? To this day, I don’t think he was speaking of any actual sexual assaults. He was, however, bragging about adultery, both by wanting to cheat on his own wife, and by wanting to cheat with a woman married to someone else. Both of those things are big no-no’s in my book, and even more so, in God’s Book.
I took time to pray, and listen to God. I always try to listen to God before I write or post anything of import, but I wanted to be extra clear here. I also wanted to take time for reflection, and consider the current situation in light of Scripture. And eventually, God showed me something. I wrote about it here, and here, and perhaps most completely (from a theological perspective) here.
You can read those posts for yourself, but the short answer is this: We are all sinners. We have all fallen short of the glory of God. If we are saved at all, we are saved by God’s grace working through faith in Jesus Christ. And apart from God’s salvation, we are all sinners who stand condemned before a holy and righteous God. That is as true for Mr. Trump as it is for Sec. Clinton, as it would be for myself apart from God’s grace and my personal faith in Jesus Christ. And so neither of them are “good moral people.” They’re both sinners, although Trump was at least moving in the right direction.
And so as between two flawed candidates, I chose to stand with the one who chose to stand with us in the Christian community. I chose to stand with the one who chose to stand with God’s people, both in the Church and in the Jewish community. I chose to stand with the one who was not turning a blind eye to evil and lawlessness and immorality. I chose to stand with the one who truly seemed to be putting this country first, rather than a personal desire for power. I chose to stand with the person who was surrounded by many Christians, even if he was not yet fully all the way there in his own walk. I chose to stand with the candidate who took a genuine Christian as his running mate, rather than a pro-abortion faux Catholic named Tim Kaine. I chose to stand with the one who was supportive of Christians, rather than mocking us. I chose to stand with the one who was supportive of life itself, rather than mocking it.
As I said at the outset of this post, I felt that the #1 issue in this election – and before this country as a whole – is that we must turn back to God. I still believe that to be the case, perhaps now more so than ever. I believe the first step in turning back to God is the church coming to life, and being free to do its work in this country. I believe, with every fiber of my being, that this country is not “great because we’re good,” as Hillary would say out of one corner of her mouth as she embraces the evils of abortion and sexual immorality out the other. Rather, I believe that we were once great because we were blessed tremendously by the triune God of the Bible, and I believe that only by turning back to that God can we truly hope to Make America Great Again.
And so while neither candidate is perfect, I chose to stand with the one who would stand with the Church and with Israel, and who would prioritize the interests of America over the interests of nations that hate us. I chose to stand with the candidate who would at least let the Church step up and stop this nation’s slide into godlessness and immorality, and to help turn this country back to God, because that is the only way that we will truly Make America Great Again.
For all these reasons, I chose to stand with Donald Trump and Mike Pence. And come tomorrow, if you haven’t voted yet, I hope you will join me in doing so as well.
Good night, and come tomorrow, may GOD BLESS AMERICA once again!
"For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God." (Acts 20:27)