This article is a paraphrase and from notes taken by Derek Hoiem from D.A. Horton’s Facebook Live broadcast on November 10, 2016. For the full broadcast, tune in below or click on this link.
“In times of political and social upheaval, they are excellent times in which we could die for Christ, but they are very very hard times in which we can live for Christ.” – Duane Litfin
Living for Christ is a challenge, especially in vulnerability and community, and with different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, it gets even more complex. Why are some of us celebrating and some of us mourning? Some are saying, “Suck it up. Pray for our country and leaders.” While others are saying “Can you believe what has been said in the course of getting elected?” Jesus is still Lord and God is sovereign, but we shouldn’t use this as a catch phrase while our brothers and sisters are hurting and grieving. We should allow people to lament, and to express grief. These emotions don’t make them any less of a believer. In a marriage, both husband and wife make mistakes, but the key to reconciling is communication. Today with social media, we unfriend each other just because of something they said or the way they voted. Yes, Jesus is Lord and God is sovereign. But people are still hurting. Realize that God can save all kinds of people: both the poor and lowly, and the rich and powerful.
Pray for the outgoing administration and the incoming administration. Pray for all levels of government, the people who lost, and the people who participated in voting. Through prayer, our hearts are changed. God uses prayer to change US. It makes us more sensitive to others and to the heart of God.
“Why shoot the breeze about it, while you can be about it.” Some have pointed out that the new administration has open positions for jobs. Why not apply for those jobs? You should question whether YOU can be part of the solution.
Yes, a change of leadership means there are practical considerations, such as health care. This is a real concern for many, including me and the implications for my family. “Why can’t you just submit that he is president?” some say. Well, the tables were turned when Obama was elected, and many evangelicals saw him as a threat. Don’t go to polemics, saying that one side is good and one is evil, especially on social media. Back off. Show grace to your fellow brother and sister.
Do not allow the church to misconstrue Trump’s victory as a victory for the church. Francis Shaffer said, “Do not weave nationalism with the Christian faith.” Our job now is to hold our leaders accountable who were elected and to pray for them.
Here is the quadrilateral of evangelicalism:
* Conversionism – The preaching of the content of the Gospel, making the appeal for someone to embrace Jesus Christ.
* Activism – Doing good works that lead to proclaiming the Gospel: feeding the poor, healing the stick, fighting for the sanctity of life, etc.
* Biblicism – The Bible contains all spiritual truth. It is the bedrock of our faith.
* Christocentricism – The unashamed declaration of the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Evangelical gatekeepers have “pimped out” these concepts and now we are suffering by a misbranding of what it means to be an evangelical. An exit poll does not make an evangelical – the four core convictions listed above do. For example, being pro-life is not just about abortion, it’s about pro-human-flourishing such as helping orphans and widows and adoption.
I’m a latino speaking on ethnic conciliation in a largely white Republican context. I had friends who had kids in Christian school that heard from their fellow students recently that their families would be deported. It is our duty, to speak up and identify “blind spots” in society, but doing it in love. Through this confrontation, we go deeper in relationship with people. We need to speak truth in grace, but not abandon the relationship. This is how marriages stay together. When we press through ambiguity into substance, even if we disagree, then our relationship becomes stronger. The worst thing we can do, and this happens with our Christian brothers and sisters, is that we go to our safe enclave of other minority brothers and sisters. We will not agree on everything, but we should walk away saying “I will not abandon you.”
If Hilary was elected, my concern was that Christian leaders were already fostering a feeling of togetherness with minority leaders based on the fear that our religious liberties were going to infringed upon. However, when Trump was elected, those same leaders did not reach out in the same way, and the feeling of “togetherness” was no longer present. I have witnessed this firsthand myself and in online dialog. Because evangelical leaders did not diversify their leadership structures, because they didn’t listen to Francis Shaffer’s three weaknesses (Racism, Slavery, and Segregation) now they are going to be a social minority. However, I want to fight for our togetherness.
I don’t think we are offering enough quality space and time for lamenting. Romans 8:28 can be used as another comfort, but we must empathize with each other and not abandon each other. From a minority perspective, we have wounds from abandonment from our fathers and mothers and/or abuse. This doesn’t just apply to minorities, but all of us may have these issues. Without empathy, we cannot have togetherness without putting our hearts out there for others to see.
Here’s a closing thought from 1 Thessalonians 2:8. There are three things in this passage:
1. We must to have a desire to be around each other: different ethnicities, walks of life, denominations, etc.
2. Share the Gospel and its implications.
3. Share your life.
Whether you voted for Donald Trump or not, you are brothers and sisters who are covered by grace in Christ. Throw away your corrupt speech and then replace it with words of wisdom, speak words of edification and lift up your brothers and sisters.
In America we think that socialism cannot be congruent with someone of faith. If someone is on point in sharing the Gospel, then I don’t care if you are socialist or capitalist. Hell on earth is lamenting, weeping, mourning in isolation. That’s why community is important, and we cannot sacrifice community for political differences.
The whole reason that Paul desired to be around Christians was because he loved the body – the Church. At times we are tempted not to fellowship with other Christians. Its the world that does not love us. We must turn to each other.
- Pray for President Elect Trump.
- Recognize that God is sovereign.
- Create space for dialog with each other, especially across racial and economic lines.
Share the Gospel. Do good works. Don’t let the world redefine salvation. Proclaim the work of Christ on the cross. Trust the ministry of the Holy Spirit to do the work that we cannot do. Stop judging each other. Don’t assume that if someone is white that they voted for Trump. And if someone is a minority, don’t assume that their anxiety isn’t real. Even if someone has a different opinion than you, extend grace.