This is what seems evident to me — Donald Trump’s rise to power is the result of Christians wanting to be masters instead of servants. For so long now, the church of the United States has wanted to run the country and make sure it runs by their rules. But, is this quest for power really what God wants for his church?
When I read the Bible, and I get to the teachings of Jesus, they look nothing like the church of today, at least a major portion of the church that seems intent on clinging to political power. I see no love in this church at all. I don’t see people making sure they have taken the logs out of their own eyes while trying to get a speck out of the eyes of “sinners.”
Oh, they will accept sinners within their doors (or how else would they get in?). But, only certain kinds of sinners (ones with church-approved sins like gossip or gluttony). They will even let greedy people in without so much as batting an eye at them. In fact, many follow the greedy, preachers who build up wealth for themselves on Earth and teach others that all they have to do is name and claim wealth and they’ll have it because God wants them all to have big houses and fancy cars.
But, they will by no means accept those they deem to be beneath them – ones who don’t follow the spoken and unspoken laws like those who are gay, transgender, questioning who they are, those who aren’t sure what they really think about God, those with doubts, those who are poor and on welfare (because those folks are lazy) or liberals.
I don’t remember Jesus ever turning people away. I don’t remember reading that Jesus had any condemning words for anyone, except for the self-righteous who claimed to know the truth of God but cared nothing for others. So, when God judges our nation, our church, just what sin do you think he’ll judge it for? Sex sins? Abortion? Or, do you think it just might be he’ll judge the nation for being vengeful, corrupt, unjust, and unloving? Will he judge the church for completely ignoring the teachings of Christ about loving enemies, loving neighbors (and that’s everyone), ignoring the “least of these” and becoming completely irrelevant?
What did Jesus tell his disciples to do? Didn’t he want them to proclaim that the Kingdom is at hand? Didn’t he want them to fish for people? Didn’t he tell them to follow him? Making disciples doesn’t mean forcing people to believe, it means teaching them, like Christ taught his disciples, about what God really requires of us, what God really offers the world, and what love really looks like.
Why are we so focused on gaining power in this world? Why are we trying to force man-made rules that we say are God’s rules, and not caring about the souls or hearts of people who need God’s love? Why are we known for who we don’t love rather than for loving all people? Things have gotten so twisted, it seems. Our focus has become so narrow. You say it’s loving to be honest and call sin what it is. It’s not our job to convict people of sin (that’s the Holy Spirit’s job). How loved do you feel when someone constantly points out what they think you are doing wrong? Is it such a terrible thing to let go of the reins of the world and let God have them? I never will forget the day I wanted to argue with someone about God, thinking I was doing God some big favor by “defending” him and I felt him put a hand over my mouth and say, “I don’t need you to argue for me. I’m big enough to take care of myself. This person needs a friend.”
I’ve been told that I pick and choose what parts of the Bible to believe – by the very same people who are picking and choosing to somehow focus on a few verses in scripture that seem to condemn homosexuality, to the exclusion of the teachings of Christ, the teachings about love from Corinthians and the letters of John, among other numerous passages about loving others, not seeking revenge, being content, and being humble. I admit I pick and choose. I choose the words, teachings and example of Jesus, and I try to use that as a lens to view the rest of scripture. I follow Jesus who broke the rules about the Sabbath, and taught that the Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath. I follow the Jesus who washes feet and eats with sinners. Focusing on rule-keeping is not abundant life. It offers no light to the world. Why do we sing about a loving God on Sundays, and then turn around and condemn people on Mondays?
Think about it, pray about it, and ask yourself, “Am I wanting to control and be a master over people? Or, do I seek to serve God and love my neighbor as I love myself? Whose feet would I wash?”