You are not alone, Sir.
How many times, as a Christian, have you considered the lives of Christians outside of the United States? If you ever ponder what life is like as a Christian outside of the American Christian experience, then how do you suppose they see Christians in the U.S.?
More specifically, how do they view the evangelicals that turned out in record numbers to support a man like Donald Trump, and by every account, still seem to support him?
Over 80 percent of Christians voted for Trump, and over 60 percent say they still support him and the job he's doing.
And if your first reaction is to be defensive and say you don’t care what anyone outside of the U.S. says, then that’s very telling. When it comes to our faith, there are no American Christians, Chinese Christians, British Christians, Brazilian Christians, etc…
There is only the Body of Christ, and we are one.
Most Rev Justin Welby, the Archbishop Of Canterbury, was asked by ITV’s Robert Peston on Sunday if he understands why fundamentalist Christians in the United States are so supportive of Trump.
“There’s two things going through my mind: Do I say what I think, or do I say what I should say? And I’m going to say what I think,” said Welby. “No, I don’t understand it. I really, genuinely do not understand where that is coming from.”
The archbishop will have the opportunity to meet with President Trump when he visits the United Kingdom early in 2018.
In the meantime, I would suggest that what other Christians are seeing who are on the outside of the U.S. doesn’t help them understand how tragically intertwined politics and religion have become, and not in any way that helps us, as a nation.
The sad reality is that Christians in America have clamored to have their faith pulled down to be equal to political power in the nation, rather than insisting that politics be pulled up to meet the standards that make up their faith.
Those that self-identify as evangelical voters were willing to make allowances in their alleged faith, in order to “win” the White House. It didn’t even matter that the man they were supporting was the opposite of everything that faith teaches about moral and just leadership.
There are Christians in some nations who have to move from safe house to safe house, in order to worship, but they do it because their faith and ability to worship is that sacred to them. Having a Bible to read is even considered a revolutionary act and is forbidden by the state, but they crave the Word, just the same.
Here, Trump says we’re going to say “Merry Christmas” again (I don’t know anyone who has been prevented from saying it, anywhere), and he’s hailed as a hero of the faith.
If this is our idea of religious persecution, we shouldn’t be surprised if Christians outside of the U.S. look at us strangely.
When asked if he’d meet with Trump, the archbishop went on to say he would, of course.
“I spent years and years involved in conflict stuff around the world where I met people who had killed many, many people,” he said. “Part of the job is to meet people you disagree with and to testify of the love of Christ to them and to seek to draw them into a different way.”
And if he could meet with killers, meeting with Trump should be no problem.
I’ve long said that Trump isn’t the problem. He didn’t get to the White House on his own. He’s simply a symptom of the greater problem with the hearts of the voters.
Doubly problematic would be the hearts of American Christians who would so readily reject what the Bible teaches about leaders and embrace a man such as Trump, putting politics above faith.
Most Christians admit that apart from God, there is nothing good, so to divorce God from how we choose a leader, or worse yet, to twist God to defend the choice of an unrepentant, abusive adulterer can only bring ruin.
Something to think about.