We continue to live in interesting times.
I say “continue” because a main group of people in our country was uncomfortable under Obama, and the other main group was uncomfortable under Bush, and the other main group was uncomfortable under Clinton.
Obviously many people in our nation already feel “uncomfortable” under the Trump administration. And so it continues.
If you didn’t notice the pattern in the previous paragraph, every time there was a change in the party affiliation in the White House, there was a marked increase of discomfort in the people whose party affiliation was replaced. This has likely always been the case, and sadly, will likely always be the case.
Currently the president is Trump, and many believe he appears to be the most vilified of the past six presidents. But, he is not the most vilified president in our history.
Beyond argument, President Lincoln was far more vilified by both sides of the aisle while he was president. According to an article in The Atlantic, what we are seeing in the media today, regarding Trump’s treatment, is “dainty” compared to the treatment Lincoln received.
That doesn’t make the treatment Trump is receiving right; I am simply comparing the actions and lack of civility in our nation now, with another point in history.
Things clearly change from administration to administration, and the emotional swing in our nation is greatly amplified when the change of administration is to the “other party.” But one thing that should never change, one thing that must never change, are the fervent prayers the Christians of our nation offer up to God on behalf of the president in office.
If you’re a Christian, you have a commanded obligation, to pray for the well-being, and God’s sovereign guidance, of the President of these United States. To not pray for the President of the United States is to ignore God’s Word, and to turn your back on His representative for this country.
God makes it extremely clear in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Titus 3:1, Romans 13:1-4 and 1 Peter 2:13-15 that we must pray for the leaders of our nation, and most especially for the President, whether you like him or not, and whether you voted for him or not! As a Christian, you are commanded by God to be subject to the President of the United States, and you are to obey Him.
Obviously you and I cannot obey any law that would be a sin against God, but short of a clear violation of Scripture, you are to obey the President.
God makes it very clear in Romans 13:1, Proverbs 8:15-16 and Daniel 2:1 that He alone appoints the leaders of nations, and that to ignore the king or the president is to ignore God. In our very independent- minded society, you may not like that, but God’s Word is not to be ignored by the believer, and He will deal with those who intentionally ignore His Word. Understand, this is not about politics; its about the Sovereignty of Almighty God, your Creator, your Savior, and your Lord!
Does this mean that I believe that all leaders do what God wants them to do, or that they do what God put them in office to do? Absolutely not! Many times in the Bible, God chastises leaders for not doing what was right, for not doing what He appointed them to do — but that in no way relieves our obligation to obey them, and to fervently pray for them.
In addition to praying for them, we’re to obey them in order to seek for the opportunity to live quiet lives, for the welfare of our families, and our communities. God makes this clear in Jeremiah 29:4-7; Romans 13:1-4, and 1 Peter 2:13-17.
We can disagree with the president, and even dialogue with him, but there are many today who openly speak badly against the president, and say that we must openly oppose him, and refuse to obey his orders. This is in direct opposition to God’s Word! I expect that from unbelievers, for why would they seek to obey God’s Word; but it is unconscionable for those who profess to be Christians. It was unacceptable under President Obama, Bush and Clinton, and it remains to be unacceptable to God under President Trump.
I would remind you that the election of Abraham Lincoln was declared by many to be the end of this great nation, but as most will tell you, President Lincoln was likely the greatest president this nation ever had. That is not to compare Trump to Lincoln; only history can make that comparison. But it should tell us that God has the omniscient ability to give us the right person at the right time, even if we cannot see it at the time.
But whether President Trump is given to our nation by God for our good or for our ill, it is incumbent upon the believers of this nation to continually lift him up in prayer, that God’s will be done, and that you and I can be used for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. To do less is to rebel against God, and to impugn our Lord’s integrity in the eyes of the world.
Let this generation of believers be found to be faithful to God, even if we don’t fully understand what is going on around us.
Jon McCartney is pastor of First Baptist Church of Tooele.