Clearly we continue to live in interesting times. I say continue because many people in our country were uncomfortable under President Clinton, and many others were uncomfortable under President Bush, and many others were uncomfortable under President Obama. Obviously many people in our nation feel uncomfortable under President Trump. 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’s been a marked increase of discomfort in the people whose party affiliation was replaced. This has almost always been the case, and it will likely and sadly continue to be the case.
Many believe President Trump is 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 isle 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 today with another point in history.
Clearly things 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 wellbeing of, and God’s sovereign guidance for, 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 leader 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. That means the President, whether you like him or not; whether you voted for him or not! As a Christian you are commanded by God to be subject to the President, 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; you are to give him honor and respect, and you are to pray for him.
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, in effect, ignore God. Consider the humility of Daniel; he humbly served an ungodly king, praying for him, and pointing him to the Lord at every opportunity.
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; this is 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 even do good things in the right way? Absolutely not! Many times in the Bible God chastises leaders for not doing what was right, or for doing what He wanted but not in the right way. But that in no way relieves us of our obligation to obey them, and to fervently pray for them.
In addition to praying for them, we’re to obey them for the opportunity to live quiet lives, for the welfare of our families, and for 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; we can even argue 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 the unbelievers, for why would they seek to obey God’s Word? But it is unconscionable for those who profess to be Christians. This attitude was unacceptable under Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton, and it remains 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 only God knows why He places a person in the White House.
Whether President Trump is given to our nation by God for our good or for our ill, it is nonetheless incumbent upon the believers of this nation to continually lift him up in prayer, asking that God’s will be done. To do less is to rebel against God, and to impugn our Lord’s integrity in the eyes of the world.
I pray 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.