It is frustrating for me to find news and opinions that are objective, fair and respectful. It seems the best I can do is stumble on two articles which present opposing viewpoints, then try to reach some rational understanding. Sadly, most people simply agree with the opinion that fits their view and disregard or belittle the other position.
The two articles above, express different Christian views of Trump’s accomplishments as President. One view applauds an authoritative President who takes strong action to address issues, especially immigration and Judge appointments. The other sees a strongarm President whose action undermines the moral and ethical principles of the Christian faith and democracy. One believes progressivism will weaken the core foundation of faith and government while the other contends a President unhindered by both constitutional and faith-based values will lead to the loss of both civic and religious freedoms.
We are truly divided, and it is doubtful if we can engage in genuinely civil discussions which breach that disunion. I grow less optimistic each day and take solace only in the hope that something will happen which will unite us. I sincerely hope it will not be another 9/11 or environmental crisis which will cause needless suffering, death and hatred.
My hope that when you read these two articles and others like them, your response will be to try and understand the different points of view and seek to reconcile or at the very least temper your own opinion to respect the opinions you disagree with. My fear is that most will simply disparage the view they oppose and become more entrenched with the one they favor.
Jesus was adamant that, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” (Matthew 6:24) Are we to be equally resolute in choosing political sides? For Jesus it was a choice between God and worldly things. For us it is a choice between political ideologies reinforced by differing scriptural underpinnings. Our political opinions have priority over the wellspring of faith, thus scriptures are politicized to support our worldly views.
Jesus also declared, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Jesus made this remark to the Herodians and the Pharisees, two groups who stood in theological opposition to each other much like the division we have today. Jesus refused to take sides and wasn’t about to let these two groups shove God into a political box. Nor should we allow God’s words to be used for political arguments. We have no choice but to engage in the ways of our world. However, we should not allow the things of this world to dictate our comprehension of God’s purpose much less reinforce our political belief with misused scriptures.
Our founding Fathers understood the importance of Jesus’s words to the Herodians and Pharisees and chose to keep church and state separate. While they sought to create a government based on scriptural values, they understood that to equate human government with God’s governance was a childish effort to emulate the work of the parents. As Paul wrote, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He catches the wise in their own craftiness”. (1 Corinthians 3:19)
Jesus wisely understood that man must deal with the things of his own creation, paying whatever price is required, a price we ourselves have placed on its worthiness. God’s Grace has value we cannot appraise or quantify. It is immeasurable and separate from our own calculable human creations. To place God on one side or the other is to sully the work of the Holy Spirit and reduce faith to a pawn in a chess game. We need to render “to God the things that are God’s” knowing that the greater works are those of God and not man. “Offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness” (Romans 6:13).