I have witnessed a sense of shock this morning, perhaps from both Trump and Clinton supporters, that Donald Trump has been elected as the next president of the United States. There is much that I would want to say about this but I won’t.
I do want to address Christians in terms of appropriate response. Whether you are conservative, progressive or liberal, there will be a great temptation to insult and complain. My questions is: how will your time complaining compare with your time praying for Trump?
The Apostle Paul has written about the Christian attitude toward our leaders,
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (Romans 13:1-7, ESV)
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (1 Timothy 2:12, ESV)
And the Apostle Peter wrote this:
Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:13-17, ESV)
You might think that Paul and Peter could not have anticipated a man like Donald Trump. That is correct, but they did know of a man named Nero, who was very evil and eventually was responsible for the death of both Paul and Peter.
This morning, my wife corrected me as I was speaking very disrespectfully toward Trump in front of our children. She was right in stopping me. We need to ask ourselves what example we are providing for our children in terms of attitudes toward leaders.
I’m not suggesting blind submission to every bad decision. Our system provides a way for us to make corrections. But I am arguing that we need to pray for our leaders, no matter what country we live in.