7/10/19 – Pastor Brian’s Blog
Last Friday, July 5th, I was mowing the lawn at the parsonage. I really love doing it, because for me, it is about 2 hours of nonsensical thinking. As I walk around the yard, my mind goes to many topics, some important, mostly not, some meaningless trivia, but often just random thoughts. But this past Friday was different, I kept running into my office to write down what I believe God wanted me to share with you today. Be thankful that you are only getting the edited version!!
This past week we celebrated the 4th of July. I did not get to watch any of the festivities that were going on in Washington DC, but I do understand that there were people arrested because of protesting President Trump. In my home state of New Hampshire, we had numerous people that want President Trump’s job, taking the day that we should all be celebrating and using it to advance their personal agenda. Even when we should be celebrating the success of our USA ladies soccer team, Megan Rapinoe turns it political when she says “’Not many, if any’ US women’s soccer players would attend the White House” should they win the World Cup.
I can understand why certain people get so upset with our president, because for many, the person that holds that office is the person they put their trust in to move their agenda forward. From their perspective, it is the president that will bring world peace, change the climate, have the solution to our immigration problems and every other issue that is of great significance to that particular individual.
As I was thinking about this on Friday, my thoughts were “How is a Christian, a follower of Christ, supposed to respond to President Trump? Although I have chosen not to participate in them, I have seen the Facebook “debates” between Christians regarding our president. I have also read a few articles from Christians that were anything but complementary about our President. I have even had some of my Christian friends e-mail me trying to “enlighten me” with facts that they feel will persuade me to see President Trump for the villain that he really is.
So as I was mowing the lawn on Friday, my mind went to the question, “What does God think about all this?” For me, it is not hard to figure out because God has wired me to see many things as black and white. You may not be wired that way, but just hear me out.
To know God’s mind regarding President Trump, you must start with the premise that God is sovereign, meaning that God is in all and over all, and that He has the final say on everything that happens. Then you must believe in the inerrancy of scripture, meaning that the Bible is God-breathed, it is inspired and written by God Himself through human writers.
So what does God think about our president? Let Him tell you… “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” Romans 13:1-2
I will let God’s Word speak for itself. But I can tell you, that Paul is writing to believers living within the Roman Empire. An empire that did not think too highly of the Christian movement. Yet nowhere in the New Testament are the followers of Christ encouraged to riot and rebel in the name of Christ. I believe Paul refutes those kind of actions by using terms such as “submit,” “established by God,” “rebel… rebelling against God.”
In other words, I believe that as a Christian citizen, we should be setting the standard of how a citizen should look. Will we always agree on politics or parties? No, but we should all agree on how God wants us to act toward our government; on every level.
Later on Paul would write to Timothy regarding how the Christians were to act towards Nero, who was the Roman Emperor at the time. Not sure who Nero was? Consider these acts that were attributed to Nero… He inflicted punishments on Christians, in particular Nero had some Christian sewed up in skins of wild beasts, and then had them tormented by dogs until they died. For entertainment Nero would have Christians dressed in shirts made stiff with wax, fixed to axletrees, and set on fire in his gardens, in order to light up his courts. Although by all accounts it seems like Nero ordered the city of Rome to be set on fire, he blamed it on the Christians. During the reign of Nero the Apostle’s Paul and Peter were martyred.
Not enough? Consider these facts regarding Nero: he was involved in sexual perversions, ravaging and murdering Roman citizens, building the extravagant Domus Aurea ‘Golden House,’ charging citizens with treason to confiscate their property, murdering his mother and aunt, and… well, I think you get the point, this guy was one nasty person!
Yet how were the Christians to respond to Nero? Paul writes… I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
Did I mention that I tend to be “black and white?” For me as a Christian, my motivation should not be to degrade or pray for the impeachment of President Trump. My calling isn’t to despise him or demean him or his family. My motivation needs to be God’s motivation… “who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
Paul would write to the church in Corinth… So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God– even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. 1 Corinthians 10:31-33
Why wouldn’t Christians want God to bless President Trump? Why wouldn’t Christians want President Trump to succeed? If I read my Bible correctly, we should, because everyone would benefit from it.
Kind of amazing what God brings to one’s mind when they are just mowing their lawn.