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Weekly SNAC, 20 November 2016 - What to make of Mr Trump?


 

 

A wise minister never gets involved in politics. So with that in mind I would never advise who we should or should not vote for. In the same way, I prefer not to comment on what I would have voted if I was an American in last week’s election. However, with all the hysteria over the election of Donald Trump it is worth considering a Biblical view of his election.

The first point that the Bible makes clear is that Donald Trump is president because God ordained it. Romans 13:1 makes it very clear that all authorities (good and bad) are only in place because God has allowed them to be there. Amazingly, Paul was able to write this with Emperors like Nero on the throne (men who make Mr Trump look humble and understated!) As a result, all Christians are called on to submit to the government except where it requires us to act against the law of God and His word.

At the same time, this does not mean that Mr Trump is a man of God. The story of the Old Testament shows us the way God raises up leaders for different purposes at different times. Some are people ‘after God’s own heart’ and God uses them to save his people (eg. David), others are evil and God uses them as judgement on his people (eg. Nebuchadnezzar). Most are somewhere in between and rule in an imperfect way, yet are used by God to maintain order.

However, more than anything the Scriptures remind us that whoever is on the throne, God is in control of all things and working for the eternal good of those who love Him. It is worrying when Christians support one political candidate or party with a single-minded devotion – all candidates will be flawed sinners and it is Jesus who is our Messiah. However, it is just as worrying when Christians respond in fear to the election of a candidate. We believe that God is in control of all things and so we should live and act accordingly.

Finally, the one response to any election that God actually commands is that we pray. 1 Timothy 2:2 calls on us to pray for all in authority “so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity”. Every Christian should pray for Mr Trump (just as we do for Mr Turnbull or Mrs Clinton had she won). We should pray that he would make wise decisions that are good for all people, that bring peace for all people, that help those who are powerless, that allow believers to live out their faith and proclaim the Gospel. As I have read some Facebook posts about the election I have found myself praying that more Christians would pray for Mr Trump instead of mock him or prophecy the end of the world.

Phil Colgan

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