Five cabinet members have been approved; fifteen still remain. As the Republican-controlled senate tries to make headway in confirming President Donald Trump’s nominees, many different issues – both great and small – are being discussed, protested and praised.
While followers of Christ will not stake their hopes in politics, we can learn about the heart of our nation by observing the issues at hand. More importantly, we must analyze them through a biblical worldview.
This article will identify two major issues that got Trump into the White House. We will seek to understand them better and view them through the lens of Scripture.
Over the past week, Trump’s newest executive order has dominated the headlines. His order restricted entry into the United States for citizens of seven Middle-Eastern countries that have been known to export terrorism. This should come as no surprise to anyone who remembers Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again!”
What he promised, he has now delivered. The temporary ban is his first step toward greater terrorist prevention on US soil. He is also taking decisive steps to begin construction on the US-Mexico border wall. While Trump supporters anticipate a safer America, many others – including outspoken religious leaders and left-wing politicians – cringe and outright criticize his seemingly extreme actions.
As the president of the United States, Trump has the responsibility to protect citizens, to punish evildoers and to prevent harm to the nation. His decisions are based on his ideology for a “Greater America.” Whether his ideas will lead to that could be debated. Yet there is a greater question at hand for the Christian.
What would Jesus say today about the Syrian seeking refuge, the Iranian begging for asylum, or the Mexican looking for work? How would He treat them as individuals? How should a follower of Christ respond?
All throughout Scripture, God’s heart for the foreigner is quite clear. He commanded the children of Israel, “The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”1 When Jesus came onto the scene, He did nothing to affirm the ethnocentrism of the Jewish elite. Instead, He heroized a Samaritan man, a Sidonian widow, and a Syrian commander; these three ethnicities were enemies of any loyal Jew.
I am grateful for the relative safety and economic stability that we enjoy in America. However, I believe that our love of comfort has greatly stunted ministry and missions efforts. Our attitude toward immigrants only makes this more apparent. Immigration provides amazing opportunities for the spread of the Gospel to unreached peoples. God is bringing the nations to us.
Where do our priorities lie – in making America great again, or in fulfilling the Great Commission? Will we cheer for safer borders or will we pray for more unreached neighbors?
If not the foremost issue of his campaign, healthcare comes in a close second. Many people have been disillusioned with Obamacare, the increase in health insurance premiums, and the decline in patient-oriented service. President Trump has been working with Republican-controlled Congress to dismantle current healthcare laws. Some Democrats recognize the inefficiency of the current healthcare laws and systems, yet they demand a new and better plan before removing the current one.
While Republicans have not revealed any concrete plans, they are actively dismantling Obamacare through various means. Tom Price is the cabinet pick to head up the Department of Health and Human Services and will be directly involved in designing the new and improved healthcare system of America.
As a congressman, Price has been a strong voice against abortion. He adamantly opposes Planned Parenthood funding and, for that reason, is greatly disliked among most Democrats. According to Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards:
“he would interfere with women’s access to safe and legal abortion. In Congress, he has routinely voted in favor of dangerous bills that would: restrict abortion access; block access to basic preventive care at Planned Parenthood; interfere in the doctor-patient relationship; prevent medical students from being trained on how to provide abortion; block insurance coverage of abortion; allow bosses to take away birth control.”2
As followers of Christ, we rejoice when our country’s leaders oppose the great evil of abortion. We pray that it will be recognized for what it is – murder of the helpless. However, we must not fall for a false hope that politics will solve the issue. Politics merely reflect the heart of our nation. True change starts at a grass-roots level.
As Anabaptists, we have generally done well at recognizing the atrocities of abortion. However, life goes on and very few of us wake up each morning with a heavy heart for the 3,500 babies that will be murdered, today, on our own home soil. I rejoice when our lawmakers defund abortion providers and move toward making abortion completely illegal.
While legislation may result in fewer children being murdered, our nation needs a complete change of mind. Children must be seen as blessings, not liabilities. In cases where the mother cannot care for or does not want the child, Christian families must consider their responsibility to step up and adopt. Pregnancy care centers need more volunteers and financial support. Single mothers need support groups to help them realize they can go through with birthing their child.
Trump’s cabinet will very likely be a breath of fresh air for the pro-life movement. Many evangelicals will view the Trump era as prime time to advance their cause. I sense it in my own heart and I hear it among the conservative Anabaptist circles. The Republican-controlled government might be just what we need to turn things around! Or is it?
My Fear, Our Responsibility
Will a conservative administration really transform the hearts of our nation? Will it really build Christ’s kingdom both locally and globally?
My fear is that our optimism in the conservative agenda will minimize our kingdom mentality, will place our focus more on our earthly comfort and security than on furthering Christ’s kingdom, and will build our hopes in legislative reform – rather than our trust in the Spirit’s transformation.
Instead of trusting in our lawmakers to bring change, will we as a church embrace our responsibility to bring change? Will we welcome the refugees and immigrants to America, recognizing that God may be bringing the mission field to our doorstep? Will we enter marriage viewing adoption and foster care as a possible life calling?
Trump is hard at work trying to fulfill his campaign promises. As we look on with interest, may we remember Paul’s command to Timothy to pray “for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”3 We recognize that God can and will use President Trump in ways we cannot understand.
However, we will not place our trust in the new administration to carry out our responsibility as Christ’s ambassadors. As individuals and the church, we will welcome the refugees, immigrants and unwanted children with open arms. We are Christ’s hands and feet at work in America.
Question for you: How do you feel a Christian should respond to the current political situation in the USA? Share your opinion below!
|Ian Miller lives in Harrisburg, PA with his wife Marci, where they are involved in a Spanish church plant. Ian volunteers for a non-profit organization while working on his BA in English through College Plus. He is passionate about urban, cross-cultural church planting, and verbal, personal evangelism.|
1. Parenthood, Planned. “Trump Nominates Extreme Opponent of Women’s Health.” Planned Parenthood. N.p., 29 Nov. 2016. Web. 06 Feb. 2017.
2. Leviticus 19:34, Holy Bible: The New King James Version. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Bibles, 1982. Print.
3. I Timothy 2:2