Two Trump Issues

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.

Immigration

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?

“Our God is a Missionary God” by Henry Blank
“Can You Be a Christian And Not Accept Refugees?” by Asher Witmer

Healthcare

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 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.

Sources used:

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

11 thoughts on “Two Trump Issues

  1. “…seven Middle-Eastern countries that have been known to export terrorism.”

    I’m curious about this. I’ve spent quite some time reading up on all the terrorist attacks in the U.S. since (and including) 9/11, and can’t find a single one in which *any* perpetrator was from *any* of the seven countries listed in Trump’s immigration ban. Just as examples, the Ft. Hood shooter in 2009 was from Virginia. The Boston Marathon suspects were from Kyrgyzstan and had also lived in Russia. The San Bernardino shooter was from Illinois. The Pulse Nightclub shooter was born in New York.

    I can’t find a single citation for *any* terrorist (who’s attacked the U.S. in recent decades) from any of the seven nations referred to (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen).

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    1. Wil,
      Good observation! You are correct to say that citizens from those seven countries have not carried out terror attacks on US soil.
      After you posed your question, I did a little research and found a recent BBC article helpful.
      “In December 2015 Congress passed a law – created by senators from both parties, and supported and signed by the White House – that removed waiver benefits for foreign nationals who had visited certain countries since March 2011. The countries were identified as having a terrorist organisation with a significant presence in the area, or the country was deemed a ‘safe haven for terrorists.”
      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38798588

      Basically, the United States Homeland Security paid close attention to individuals who had traveled to those specific countries. Now Trump has turned it into a citizenship issue. Perhaps those nations are known to export terrorism. However, their citizens have not been known to carry out terror attacks on US soil.

      Thanks again for weighing in on this Wil!
      Ian

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  2. God has set boundaries, we should respect them. Why should America be the world’s welfare office and the world, welfare recipients? Does desire to live in a country equal the right to live there? Isn’t it part of a government’s responsibility to protect it citizens? If it is, should we take in people from war-torn, third-world, terrorist Islamic nations that have stressed hatred of America? They might be fighting each other, but most hate us. How come so few Christians refugees are allowed in? If we have tens of millions of unskilled Americans out of work and many of them living on government assistance, what wisdom is being used in allowing 10-20 or more unskilled illegal immigrants to be here, many on some form of government assistance, and bringing in tens or hundreds of thousands of unskilled improperly vetted refugees? If borders, walls, immigration policies are bad, why have locks on homes, cars, passwords on bank accounts, fences around yards and fields, etc? How come it’s so wrong to set up safe spaces(zones) in other countries, that way people are ready to step right back in and rebuild their homeland? Is immigrantion needed like it was 150 years ago? If Jesus was God, and came to do his Father’s will, and His Father had revealed His will in the O.T., why this big push to rewrite God’s teachings in a new religio

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    1. Joe,
      I appreciate your comment!
      From a political standpoint, your questions are valid. Why should the United States government care about international crises when their own citizens have plenty of problems?
      In my article, I noted, “As the president of the United States, Trump has the responsibility to protect citizens, to punish evildoers and to prevent harm to the nation.”
      I contrast that with the responsibility of the church, through two rhetorical questions, “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?”

      The Christ-follower’s allegiance is first and foremost to Christ’s Kingdom. That far outweighs any loyalty we may have to our country of birth. That means any opportunity to further Christ’s kingdom is what I embrace and pursue.

      The current refugee crisis, coupled with immigration, is bringing the world’s unreached peoples to us. Perhaps God saw our unwillingness to go to them and He decided to bring them to us!

      Refugees, and more specifically, Muslim-background refugees, are seeing the horrors of their religion lived out to a T. Many are hungry to hear the Gospel; they are looking for something different. Will we let this opportunity go by the wayside because of our love for America?

      While I understand where you are coming from Joe, I kindly disagree with your stance. I welcome further discussion!
      Sincerely,
      Ian

      Like

  3. It’s good to hear from someone who sees both the pros and cons of the current administration instead of wholeheartedly supporting one party’s platform.

    After reading Asher’s latest post, I was thinking again about how God’s kingdom values aren’t logical –a shepherd leaving the many for just 1 sheep, or as you put it recognizing the “false hope that politics will solve the issue”.

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  4. While I thoroughly enjoy this blog and have no intention of getting wrapped up in a political discussion, I feel a great need to comment!
    Please!!!! Everyone, instead of listening to news and views of others, go straight to the information that comes from the source of Trumps change on the law about Refugees. It’s not nearly like everyone makes it sound at all. Read the original executive order in its entirety and it will be much more truthful than anything else.
    I completely believe in helping refugees and Gods heart for the immigrants.

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    1. JRA,
      I agree that the media often has a pre-determined bias which impacts their reporting. That goes for both sides of the fence. Thanks for the reminder to “go straight to the information that comes from the source…”
      Ian

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  5. Thank you, Ian, for the reminder to not put our hope in our government and their decisions .

    I can find myself rejoicing at the fact that Trump won and cringing at the fact that Clinton was almost our new president.

    Although we should pray “for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” that does not meaning we close off our borders to the “Syrian seeking refuge, the Iranian begging for asylum, or the Mexican looking for work”. We need to welcome these people into our country thus giving us an opportunity to show them the Way.

    We should use our freedom to spread the Good News and not just sit back and be happy that we are still free to be Christians.

    Lets pray that God would use this new president to further His kingdom.

    Like

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