So, this morning at RCP, Michael Gerson has a column entitles, “Religious Conservatives in the Age of Trumpism.” It is a difficult piece to analyze, often with good principles but less that outstanding application of those principles, and most certainly with overreaction to much of Trump’s rhetoric. If I have learned anything from the campaign just past it is pay far less attention to what Donald Trump says than to what he does. But, I don’t want to get into the tall grass of analyzing Gerson, rather I’d like to offer an alternative place for Christians to stand in this new era.
As a nation, our discourse has grown coarser, and such is generally a reflection of our character. And sometimes it is not just a matter of discourse. When I see stories about people being spit upon and far worse cannibalism in the civilized world, I see a world deeply damaged on levels far beyond those that politics can address. I see a need for Christian mission.
That mission can take a lot of forms. In the story about spitting on people, the person invoking the spitting is clearly baiting people to do it, to have something to show on YouTube as entertainment. You know, that would not happen if we did not watch it. Before we give the love of Christ to the spitters, or even to the guy asking to get spit upon, we probably need to look at ourselves and wonder what it is in us that finds this entertaining. Then we need to ask God to help us deal with it. This whole circle, from spitters, to watchers whose watching rewards the spitting, is a deep sign of something wrong in our souls that we desperately need God to address.
And cannibalism, even in a prison riot in Brazil, well if you need me to tell you how much God is needed in that situation, then I’ll add you to my prayer list right away.
This is the time for the church to stand up simply for decency. Even with an administration more amenable to our political concerns than we have seen in the last eight year, we need to focus elsewhere. We need to work to make our home towns and neighborhoods reasonable again. We need to spend some time on our knees asking God to make us more decent again.
Trump is offering a lot of good solutions to a lot of problems. But it is still a dark world, even if those problems are solved. It is time for the church, the body of Christ, to be the light upon the hill. Jesus told us we cannot hide our light under a bushel. Right now I look at things and as much as we need those problems fixed, I think we need the light of Christ more. Let’s let it shine brightly.