Donald Trump gave a speech the other day at Liberty University. Since I’m an evangelical I suspect he was trying to reach me and persuade me to vote for him. He appealed to some of our core identities as Christians in his speech. You know, the big stuff like saying Merry Christmas and dominating the world economically and militarily.
But, it’s not that easy. It really isn’t easy for us as Christians—it’s not supposed to be anyway.
Let me talk this through for a moment. Because of our view of the sanctity of life Christians find themselves at odds with both Republicans and Democrats on occasion. On the obvious issue of abortion we find commonality with many Republicans while we disagree with many Democrats on their pro-choice views. However, many conservatives seem more willing to go to war or at least get involved in military conflicts. Those who see the image of God in children in the womb fail to see it in the recipients of the bombs we deploy. On the other hand many Democrats support polices that promote humanitarian work among those who are needy. Evangelicals often find themselves applauding this and even working to support it. However, we grit our teeth in disgust when this humanitarian concern does not include those in the womb. We applaud diversity but reject how it impedes and increasingly seems to work to suffocate religious liberty. It’s not easy. It never is.
The candidates, talk shows, cable networks, newspapers, and increasingly evangelical leaders attempt to tell us who to vote for. But, it is not that easy. It’s complicated. Whenever you seem to find some traction with one candidate you quickly find yourself ambushed by another point that makes you surrender or at least reconsider your support.
I understand that Christ is my King and that his Kingdom is not of this world. I have very little confidence in the politicians and their ability to get much done. I am weary of their pandering and empty promises. However, I am even more tired of how many Christians remove or ignore the complexities of the situation. There are real ethical and philosophical concerns in politics and government. We can’t just check our Bibles at the door and pull the lever for who the pundits say we should. Christians must think, wrestle, pray, talk, and work this stuff out. It’s not that easy. It’s not supposed to be. Our King reminded us, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Don’t ever forget it.