Two groups of people, the Romans and the Pharisees, described in the New Testament of the Bible provide an important analogy for Christians today grappling with the 2016 Presidential Election.
Certain Republican Establishment politicians recently took the #NeverTrump position. This position is quite telling. Their “my way or no way” position could be attributed to them being spoiled entitled brats who are used to having their way – and that would probably be true. But there is more to this than middle-aged babies throwing tantrums. It suggests that there is a behind-the-scenes axis of power that pulls the strings in both parties – and Donald Trump is not a member of this club.
The Establishment elites are absolutely terrified of losing control, not only because of Donald Trump, but because he is the product of an uprising among the people. If Trump is elected and actually follows through on his promises, his popularity among the people would grow exponentially and the Establishment’s grip on power could disappear. A popular uprising among the people scares the power-addicted Establishment perhaps more than anything!
Then there are those on the other end of the spectrum who also have the “my way or no way” attitude. I’m talking about those members of the “religious right” who feel they alone understand God’s will and how He works. When Sen. Ted Cruz suspended his campaign (he hasn’t officially dropped out of the presidential race), some Christians I know, who had supported Cruz, took a humble position, admitting that God can use anyone. One pastor friend of mine put it this way, “God knows how to make straight licks with crooked sticks.” But others took a proud and inflexible position, continuing to divide by spewing venom toward anyone who would dare to accept Trump as the nominee.
So there we have it: Romans and Pharisees. Two thousand years ago, the Romans were a power-addicted class of elites afraid of a popular uprising. The Pharisees were the “religious right” who felt they alone knew the will of God.
I don’t know how God might use Donald Trump. But I do know that God is not wringing His hands wondering what to do about this Trump situation. And I hope and pray that we Christians will keep our focus on God and continue to pray for a unified grassroots movement among the people rising up to promote God’s will, God’s way.
I think that’s called revival.