Trump and the Commandments
Have you ever told a lie? I know I have. Have you ever taken anything that didn’t belong to you, even something small from work or school? I know I have. Have you ever whacked your thumb with a hammer or done something that caused you grief or pain and then shouted God’s name like a dirty word?
Yeah…I’ve done that too.
You know if you tell lies (the plural of “lie” and I dare say no one is guilty of only one lie over a lifetime) that makes you and I liars. If you steal stuff, you’re a thief and if you use God’s name like a curse word, the Bible calls you a blasphemer. Lies and theft and blasphemy are only three of the Ten Commandments and everyone you know is guilty of breaking them (and that includes me). Of course, some people react indignantly at this point and cry out: “That’s not fair. After all, no one’s perfect.”
Well, no one except Jesus.
BUT if God judges you or I based on the standard of His Ten Commandments – would we be found guilty? Obviously, we would – and this doesn’t even cover what we might call the “big” sins like adultery or murder. You might think that makes the lies and the theft and the blasphemy no big deal. It doesn’t. You see Jesus said that if you have murderous hatred in your heart for someone, God sees that intent as the real deal. In God’s view, you’re already guilty of murder. In fact, Jesus said if you look lustfully at someone, you’ve already done the deed in your heart. In God’s view, the lustful intent of your inner-most being makes you just as guilty as the guy sleeping with his mistress in a motel room.
In other words, each and every human being who has ever reached an age when he or she can freely choose the right from the wrong has chosen the wrong in one way or another. We have all, like sheep, wandered off from the way God wants us to live. We have all chosen our own way over God’s ways.
The good news is we can all have our guilt covered if we will freely turn the devotion of our lives over to Jesus. That’s news for another blog, but for now… some people get all bent out of shape that I as a Christian leader dare to support the re-election of President Donald Trump. The critics complain, “This guy is a meany, have you seen his tweets? How can you support a man who has broken so many of your God’s commandments?”
The answer, my fellow sinner, is simple: there is only one person in all of history who has not broken any of God’s commandments, His name is Jesus and He’s not running for President in 2020. I cannot realistically set the standard for my political support at perfection. Unfortunately, we must deal with lesser men and women in the world today.
That leaves me with two realistic choices: Joe Biden or Donald Trump. Sure, I could vote for a third-party candidate, but I recognize the chances of my vote making much difference in that case is zip. Besides, all the third-party candidates I know of are sinners too. I suppose I could write in “Jesus Christ” on my ballot but, again, I think that would be a wasted vote. Jesus does not need my vote. He has promised to return someday. He will indeed rule the earth – but my vote today in the American election of 2020 is not likely to hasten His return.
And I could decide not to vote at all. After all, the candidates are both sinners, the American political system is all gummed up with nastiness and lies and my one teeny-tiny little vote isn’t going to tip the scales in November. But Jesus famously said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is Gods.” You know what he meant in that context? He meant we should give to the government what rightfully belongs to the government. In our case, we live in a representative republic (not a pure democracy) and what is due to this government is the voice of the people – my voice, your voice, everyone who is a citizen and has the right to vote. That belongs to this government and not to give it would be disobedience to my true king – Jesus.
I must vote, by God’s command, and my choice cannot be decided by who is the bigger sinner. We’re all sinners and in God’s eyes were equally guilty. Only Jesus can fix the sin problem and it’s not my job to decide if Biden or Trump are really Christians are not. I can’t see their hearts, only God can see that deep place.
It’s interesting how the Bible says God doesn’t look on the outside appearance – God weighs the heart. God knows not only the character of a person; he knows the potential of a person too. For this reason, God Himself has chosen some rather unsavory characters to carry out His will over the centuries.
Think about King Nebuchadnezzar, the brutal tyrant who led the armies of Babylon to smash the entire civilized world in the 6th century B.C. In Jeremiah 27, God calls Neb “my servant,” in chapter 29 God tells His people to pray for the peace and prosperity of Babylon and the king. In the same chapter God makes it clear He is well aware of the Babylonian king’s penchant for roasting his enemies alive.
But don’t fear – uncle Neb didn’t get away with it.
Sure, God used the king to accomplish His will, but Nebuchadnezzar was humbled down to the point where he was driven insane, running around on all fours like a dog for a while. When Neb came out of his delirium, he acknowledged God as his rightful king and changed his ways. Eventually, and Jeremiah predicted it about a century in advance, the Babylonian empire was severely judged for its sins as well.
You see - there’s a principle running throughout the Bible. It’s basically – thou shalt not get away with it! If you’re sins are not paid for (and only devotion to Jesus can get you that) you’re toast. That’s your choice and mine too by the way – choose Jesus and be saved from the eternal consequence of your sins. I did – you can too (that’s another blog).
So – back to November 2020. Hmmm…well…if God can accomplish His will through a guy like Nebu-what-his-name, He can certainly do the same through Joe Biden. Or the Donald. It’s God’s call. In fact, while I will vote (Trump 2020), I remember what God revealed to the prophet Daniel in Daniel chapter 2:20. It reads,
Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power. He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings.
I’ll take the time to compare the Democrat’s party platform and the Republican platform in my next blog. Neither is perfect, neither will line up squarely with the principles of the Bible I live my life by and neither platform will hit every button I wish there was to push. But I can say I’m not NOT voting for Trump just because he’s brash or boorish or a twitter twit or a guy who likes girls enough to get married three times.
Besides, the same critics who say “why vote for Trump if he’s a commandment breaker” are generally the same folks who think there should be no restrictions on abortion up to the last second. I’ll clue you in here – one of the Ten Commandments (number 6 if you’re counting) is "you shall not murder." If you’re really worried about commandments, probably ought to be pro-life! If for nothing else, Trumps support for the pro-life position wins me over.
More on that later…