A deference for human leadership has gotten in the way of the Christian commitment to God. Perhaps this is done unwittingly; modern American Christian tradition has perpetuated a particular set of stances as the crux of its ethic: abortion and LGBTQ equality. Some Christians use these issues as a test for faithfulness to the God of Scripture. I speculate that many of Trump’s Christian voters hold that their commitment to an anti-abortion stance is their biggest political motivator — and Trump promised to nominate a potential Supreme Court justice who would diminish the power of Roe v. Wade.
By putting certain socio-political ethics first, many Christians sacrifice the importance of truth as a foundation of our faith and morality. The Scriptures gives us many examples of ways we should be wary of those who deceive. The apostle Paul, as well as Jesus himself, say to watch out for false teachers and people who mean us harm. In Matthew, Jesus warns his disciples to beware anyone seeking to lead them astray: “many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah!’ and they will lead many astray.”
One of the biggest dangers I’ve seen to churches in recent years is the fact that we will (rightly) go to great lengths to rightly divide God’s truth, but we will take a far more casual, even reactionary, approach to secular truth. We have narrowed our view of what a Christian leader is down to a couple of high-profile issues. In doing so, we have completely laid aside the pattern of Christ-like living laid out by Jesus and His apostles.
When we come to accept such superficial Christianity from those we admire and follow, it starts to rub off at us. As Paul writes in I Corinthians 15:33, “Bad company corrupts good morals.” And in the context of that passage, Paul isn’t writing about “bad company” that drinks too much, passes around drugs, or uses bad language. No, Paul is writing about us keeping fellowship with those who disregard the truth of God’s word. It’s about lying.
President Trump is not a Christian leader if he and his representatives continue to spread such blatant and thoughtless lies. We are as guilty of sin when we then defend or spread lies just because they fit our social narrative or our political preconceptions. This is not a zero sum game; rejecting the ungodly principles of one partisan group does not require we accepts and embrace the ungodliness of another. Ours is to keep ourselves pure from the sin of world, and that includes sin from the White House.
I John 2:4 – 6:
Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.