How To Be The Church In A Trumpian World
Recently, church and ministry leaders across New England gathered at the New England Alliance meeting at Lion of Judah church in Boston to worship together, hear what the Lord is saying, build relationship, and give testimony. As part, Dr. Roberto Miranda gave a “state of the union” styled message pastorally for the benefit of the Church. He articulated his sense of what the Lord and his Bride are doing in the context of the emerging nationalism happening across the world today, geopolitically and socioeconomically, post Brexit, the US elections, post cold-war Russia, saber rattling North Korea and Iran, and an ambitious China. Listen to this statesman’s balanced wisdom on the times we, God’s people are in and his take on the Church’s stance in the midst of a “Trumpian” world.
Notes and Highlights
Mikhail Gorbachev: “It looks as though the world is preparing for war.”
All across the world alpha males are sprouting up and marking their territory. The US, Russia, Israel, China, North Korea, Iran. The risking of populists movements. The conflict and division of world view. Globalism and Nationalism. Democrats and Republicans. Socialism and Capitalism.
Today we have a confluence of 2 vectors: the Church and the world. This is biblically analogous to Joseph/Israel to Pharaoh/Egypt. The shaking spoken of in Hebrews 12:27 applies. These shakings are increasing in intensity and frequency, like a woman in labor. The world’s economic and political machinery is unsustainably strained and heading toward a breaking point.
The election of President Trump is both good and bad. It is good in that we are turning back this sickness or spell that has been over our country of political correctness, calling evil good and good evil. I thank God for that. The Supreme court nominations. But its bad if we fall into the trap of extreme nationalism, self-contentedness, focus purely on profit, neglect diplomacy and the dignity of the office of President, or do not have mercy on the poor and downtrodden. Resist the temptation to treat Trump as a messianic figure.
But it has created a window. Breathing room. We need to preach the gospel and advance the Kingdom while this window is open. My sense is it will close at some point.
Donald Trump may well be a Cyrus to the Church, but let’s not forget that God used Cyrus – He used Nebuchadnezzar, but He also judged them too. Like Pharaoh with Joseph, their purpose was to preserve the gospel and a nation of God’s people which would have eternal impact on the earth for the benefit of mankind into all eternity. God’s relationship with these worldly leaders was very complex. Our outlook also needs to be complex as well. We need to read the Old Testament.
We need to maintain a cautious optimistic in a careful way. I have observed evangelicals who have an unblemished optimism and acceptance of this incoming Administration. I am not one of them. The Church is a sacred thing. We cannot just throw our lot into “one pot”. We are a great Kingdom, a powerful Kingdom. A dignified Kingdom. Its not to be given away. This is not a time for wild optimism. Resist triumphalism.
Be careful not to mix the Kingdom with tribe, race or nation.
We do need to approve what is good and disapprove what is unjust.
Need to recognize that their are competing world views out there with their own alternative set of facts. This is why the checks and balances of the US are good. For example the courts blocking the President’s executive order is not to be vilified or viewed cynically – its a good thing (to prevent the trampling of legitimate immigrants – to have mercy).
Many of the values we observe: extreme nationalism and unchecked freedom in the financial sector – a lack of mercy toward the poor or immigrants. These are not of Christ. However, a Nation does need to defend its borders. This is right. But the immigration issue is complex.
Why did the great recession happen? A lot of these corporate instincts of: more money, more profit, use of the law to its extreme, put the machinery of the law to “Red Hot”, and force every penny through it, and manipulate people. I have become an extremist regarding corporations these days. Even though I am as capitalist – or I guess as conservative – a person you can meet. Because I do see, just the fierce selfishness in many of these corporations – and they include the ones that have a progressive image, whether its Starbucks or Google or Microsoft. They are in the same business of monopolizing, and getting every penny of profit out of us. Do not let yourself be misled by these progressive images of many of these corporations. They are all devilish in their appetites. Whether its Exxon or Starbucks. They all bow before the same god of untrammeled ambition and materialism.”
In this dangerous time, the Church should not chain itself to any one person or ideology. Our attitude toward this administration (from both sides) should be liken to the wisdom of Gamaliel in Acts 5:
I advise you, leave these men alone. Let them go. For if their purpose and activity are of human origin, they will fail, but if it is from God, the you will not be able to stop these men. You will only find yourselves fighting against God.”