This writing is one that I have wrestled with typing out and publishing because I understand its implications given the current political climate of our culture. However, I have felt a growing conviction on me the longer I’ve put this off, so I’m going to write it and ask that if you are offended or disagree to simply move on. With that said, here goes:
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
During what would later be known as the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told us that we are the light of the world. What does this mean? This means that the church is supposed to be a place where people are shown what is right and what is wrong. It is supposed to be a place of moral and spiritual clarity where the truth can be known. Put people in a dark cave and have one light in the cave. Each person will move towards the light because it helps them to see what is around them. The darkness causes uncertainty and fear. On September 11th, 2001, our nation felt an extreme darkness and the people of this nation came to church seeking answers and guidance. They came seeking light in the darkness. They were fleeing the uncertainty and fear that came with that darkness.
As Christians, we have a responsibility to be the light in the things we say and the things we do. Our words matter. Our actions matter. If we are the light of the world, it’s our responsibility to not hide that light under a basket, but to let it shine. This is where I feel my heart saddened at the state of the church in America today. We have taken that light and we have placed over it a basket to where the light of God is not able to be seen. There are a number of ways we do this and have done this, but I want to focus on the biggest one at this moment...the unconditional endorsement of Donald Trump by so many Christian leaders and Christian people.
Now, before you leave this page, please let me clarify. I understand how dangerous Hillary Clinton is. I understand how terrible she would be as president. I’m not talking about anyone who has had to grudgingly make the decision to vote for Trump to avoid her. The people I’m talking about are the Christians who are endorsing him, campaigning for him, posting all over Facebook how great he is and will be for this country, etc. Never before in my lifetime has there been a harder political choice to make from a spiritual and moral perspective than in this election. I understand that and I respect whatever decision you’ve made to do. There are literally no good choices this time around, so you must vote your conscience...whatever that is to do. That’s not what this is about.
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 2 Timothy 3:1-5
When I was first starting to pay attention to politics, Bill Clinton was president. He was just in the middle of the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the churches were crying out that the fact that he had an affair should disqualify him for president. The phrase of the day was “character matters.” Later, we would find out that he’d sexually assaulted several women, and his wife, Hillary, had intimidated those women into keeping silent. The church was outraged, and rightly so. This was obviously wrong and the church correctly stood up for what was right.
Now, fast forward several years to the present. Donald Trump has had multiple affairs. He’s even bragged about them and he’s now on his 3rd marriage. The church doesn’t seem to think that matters anymore. He’s opened and operated strip clubs. Christians don’t seem to care. He’s praised planned parenthood, and said he wants to continue funding them. The church just ignored it every time he said it. We just heard an audio recording where he brags about sexually assaulting women (the same issue the church crucified Clinton over). Christians have continued support for him saying people are just offended because he used “the P word.” Now we see a growing list of women coming out who have been sexually assaulted by him. Some of these accusations almost mirror what he bragged about doing on the audio tape. He is going to court later this year on accusations of raping a 13 year old girl. He made a comment that Paris Hilton had caught his eye when she was 12. He walked into the dressing rooms at a beauty contest where there were naked girls (some around 15 years old) then bragged to Howard Stern how it great it was that he got away with it.
Yet, many Christians are still wholeheartedly defending those actions and the man himself because they believe he’s changed, despite the fact that he’s said more than once that he has never one time asked God to forgive him for anything. Not once. He doesn’t believe he needs God’s forgiveness because he’ll just do better next time. Even Clinton came out later and apologized, saying he’d asked God for forgiveness. I halfway think Donald Trump was onto something when he said he could murder someone right in the middle of the street and not lose any supporters.
Again, I know how bad Hillary is. I’m not telling you to vote one way or another here. I’m trying to ask a very important question. Why would the world ever come to the church for truth, when we are now endorsing the exact same thing we condemned just a few years ago? If we put a basket over the light every time it shines on something we don’t like, we are failing as Christians.
Regardless of who you vote for in private, if you are a Christian, please be careful of the people and things you attach your name (and Christ’s name) to in public. For the sake of your church, the people who still need the gospel and see you as the Christian in their life, and the name of the God you worship, please be careful who you endorse. We are living in uncertain times right now and spiritual darkness is all around us. Please, don’t compromise the light.