My Current Convictions Concerning Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

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My stomach has been in knots the last few months. I’ve been nervous for our nation – a nation I love. I’ve been bombarded with blogs, tweets and the opinions of others about national politics.  The culture of politics – and our nation – these days is so tense, so bitter, so divisive.

Chances are you’ve been nervous too – or certainly you’ve been distracted by the news of the day. Whether you watch the debates, read the blogs, or follow Fox News or CNN, this is certainly a year where everyone seems to be involved, at some level, in the election process.

And, so my life is much like yours. Consumed. Concerned. Captivated. How many times will we hear or say between now and November – “I can’t wait until this election is over”?

The more I studied the process and the candidates the more frustrated I became. Frustrated with their stands on issues which matter to me most. Frustrated with how they respond to one another. Frustrated with what seems to be a climate in our nation more towards bickering and bantering against others than pulling together for the good of a nation.
One of the most frequent questions I receive these days is not about some obscure Biblical passage, but for whom I’m going to vote for president.
And, honestly, I don’t know. Never in my life have I been more confused – and I’ve voted in every election since I was eligible to vote.

It’s been an interesting wrestling match. I know I still need to vote. Frankly, I choose to vote as my right and I’m thankful for it – and for those who have paid the ultimate price for my freedom to do so – and I will vote as responsibly as I know how. But, honestly I’m not sure what even that choice will be at this point. (Russell Moore has an interesting perspective in THIS POST.)

But, it was in the state of confusion the other day – actually during a time of intentional prayer, it occurred to me –

I was spending more time being disappointed in our election choices than I was praying for the kings of our nations.

Wow!

First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

It was in this sobering moment I was reminded my role, as a believer, is different than a regular citizen. In addition to my responsibility to vote – I have a higher authority – a higher calling. I’m called, first and foremost, to pray for my earthly authorities – regardless of who is in authority.

And, as I reflected on my thoughts towards the two front runners in the presidential race, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I certainly hadn’t spent much time – okay any time, at this point – praying for them. Neither of them is currently holding an office, but they certainly could be. They surely are leading (and dividing) public opinions.

I’m praying for my son’s future spouse who is not yet married. Shouldn’t I be praying for the future leader of our nation?

I’m called to pray, even when worry seems to be a better option.

And, so I was convicted. I would never lead or teach our church to live this way. Turning to worry more than prayer? Never!

My role, as a follower of Christ, is first and foremost to trust and obey. To pray. Yes, I should use my influence to encourage moral value in our country. But, the reality is this world is not our home. America is not the answer to world peace. Finding a king is not the chief goal of a disciple of Jesus.

And, in further reflection, I found myself asking bigger questions. Questions such as:

  • Do I believe God can still heal our land?
  • Do I believe God can unify people who are so far apart ideologically?
  • Do I believe He can still radically change a heart – even one bent against Him?

This is when I realized I had been wasting some energy. I’d been worrying. I’d been fretting. I’d been spending private time in needless doubt – yet, all the while God was still in control. God is no less upon His throne today than He was yesterday – or will He be tomorrow.

What if I prayed as much – or more – as I worried?

And, I’m a pastor, so I feel obligated to encourage you.

I’m not suggesting you take down your political post or fail to speak out in truth. Yours may be the one voice which gets heard within a crowd of noise. I’m not even suggesting you don’t have your candidate in mind whom you are supporting. I would suggest, however, if you can’t share truth with love – it’s usually best not to share at all.

But, the point of this post is not to silence anyone. I embrace our freedom of speech. It’s not to advocate for or against any candidate. There are plenty of other posts doing that. What I am suggesting – and where I was convicted – is we remember our larger, perhaps more important purpose as followers of Christ. Prayer.

So for now I will pray. I will pray greatly. I will pray daily. And, may prayer never be seen as a lesser or a weaker response.


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20 thoughts on “My Current Convictions Concerning Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

  1. Amen! My husband and I have really been meditating on the impact of Romans 13 and other passages. Paul and Peter didn’t say to trust God when the leaders were godly. In fact… It was the opposite.

    Thanks for this excellent post.

  2. What then, do you suggest, when we are only given choices between

    “Dumb and dumber”?? Pray? Yes!! But for whom??

    • I left a link in the post of one person's suggestion. I'm going to pray for wisdom. God promises to give it to us if we ask.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

  3. Ron,

    Thank you! Your comments echo my heart and the hearts of many. I have prayed a lot. But I have fretted more. And I'm thankful for every reminder I read about the importance of our prayers. I'm also thankful for your reminder to share our thoughts with love.

    Three people I know recently announced who they are voting for. All three said that people could unfriend them if they wanted to.

    Another friend posted this earlier in the week, “In the US, we have lost the ability to engage in reasoned (political) discourse. ~ Holly Emert

    This has been my challenge to my friends. (After prayer.)

    Even if you've decided. Would you be willing to consider that everyone comes from a different life experience and has witnessed, researched, or considered things you haven't?

    From where I sit, the two leading candidates are stirring up lots of legitimate concerns. …Even if some of what they have done or said is resonating with you.

    The culture of our nation will be shaped by the worst behavior we are willing to tolerate from those we grant leadership titles to.

    What if, we stopped dismissing those that disagree with us, and courageously engaged with them to learn?

    What if we would allow others to share their stories and convictions unapologetically and with passion?

    What if…
    • We would examine our own hearts and motives?
    • We would dive into world history to learn from the past?
    And then come back to share what we’ve learned, and listen again, deeply desiring to better understand…

    Change does not begin “out there.” It begins with each one of us.

    When we decide to engage in that way, and intentionally look fear in the face and begin to turn each one of those rocks over, understanding, healing and change will begin.

    The attached link to a TED talk gives a good vision of a place we coud start… https://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_lesser_take_t

  4. I've been praying for them daily for a while now. I'm concerned but not worried. When it comes time to vote, I will literally be deciding between the lesser of two evils, thinking which one is least likely to expose the nation to catastrophic risk. Both are incredibly talented and incredibly flawed, but my scientific knowledge of personality traits leads me to believe that only one of them is borderline pathological.

  5. Sadly, what this election reminds me of is Romans 1:18-32 – God has (past tense) turned His back on this nation since we have so thoroughly – as a nation – rejected Him. Since the prophets do not reference or allude this nation and its power, except perhaps in the Book of Daniel (as one of the 1 kingdoms), I fear for this nation’s future, which I believe is set.

    But I do not fear for the believers who know that God is in charge, and everything works according to His plans. Sad to watch this exceptional nation turn its back on Him, but we aren’t the first, and we won’t be the last.

  6. I have many opinions, thoughts, concerns, etc. each and every day. But one verse continues to get me through… understanding that God is still in charge of all…

    "It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding." Daniel 2:21