I want to thank the evangelical community and many of its leaders for helping me clarify my understanding of Jesus, His words and what He values. Prior to recent days I was under the impression that when Jesus gave us the beatitudes, He gave us a model for character and success in God’s eyes. I was under the impression that the Sermon on the Mount where said beatitudes are found should be espoused by all Christians and enacted by them in the real world. Since the word “blessed” carries with it the idea of God’s favor and speaks of someone who is enviable and worthy of imitation I thought that someone who possessed these attributes would be somebody we as Christians would look up to and want in leadership. Maybe even as a President. Evidently, I was sorely mistaken.
Through many leaders in the evangelical movement and a high percentage of evangelicals this past Super Tuesday I have been enlightened. I now know that Jesus’s words don’t really work in the real world; they only work in the pretend world of the church. I know this because so very many of those who claim to take the Bible seriously and the words of Jesus super- seriously are all in for one Donald J. Trump. When given the opportunity to support individuals of like precious faith and who at least are trying to live up to the beatitudes, some of the most poignant words of Jesus Christ, they supported someone in the race who speaks and conducts himself in a manner that appears to be the exact opposite of the before-mentioned beatitudes. Donald Trump, with the help of Christians, trumped the beatitudes this past Super Tuesday.
Let me explain. In Matthew 5:3 we read “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” We now know that in the real world what works is “Blessed are those who are rich in the wallet for they can buy anybody off they need to.” We used to think “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4). We are much more evolved now and can say “Blessed are those who are never repentant for their sins or ask forgiveness because they don’t need comforting because they aren’t sorry for anything.” In our naiveté we were under the impression that we were to think “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5 ). Now we understand that in reality it is “blessed are the proud and arrogant because they don’t have to wait for any stupid inheritance, they can grab it now.” How juvenile it was for us to think “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6) was actually a mantra to live by. We need to follow the example of someone other than Jesus. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for wealth and power and will stop at nothing to get it, they will never have enough but that’s fine, they can just keep going after more, and more, and more and…..”
I don’t want to go on and on so suffice it to say that as Christians in the “real world” we now know that we should espouse “Blessed are those who aren’t merciful because people get what they deserve” and “blessed are those with impure hearts for they are the best at being profane.” I guess it’s also true that “Blessed are the troublemakers, the dividers, for they shall be called sons of…..”, sorry, never mind and “blessed are the persecutors, those who defame other people and their character, for we’ll give them the nomination.”
Please forgive me for my sarcasm. The world has gone mad and the so-called evangelical church seems to have followed. I know we are electing a president not a pastor. That being said, we are electing a leader of the United States of America, one who guides a nation that needs and at one time claimed to desire the blessings of God. That individual’s character matters…a lot, if we are going to experience that blessing. Holding up the standard Jesus held up is not judgmental, it’s discerning. Maybe we as followers of Christ have lost the ability to discern. My brothers and sisters we are acting as if God’s Word, the Bible, isn’t our final authority but the wisdom of this world is. Some of us are behaving like CHRINO’s – Christians in name only. When not choosing between the lesser of two evils over the evil of two lessers the foremost thing we must consider is character and the blessings of God. Electability at this stage is not part of the equation because though we may think we elect our leaders, God in fact selects them (Daniel 2:20-21). As Christians our role is to be salt and light (See Sermon on the Mount again). We need to support those who reflect our kingdom values whenever we can. Now would be a very good time to start doing just that.
In His Service,
Dr. David A. Watson