Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Hopeful Thanksgiving

Good morning! It's just before 5:30 AM as I write this. I'm wanting to find time to talk with some dear friends about the election that has just passed by, and about the changes that seem to be happening, in some ways, in the positions that the president-elect is speaking about. I want to talk with these friends about hopeful signs that I'm seeing. I'm wanting to talk with family members too, and I'll be seeing many of those today, but, as a family, we've talked about keeping some of the political conversation away from our gathering. And I know that many of my friends are just not wanting to talk right now. So I'll need to wait.

I'm thankful, right now, that our president-elect seems to be moderating some of the positions he took prior to the election. I'm feeling less hopeful about some of the people that Mr. Trump has gathered around him, but I'm not feeling hopeless. I don't think Christians should ever give into despair, even though there may be moments of intense sadness, joy does come in the morning.

I have enjoyed the online conversations I've had with friends from left and right, and I'd like to continue those conversations. I almost tweeted or posted a link to an article just now, but I decided to put it here instead, because, as I said above, some of my friends just want to give it a rest right now. And that's fine. But we will need to get back to this conversation later.

Here's an article I'd like to talk about with many of them:

(begin quoted article, original <here>)
Evangelical Christians and President Trump

The 2016 election is decided and Evangelical Christians bear great responsibility to stand with those who feel afraid and left out.

Donald Trump is now President-elect Trump. Half of America, especially African Americans, Latinos and the vulnerable, feel great unease; the rural half and working class feel vindicated.

By Carl Nelson

Christians who voted for Trump on the basis of religious freedom and the sanctity of life, knew they were doing so at great risk. Countless evangelical leaders denounced Trump’s immoral behavior towards women, his racism and assaults on the vulnerable, yet many white evangelicals chose to risk voting for him over Hillary Clinton.

While we may not immediately acknowledge it, evangelicals’ decisive role in influencing this election for a candidate whose character contradicts so much of what Jesus stands for, creates a barrier to our witness of the Gospel, which we must now overcome.

The sanctity of life matters. Religious freedom matters. Those causes made huge advances last night. But racial justice matters too. So does care for the poor and vulnerable. And the plight of the refugee.  And the treatment of women. The spread of the Gospel may depend upon how well we advocate for those causes too.

The Burden of Responsibility

As Ed Stetzer wrote “Evangelicals made Trump’s candidacy; now they owe it to the world to help remake his presidency.” [Take a look at Ed Stetzler's full article in Christianity Today <here>]

Throughout the campaign there has been concern about how people of color, urban poor, refugee groups and other vulnerable populations would fare under a Trump Presidency. These are the very people Jesus commands us to love.

Because white evangelical voters were so prominent in the coalition that elected Trump, they bear a great responsibility to stand with these groups, which includes many evangelical brothers and sisters, against callous indifference, racism and nativism, which surrounded so much of Trump’s candidacy.
(end quote of longer article - Keep reading <here>)

One of those I'm wanting to talk with is Pastor Paul Anderson, perhaps using that article as a basis, who endorsed Donald Trump before the election. You can read what Paul wrote <here>. I've heard from a couple Christians that they had dreams about our president elect. I'd like to talk with them. I'm also, in retrospect, investigating the claims of some Christian Conservatives who said that Donald Trump was something like "God's Chaos Candidate."

I'm also wanting to talk with Christians who voted for Hillary Clinton, asking them what hopeful signs they see as we move forward, signs that perhaps our president elect won't turn out to be as evil as they thought. I agree with them in so many ways, though, for me, the voting part was more difficult. What I've heard from our president-elect before the election was chilling as he demeaned women and immigrants to just name two groups. And you know how concerned I am that we talk carefully and cautiously about environmental issues, issues that relate directly to God's first command to men and women, that we be caretakers of this earth.

But those conversations will need to wait. I will be praying about the right time and place for these talks. Today isn't the day for that. I hope it comes soon.

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