Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Grace on Display

I like Donald Trump.  I do, I like him.  I've never met him, but I like him.  I don't know if I'll vote for him, but to the shock and wonder of many of my fellow believers, I'm liking him even more now that he seems to be more and more repulsive to many.  I get a chuckle out of the shock and disgust he brings out by those who think his actions are unpresidential.

But what I like most about Donald Trump, or what he seems to be shaking up in my country is he is, if you really look you'll see, he is the poster boy for what Grace covers.

I think that's something we Followers-of-Christ-but-disgusted-by-Trump have forgotten to apply to the man, and consequently to those who support him, who like him, who are willing to look past many of the things that are being pointed out on an hourly basis, as to why America is in trouble if Trump is elected.

I really liked it when the Pope chimed in and said that he didn't think Trump was a Christian.  Those disgusted by Trump applauded.  Those who love grace shuddered.  Trump is the mirror of what grace covers.

Say pussy on television.  Grace covers it.

Lie and flip flop.  Grace covers it.

Have multiple marriages.  Grace covers those too.

Mismanage money.  Again, covered by grace.

Trump hasn't apologized to any of us for any of those things, nor do I think he owes any of us an apology.  I hope he and God have it settled between them, and I would gracefully trust that because he says he is a Christian, he has.  I hope he has apologized and made right those he hurt too, but he owes me nothing for his past behavior.  If he's sorry, if he's learned and repented, that's all that matters.  And I can hear you shouting, "But he hasn't!"  Still, not my business.  When you get all your own apologizing and repenting done, then you can point out Trump's shortcomings.

I can't help wonder, is anyone from his church giving us a side to Donald we haven't seen? Maybe they haven't because those interviews wouldn't get the shock value of his rallies and media interviews.  I have yet to see an interview from his pastor, from his teacher, from anyone in his religious circles we assume he is in, stand up and say, "I have been part of the process of Donald's spiritual life.  I have shared with him the Scriptures that speak of the new man, the new Donald when Jesus Christ enters in.  I have shown him the guidelines in the epistles of Paul and the sermons of Jesus and shown him that it is possible through our Savior to put behind our egos, to clothe ourselves with humility, to be kind, compassionate, to speak truth in love.  I have been an intricate part of Donald's spiritual walk and I have done my job as God has called me to do."

Have you seen any of those interviews?  Probably not, because if they were acting in confidence, they wouldn't, but still.....

Here's the thing, if Donald is a Christian - it may be that mustard seed faith a lot of us have, and I have nothing to prove otherwise that he isn't, even if the Pope thinks he isn't - then why are we who place ourselves in a more pious realm so offended by what he does?  Just what doesn't grace cover?

Can you see the duplicity of our disgust of Donald but our unwillingness to look in the mirror he is holding up for us to see ourselves in?

Oh sure, I can throw a lot of Bible verses about throwing stones, and even gather up a few of the 10 commands, but really, the opportunity that lies right in front of the Follower's nose is to show and tell and scream and shout - "This is what GRACE covers!"

Grace covers pride.

Grace covers adultery.

Grace covers divorce.

Grace covers lies.

Grace covers all.

So my next question is, if Donald can claim he is a Christian, and depending on whose measuring tool we are using, only God knows if it's true, where are his church family surrounding him, supporting him, encouraging him to speak the truth in love?  Are they there?  If not, why not?

Are you there for him, Church?  He says he's a Christian.  Are you praying for him if he's pulling one over on us?  Are you sending him the Scriptures that have pulled you out of the same offensive behaviors and taught you how to speak the Grace language?

See, it's so, so easy to be offended and put off by something.  Especially when we don't want to face the truth that is really busting out behind the offensive behavior.  It's easy to point out what is wrong with someone's verbiage, mannerisms, and behavior, rather than look beyond that and see what is being said that is true.

Maybe it's all an act.  Maybe he is pretending to be someone he's not.  (Oh no, THAT has never happened in a presidential election!)

But maybe he's being who he really is.

Rude, bully, abrasive, caustic, potty mouth.

Our job, Church is not to be shocked or offended by this behavior.  Our job, Church is to plead grace for this behavior on his behalf.  Our job is to pray for the new man in Donald to come out and the old man to die.  Our job is to pray that he is the leader God may be making him to be.   We are all just a breath away from acting just like him.  None of us are beyond temptation.  Some of us still struggle to put to death those very actions.  Yet, we Followers of Jesus are so quick to judge and say how disgusting he is.


We ourselves deserve the same judgment.

It's time to get down off our high spiritual horses and pray for him.  Pray for all the candidates not just the nice ones.  Not just the polite ones.  Not just the ones who have self-control.  Just because those candidates don't say what Donald says, doesn't mean they haven't said it or thought it.  They might just be better at covering it up or turning off the mike before they do.  I'd rather have someone not afraid to be who he is then someone who is just pretending for the sake of my vote.

We wouldn't have a lot of the Old and New Testaments if God hadn't used murderers to write it.

Whatever way November goes, God is in control.  I stand firmly in the knowledge as taught in Romans "...for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God."  I said this to myself many times the past seven years, sometimes in a whisper, sometimes in a shout.  But it is the truth I have always clung too since I've been praying for our country.

I encourage you to trust God with this.  Stop falling for this orchestrated disgust.  It only makes us look like a Pharisee of the Pharisees.  We all have crap.  We all have said horrible things, we all think horrible things.  If Donald is making Christianity look bad, then do something about it!  Help him make our Jesus in him look good.  If you have to start with yourself first, then why are you still reading this?



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