Hillary or Trump? That is the question! Or is it?
Well, let me say a couple of things first. I love my country. I feel I have been blessed beyond measure to have had the privilege to be been born in the United States of America. Though I don’t agree with many of the choices that are made by our Republican, Democrat, and/or Independent leaders—not to mention their lifestyles, philosophies and/or policies—personally, I still choose to pledge allegiance to our flag. And no, I don’t think that makes me any better than somebody who chooses to do something different.
Despite my concerns, my disagreements, and many times, my disappointments with specific decisions and the overall direction in which I believe we’ve been heading in our country for a long, long time, I still choose to stand for the national anthem—and even choose to place my hand over my heart. And that’s not to “take sides against” or to “take shots at” any of the recent political statements that have been made verbally and/or been demonstrated outwardly—by various leaders, athletes, movie stars, pop stars, or candidates. And again, I don’t think what I’ve personally chosen to do makes me better than anyone else. I’m just sharing with you what I’ve chosen to do.
Despite my deep disagreements, and in large part, my actual disdain for what I would consider the absolute “craziness” of both candidates, I will choose to vote in the upcoming presidential election—and I’m thankful that I live in a country where in the midst of all of the “craziness” and often, “absurdness,” I’m still able to cast my vote according to the dictates of my own conscience.
These are my personal choices, that reflect my personal opinions, convictions and values, and I certainly don’t have a problem with you holding different opinions, convictions, and values—or you making different choices than mine. That’s one of the remaining beautiful things about our country for which we can and should all rejoice!
And I’m going through all of these caveats, first of all, because they do reflect who I am—but secondly, because I realize that what I’m about to say may have the potential to make someone think otherwise. I think dragging you through all of the above caveats is necessary, because I don’t want be accused of not caring about my country… being anti-American… being fatalistic… or being “something” in somebody’s mind, that maybe I haven’t even anticipated or bargained for!
The point I’d like to make, and the thing to which I’d like to humbly remind Christians, is that though we have certainly been called of God to be good citizens—Jesus also taught us another extremely powerful reality: that “His kingdom is not of this world!” (John 18:36) That may require that we take the next 55 days or so (if not the next 55 years!), to think through that powerful reality—and meditate on its myriad ramifications.
Could it be that we could become so “worked up” over a candidate, a political party or position, and yeah, even a personal value or conviction about our country—that it causes us to hurt our INFLUENCE in the kingdom we say we’re really about—or perhaps, to even do DAMAGE to the kingdom that is such a value to our Savior, and is actually a part of our eternal inheritance? (2 Pet. 2:11; Eph. 5:5)
Jesus even said, “If my kingdom were of this world, THEN would my servants fight.” (John 18:36) Maybe we would do well to ask ourselves, “As a servant of Christ, have I been drawn into the wrong ‘fight?'”
In my opinion, one of the most mind-boggling passages in the entire Bible addresses this very issue—and yet, does so from the standpoint of an even more sobering reality. It’s the infamous passage in Matthew 4 that reveals the details when Jesus was tempted by Satan in all points (1 John 2:16), like as we are, yet without sin. (Heb. 4:15)
In the midst of this temptation, the scripture says, “… the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” (Matt. 4:8–9) Wow! Does that get my dander up! But what is of particular significance to me about all of this—is Jesus’ reaction to what seems, in my natural mind, to be such an outlandish and ridiculous statement! I mean, I would fully expect Jesus’ response to be something like: “Are you kidding me right now? Who in the world do you think you are, chump—to offer Me, the Creator of the world, the kingdoms of this world?”
And listen, the very fact that Jesus didn’t respond that way is very significant—and telling! Because you see, the “kingdoms of this world” are right now under Satan’s supervision and direction!
You see, when Adam sinned in the garden in Genesis 3, not only did sin enter into the world… but Adam died spiritually and became the progenitor of sin and its consequences to the entire human race! (Rom. 5:12) Those things are obviously monumental in and of themselves—and yet, there was actually another huge reality that took place in that sin that isn’t often talked about. But the fact is, since Adam was the one granted dominion over the earth and the power to subdue it (Gen. 1:28), inherent in Adam’s sin was the reality that he was actually handing over to Satan, as it were, the “title deed of the earth!” At this point in the Bible, Satan became, as 2 Corinthians 4:4 describes him, “the god of this world,” and the crazy reality is—the “kingdoms of this world” that Satan was showing Jesus in Matthew 4, were… are… and will be in his possession—until the reality of Revelation 5 is fulfilled at the second coming of Christ, when Christ, the second Adam, takes possession of the “title deed of the earth”—and establishes His everlasting kingdom on the earth!
But the sobering reality is, y’all, until the second coming of Christ, any political or governmental entity, person or power—is going to be granted their jurisdiction and authority from none other than “the god of this world” (Satan)—who presently has control of and dominion over the “kingdoms of this world!” And this is why I was mentioning earlier, that the things I intended to say in this article might cause someone to accuse me of being fatalistic, and/or anti-American. I would choose, however, to perhaps call this view “realistic”… and just really “pro”—Christ’s “everlasting kingdom!”
So, should we obey our governmental leaders, then? Absolutely! We have been commanded to do so, unless we have to disobey the clear teaching of scripture in order to obey. (1 Pet. 2:13–15; Acts 5:29) And the reality is, though the leaders in the “kingdoms of this world” had to be approved of Satan in order to get there—God has also ordained their installment, and will actually serve His own purposes in their being there! (Rom. 13:1–7)
Should we pray for our leaders, then? Again, absolutely! We’ve, likewise, been commanded to do so! (1 Tim. 2:1–3) God is still working His plan and has chosen to use our prayers in the accomplishment of it.
But, should we make our leaders, our choice of political party, or even our beloved country the issue that drives us, or the issue that we have allowed to supersede the importance of our laboring in and for a kingdom “not made with hands, whose builder and maker is God?” (Heb. 11:10) God forbid!
May God help us to somehow come through this turbulent political process, making certain that those in our sphere of influence SEE JESUS—and see that LIKE JESUS, “our kingdom is not of this world!” May we not magnify our own political positions concerning the “kingdoms of this world” that are actually under Satan’s jurisdiction anyway—lest it cause us to lose the opportunity and privilege of God using us to see those in our sphere of influence “delivered out of the KINGDOM of DARKNESS, and translated into the KINGDOM of his dear SON!” (Col. 1:13)
This article was written by Mark Trotter
Mark is the director of WordStrong Ministries, the Associate Pastor of ONE Baptist Church in Douglasville, GA, and the director of the Passion Center for Pastors in Malawi, Africa.
This article and other posts may be found by visiting Mark’s website at marktrotter.tv