President-elect Trump’s late-campaign slogan became, “drain the swamp,” which referenced his desire to rid Washington of the perennial in-house corruption that has become a D.C. tradition. Having also promised Americans peace and prosperity, the President Elect is pitching us a vision of power and riches for the people once again. If America is to be rich and powerful once more, then she must drain another swamp—the swamp of her own heart. There’s nothing inherently despicable about riches or power, but if it does not come under the Gospel’s authority, none of it will endure.
So then, the real muck and mire is in our hearts, and neither domestic prosperity nor foreign peace can redeem hearts. No Christian requires another lengthy diatribe about the progressive lawlessness that pervades throughout the nation. The question is, “What is the church going to do about it?”
Currently, I’m re-reading a biography about 20th century German theologian and pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, written by author Eric Metaxas— titled Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, and Spy. Bonhoeffer was a man consumed with one question: what is the church? Subsequently, knowing that God has ordained governments to implement and enforce law, one must ask, “What is the role of the church?” After reading about Bonhoeffer, I’m asking the same sorts of questions in relation to how the church should conduct itself as we enter into the next four years of President Trump’s administration.
The resulting vision for the church is threefold: 1) continue to till the ground for revival through prayer and focus on the Holy Spirit’s vision for evangelism; 2) clamor for President-Elect Trump to remain true to his promises about religious liberty, appointment of pro-life justices, etc.; 3) remind President-Elect Trump that he answers to the ultimate authority, God, who ordains the office of government.
What the church and its members cannot do is think that we will attain raw power and vast influence by laying its mantle down for President-Elect Trump to walk over. The Gospel message is not another political rung for President Elect Trump to put his foot on.
A hefty chunk of working class evangelicals voted for Trump, and they didn’t pull the lever to see him blow raspberries at issues of concern for the church, namely religious liberty and pro-life legislation. Unfortunately, Trump has already made it cogent that protecting the sanctity of marriage is not a priority, but there is still ground to be gained in the aforementioned trenches of the religious liberty and abortion debate.
Just as God blesses us when we obey and reprimands is when we sin, the church must also function as America’s conscience, and in effect, the Trump administration’s moral compass. What does that look like? Assist and applaud on policy of common interest, but criticize and look to re-form that which is detrimental policy. Binding ourselves to President Trump’s footstool would only serve to give more air time to the false narrative that the church is merely a conglomerate of greedy hacks.
There has to be a steadiness about the church during these times instead of either complete disgust toward President Elect Trump or total infatuation with him. Neither of those postures will redeem the good policy in Trump nor check his ulterior instincts.
Above all, the church cannot lose sight of praying for and cultivating revival. A creative vision for revival is our singular priority, because out of the Gospel and Great Commission flows all other societal outreaches.
Whether you voted for him or not, President-Elect Trump will be your President, and we cannot neglect prayers for him. He’ll probably do some good, some bad, and maybe even some ugly. However, prayer changes the dynamic, and if the church takes intercession seriously, it could some extraordinary advances under President Trump.
And one more note. The church cannot permit the federal government to get its paws on the way we preach the Gospel and try to twist our arms. I think it high time the church grow a spine and speak into the political and social realm instead of being dictated to by governmental representatives and media members.
A former New York Times editor recently admitted that “[the press] doesn’t get religion.” We’ve swallowed slanderous accusations and claims of bigotry to our own detriment, and if we aren’t willing to correct the misleading narratives, then expect more of the same. How is the nation to respect the reality of Jesus’ redemption when we don’t collectively stick up for Him ourselves?
Peter walked on the waves to reach Jesus. Will we wade through the swamp and cling to our hope in Christ? It’s waiting to be drained.
Kevin Cochrane is a writer and college student with the distinct purpose of radically restoring everyone with exposed ears to the original testimony of Jesus Christ. For updates on his latest blog posts here at restandrefuge.wordpress.com, you can follow him on Twitter @RunFree_KC, find me on Facebook or click the follow button at the bottom of the page to receive notifications by email. Want to read more? Check him out at themajestysmen.com/author/kevincochrane, a friendship and mentoring community for Christian males (views on my blog at restandrefuge.wordpress.com are my own and do not necessarily represent those of The Majesty’s Men). To contact, email him at email@example.com.