Jan 122018
 

I’ve received quite a bit of email asking me to comment on President Trumps statement yesterday about receiving immigrants from “s…ole” countries.

There’s not much left to say.

That’s who he is and truth be told, it’s who we are.

That which ran underneath our culture like a city sewer has been brought into the light and displayed for the world.

I’m not just talking about our national and political culture, but that of the church as well.

Martin Luther King, Jr., once said “it is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o’clock on Sunday morning”.

Not much has changed since he spoke those words.

Trump’s statement is said to have energized his base…and his base is the evangelical church.

It’s who we are, but it’s not who we should be.

The United States is indeed a far better country to live in than the ones people are fleeing from.

I do not believe that God sees us as far better people because we live here.

The bulk of Trump’s supporters would probably also say that America is great because God made it so.

If that is the case, then they should also heed what God said about Sodom…another place that evangelicals like to note for different reasons.

Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.(Ezekiel 16:49 ESV)

In ancient times another place was help in contempt by those who lived in God’s country.

“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”(John 1:46 ESV)

Evidently the birthplace of Jesus was a s…hole,too.

This little article isn’t going to change anyone’s mind about these issues.

My job isn’t to try…it’s to examine myself for those places where I hold people who were made in the image of God in contempt for things they can’t control.

My job is to love and pray for my enemies, even if they’re sitting in the same pews.

My job is to continue to focus on the kingdom that will be,not the kingdoms that are.

It’s simply to follow Him…even if it’s following Him back to a s…hole to find more of the family.

Make your own application…

 

  157 Responses to “TGIF”

  1. This is a good article you have written, Michael.

    I am much more offended- disgusted- by those religious people who voted for him and continue to support him than I am by Trump himself. We all knew what he was and he was elected by “good Christian folk” anyway.

    As someone said to me recently, a “lesser evil” is the same as a “lesser sin.” And when did God call anyone to sin?

  2. Thank you, Xenia.
    I find myself far more sad than angry these days…this is all so difficult to parse.

  3. “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.”(Ezekiel 16:49 ESV)<<<

    Excess of food
    prosperous ease
    pride
    voted for man who disdains the poor

    Think about it.

  4. “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it.”
    (Ezekiel 16:48–50 ESV)

    “They were haughty”…

    Does any person or nation have anything that wasn’t given them by God?

  5. Thank you Michael for this.

  6. Thank you for sharing these thoughts.

    My own tradition came here to escape sh…hole conditions. My father immigrated from the sh..hole conditions of post WWII France.

    Our country is built on the blood, sweat and tears of people who left sh…holes for the opportunities here.

  7. Thank you, Kevin…you spoke before I did and spoke well.

  8. Jean,

    As I told you privately, I’d rather write cat stories. 🙂

    Unfortunately, I think we’re at a point where Christians who do not hold to the prevailing political values have no choice but to stand up and be counted.

  9. I do not hold to account those Christians who voted for Trump when given the reality that only two possible people could win and so they voted for the one who in their best judgment would bring a little less harm than the other choice. A different way of looking at it as opposed to voting between two evils.

    However, what is deeply disturbing to me are the Christians who will strenuously defend and promote Trump and will not do otherwise when he does and says something as wicked and hateful and anti-Christ as this. Sadly, many cannot even see the evil of his words and attitude.

  10. I stand with you and Xenia on this.

    Not because I am more righteous than anyone else.

    But I must stand for what’s right, even if I condemn myself for not doing what’s right. There is no condemnation for those in Christ. Lord have mercy on me!

  11. Michael

    A nice reflection. I think of our mutual friend Carlos escaping from the civil war in El Salvador as a little boy…

    The one thing I cannot fathom is the lack of simple human empathy among the “Christians” who supported and voted for this man. It beggars belief…

  12. Was it only evangelicals that voted for Trump? And did all evangelicals vote for Trump?

  13. Kevin H,
    Very well said…and it disturbs me greatly as well.

    I’ve lost so many cherished friends over this…

  14. Michael,

    To your #8, I despise politics and would much rather avoid the subject and talk about a myriad of other things. But sometimes it would be forsaking responsibility to look out for the welfare of others.

    Unfortunately, it has seemingly come to the point where at least some of us need to count the cost and speak up and oppose evil. Some evil which is sadly and distressingly supported by our brethren.

  15. Jean,

    Well said…we have to fight our own darkness first.
    Thank God that He has brought the light…

  16. Kevin’s #9 is my heart exactly. Thank you Kevin.

    I’m still trying to remain friendly and not rock the boat too much. That can’t last much longer.

  17. Duane,

    I’ve always believed that compassion and empathy were our base line stances as believers…but politics has trumped character…so to speak…

  18. You can do it josh you can keep the boat steady 😉

  19. Dusty,

    It’d been established that evangelicals are his base…over 80 % supported him and still approve of him.

  20. Some Orthodox support him, too.

  21. Ohhhh. 🙁

  22. If you are a member of the Republican party do you feel at all responsible that Trump became your party’s candidate when there were several other people running in the primaries who were good and decent? *Somebody* had to vote for Trump in the primaries although I can’t seem to find anyone who will admit it. It’s always: Behold! Unaccountably two evils were presented and I chose the Lesser! as if there wasn’t an entire year of campaigning that preceded the election.

  23. It is good to see in Duane’s article that Ronnie Floyd, Ed Stetzer, and Russell Moore, among others, are standing against these comments.

  24. I <3 Russell Moore.

  25. Don’t forget that Martin Luther King Jr. was often involved in homosexual orgies, which is now a matter of public records. Yes, he was the epitome of “Christians” today. Verbal bloviating with constant virtue signaling, covering up undercover judgmentalism in his heart. And making huge public appearances, covering up undercover sexual sins galore in his private life. He also didn’t believe that Jesus is God and didn’t believe in the substitutionary atonement. Yes, he speaks well for modern “Christians”.

  26. ” was often involved in homosexual orgies, which is now a matter of public records”
    No, it absolutely is not.

  27. CLAIMS by the FBI are part of the public record (which allege too prostitute orgies, not homosexual), but evidence that they occurred is not. There was a complete smear campaign against MLK, and it is hard to know what is real or not about any of the accusations. However, MLK’s #126 is 100% false.

  28. Trumps comments no longer surprise me. Yes, I am offended, but also angry that some will continue to turn a blind eye to his behavior.

    I have a friend who lives in Montreal, Quebec. He married a gal from Haiti. He also goes there to help with water treatment efforts. I met his wife. I’m sure my friend isn’t happy about Trump’s comments. I’m not either. It’s now personal.

  29. MLK,

    I didn’t write a treatise on the virtues or sins of Dr.King.
    I used a quote that to my knowledge has never been refuted.

    For my part, I’ve been speaking to the same issues for years as well as putting my time and resources into tangible work when I’ve been able.

    I believe Jesus is God and there is a substitutionary aspect to the atonement…so stick your alt right cliches where they belong.

  30. Ah, the sophist shows up with the red herring.

    Look at the shiny object over there…

  31. “The bulk of Trump’s supporters would probably also say that America is great because God made it so.
    If that is the case, then they should also heed what God said about Sodom…another place that evangelicals like to note for different reasons.”

    Amen – since i believe nothing happens to nations that is not God ordained and, yes, that the nations have risen because of the wisdom and industry of their people and their leaders (at times in history that did involve a reverence for God) and since i also think that the second observation is dead on accurate (there was more to the admonition than the warning to show compassion, but i don’t know which national sin comes first in the depravity list) – but … amen again

    don’t know what it says about me, but i’m not the least bit offended by what Trump says… i’m betting that every politician in D.C. uses the same language as they hide behind their public political niceness… those who have visited some of these nations might use a nicer term (God might not) but there are and always have been regions on the globe that are in almost every sense of the word, “god-forsaken” and many determined to become so… IMO

    now i’ll go back and read what the wiser, more educated heads here have commented 🙂

  32. @30 and @28

    I hope we’re not confusing MLD with MLK…

  33. MLD can often troll us, but the one who posted as MLK Jr. would seem to be the worst of trolls.

    I would suggest his comments are not even worth dignifying.

  34. I am sorry to MLD – I absolutely read that name wrong!

    Yes, Duane, I confused them. My apologies to all.

  35. Duane, thank you.
    I’m so used to arguing with MLD I naturally used his monicker.
    My apologies to MLD…

  36. Josh,

    I fixed both of our sins… 🙂

  37. Woo. Thank you 🙂

    It’s possible that MLK was a bad dude. I wasn’t born when he was a live. No clue.

    However, I don’t trust the words of the people who were accusing him at all.

    And yeah, that’s off topic. Sorry.

  38. Yep, I apologize to MLD as well.

    Maybe he’ll come in and surprise us all.

    Love hopes all things…

  39. Jean – you didn’t have to admit you were talking about MLD 🙂

    (but we all knew). Haha! That comment just seemed SOOOO MLD.

  40. Thanks all… mark it in your calendars – I came to MLD’s defense! It may be a once in a lifetime event…

  41. #26 is either not a Christian or is not a God fearing one as we are admonished not to speak of things such as were posted and further, more serious, we are not to gossip

    I were rich (please God, make it so) and i had a lovely home and spacious grounds and the gardner i hired had turned those grounds into a lovely thing to behold… if my neighbor then stopped by to tell me that the place looked lovely, i’d like to think that my response wouldn’t be, “yes, the grounds are lovely, but my gardner is an absolute reprobate, so i don’t like to look on the flowers, trees and shrubs much…” Martin Luther King Jr. was used of God to prevent what we now seem to be determined to slide into… and it’s not skin color dependent at all… rabble comes in all shades from white on thru the spectrum to black
    i pray that we’d have more Michaels raised up to stand and discuss and challenge our Christian thinking – we’ve never needed to stand firm and grounded more than we need to do so today – or so it seems to me… dunno, tho, do i?

  42. Although, Josh, now that I examine the comment more closely, I’m not sure MLD has such a highfalutin vocabulary. Have you ever read say “epitome” or “bloviating” before?

  43. Michael wrote: “there is a substitutionary aspect to the atonement”

    Translation: Michael doesn’t believe in the substitutionary atonement.

  44. Jean – he may have used bloviate in reference to flatulence once 🙂

  45. MLK Jr.

    Evidently, you didn’t major in either history or theology.

    The atonement is like a diamond with many facets…including substitution.

    The church believed that “Christus Victor” was the main aspect long before penal substitution.
    There are other facets as well.
    Perhaps reading a book on the subject would be helpful…

  46. Although it is Michael’s call… may I suggest that we simply ignore the troll?

  47. By the way…change your monicker.
    I don’t want your drivel attributed to anyone but yourself.

  48. Duane,

    I may just ban him…

  49. MLK Junior needs new glasses, perhaps? or a new attitude… in my not so humble opinion

    however, MLK Jr., a brother (or sister in Christ) might pick up on that quote, feel puzzled by the wording and then ask Michael, what other aspects are there to the atonement?

    (yes, i am a Christian admonishing another Christian – i hope MLK Jr. is one)

  50. He is certainly offensive enough…

  51. He’s gone…we will be about better things.

  52. Excellent!

  53. Let me be really clear about something here.
    I’m not offended by a scatological term referring to certain places.
    I’m deeply offended that the President has conflated the worth of the people with the places they come from.

    Make no mistake…that’s exactly what he was doing.

  54. In the spirit of the usual TGIF… the cats and i had a meaningful moment this morning…
    Axel, the aged cat, heard me admonish Sticky, the annoying long haired cat to stop (she was about to grab the strap on the expensive flashlight sending it to it’s destruction on the hard floor). Old Axel got up slowly (only way he gets up anymore) and jumped off the sofa, ran over and swiped at Sticky chasing her away from the flashlight. Then he went back to resting his 19 year old bones… my gift to you cat people today and a rabbit trail away from the sour distorted posts of a certain soul above

  55. Thank you, Bob…good to see you as always…

  56. re #54 – i can’t argue with that conclusion at all… but what some of us are asking is, can the nation absorb the enormous flood of lost souls trying to better their lives…? it is a practical, if not humanitarian inspired question. Not talking about the kids brought here and the DACA issue, BTW
    we seem to be losing our foundation in the flood and the arguing … just pondering the end of this

  57. I found this, which marries up well with Michael’s piece…
    http://zackhunt.net/2018/01/12/jesus-came-shithole-country/

  58. “can the nation absorb the enormous flood of lost souls trying to better their lives…?”

    That would be an interesting question, that we can’t get to, when the President is defining the issue around race and ethnicity.

    Why not establish quotas with color, ethnic and national blind criteria?

  59. Em,

    That’s a vary valid question.

    The migration crisis is not going away and we need to soberly consider all the issues to determine our own national course.

    That is not possible at this time…the well has been so poisoned with purposeful disinformation as to make such dialog nearly impossible.

    The key is going to be finding ways to turn “s…holes” into places where people can thrive…and that will have to be a global effort of cooperation the likes of which we’ve yet to see.

  60. This is a great calm conversation. Well done everyone 🙂

  61. #59 Jean

    It is interesting that up and into the 1950s we did have a largely race based immigration policy. It appears that some want to go back to the “good ol’ days”…

  62. #62 Addendum

    Race based as in quotas for different countries…

  63. Duane,

    “Boy the way Glen Miller played…”

  64. Duane,

    I don’t know how many people today are aware of this, but until relatively recently, many affluent communities in America had covenants written into the real estate titles of residential real estate restricting a home owner from selling his/her house to certain races and religions.

    Illegal discriminatory real estate agency and mortgage loan practices still unfortunately occur occasionally today.

  65. All our comments should be laced with love <3 ♡

  66. I agree with everything but this:

    ”Trump’s statement is said to have energized his base…and his base is the evangelical church.”

    I haven’t heard anyone say this.

    I doubt that first part.
    And think the second is fairly misconstrued

  67. If anyone thinks themselves morally superior to Trump, they may want to check their unapologetic rants – on this blog, even. I see a bit of a self righteous spirit, when what Michael says is quite true. We are nationally, morally who we voted for. Even if you didn’t vote for him, he is the leader we, you, deserve.

  68. JTK,

    That statement was attributed to White House sources who thought that the backlash would turn out well for him with his base.

    The second part seems to be verified by both polling and anecdotal evidence.

  69. As far as change since ’68, I’d think one would need to be black to say if things have or not. A far as I can tell, they are folks on both sides.

  70. BTW,
    is there a transcript out something verifying Trumps words in context? Until that time, I am skeptical of the veracity of all this hubbub.

  71. descended,

    I know tom cats that are morally superior to Trump.

  72. In other words, no, there is no proof and this may all be fake news or spin.

  73. descended,

    We have the word of a senator who was present.

  74. #74

    Not just one senator. Several. From both parties.

  75. You understand if I just laughed a little? You now take politicians at their word, so long as it’s bashing Trump.

    Understand I’m not defending him.
    Here we are, going of about the morality of the president when it is highly likely most here are slandering a man based on false report. Bryan Brodersen ring a bell?

    C’mon folks. Let’s put a little more faith in our own rationale.

  76. I grew up in a town where black people had to be off the streets by sundown… when my dear grandmother passed, we found a newspaper clipping in her Bible – an account of Nat King Cole being the first black to buy a home in Glendale sometime in the 1950s….. I know she was pleased at the change
    and there are other stories that #65 reminded me of… it wasn’t restricted to affluence, I fear… the first home we bought in Seattle, in the deed of this older home was a restriction regarding to whom the property could be sold
    But the biases extended to IItalians, Irish… people back then immigrated with their prejudices in tac… My Swedish contingent, for the most part, had no use for anyone not from Sweden
    In fact, my librarian cousin was working in British Columbia in the 1970s and was called in to boss’ office and scolded for going to lunch with a clerk in the library – socially unacceptable for professionals to do so
    My point? Prejudices are more systemic than we may be aware even now… Now, it seems to me that prejudice is not limited to us white folk… 😵

  77. when it is highly likely most here are slandering a man based on false report.

    You are defending him, no matter your protests to the contrary.

    And thanks for passing judgment! Always appreciated.

  78. “You are defending him, no matter your protests to the contrary.”

    Oh, Bob, that’s an icky tactic.

    “And thanks for passing judgment! Always appreciated.”

    Apparently some discernment is necessary today. It’s not a ministry or anything. Also not trying to turn this page into a crapfest of ad hominem or straw men.

  79. I thot descended was a guy, but do guys use the term “icky?” LOL

    Did anyone read Michael’s #54? The focus isn’t on a term is it? Isn’t the focus on how to bring suffering nations to a better state?

  80. When it fits

  81. Descended. 😉

  82. #65 Jean

    Yes, I live in one of those communities. Even though the exclusion clause was made invalid by Supreme Court decisions, it was still in our restrictive covenant and by-laws. Then there was this one long-haired resident who forced the issue and asked to have it removed by a vote of the community 🙂 The original covenant disallowed Jews and African-Americans…

  83. Descended,

    Both Michael and I have admitted our own immorality. But, we also confess our sins and repent. There’s a difference between a secure sinner and a contrite sinner. Trump actually, as far as his public statements betray, is not only secure in his sin, but doesn’t even admit his evil.

  84. Jean
    ” Trump actually, as far as his public statements betray, is not only secure in his sin, but doesn’t even admit his evil.”

    And this differs from your neighbors in what way? Should I assume you would spread gossip about them, no matter how many proven liars attested to the rumour?

    I suppose abandoning your own reason in defense of what may be slander is acceptable …? Because he’s like everybody else?

  85. Whether we like it or not, Trump is the “face” and “mouth” of the United States to a large part of the rest of the world. A world we are in and which we need to cooperate with for trade and security. For example, we have approximately 6,000 soldiers in Africa, as well as diplomats and commercial interests.

    Although the alt-right in the US might be jazzed, he is turning our country into a laughing stock and are encouraging many nations to turn elsewhere for mutually beneficial relations.

    People in this country think America can thrive all by itself. Those people are sadly mistaken.

  86. I’m not spreading gossip. We are discussing what is all over the news.

    I’m not slandering. We are citizens, with voting rights, who are allowed to discuss the performance of our elected officials.

    Trump was on the clock when he said his racist statements.

  87. Btw y’all
    I’m.not judging you guys, because I have done and do the same probably without realizing it, most often. I would just hate to see this page devolve into a slanderfest. Amazingly, many things here have made me think lately (not that it was from here, but that I was thinking).

  88. “I’m not spreading gossip. We are discussing what is all over the news.”

    Jean! C’mon brother!

  89. I tell you what Descended,

    How would you propose that the electorate evaluate and debate its elected officials?

    Are we allowed to discuss their job performance?

    Their policy proposals?

    Their public statements about public matters?

    What would meet your requirements, brother?

  90. Jean,
    With how much dirt there is on Trump recorded from his own Twitter account, debate rants, off-the-cuff remarks to media and hot mic slip-ups

    I’ll tell you

    A recording, a transcript, or both. Otherwise you are throwing in with proven liars.

    It’s possible you are doing to Trump what is said to have been done to Brodersen. But at least CC’ers can say they were trusting their pastor. Can you say you trust the weird of politicians and media ?

  91. Well Descended,

    Now you are calling people proven liars.

    Here is Jeff Flake’s tweet (anyone can look it up):

    “The words used by the President, as related to me directly following the meeting by those in attendance, were not “tough,” they were abhorrent and repulsive.”

    I am not aware that the conservative Republican, who is not a Trump supporter, is a proven liar.

  92. The scary saying is you might be pillorying someone based on hearsay when they actually don’t deserve it and a bit of Reason could avoid that. Based on that logic you are I could say anything we want about one another and given enough liars or useful idiots to back us we can make things stick that are clearly not true about either of us. If this is where we are at this stage of national debate then doesn’t that scare you?

  93. Jiminy Christmas Jean

    “Related to me directly following the meeting”?

    SMH

  94. Did he say slanderous things about the people from those countries or was he remarking on the infrastructure of those countries?

  95. #91

    “Can you say you trust the weird of politicians and media ?”

    Wow.

    SMH

    Those who live in glass houses…

  96. “You or could say anything…”

    Using voice to text

  97. What’s the glass in my house Bob?

  98. Jean
    That article does more to call your reasoning into question.

  99. It’s so funny the reactions of people when you ask them to use the same reasoning they’ve been begging you to use on other agendas.

    All I’m saying is not to jump to conclusions based off of word-of-mouth.

  100. Descended,

    You work with what you have. Let’s see who, other than Trump, denies that he said the statement. “I don’t recall.” LOL!

    Why wouldn’t people publicly admit he said the statement? You know why.

    It’s not like the statement by Trump is out of character, where people would be skeptical. It’s his wheelhouse and you know it.

  101. “You work with what you have.”
    Er, said every slanderer. Ever.
    Why would someone every lie about a president? Lol. You know why.
    It’s not like lying would be out of character for them. It’s their wheelhouse and you know it.

  102. Okay Descended. I get it. You’re in the stronghold of the middle of 5th Avenue crowd. You’re not alone. Stay safe.

  103. Watching Washington D.C politics is like watching a MTV reality show breaking bad.Trump most likely said what he said.The Senators and media who are complaining about it are just as ignorant as he is.

  104. Thanks Jean! thanks for one of the best lines ever.

    “I’m not spreading gossip. We are discussing what is all over the news.”

  105. I don’t understand why Trump calling these countries s***holes is so terrible. That’s like the one thing people on both sides of the immigration debate agree on. The main concerns I have about deporting people is that we’d be sending them back to terrible, s***hole countries where they will just end up suffering a lot. Now officials in Haiti and African countries have expressed outrage that they have been described as such, but, if it’s not true and they’re actually decent places to live then why should we be concerned about people being deported to them or not being allowed to immigrate here?

    Is not the fact that these countries are bad places what drives some of us to want America to be welcoming? So why get offended because Trump levels them what we also think they are?

  106. I meant to say “because Trump labels them” not “levels them”.

  107. J2,
    The offense is his conflation if the worth of people with the country they come from.
    That is deeply offensive.

  108. Isn’t one side of the immigration debate concerned that if we let too many people from impoverished circumstances immigrate to America that they will bring with them the problems from their country of origin and start dragging down our quality of life?

    Yes, Trump is a racist, but I don’t see how just getting offended and calling him a racist is much of an answer or is going to fix anything or is going to change the minds or alleviate the concerns of people who do not view immigration from terrible countries favorably.

  109. The problem is, Trump’s racism feeds and bleeds into any discussion of immigration levels, etc, Of course, one legit. position (among several) is to curb immigration. Unfortunately, any Repub. pol that talks about it won’t get heard, I’m afraid.

  110. A radio commentator put it well today: “people in San Francisco think that those who live in Modesto [central valley] live in an s-hole and look down on them.” I can attest the the arrogance in The Bay Area, living here. True to dezinens of SFO looking down on “flyover” California, but this opinion isn’t voiced by the president of the United states.

    That Trump is boorish is a given, however. Sad is that there is a point or argument here, but it’s lost given a boorish POTUS… which strangely is one reason he was elected.

  111. I guess you can count me as a Hillary Clinton deplorable that voted for trump. I understand how people feel about Trump and I am not going to try and change anyone’s mind. I find it disgusting when those on both sides of the fence think they are morally superior. Its just not so and is the essence of hypocrisy. Folks need to stop conflating the church with the country and vice versa. The left does this just as much as the right and its why we have so much division in the church and the country. My question is if the United States is so completely morally empty for voting for trump in the first place, why would any good moral Christian want anyone to come to the land of the Hillary Clinton deplorables?

  112. Donald Trump is “The Face That Demonstrates The Farce Of Evangelicalism.”

    As for the lesser of two evils approach, perhaps question number one should be, “Which candidate will do more evil to the name of Christ?” If we are more scared of a pluralistic society that we do not politically reign over than we are of Evangelicalism’s blaspheming theocratic impulse, then I make appeal to 2 Clement 13:

    “…Let us not…desire to please only ourselves with our righteousness, but also those who are outsiders, so that the Name may not be blasphemed on our account. For the Lord says, ‘My name is continually blasphemed among all the nations.’ And again, ‘Woe to him on whose account My name is blasphemed. Why is it blasphemed? Because you do not do what I desire.’ For, when the pagans hear from our mouths the oracles of God, they marvel at their beauty and greatness. But when they discover that our actions are not worthy of the words we speak, they turn from wonder to blasphemy, saying that it is a myth and a delusion. For when they hear from us that God says, ‘It is no credit to you if you love those who love you, but it is a credit to you if you love your enemies and those who hate you,’ when they hear these things, they marvel at such extraordinary goodness. But when they see that we not only do not love those who hate us but do not even love those who love us, they scornfully laugh at us, and the Name is blasphemed.”

  113. #114

    Wonderful quote!

  114. Ditto.

  115. #113 – why? because it is necessary to dilute Hillary’s deplorable’s influence and control over this nation… i wonder what sort of nation this will be when we deplorables are eliminated… will it be better?
    there is wisdom, i think in these words of Steve, “Folks need to stop conflating the church with the country and vice versa. The left does this just as much as the right and its why we have so much division in the church and the country.”
    it is interesting that we have political churches, brown, black and white, it should worry us when politics becomes religious… God has made it clear for us to see where that leads… He never leaves us without examples
    that’s all i’ve got to say, but i had to say it this morning 🙂

  116. All I hear is:

    1. People use scataloical language all the time, how wonderful we have a non-PC President bold enough to use honest language in public.

    2. These countries ARE s-holes and their residents are unskilled germ-ridden icky people and we don’t want them anywhere near us.

    3. So what if Trump is a terrible person? We are all terrible people. Quit being so self-righteous.

    4. Obama was worse.

    5. He probably didn’t say it anyway.

    6. Lesser of two evils.

    7. The Bible and my Christian faith does not apply to my political views. Two separate things entirely.

    8. Hillary Hillary Hillary

    —-

    Any thoughts on how we have a President who insulted an entire continent? Even if he thinks Africans are icky (he has germophobia, you know— oops, was that slander?) a wise president would manage to keep his dark thoughts to himself for reasons of diplomacy, if nothing else.

  117. But now I see how he got elected.

    Lord, have mercy.

  118. “I find it disgusting when those on both sides of the fence think they are morally superior. ”

    If I’m not morally superior to a thrice divorced racist and adulterer, I need to find a new line of work.
    I’m the chief of sinners, but by the grace of God, a repentant one.

    Last time I checked Hillary lost and holds no office…but remains the chief talking point of some defending Trump.

    I don’t give a hoot in hell for either one, but real people created in the image of God who have no power are the ones paying the price for what is happening now.

    They are my concern…not the left, right, or middle, of a completely corrupt beast.

  119. Xenia did it better than I did.

    All this stuff makes me want to ask Bro. Paul if there’s any room in the monastery… 🙂

  120. Xenia,

    I was thinking of posting a similar comment to your 118. My thoughts like:

    1. People voted for him for economic reasons. That I get.
    2. People voted for him because he ain’t afraid to speak his mind and be politically incorrect. That I sometimes get…I come from the state that voted for Jesse Ventura for Governor! Look him up if you’ve never heard of him.
    3. People voted for him because “he’s chosen by God to lead the nation into morality” – um…ok. Don’t believe me? See the Charisma News website.
    4. People voted for him because he was going to outlaw abortion and rid the nation of LGBTQetc people.
    5. People voted for him because he’s a Republican, and it’s a sin to vote for a Democrat.
    6. People voted for him because he will rid our nation of terrorists, immigrants (read: people of color), etc.
    7. People voted for him because “but Hillary..!”

    I personally voted my conscience and chose not to vote (that doesn’t make me morally superior to anyone else, but just couldn’t go the “lesser of 2 evils” or the “but whattabout Hillary?!?!” route). I know full well we were not electing a Pastor-In-Chief, or a person of blameless character. I know full well we were getting what we deserved as a nation, and we got that.

    Sometimes I think that God is allowing this to happen to reveal the true hearts and thoughts of all of us.

    And honestly? I miss Obama at times (GASP!).

    /rant…don’t care to engage in some silly debate today…just posting some thoughts so y’all know where some of us are at.

  121. “Sometimes I think that God is allowing this to happen to reveal the true hearts and thoughts of all of us.”

    You nailed it…and instead of leading us to repent, the church is affirming it.
    Some of the church…

  122. All this stuff makes me want to ask Bro. Paul if there’s any room in the monastery<<<

    I hope Bro. Paul returns. I feel bad that I misunderstood his initial post and responded poorly.

  123. I did not vote for Obama and I strongly disagreed with a lot of the things he promoted. I am a conservative Christian so I don’t vote for people who promote abortion and the homosexual agenda. I think the only Democrat I can remember voting for was the Baptist Jimmy Carter and he wasn’t much of a president, although he was/is a very decent person.

    Having said that, I do miss the pictures of Obama playing in the snow on the WH lawn with his kids, laughing with his wife, playing with school kids, and the warm, sincere (I felt) speeches he gave after national tragedies. Obama is not someone I agree with but he is a genuine family man (no divorces, no known adulteries, etc) and in a certain sense, I do miss him.

  124. Xenia…that’s what I miss about Obama!

  125. I fail to see how all the outrage over this is helping any of the people on whose behalf we are supposedly offended. Mostly, what it’s done is turn the focus all on Trump and amp up the drama and conflict which he thrives on. The immigrants we supposedly care about have been turned into props to score political points and demonstrate how non racist we are as compared to Trump. It seems like it would have been the easiest thing in the world to answer Trump’s question by saying, “We let in people from shithole countries because…they are shithole counties and people deserve better, or people from shithole countries also have value and could be contributing members of society in a more stable country, or whatever talking point you feel is most relevant.” And the conversation or debate could continue from there focused on the immigrants and refugees and the substantive issues surrounding immigration instead of on Trump. Instead it’s just become about Trump. He’s not going to change. He’s a former reality TV host who thrives on drama. We have a choice to not get sucked into that drama, but clearly that is not happening either.

  126. Michael
    #130
    On one hand you say that you are part of a nation whose heart is reflected in its president, thus a part of the problem which you have humbly admitted.

    On the other hand you say you are morally superior.

    I don’t know know if you are clear on the issue. It’s a very muddy issue and were all dirty.

    Food for thought from Mr. Dershowitz
    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11741/trump-critics-psychiatric-diagnoses

  127. What to do? It’s tough.
    All I can tell you is what my wife, my friend Michael and I do in the face of this national calamity…
    We all support National Public Radio, which seems to be a rational new source.
    My wife serves on the board of our Immigrant Welcome Center, which assists new immigrants by matching them up with previous immigrants who can assist them in language skills, housing and job information, etc.
    I volunteer with a center dealing with sexual abuse (mainly of women and children).
    My friend Michael and I join non-violent protest marches and offer music.
    We directly try to help immigrant families whom we are acquainted with through our work.
    We support organizations, regardless of denominational affiliation, who work for peace and justice – they range from Anglican to RCs to Baptists.
    We vote.
    Each of us calls an elected representative’s office on issues we care about – usually a couple of times a month.
    Most of all, we pray…
    We can all do something. I thought I had left all this behind in the 60s and 70s, but I think we are facing a genuine moral crisis. We may already have passed the “tipping point”. This crisis has already affected the way in which Christians (especially evangelicals) are perceived by society at large… and it is not a positive perception.
    I’d be interested to hear what others are doing to “lighten the darkness” as I know many of you are involved in similar ways…

  128. It seems to me that we’re hooked on ideals and that is not a.bad thing – but… 😏
    The good Samaritan example focused on an individual’s conduct in addressing the need in front of him where he lived… I would ask, is there a New Testament teaching telling us to reform the world? I know we are to get the Gospel to all the world… When did we decide our way of life is the Gospel and bringing all the world into it is the “great commission?” Close the Book, ignore prophesy and save humanity? No!

    Yet, that said, I must urge a little common sense pragmatism when it comes to a Believer functioning in a fallen world… there are too many comments here, as I read them, confusing the duties of the Church with the conduct of secular government – even as we all agree the Church and the government today cannot be one and the same. If our Lord did not prevail over Caesar (as Judas had hoped), doesn’t it follow that the Church will not stop the flow of history either? I

    Pray for wisdom – we all need wisdom; that includes prayer for those with secular authority over us, too many of whom seem to confuse wisdom with chicanery and duplicity. We are the people they fool… some of the time…. everyone who has commented here is smart enough to sort this out, to see thru Satan’s smoke and mirror performance – to find consensus by God’s grace… not by man’s (or granny) words 😳

  129. Duane, those actions are faith in action! I’ll admit I do quite a bit of complaining about Trump and his evangelical base, and don’t do much in the way of helps, so to speak, but God has given me the ability and means to help out a few families close to me.

  130. #131 Dan

    You may remember than when I joined the Women’s March last year I received a bit of “heat” from some. We’ve just decided to “double down” this last year. Helping out a few families will probably do more good than all the complaining that both of us can do!

  131. Let’s look at both the truth and the false in the following statement:

    “there are too many comments here, as I read them, confusing the duties of the Church with the conduct of secular government – even as we all agree the Church and the government today cannot be one and the same.”

    It’s “true” that the secular government does not have the role to make disciples of Christ or to coerce citizens to join a church or make a confession of faith.

    It’s “true” that the church does not have the role to run an earthly government.

    But here is where Em’s argument is false: Christians have a duty, as citizens, to oppose moral evil if it’s perpetrated by their own government, even if that evil could arguably put a few extra bucks in my pocket. Christians are taught what is good vs. evil in the Bible.

    The preamble to our founding documents contain some helpful guidance:

    “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” – Preamble to Constiution

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” – Preamble to The Declaration of Independence

    It is apparent both that

    (1) The principles in these preambles are consistent with a Christian worldview; and

    (2) President Trump is opposed to several of these principles.

    Therefore, any American, whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu or whatever, who believes in the principles upon which our country is founded, should oppose policies and rhetoric from any politician, including, without limitation the POTUS, who speaks or acts against these principles.

  132. “On one hand you say that you are part of a nation whose heart is reflected in its president, thus a part of the problem which you have humbly admitted.

    On the other hand you say you are morally superior. I don’t know know if you are clear on the issue.”

    I’m crystal clear.
    There are qualifications to be an elder.
    We all sin and fall short of the glory of God, but if I chose to walk in open, unrepentant, sin, my people would demand my resignation.

    If I conflated the worth of people from hellish places with those places, my hopes of becoming an Anglican priest would be over…and they should be.

    This nonsense that we’re on on level ground in terms of our behaviors is just that.

    I’m accountable to other Christians as every Christian (especially leaders) should be. If I acted and spoke as this President all those I am accountable to would help me find other work…

  133. One more thing…

    We are not “saved” just to “go to heaven”.
    We are saved into another kingdom of which we have been made ambassadors here.

    I don’t care what country you live in…you represent the kingdom of God where you are.

    That’s why these aren’t Republican or Democratic issues to me…they’re kingdom issues and it’s those values and ethics I must proclaim with the King.

  134. Some here are doing a good job of pronouncing Trump as evil and American Evangelicals as the direct cause of a supposed moral breakdown in this country.
    Quite judgmental.
    Some of us don’t see it this way and find great difficulty figuring out what all the bellyaching is about.
    I see Trump as dealing with difficult issues that the past 5 or 6 administrations have just kicked down the road to let others deal with at a future time… Such as DACA.
    I apologize ahead of time for not jumping on your bandwagon.

  135. Jeans rebuttal @133 is a little skewed in that I haven’t heard any justification for a Christian to take on the evils of government – doing civic duty may vary
    Random thoughts on that…
    Jesus made no attempt to defeat Pilate or Herod – we are salt and light, not blow torches – live your life as unto the Lord, preach the Word to every man who asks. Yes, do that… Good deeds are done by unredeemed people as well as by Chrustians. Do you want first and foremost to be known as a good oerson? Well isn’t that precious….

    Make certain as best you can that those receiving and observe your charity know you are a servant of the one true God, a born again child of His, if you will. Make certain as best you can that it is clear you give from what God has given to you, eh?I

    If you wish to oppose evil everywhere you see it, you’ve got a couple problems – 1 are you certain your vision is infallable? and 2 is God tasking you with using your time in this way or are you another Don Quixote marching into hell for a heavenly cause?

    Finally, are you chasing the devil or standing… chasing makes clear thinking very difficult (and what will you do with the devil, if you catch him? 😵)
    Standing seems to be our M.O. according to the 6th chapter of Ephesians, on the other hand, implies resisting, requires armor which as described in Ephesians 6 does call for the mind of Christ…

    I just came in from shoveling snow, and if this post seems presumptuous on my part, it may be as I am running on adrenalin . Usually I don’t confront those brains here that are better equipped than mine. LOL also, collapsed here on the couch typing on the infernal little tablet which makes editing nearly impossible…

  136. Yeah, what MLD just said better and quucker. … 😇

  137. We’re at 136 comments, and it’s probably I missed several, but having followed this thread from its beginning, you, MLD, have created a false narrative. No one has accused anyone of “caus[ing] a supposed moral breakdown in this country.”

    From Michael’s original article:

    “That which ran underneath our culture like a city sewer has been brought into the light and displayed for the world.”

    Maybe come back with something a little more cogent, if you want to have a discussion.

  138. Em,

    In Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, he said that our government is a “government of the people, by the people, for the people”. Every citizen has a right and duty to participate either in elected office or as a voter in our government.

    Jesus didn’t live in a representative democracy. And, it’s true that the kingdom of grace that he brought is not of this world. But his disciples live in 2 kingdoms, and as St. Paul did, they exercise their rights in the temporal kingdom.

    Just be it known that Christians cannot pass off their sin or sinful desires to some government and not be held accountable for them. Every evil that government commits that we approve of is our personal sin.

  139. Jean, it’s an overall consensus here that Trump is evil and we are in a moral decline. The figures have been tossed around like juggling balls several times in this thread – the evangelicals put Trump on office and are to blame.
    Duane mentioned a couple of posts up that the ‘world’ holds the evangelicals at fault.
    This is all part of the big lie. Even though the figures indicate that 80% of evangelicals supported Trump, they were only 1/3rd of the Trump vote.

  140. Please at least have the courtesy to quote me accurately –

    “This crisis has already affected the way in which Christians (especially evangelicals) are perceived by society at large… and it is not a positive perception.”

  141. #142 Addendum

    You may note that I did not say what you referenced…

  142. I paraphrased and said the same thing.

    Here is the point – these are all policy issues and now it is fashionable to label disagreements as evil – which is wrong, judgmental and unchristian.

  143. Yes, you paraphrased (as you often do) but you did not say the “same thing”…

  144. Slavery was a policy issue at one point…and imputing people in terrible situations as being terrible themselves is wrong, judgmental, and unchristian.

  145. Jean, the kingdom’s of this world are evil… If one accepts your premise that a vote is a blanket aproval, how can a Chrstian participate at all? Yes I believe in civic responsibility, including the vote….
    May I add that our government of, by and for the people has weakened into something not quite that?
    For the record, even tho I voted for the man, I have come to the conclusion that Obama is a master con man – more evil than Trump – I’m not sure if his allegiance is to anything or anyone other than himself and, possibky, his family… but then that’s the name of the game today… maybe always was right He power and status hungry among us… dunno

    Are we just using each other for springbiards? Seems like iit… think I’ll watch some football or take a nap
    God keep

  146. “it is fashionable to label disagreements as evil – which is wrong, judgmental and unchristian.”

    Another false narrative.

  147. Em,

    You got my premise wrong.

  148. Ok…I’m having a rough go of it today and font have what it takes to deal with conflict. I don’t want to cut off those who disagree with me, but we will either do this well or I’ll close the thread.

  149. imputing to people in terrible situations as being evil people IS terrible – amen to that
    Today there seems to be a faction in the political world keeping people down, while telling them we’re here to dig you out – how do we rid our nation of that evil?

    Now I’ll go peacefully. 🙋

  150. Well so as to not to upset Michael, I will just go back to my comment earlier and refuse to jump on the bandwagon.

  151. If I came across as disagreeable in my disagreeing – I apologize… I am tired, but not peeved with anyone here… Not one bit … everyone, including me, is sorting through both.their own views and how our expressing them is understood or misunderstood

    I admit, tho, that the world today is close to turning me into one of those rapture sissies I’ve heard about… But might be old age catching up enough me… Praying God gives discernment and wisdom to those with decades left to live here

    May God grant Michael a peaceful evening – please, Lord

  152. Michael,

    The US literally spend hundreds of billions aiding the poor and needy both here and abroad. So the POTUS openly said what we all know to be true. Should the politically correct term be ‘economically and sanitationally challenged country where you could be kidnapped ,slaughtered, or starve to death in any number of civil wars’? Why the outrage and accusations that this country does nothing to help the poor?

  153. Sorry, didn’t see the comment where you said you had enough. Commented from FB and didn’t see the whole thread.

  154. Patrick,

    Would you like to make another list of things no one has said?
    The point to this essay was simple.

    It is immoral and and wrong for the President to impute personal and moral failure to people who live in horrible situations.

    It fits in well with the rest of his “racist, but not really” statements of the past.

    That’s the point.

    You may agree or disagree, but that is what has been said and that is what I believe.

  155. I’m so naive.

    A relative just agreed with trump’s comments.

    Yeeeech

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