And we thought we’d seen it all in 2020!
Last night we witnessed the democratic proceedings to confirm Joe Biden as the next President of the USA halted by a mob who smashed their way into the building.
Why? Maybe it was something to do with the current defeated President Donald Trump, addressing them nearby and encouraging them to march on Capitol Hill and offer ‘help for weak Republicans’.
What is that if not a threat and a goad to disrupt the democratic system?
Trump’s behaviour was so inflammatory and extreme that Priti Patel criticised it, Vice President Mike Pence distanced himself from his boss and tyrants the world over poured scorn on the US.
Never a subtle man Trump has shown his true colours since the election. He shows disdain for the votes of Americans because he simply will not accept that the majority don’t want him. He will not accept that he too is subject to democracy and cannot subjugate it, however hard he tries, for example calling Georgia’s chief election official and asking him to find votes for him.
But do you know what made me really mad?
What really got me was seeing the US flag with the words ‘Trump’ and ‘Jesus’. Then there was the footage of people in the throng singing ‘Our God reigns’ as if this they were on a Godly mission.
Can we say any more clearly that Trump has not been displaying Christian behaviour?
In Matthew 7:15/16 Jesus is quoted as saying:
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognise them
A Christian is a follower of Christ. The hallmark of a hallmark is what they do. Yes, we all fail but over time the hallmark of a Christian should be evident – to be the genuine item they should be like Jesus.
Elsewhere this fruit of God’s work in us is described further:
the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control
Is anybody seeing Trump there? If not, Christians shouldn’t see following him as an expression of their faith.
Supporting some of his policies is one thing, that’s people’s choice. So is voting for him but throwing an endorsement behind him or seeing him as some kind of vessel of God is quite another. This is what parts of the American Church have done. They have wholeheartedly backed a man who shows no Christian character and who’s modus operandi is to repeatedly lie.
It’s easy to stand at a distance and marvel at how millions of Americans don’t see the gap between the rhetoric of a stolen election and the reality that 63 failed lawsuits show there is no evidence. What bridges the gap is a deliberate ruse, starting way before the election to undermine the legitimacy of the electoral process. This was a deliberate, calculated tactic, which culminated in a destructive mob and people dying. 1
It’s time for the church to call this behaviour out. Parts of the church sided with Trump because of his adoption of parts of their political agenda. It chose to overlook his obvious arrogance, his demeaning attitude to women and his world beating dishonesty.
Trump is like the wolf in sheep’s clothing Jesus spoke of because he knows how to use Christian language, adopt Christian trappings and which moral standpoints will get the religious right onside but he needs to be judged by his fruit.
We saw his type of fruit yesterday – a man who releases a message to people marauding around the seat of power they have broken into telling them he loves them.
There is nothing godly about trying to overcome the votes of people by force.