Relieved and Puzzled-The Presidential Election of 2016

The election is over. God be Praised! Since the nomination of Donald Trump to be the Republican candidate, I have tried to say very little about my views. My credibility as a preaching Pastor was a concern to me since so many evangelical friends held opposite, and often combative, views. In fact, I cannot recall any issue when Bible-believing people with so much in common had such different positions on a candidate…or where so many spoke with such certainty and hubris as they critiqued one another.

I watched as many Christians were stunned and even angry that other evangelicals could support Trump. At one point, I grew disappointed at the high level of virtual contempt expressed by some towards others…crisscrossing a range of opinions and certainties that became mutually condescending.

I heard from people who pointed out that Mr. Trump had been married three times and had been an open blasphemer. I was reminded that his policy positions on abortion and gay marriage and other things have vacillated to the point where perhaps he cannot be trusted. His record of earthy comments and open improprieties was unparalleled. How could any self-respecting evangelical vote for such a man? Ought not that Christian voter be ashamed? And what of their witness to those who need Christ? (That last concern stuck me as really quite irrational. Somehow I doubt very much if my unbelieving neighbors would come to Christ if I denounced Trump.) In short, the incoming fire from other believers was often uppity and disrespectful. It amounted to: How could an evangelical support Trump in view of his obvious depravities? Could any of us really vote for him?

I did. And I did so with a clear conscience. Now, for any who might be interested, I will say why. Be assured that I found Mr. Trump’s obnoxious and unwholesome (read dirty) remarks to be totally repulsive. And I made no arguments for nominating him as the model father or husband or citizen. I got it. But I voted for him as any pragmatist would.

I wondered how so many evangelical friends could be so incredibly judgmental. With respect for these folks whom I love…I wondered if they had spent adequate time lately in the Word of God? The fact is that God often used and uses very flawed people to do His will; I am one. Abram showed the traits of an untrusting serial liar repeatedly, yet God used him to lead Israel. David was practically a sexual predator and clearly a murderer yet the Bible says he was a man whose “heart was devoted to God” (1 Kings 15:3). Saul became Paul after he brutalized many of the early Christians. The list is lengthy of imperfect people used by God. Almost as if He delights in deploying the weak and sometimes wicked for his own purposes and often converting them!

I also wondered if many evangelicals would do well to consider the real world in which we live. A season reading the biographies of past presidents will open one’s eyes to how few of them were men who would be welcome as members in our churches. The fact is that if we Christians want good governance, which has moral implications of its own, we sometimes have to separate our moral preferences from the practical reality that not many of these candidates would qualify as elders in our midst.

I was called a pragmatist…one who puts the practical over the idealistic. Guilty as charged. I felt we needed a president with some leadership skills. Using my vote for an unelectable third party was entirely unacceptable to me.

It struck me as something one does to feel better but is totally pointless. But…that leads me to my second point. I said I was puzzled. HERE IS WHY I AM RELIEVED AT MR. TRUMP’S VICTORY. All of my reasons, in my view, occupy high moral ground and were sufficient for my conscience to vote for him.  Why am I relieved?

I am relieved that his presidency will mean less babies will have their heads crushed and their arms torn off and their skin burned away because of judicial appointments he will make. His opponent actually argued for partial-birth abortion openly in a debate! That is a moral issue.

I am relieved because he will give much needed support to our nation’s law enforcement. Men and women who risk their lives every hour being treated with contempt. That is a moral issue.

I am relieved because he will re-build our military so that it will be prepared, when necessary, to protect our nation and other nations if the cause is just. And that will include a proper level of respect and care for the relatives of Abram…God’s ancient ethnic people Israel. That is a moral issue.

I am relieved that he will embrace economic policies that might bring America back from the brink of real-time economic collapse that will leave millions unable to live decently. That is a moral issue.

I am relieved that he will propose solutions to inner city decay and infrastructural ruin thru real economic opportunities. I am relieved that our nation will no longer be managed by an administration that has actually made living in America worse for the poor in the last decade. That is especially true for minorities and those whose economic mobility has remained beyond minimal. That is a moral issue.

I am relieved that he will generate changes to a health care plan that was conceived in deceit, passed thru partisan bullying and that is collapsing visibly as it goes forward. That is a moral issue.

In short, I was willing to vote with an eye to policies not piety. It would be nice to have both. Perhaps someday we can. But at this point, I am reminding any Christian in whose life I have influence…that by the power of the Holy Spirit people can change. What we should be doing is praying daily for Mr. Trump and his house to truly come to the Living Christ! And I rather suspect that God will use him in days ahead to join with others and give this nation some much-needed management.

Do others around the world wonder how we could elect such a man whom they have heard speak with such careless buffoonery? Sure. But… I suggest that they get the boards out of their own eyes before they say much more. And we Christians might do well to remember that God is the great change-agent and is full of redemptive surprises. Indeed, the Apostle Paul by the Holy Spirit said this:

1 Corinthians 1:27 (NIV) 27  But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

I think this election and its result suggest that God the Holy Spirit is up to something in our midst. Let’s pray He is Glorified in it!

Blessings! Pastor Alberta

 

24 Comments

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24 responses to “Relieved and Puzzled-The Presidential Election of 2016

  1. shirley hendricks

    Thank you for putting my thoughts into print. I have forwarded it to those who agree and those who don’t. We need to continue to pray for him. Blessings, Shirley Hendricks ERNIE

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  2. Kelly Powell

    Amen I worked very hard as a delegate and born again Christian with others to help elect him. The Trump office has credited Michigan as being one of the most organized ground states, and it showed. We turned Michigan red for the first time sine Reagan. Not only did we do that we turned a lot of local offices red. We also place got elected Tom McMillin and Nikki Synder to the Michigan State school board forcing a 4 to 4 tie we have not had this in the state for a long time. This will help repeal Common Core. Michigan also placed two born again State Supreme Court justices in Vivino and Larson both pro life. I never been so proud political in my life of the state of Michigan. I have never since I became political involved when I could first vote in 96, seen such an unprecedented energy. The bottom line all this happened because of soon to be President Trump. I also dealt with the same what I call “the more holy” I guess. Bottom line this all had to be done. The bleeding of the Clinton killing machine had to be stopped. And I am so super proud I was apart of the ground work to make it happen. Now Americans can breath for a moment and get back on track

  3. Thank you Pastor Alberta for enumerating the real issues of this election – those with deep moral implications for the future of our country. Rhonda and I will be praying for Mr. Trump and for his presidency that both would seek and defend the moral high ground on these key issues.

  4. Jan Taylor

    Spot on. My feelings all along, clearly expressed. In prayer for President elect Trump, our nation and for your continued insight and brevity.

  5. Jan Taylor

    Spot on. My exact thoughts, wordsmithed so clearly. I pray for President elect Trump, our nation, and for your continued insight and brevity. Thank you and God bless.

  6. Judy English

    I forwarded your blog to my sister in Florida and she replied: “He hit it square on this time.” I agree with her completely. Very wise words. Thank you for being sensitive to God’s leading.

  7. Oh my God you are an idiot. If anything he’s the anti-Christ. How naive of you.

  8. Steven Pichan

    Such sound wisdom Pastor Alberta 🙂 Thank you. We are surrounded by friends, neighbors and family who couldn’t fathom the idea of voting for Trump. I had long since believed that there were so many reasons why we Christians should back him and you have reinforced that opinion. I would like to add that those Christians who he has brought into his tent were convincing. Who would doubt the Christian characters of Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence and others? I believed that I could look to them and trust their judgments about Trump.
    Funny thing but, I never saw Mr. Trump as pompous or prideful but rather very confident. Those are admirable traits in a man and I, too, will pray that he will come to boldly and publicly proclaim Jesus as His Savior.

  9. Connie Sullivan Buchanan

    Awesome to read this Dr Alberta. You touch on all the reasons we also voted for Trump. Many of my FB friends ridiculed and castigated me for my support of him as a candidate. How could I support this man they would ask? How can I call my self a Christian? As you, we are pragmatic and could not stomach another term of a president whose only concern was continuing the unholy murder of little souls along with threats to national security. We are glad you expressed yourself here as my husband was a little disappointed the words weren’t in last weeks sermon. We did follow the advice to research Righttolife ballot
    which helped immensely with judges, etc. God Bless you and the Trump family and our great Republic. One Nation under God.

  10. Therese Baker

    Thank you, Pastor Alberta for so eloquently stating the issues that I too chose to be my deciding factors in voting for Trump. I will forward this to my son who is the head of graphics and media at Dallas Theological Seminary. (for over 10 years). I couldn’t believe he was supporting Hillary. I was shocked by his liberal position. It certainly wasn’t how he was raised! Shannon (Knuckles to you), Ryan (my son) and I have been in some ‘passionate’ debates. I am so glad it’s over! God is still Sovereign and in control!

  11. Thanks for a very helpful analysis, Pr. Alberta. I, too, took the pragmatic approach at the ballot booth, preferring the flawed Trump over certain doom for our country (as we have known it) and for millions of unborn children that would result from a Clinton presidency. Your comments were comprehensive and articulate, and should help a lot of folks get more comfortable with what I think will be the outcome of the Trump presidency. Blessing !! In Him, Bill Garrett

  12. Mark Edward Bumann

    Amen, again I say, Amen.
    This election was not about character, integrity or personality, for me. It was about the man God had chosen to stand up against the most evil and wicked woman in American politics. He has given me no other viable candidate to choose from. If some people did not like the choice God had given us, they must direct their complaints to Him. Frankly I do not think God makes mistakes but we do and I believe we make the mistake of our lives and those of our children and grandchildren if we allow that woman to take control of this nation.

  13. Rick Bemmann

    praise to our Lord and savior Jesus Christ

    When Bill and Hillary Clinton were in the white house in the 90’s an ex- staffer said that Hillary blasphemed the Jews. The super rich New York city Jewish business leaders in particular.

    Genesis 12:3 “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you”

    You saw God work in the 2008 primary season and you saw God work again in the 2016 election.

    God is Holy ! AMEN

  14. Bob Clark

    Pastor Alberta – a superb commentary on the election. I supported him because of the issues and the fact that he has had more contact with real people on his construction sites than Clinton or any other professional politician. Trump has some issues, but his focus on the real issues is clear. We can hope he has success with his appointments and legislative efforts.

  15. Pamela McConeghy

    Wonderful blog, Pastor Alberta. You always have thoughtful insight into deep issues. I am very grateful that you do not hesitate to speak the truth.

  16. Kevin Alder

    I could not agree more with this…exactly my feelings.

  17. I guess I’m a pragmatist also. This article is something I can whole hearted agree with. I also agree fellow believers were taking condescending attitudes. In my many years on earth this election was the worst Ive seen in disagreements about not so much the issues , but the candidates. There is one point I did not see in your blog. I will go back and read it again. President Elect Trump has pledged to stand by Isreal. My two greatest concerns were Abortion and Isreal. Mr. Trump has addressed both. The other issues remain to be addressed (how) by him. He might have to double back on some of his remarks. I only pray that Dr Dobson’s remarks about President Elect Trump’s spiritual condition are correct, but I will not judge anyone’s salvation. Your sermon the Sunday before the election was one of well voiced comments. I left the sanctuary almost stunned, (it was excellent) Thanks for your courage to voice what the Lord leads you to say. Now please send this to a few other Pastors…and i believe you know of whom I speak.

  18. John Ormsbee

    Whatever a persons position, I thank the Lord for a pastor and Leader willing to take, and stick, with his considered opinion. Whether you agree or not, this is certainly better than staying neutral. We need to have respect for each other and agree to disagree. I personally use the pro life position as a litmus test, whatever the other perceived issues are. With one debate answer Mrs. Clinton determined my vote. Thank you Pastor Alberta.

  19. Ron Priebe

    I too think of myself as a pragmatist. Thanks for giving voice to my thoughts on the election. As always, you have the ability to take the complex and distill it down to the essentials. (The only other person I look to for such commentary, Charles Krauthammer, has only one thing more going for him: I get to hear him 5 times a week. Would that I could hear from you that often.)

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