Politics Divide; Only Love Redeems

“How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust, and has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.” Psalm 40:4

Honestly, I couldn’t help it. I read this a few Sunday mornings ago, and the first thought in my head was “President Trump.” He creates more fake news than he complains about, and his pride is legendary. Even many who love President Trump will admit he’s often his own worst enemy.

He also came to mind because of all the emails, videos, and articles people have sent me lately, declaring him the hope to save Christianity in America. Many of these are embellished with supernatural dreams, angelic visitations, and direct words from God saying a vote for Trump is a vote for God and revival in America, and a vote for Biden is a vote against God’s kingdom. Without President Trump, they say, the U.S. will become a godless, communist wasteland.

People are even saying that God is telling us to distinguish between the man’s flaws and the mantle of anointing he carries from God to destroy those who oppose his people. I’ve never read such ridiculous double-talk in my life. “Don’t look at the fruits of a man’s life to gauge his measure.” We’re supposed to ignore all of that in the misguided belief that God uses him as a tool for his purposes.  These usually come with grave warnings, like, “To the degree that you judge the man, is the degree that the Lord will judge us. Don’t get in God’s way.”

I’m sorry, this does not pass the sniff test for me. None of it has Father’s fragrance about it—not what they are saying or how they are saying it. It is easy to make up dreams and visitations and pass them off as coming from God or to want something so badly you convince yourself God is telling you what you want to hear. These “warnings” have confused many because even though they have reservations about voting to re-elect the President, they don’t want to vote against God’s will.  They assume people talking to angels must be closer to God than they are. Some are even afraid that if we don’t re-elect President Trump, we invite God’s judgment on our nation.

When they ask what I think of all of this, my answer is the same. “Follow your heart, not your fears.” If you think re-electing President Trump is the right thing for our nation, then vote for him. If you can’t vote for him in good conscience because of his lack of character and lack of respect for anyone who thinks differently than he does, vote for someone else. Don’t listen to the manipulative taunts and threats of those who want to control your vote, especially if they claim to speak for God. Anyone who tells you that you will be working against God’s kingdom if you don’t vote for President Trump is a false prophet. Their motive may seem genuine, but they are genuinely deluded. And I would say the same of anyone who would tell you in God’s name to vote for Joe Biden or anyone else.

You may have good reasons to vote for Trump. You like his judicial appointments, his confrontations with China, his economic policies, and his repeal of government overreach in business regulations. I like many of those things myself. I voted for him in 2016. It was not an easy vote; I hoped the Christians supporting him would influence his behavior, and he would rise to the office. Unfortunately, he has not, and if there’s been any influence, it has run the other way. I see more of my evangelical friends becoming more like Trump when they attempt to bully others into agreeing with them. 

Many of them think we needed someone of President Trump’s abrasive personality to stand up to Democrats, the mainstream media, and the so-called “deep state.” I sense a certain delight that he is treating their “enemies’ the way they wish they could if they were not constrained (and unfortunately, they see it as a constraint) by love and grace.  That view is woefully misguided; for me, character matters even more than political platforms. Now, I wouldn’t suggest the Democrats are the paragon of virtue. Far from it, especially in light of some recent allegations about Biden’s business dealings with China. I don’t know if our cultural civility can survive another four years of bullying, mocking, and disdaining fellow Americans. He has proved to be the wrong President during this pandemic and the call for an honest conversation about racial equity in America. He delights in dividing Americans rather than appealing to our better angels.

For me, this election is bigger than whether President Donald Trump would serve my interests better than Vice President Joe Biden. Unless evangelicals have the courage to repudiate Trump’s divisive and demeaning character, they will wear his reputation around their necks for generations to come. How can they ever again speak convincingly on the importance of moral character in leadership when they dismissed it in deference to gaining the political power they wanted?

Over my lifetime, I’ve seen the people who most advance God’s kingdom hold themselves with humility, respect, and compassion, just like our Founder did. You can be firm and gracious while moving toward change without disrespecting those who disagree with you.

So, vote for him if you think he’s the best choice to represent America in the world, but don’t make the mistake of putting your hope in him to save Christianity or the nation. The same will be true if you put your hope in Vice President Biden.

God has not placed his hope in either candidate or even in our politics. His kingdom comes on the shoulders of one person—Jesus. That’s the only place your hope belongs. If you put it anywhere else, not only will you be devastated if your candidate loses, you’ll also be distracted if he wins. Sadly, you’ll find yourself invested in another kingdom. Politics divide even Christians from each other; only love can heal and redeem at the same time.

When all the votes are finally counted,  Jesus will still ask us to wake up the next day and to love one another, our enemies, as much as our friends.

Maybe we could start that today, especially if you do disagree with what I have written.

39 thoughts on “Politics Divide; Only Love Redeems”

  1. That was awesome Wayne. I have said a lot of those thoughts, but can’t put it together like you can. You have a great gift in making it all flow Thanks for sending this. Marvin Enns

  2. Thanks Wayne for addressing this. We voted against the Clintons in 2016 and honestly have been appalled by Trumps callous, hostile,and demeaning attitudes toward anyone who disagrees with him. We hoped for better. His lack of leadership during the pandemic was really the last straw. We will not be voting for either candidate. Too bad no good independent came to the fore. This might have been their year.

  3. Thank you, Wayne. You put into words how I feel about this election and lately I need to be reminded that our political system is not where we live…we have a different kingdom with a different king. No matter who wins…I need to remember that…and to remember to love those who do not feel the same way as I dod about Donald Trump or Joe Biden.

  4. Thank you for putting much of what we believe and feel regarding this election. We have struggled so with being the outcasts in the family and in our community of friends. Thinking of not supporting President Trump is almost akin to a sin to some close to us. I personally appreciate your encouragement to vote as your heart leads. God truly can be God no matter who is president. Blessings!

    1. That’s exactly the kind of bullying I referred to in this piece. Many Trump supporters have made supporting him a litmus test for how serious you are about God. It’s so sad.

  5. Wayne – I am very disappointed with so much of what your shared. There are not other words so share.

  6. Very well said Wayne, so appreciate the way you articulate your thoughts in a non condemning way! I have followed along from Canada for many years on your God Journey podcast and have appreciated every one I’ve listened to! Blessings and thank you!

  7. Constance Anderson

    For me, the bottom line in all of this is abortion. It baffles me how anyone who calls upon the Name of the Lord could possibly support the Democratic Party. There a lots of issues for Conservatives to agree with in the Presidents agenda but abortion should trump them all, no pun intended. No one who claims to be a Christian should be supporting the party that promotes it. Impolite speech is one thing, murder is something entirely different. As for the rhetoric of the season, there is plenty flying from both sides. I personally have been called a racist by a longtime friend and been cancelled. I have yet to call anyone a name. At any rate, the President deserves forgiveness as much as anyone else.

    1. Constance, I do not support nor am I a member of the Democratic Party. But I am not a one-issue voter. There are so many ways our votes sends messages to our readers. And I’m tired of voting against abortion when the Republicans do nothing about it when they are in power. Can you name one bill they have passed at a federal level to curtail abortions even when they have had both houses of Congress and the Presidency? In truth, Republican leaders love abortion because it gets them millions of votes no matter what else they do and they don’t actually have to do anything to stop them.

      1. Constance Anderson

        Wayne, Neither am I a one issue voter and I was not referring to you specifically in saying that Christians have no place supporting or being Democrats based on the abortion issue. I would have no way of knowing what your politics are only that you disapprove of the President. We are all free to support who we chose but as believers there are some issues that just are a bridge too far. Abortion is one such issue for me as is Socialism versus a Constitutional Republic. Another hot issue for this election. This is a pivotal election to be sure. I live in Massachusetts. Only a day or two ago, one of my Senators stated that the Constitution is a racist document…I see forces at work here trying to erode our system of government. And I don’t believe that will do any of us any good at all. Lastly, I believe the Bible says that God raises up our leaders. That includes President Trump. I have been following your writing for years Wayne and consider you a wise man but on this issue I do respectfully disagree.

    2. I agree ! II will never vote for someone who promotes abortion. Forgiveness is for anyone who believes in Christ confesses their sins and turns from their sins. We see the outward appearance. God sees the heart.

  8. Because of his Stance agains the deep state, his has been attacked unlike any presidential candidate in history! He is a business man and not a politician and knows how to accomplish his agenda in defiance to him. I trust you favor his policy for America despite your dislike for his demeanor!

    1. As I said, I like some of his policies, but not enough to vote for him. His failures during the pandemic and his being tone-deaf about racial inequity in my view make him unfit for this office at this time. And I don’t believe in the deep state, sorry. Beaurocratic incompetence and self-serving actions? Yes. But the deep state conspiracy is as much a hoax as the Democrats accusing Trump of Russian collusion. This is all a political game, and unfortunately, it works on too many people.

  9. Amen and Amen. This is the message we need to hear, especially during this political unrest. There are so many distractions that take us away from what’s important – our relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, as well as relationships with each other. Earlier this week I listened to a “prophet” from God, who basically stated that Jesus gave him the message for “evangelical” Christians that if they did not vote for Trump then God’s grace will be taken away from the United States. That really disturbed me at first because I was afraid to make the wrong choice and vote against God. But I remembered many of scripture that says “His mercy endures forever” and it does not make sense to me that God will use fear to beat me into submission. Thank you Wayne for putting into words what I’ve been feeling about this whole political/societal mess. God bless you and your family.

    We are the “United” States of America; not the “dis-united” states. We need God’s presence and intervention like never before. God please help us.

  10. Thank you, Wayne for this post. You hit the ball right out of the park. Both sides are seeking to control the masses with divisive fear. For me…my vote goes to the one who protects the unborn. That is my simple, yet profound standard when I cast my vote. Again, Wayne thank you for bringing a voice of reason – It all comes down to loving our neighbor and representing the Father’s kingdom.

  11. Amen, and amen! ” ‘Don’t look at the fruits of a man’s life to gauge his measure.’ We’re supposed to ignore all of that in the misguided belief that God uses him as a tool for his purposes.” Exactly. “By their fruits you will know them.” Period. I stand amazed at the adept maneuvers I’ve seen people pull off skirting around that one. And your main point- politics divides- is just completely rationalized away. Again, amazing. Participation in partisan politics necessitates taking sides, one against another. “Mark them which cause divisions and offenses and avoid them.” “Seek peace and pursue it.” Thank you for making the point!

  12. Indeed I do- There are many words before those two paragraphs that would be so disappointing to several people I know that love you………

    1. This is a shame-free zone, Tim. If people I love are disappointed because I honestly shared my heart, then I wonder how deep that love goes. I have disagreements with people I love all the time, but I enjoy knowing what they think and I do give it weight, but I don’t always agree with it. I don’t try to answer questions like this for people based on who might be “disappointed” in me. I try to help people see a different possibility between all the misinformation they are being given with my best thoughts on a subject. Could I be wrong? Sure, but I learn more by being honest than writing to whims of the crowd. People are welcome to push back and I’m always open to seeing differently myself. Honestly, I knew this post would be difficult for some people. Most of my thoughts are difficult for me, too. When I sense Jesus giving me some insight, I don’t always love it or agree with it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to learn to embrace it, however it challenges me.

  13. A line from an old hymn comes to mind…”My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.” If we place our hope in any political figure, it is “sinking sand.” I see fear as a huge motivator for both sides in getting them to vote for a particular candidate. Thank you for having the courage and integrity to post this.

    1. Amen! That song came to mind months ago in the lock down.
      I voted for Pres Trump both times now. My salvation is not based on my political votes.
      My concern is that it seems he is being elevated to a savior status. We have the Savior, Jesus Christ. Our life, joy & peace flow from our relationship with him. Am I there spiritually, no. But that is my continued desire.
      Human beings will let us down, so our trust shouldn’t be in that perfect president to do things our way…

  14. Great article, Wayne! Full disclosure: I voted for Trump earlier this week as I do believe he is the better choice between the two, but I fully recognize the good points you made. I definitely share your concern about believers delighting in the methods of intimidation and revenge. I love the last paragraphs. My favorite line is, “You’ll also be distracted if he wins.” The article was helpful for me to remember to keep my eyes on Jesus and to love one another. We can never be reminded of that too much. One honest question: How does the fact that both Jesus and Paul used “demeaning” names (that would certainly be considered divisive) when referring to the Pharisees and Judaizers relate to any of this? I don’t know. I am genuinely interested in your thoughts.

  15. Thank you for such measured and true words at this time, when will the church realise that the advancement of the Kingdom does not come through mans wisdom or his standards. Look at the Beatitudes to see what really brings about change.

  16. “No one serving as a soldier gets ENTANGLED in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.”
    Now I know some will try to twist the context here as that’s what people do when attempting to swing a quote to serve their personal agenda, and that is the Christianity that divides America rather than unite. “Inerrant, God told me, God told me too, I’m not interpreting I’m just reading what it says”, etc. How do you have an enlightening conversation with someone when they are convinced that “God told them?” How do you have a conversation with someone who believes they are ahead of the curve because of their “moral character”. Moral character counts for NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING…”Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Evildoers, calculated morality, manipulation, pride and ego. God is collectively in none of this, this is our mess, a mess that humanity has made. What did God make? A very rich planet, full of life, to be shared, enjoyed, and explored, or exploit through greed. This life is not about “doing the right thing” but is about knowing and being infected by the goodness which God makes obvious and available, and happens not by choice or a moral decision as much as it does by simply going along with random opportunity, rewarded with perfect personal peace. I know this, I live this. I tried to act good which made me feel good about myself until it didn’t and I realized there was much more than acting good/moral behavior. Now I am raw, rough, and real, and I am experiencing the true love of God for the first time through the absence of acting.

    1. I always love reading your comments, Kevin, but perhaps we define character a bit differently. Someone that can do the second half of what you write about has some real character. I want that in a wife, a business partner, and a business leader. Having character says you’ve matured a bit as a human, and that can make a lot of difference in terms of being generous and kind in the world.

      1. And I always love reading yours my good friend. I think we most often say and desire the same things, using different language and from varying perspective. I think it is not in “character” that we differ but in the defining of “moral character”. I’m not a fan of “moral character” as I see it. Real character through maturity, yes.
        Maturity is good, while acting mature (socially defined morality) is a smoke screen and a personal delusion of self. We’ve been shown and taught to act morally within society and do and say all the right things while neglecting those things which would develop real character, at the heart level. Now I find it to be a very dangerous practice to teach morality as morality seems to have simply become following accepted societal norms (luke6:32).

        One verse gives me goosebumps like none other, it is Jesus saying to his guys, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” To me this sure seems like that “maturity revelation” of this relationship. There was nothing more to say that had not already been said from a position of authority or leadership, in fact authority and leadership was being over-ridden (over-ridden for them and not by Jesus as this was always his method of transformation) by…friendship. It’s relaxed, it’s easy, not burdensome, it’s beyond obligation…it’s freedom to roll with that good infection relationally within, and not because of anything, reward/gains, or otherwise, it just is. This is following Jesus, not the mob or the politicians, or authority, or the influence of culture or parents or morality. Unfortunately it’s much easier when we turn off the media, with which most are united and will never do. Why? Because we think we need to know what’s going on, to be informed, so we might make properly informed decisions…yet all the noise has just made us confused of truth and or completely certain for those who would think themselves a fool for being confused lol.

        “It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

        And dude you are so right when you say “God has not placed his hope in either candidate or even in our politics. His kingdom comes on the shoulders of one person—Jesus. That’s the only place your hope belongs.”
        Love you man, take care.

  17. Even over here in Australia, the polarization over your presidential elections in terms of who’s right and who’s wrong, who’s going to rescue us from or lead us further into a far left agenda i.e. a destruction of western values and Democracy being replaced with Communism – and Chinese economics destroying the worlds economy etc. has created the same hostile tribalism here that you guy’s are experiencing! Talk about divide and conquer – but I wonder if Yahweh’s kid’s are discerning who is really behind that and what his agenda is – and whether or not they are getting sucked into and adding to the “divide and conquer” strategy of the real enemy of all mankind…..?

    1. Yes Kenny, even here in South Africa!!!
      Wayne, I am so thankful for your thoughts – expressing so much of what I am thinking. So encouraging, in a situation such as this one feels alone – surrounded by different voices.
      Bless you Mary

  18. Well said, Wayne.
    Both sides are playing on our fears. As people of faith, we need to place our hope in God rather than man. Whatever the outcome on Tuesday, He is faithful.

  19. Donald Trump is not the answer…Only Jesus Christ is.But to not address all of the corruption in the Biden family is simply total ignorant and a miscalculation. Look at what the Democratic platform is truly about abortion,same sex marriage, open borders allowing and supporting open violence in our streets.As True Jesus followers it is a clear and simple message to what is right.So disappointed in what you are sharing . David Cretella

    1. It was difficult to make any conclusions about the depth of corruption in Biden’s family. The allegations only surfaced last week and these last-minute accusations that cannot be vetted appropriately are disturbing to me, as it was when Democrats did it to now-Justice Brett Cavanaugh. Obviously, you were only able to process my concerns about President Trump. The Democrats are not my answer either. What I was sharing is in your first sentence, so I don’t understand he disappointment.

  20. Thank you Wayne for this post. I used to feel shame when I considered voting anything other than republican because Christians were “supposed to” vote republican. I now feel the freedom to consider the nuisances, knowing that neither party has it all right. In fact, many of the issues we regard as essential issues in determining our vote, are negligibly impacted by the office of the president, but instead are highly impacted by what we are doing in our local communities and immediate spheres of influence. This is where I want to continue to devote my time and energy.

    It makes me sad that some our fellow Christians that have responded in opposition towards your comments cannot simply focus on the points of disagreement. Instead, they have resorted to villainizing you, as if a difference of opinion necessitates you as an enemy. This is largely a part of why we are as divided as we are. Its saddens me deeply.

    Thank you for sharing your perspective. It has helped to ease the heaviness of this moment in history.

  21. Yes Kenny, even here in South Africa!!!
    Wayne, I am so thankful for your thoughts – expressing so much of what I am thinking. So encouraging, in a situation such as this one feels alone – surrounded by different voices.
    Bless you Mary

  22. Thanks for writing this, Wayne. Sadly many of the saints even in NZ have also been influenced by all the prophetic words and seem blind to the failure of character of the president and his administration.
    I have been deeply saddened for the last four years and continue to pray that your nation will turn to Jesus in a new way and fulfil His call on it.

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