I’ve always made a point to not be political or argumentative on social media, but I can’t help myself because Trump scares me. If you don’t understand, consider: You likely voted for Trump in part because he promised radical change, projects incredible toughness, and consistently attacks the media.
Now think about someone who’s worried, not excited, about the massive change you expect. Someone who sees shades of tyrants and middle school bullies in his tough demeanor. And someone who sees the media, even a flawed one, as the only way to keep politicians honest. That someone is me.
Your worldviews may make you wildly excited for Trump, whereas mine creates an equal and opposite reaction. And that’s ok.
I’ve seen many Christians say in encouragement (and sometimes argument): Don’t be afraid. Trust in God, everything’s in his hands. I believe this, but I struggle with the implication that good Christians should passively accept political leaders’ actions.
The Bible never advocates for apathy, and I find this to be too self-evident to spend much time proving. But what about fear? There are tons of verses saying, “Do not be afraid.” And there are lots of negative examples of those whose fear led to disastrous results: Jonah, Abraham’s lies, Moses’ ten scouts in Canaan.
But fear can also inspire positive action (Biology 101: Fight or Flight). The Israelites were scared of Pharaohs army and walked through the middle of the Red Sea; early-Israelites were scared of the Midianites and followed Gideon into battle; David was scared of Saul and hid in the wilderness; Esther was scared for her people and convinced her husband to spare them all; Joseph and Mary were scared of Herod and fled to Egypt.
So what’s the deal? In Joshua 8:1, God says, “”Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” I think that last word, “discouraged,” is the key. The three negative examples all despaired and lost their faith. The positive examples responded faithfully in their fear.
In my understanding, then, a scared Christian shouldn’t hide or complacently accept a politician, Democrat or Republican. She should act in a way that honors God while also having full trust that God’s will will be done. These actions probably don’t include burning cars, smashing windows, or having children wave profane signs; but they certainly include peaceful protests, contacting Congressmen, and calling out these politicians when they step out of line.
Christian and non-Christian friends of all political stances! Lend me your hot takes and semi-to-well-considered opinions. What’s a scared Christian to do?