What’s a Scared Christian to Do?

160518-trump-portrait-jsw-145p_1c226e6636be4572928409c157f0d50a-nbcnews-ux-2880-1000I’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. abimelechabraham

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.bn-fw401_redsea_m_20141204152204

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?

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One Response to What’s a Scared Christian to Do?

  1. Mrs. Hickey says:

    Hey there Mason. I’m not even sure how I came upon your blog, but am glad I did! I share the fear you are describing… however, the past month and a half has been pretty amazing in my life. I think it began from a seed of fear in me that began to take over (state of the country, the world, Trump), but that fear got me to pray and that complacent “Don’t worry, God’s got it” state of mind began to fade as I hungered to ‘join’ in God’s work – whatever that meant. This may sound a bit cliche, but I believe that if we are looking upward (more ‘vertically’ as someone 😉mentioned in church a couple Sundays ago), these questions fade as well. God’s work is put in the forefront of our minds, newfound clarity quiets that fear as our purpose comes into view, and we KNOW what we are ‘to do’. Last Sunday I played the keyboard and sang at church and it was the first time I’ve ever done that – I have wanted to do that my entire life! God made that happen and KNOW it is not a coincidence that it happened now. God is working, it is exhilarating being a part of His work when you recognize it (His work) for what it is (His work). Father God, I pray that in these times of fear, that you would use that fear to propell us into purposeful work for your good. God I thank you that you are perfect and that you know how we ‘scared Christians’ can be the most impactful. Help us to remember to ask you daily for opportunities to join you in your work. Amen.

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