After Trump – Evangelical Split?

evangelical-split

The aftermath of Donald Trump’s victory has amassed a plethora of speculation, fear, and discussion. Depending on “what side of the fence” we live, the controversy may cause rapport, resignation, or a ruckus. In a brief analysis of the situation, my writing group of three remained calm, while none of us revealed who we voted for. We acknowledged our concern for harmony between our brothers and sisters in Christ.

In the meantime, after reading the article, After Trump, Should Evangelical Christians Part Ways? 2016 election has revealed afresh a deep fissure—and a great opportunity by Mark Galli, editor in chief of Christianity Today, my burden for Evangelical Christian unity turned to hope. Coincidentally, I had received Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community from Amazon. Much of what Galli wrote focused on the Bonhoeffer book.

Galli pointed out that, “Anyone who expects to find a group of like-minded Christians with whom they will have no significant differences is yearning for utopia, not Christian community.”[1] Reminded by God’s destruction of the Tower of Babel, I realize how correct Galli’s comment is.

On the other hand, we Evangelicals take our faith right to the heart of who we are. It is not an occasional thought or act in our individual lives; we breathe our faith and are passionate about our call to “… go and make disciples of all nations,” (Matthew 28:19 NIV). We love our community of believers, wanting it to thrive, nourished, and living in compliance with one another. But is our fervent love for an ideal community abrasive to God’s purposes?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer says:

“The existence of any Christian life together depends on whether it succeeds at the right time in bringing out the ability to distinguish between a human ideal and God’s reality, between spiritual and human community.”[2]

God builds our community at his pleasure, in his timing, and with his purposes in mind. God will use Donald Trump for his purposes, whether through negative or positive events. We don’t know the workings of God’s mind, and even if we did, we wouldn’t understand and that knowledge would create other differences of opinion. And as Galli points out, “Times like these do make one wonder if Jesus is building or sifting our community.”[3]

In any case, the Evangelical Christian community’s response to “times like these” is to remain faithful to our essentials of faith, and to pray for one another, and Donald Trump.

~Let’s Talk~

How have your discussions about the election informed your faith?

Did you experience rapport, resignation, or did a ruckus ensue?

Are you prepared to stay the course, or are you ready to bail out?

 

[1] Mark Galli, “After Trump, Should Evangelical Christians Part Ways? 2016 election has revealed afresh a deep fissure—and a great opportunity” Christianity Today website, November 10, 2016, http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/november-web-only/should-evangelicals-part-ways.html?utm_source=ctweekly-html&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=18286688&utm_content=476982422&utm_campaign=email, para.1

[2] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community, (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1954) 37.

[3] Mark Galli, “After Trump, Should Evangelical Christians Part Ways? 2016 election has revealed afresh a deep fissure—and a great opportunity” Christianity Today website, November 10, 2016, http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/november-web-only/should-evangelicals-part-ways.html?utm_source=ctweekly-html&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=18286688&utm_content=476982422&utm_campaign=email, para.7

 

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