I was on a social media forum in the wee hours this morning, as the last of the votes were being tallied and it looked like Trump was indeed – and for many, unbelievably – going to take the White House. The people posting on the forum were all pro-Trump, and there was an infectiously giddy and festive atmosphere. It was a financial forum, so there were lots of investors bemoaning the sudden 800-point plunge of the DOW as the vote turned in Trump’s favour, which meant substantial losses in the 10s or even 100s of thousands of dollars for some of them. But, to a man, every single poster who bemoaned their unexpected loss said in the same breath that the loss didn’t matter if it meant that America would get back on track again.
I was in awe. This is what God and Jesus talk about when they talk about the right relationship to money. As I’ve said in other blog entries, it’s not money that’s the problem, but the lust for money. Money in and of itself is just a tool.
I would have kissed these guys if they’d been within kissing distance. To them, the chance to bolster the strong moral foundations on which America was built (rule of law, before which everyone is equal; guaranteed Amendment rights; honesty, decency, integrity and hard work, etc.) meant more than money.
This was a revelation to me, a Canadian, about how Americans are married to their country. The USA is not something separate from them but a part of them, like a spouse. And, like a committed spouse, they’re willing to do whatever it takes to make the marriage work, even if it meant taking a sizable financial hit.
This, I think, is what distinguishes Americans from the rest of the world. It’s not “My country, good or bad” but “My country, founded on core moral principles and equality and justice for all”. This is a country worth making some personal sacrifices for.
Trump represents to these investors a way to bring the marriage between America and its citizens back to where the founders intended it to be. Jesus would never say about these investors “O, ye of little faith!” On the contrary, he would say “Never have I seen such faith!” and would point to them as an example of how we should serve God.
As you know if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, I’m not a fan of politics any more than Jesus was. When you adulate or look to a leader other than Jesus, you’re being tempted to veer off the straight and narrow and follow someone else. For us born-agains, Jesus should be our one and only leader.
But living in an environment that is amenable to preaching the Word and where the Ten Commandments are welcomed rather than reviled is something we should strive for. Jesus didn’t stay where he wasn’t welcome and always gravitated towards parts of Israel and Judah that were more amenable to hearing his message (and weren’t out to kill him). He advised us to do likewise.
It’s good news for Christians everywhere that America appears to be experiencing a moral revival, which may indeed be possible not because of Trump but because people have personally experienced over the past few decades a deeply amoral America and have revolted against it. Trump tapped into that mass rejection of moral relativism and rode the wave to victory.
As born-agains, let Jesus be our one and only leader, but let us thank God for a revitalized America that welcomes those who embrace the rule of law based on the Ten Commandments, constitutional Amendments that guarantee individual rights (especially freedom of religion and expression), and core moral values of honesty, decency, integrity, and hard work. Against such a backdrop that offers freedom of association, movement and speech, we will be better able to live and spread the Word.