One of the more disturbing quotes I’ve seen since the election came from Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham and an evangelical leader in his own right. I have, until now, had the greatest respect for Franklin Graham and the great good that has been done by Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child. However, his politics has become increasingly far right in recent years. The quote I found upsetting was “….I believe that God’s hand intervened Tuesday night to stop the godless, atheistic progressive agenda from taking control of our country.”
No, God didn’t. At least not the God I’ve known and worshiped.
I do not believe that God intervened in the election on the politics of one side, because it would mean that God would be endorsing the politics and morals (or lack thereof) of the winning side. I do not believe that God intervened for the prayers of hundreds of thousands of Trump evangelicals and ignored the prayers of the hundred of thousands of anti-Trump Christians (yes, you can be Christian and be anti-Trump). I understand that the political evangelical community supported Trump over Clinton because of Trump’s anti-abortion stance (although it’ll be interesting to see how that works out). I understand that many of that community would support a perceived pro-Christianity/anti-Muslim stance (from a man who has said he hasn’t had to ask God for forgiveness, because he hasn’t done much wrong, according to his own words in the campaign). But did God intervene in the election to support a man who doesn’t need to involve God (Trump’s words)? A man who was unfaithful to his first two wives? A man who failed to render unto Caesar what was Caesar’s in his taxes, or render unto God what is His? A man who has said he has little to ask God’s forgiveness for? Or whose whole campaign was the antithesis of the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control)? A man who used blatant lies about a birth certificate and faith to denounce, challenge, and belittle an intelligent, faithful man?
I am tired of the evangelical “christian” community invoking God’s name for all manner of things to make some political statement, usually one with some aspect of hate, division, self-righteousness. This isn’t the first time the evangelical community has done this. It has happened with California droughts, with AIDS, with Katrina, with Sandy. And now this. I see no respect for God or His word in this politicizing of events, especially in a case where the alleged benefactor is so totally an anathema to the Gospel of love and grace.
I wonder, though. Perhaps the evangelicals should consider a case where God did answer the prayers of a people…prayers that were perhaps as equally based politics. The Israelites wanted a king, they wanted one badly. So God gave them one, Saul. He was not what they hoped for, and in their answered prayer their relationship with God was forever altered, for the worse.
Whether in direct actions by the new President, or in the inevitable backlash of the rest of the country, I wonder if this “intervening” will work out the way they think.