After the election, we see just how divided the nation is. The media, as relentless as it is, is doing its utmost to keep the division ripped wide open, by overemphasizing the various demographics that voted for each candidate, and even calling for states' electorates to disregard the vote and throw the electorate count back to Hillary.
Violent protests and riots rocked cities. College kids took to the streets.
But I am thinking about the state of Christianity in the nation.
Christians were concerned that a Clinton presidency would have a terrible impact on the Church's ability to worship and evangelize. That her presidency would have clamped down on our ability to share Christ outside the walls of our respective churches. The most thoughtful evaluations suggest that Clinton would not have done anything to impede corporate worship... the "Church Service"... but outside the Church, she would have demanded compliance to certain ideologies, even when they fly in the face of the most fundamental Christian principles.
These astute observers were most likely correct. In fact, in most cases, I think their prediction would have been a little too optimistic. Hillary Clinton has already hinted at the need for Christians to loosen their principles in order to accommodate government and social policies that are contrary to Christianity. Ideas she's hinted at in speeches would have come to fruition in her presidency, in my opinion. There is little doubt that Clinton would have been a disaster on religious liberty, especially for fundamentalist Christians who hold a rigid, biblical worldview. See this video.
But, it doesn't really matter. Donald Trump won the presidency.
What does the Church do?
Well, I will begin by saying that, as bad as Clinton is, the way the Church has embraced Donald Trump has been troubling at best. If what I see in my Facebook feed is to be taken at face value, their faith and trust in him flirts with having a serious messiah complex. While I think that Trump's presidency, from what I can tell at this VERY early stage, will result in basically lateral results, and maybe some improvement, in the preservation of our rights to be a genuine Christian in this nation. At the very least, we might be spared some of the hateful rhetoric accusing us of being "mysogynist" because we are pro-life, and believe the lives of those inside the womb are just as precious and sacred as lives lived outside the womb.
But I cannot shake the feeling that, for the overall health of the Church, a Clinton presidency might have been better for the Church.
Simple. For the reasons I stated above. She would have been an opposing force against Christianity.
Historically, from the time of Abraham clear through to the Present Day, it seems God's people are constantly looking for a place of rest and comfort. And when it seems like they are close to achieving this goal, God shakes them up.
Consider Joseph, leading his father Jacob and his brothers into the comforts of Egypt. The purpose was to wait out the remainder of the famine... a mere 7 years. But what happened? They got comfortable. Pharaoh allotted them a parcel of land, called Goshen, for them to make homes in, and they settled in. 400 years, there they sit. The promise of a land flowing with milk and honey, yet sitting on their haunches in the first place they were able to achieve any level of comfort and security.
God knew this wouldn't do. So he sent a Pharaoh that "knew not Joseph" (Exodus 1:8). He essentially enslaved them, and kept them oppressed. He soured the milk of their comfort and security. So when the time came, there was no debate or dissent. They were ready to put Egypt in their rearview mirrors.
This pattern is repeated all throughout history. From Israel under King Saul, to the Babylonian Captivity, King Herod, to the Roman Occupation, to the siege of Jerusalem. Evangelicals can even add the Protestant Reformation and the Great Awakening, and all the great revivals to their list. All these oppressive times in history accomplished the same thing. A re-alignment of God's people back to where they should be.
It is easy, at least it is for me, to see the corruption in our western church. So much is neglected. Most churches neglect the greatest majority of the biblical precepts. The Church is in a rut. They are locked into a status quo. They have exchanged the genuine glory of God for seeking "feelings". They neglect prophecy and the deeper minutia of theological understanding, in exchange for seeking His "presence". Of course, Christians ought to seek His presence. But I have found out that by "His presence", what most Christians mean is the manufacture of a certain feeling or visceral experience they have come to associate with God's presence. Modern Christianity has, in fact, inherited many of the same attributes as some New Age disciplines, but I will save that for later.
So, what do I think will happen? The Church will remain locked into this status quo. They will continue their lethargic presence in this nation, without any real forward momentum into a deeper, more profound, knowledge of Jesus Christ. As long as Christianity neglects real spiritual warfare, and continually seeks to embrace Hedonism rather than the Asceticism prescribed in Scripture (Matthew 16:24-25), it will remain a pointless entity in western culture.
But if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency, maybe things would have been different. The Church would have met genuine resistance. Yes, a Clinton presidency might have culminated into something similar to what China has, a state-sanctioned doctrine that is a dilution of genuine Christianity. True, Christianity might have been driven underground, the way it is in China and Saudi Arabia, where Christians are forced to meet in secret and hold baptisms under the cover of darkness for fear of their lives.
But the Church, just like the Hebrews in Goshen, would have grown spiritually. In Goshen, Pharaoh tried to kill the baby boys. But the Hebrews were literally having them quicker than they could be destroyed (Exodus 1:19). Imagine if Christianity was being oppressed, and we found ourselves in the same scenario... People born again into the Kingdom quicker than the government could respond to the growing influence.
Clinton would have been like Pharaoh. Relentlessly abusive, but ultimately used for God's purposes to bring the Church back into proper alignment. But the Church wanted Trump. Demanded Trump, in some cases.
So if I am right, and that, for the spiritual health of the Church, Clinton and her anti-Christian policies would have been more beneficial, why did God allow Trump to be elected? First, let me reiterate my disclaimer that I did not vote for Hillary Clinton, nor would have I advised any Christian to do so.
But, as has been stated, ad nauseum, on social media... God is in control.
I prayed about this. God led me to 1st Samuel 8. This messiah complex that Christians hold for Donald Trump may very well be the same scenario. We rejected the evil, even though it would have culminated into a spiritually armed and strengthened Church, in favor of our own personal King Saul.
We demanded Trump, the way Israel demanded a King. And even for the same reason. Israel saw corruption in God's way (the corruption of Samuel's sons - 1st Samuel 8:3-5) the way we saw corruption in Hillary Clinton.
And if I heard from God correctly, Trump is God's anointed for this time, just like King Saul, who basically enslaved HIS OWN people (1st Samuel 8:11-18).
I think God intends to show me more on this as Trump's inauguration nears. But I wanted to share what I believe is God's message to me, and hopefully you. The "take-away", as it were.
It's one thing to, with God's help, emancipate yourself from a foreign ruler, the way Israel did to Pharaoh in the Exodus, when it is within the constraints of God ultimate design. It is quite another matter to emancipate yourself from the slave-master you pick for yourself, based on fears of losing freedom, comfort, or security.