About a month ago I wrote a 4-part series on Christian voting. Although I never intended to write a “part 5” after the election (no matter who won), some friends have asked for my thoughts so I will give them here. As with all my blogs, my content is directed towards Christians. My “calls to action” don’t really have a particular political agenda, they have a Kingdom agenda. Many Christians have already written about our need to submit to the governing authorities. I will post some helpful links at the end but in this blog; I hope to address something I don’t see many folks talking about.
As I stated before, this post is appearing on “the green room” which is a blog by the students and alumni of Eternity Bible College. These are my opinions and in no way does what I write in this series exclusively express the positions of Eternity Bible College’s students, staff or alumni. My hope is that if students, staff or alumni disagree with me, we could do what Christians ought to do, to dialogue in a healthy, scripturally based manner.
About 6 months ago…
I’m driving back from a late night of work (around 1am), red and blue lights reflect off my rear view mirror, “dang it” I said out loud to a co-worker sitting in the passenger seat, “I’m getting pulled over…” The officer walks to my window, informs me that my taillight was out and asked for my license, registration and proof of insurance. I kindly oblige; the officer walks back to his car to check my info, all clear.
He lets me off with a warning and hands me my belongings then asks us, “where you guys headed?” I answer, “Just heading home from work, sir. I’m dropping my friend off then headed to my house.” The officer paused for a while, staring at our different uniforms. (My passenger is clearly a chef but you can’t tell by the way I’m dressed that I’m a bartender.)Pointing his flashlight on my friend the officer asked, “You two work together?” “Yes” a quite answer from my friend.
That’s when I noticed it. My friend is sweating bullets, his body is tense – he’s terrified.
The officer let us on our way. As we drove off I turned to my friend and I asked him, “You okay, man?” He nodded his head. 20 more minutes go by and my friend stares out the window the whole time, only speaking up to tell me “turn left,” “right here…” He gets out, thanks to me and is on his way.
My friend’s terror was foreign to me. Here I was, a white male getting pulled over in Calabasas, CA and the only thing on my mind was to crack some jokes. The biggest worry in my head was a potential “fix it” ticket and 15-20 extra minutes to get home. In my friend’s head, however, he is terrified. “Is this it?” “Will I see my kids again?” “Where will they take me?” “What will my wife do?” “Should I run?” This happened 6 months ago in the wake of some horrible things being said by our new President-elect, I can’t imagine how my friend would feel now.
Brothers and Sisters are Afraid
I should be clear up front. I’m not a #notmypresident person, nor do I think “Hillary should have won.” The election happened, we voted, Trump is our President-elect.
When Donald Trump became the President-elect on November 8th the news struck fear into the hearts of thousands of brothers and sisters here in America. Scroll through Facebook and you’ll find story after story of genuine fear and discomfort from the LGBT community, the Muslim community, the African-American community and the Latino Community. On November 9th I received a text from a Salvadorian brother who lives in the US inviting me to a night of prayer because “there is a lot of concerns and fear among the Latino community…”
Saying, “it’ll all be fine” is the WORST response we can have to those who are afraid…
In the grand scheme of things will it be fine? Yeah, sure. Will Jesus continue to sit on his throne, definitely! But those passing statements are like telling a brother who is suffering, “all things work out for our good” and then walking away. Is it true? Yes. Is it helpful? No!
I am white and I have a good amount of white friends, some of whom voted for Trump, many who did not. However, no matter their choice in this year’s election, the general response to the “fear” of their brothers and sisters is “it’ll be fine…” “If you’re afraid, you don’t actually understand the President’s role in our government…” “Come on, just wait another 4 years and he’ll be gone…” “You’re overreacting.” “Stop being so emotional …” Etc.
I’m not here to argue Trump’s policies or whether or not he’ll create legislation that will actually be oppressive, let’s just talk about the 1st 2 days of what folks are calling “Trump’s America.” Scroll through these pictures. Scroll through slowly and actually think about what is being communicated….
Follow this link to watch some students in Michigan chant, “build the wall” while their Latino classmates sit in tears
Follow this link to read some twitter feeds of people’s “new lives” in Trump’s America…
Follow this link to learn about the KKK’s plans to have a “victory parade” in North Carolina to celebrate President-elect, Donald Trump…
And the list could go on….
Put yourself in the shoes of one of the minority groups listed above (some of you are already there). If these photos and links don’t insight some fear in you, just stop reading this blog. Seriously, I don’t have anything else I think I should say to you right now…
Now, these people are idiots and they do not represent all Trump supporters. There is a reality in which we need to stop shaming Trump voters and with that, I completely agree because it’s not actually helpful.
Here’s what many of my white brothers and sisters need to understand; like me, in our own shoes, we are not afraid of any picture above. I am not black, Asian, or middle eastern. If a KKK member were to see me on the street, although I would feel sick, I would not feel threatened. The idiots who harassed the Asian-American man and the Middle-Eastern man in the 7/11 in the very city WHERE I WORK would not have done that to me had I walked into the same exact 7/11, minutes before.
Call it Trump’s America, blame it on Trump’s rhetoric or promised policies, blame it on Hillary, Obama, the Republicans or the Democrats; I don’t really care how you paint it, the fear is real and it’s about time it’s recognized.
United in the Gospel and Nothing else.
A friend of mine, Colin Dorsey, posted this status a couple days ago, “The time for the Church to love and protect the Muslim, Black, Hispanic, LGBT and any other minority community is now. Hate, fear, and racism will not prevail against the Kingdom of Jesus.”
We must remember the global scope of God’s plan for the world which started in Genesis 12 and culminates in all people’s worshiping before the throne in Revelation 7. Our unity is not because we’re Americans, it’s because we’re Christians. If you find you are more unified with people from your political bent (left or right) than you are with the family into which you have been saved, it’s time for a heart check and reorientation.
What your friends ACTUALLY need to hear from the Church …
I asked some friends of mine who are minorities, “what do you need to hear from the Church…” Please read prayerfully through their responses…
“[I want to see] a humbled white and American church, and an American church (in general) recognizing that they voted out of fear, fear of losing their privileges. A white American church repenting for desiring treasures on earth and rejecting treasures in heaven.” – Male, Civil Engineer, Salvadorian, American-Immigrant
“Things I would like to hear white evangelical say… “Yes, systematic racism is a thing” … “I can see how you would feel scared right now” … “I’m sorry you fee scared right now” … “You are right, we don’t know if it will be ok, but if it gets really bad I will be there for you” …“You’re right Jesus probably would not vote for Trump… The list goes on and on… Sigh. Not sure if this is what you [Ernesto] had in mind, but it is what is in my broken heart.” Female, non-profit president, Social worker, Mexican, American-Immigrant
“I’m tired of Christians (especially white Christians) who ride or die for the GOP gang till the casket drops … It’s funny to me that these people will vote against abortion yet you never hear them talking about how to heal the broken communities in the inner cities, primarily because it does not affect them. It seems convenient that they use the Bible to stand against some topics but when it comes to other issues they do not do the same… Immigration is a huge issue, for me as a Latino which prevents me from wanting anything to do with the Republican Party. Why? Because when it comes up I do not hear verses such as “Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10:19)… But what I hate most is indifference meaning topics like these are ignored and not acknowledged by Christians because they think [the breakdown of ethnic barriers in] Gal. 3:28 gives them a free pass… we all [must] learn what Romans 12:15 means when Paul says, ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.'” Male, Youth Pastor, Mexican-American, 2nd generation.
“This whole situation reminds me the rich young ruler and Jesus. The white American Church would probably respond to Jesus “Hey Jesus, I follow your commandments I’m a very moral Church!!! I’m pro-life! I don’t tolerate immorality! I pay taxes and I support charities! I have a budget for it!” And Jesus would probably respond: ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your buildings, give up the power you have, the security the white politicians provide you and give some of those buildings (resources), power and security to the poor, to the oppressed, to the immigrants, to the Muslims, to the marginalized!’ … In silence the white American Church went away sorrowful for she had great possessions, power, and security…” – Male, Church leader, Salvadorian American-Immigrant
What the Church’s message ought to be to those who fear …
If you are deported, I will care for your family while you are gone. Your wife will be cared for, I will care for your children as my own. Wherever they drop you, you call me. I am your brother and as a Church, we will do everything in our power to care for you. Your burden is our burden, we are one.
If you are mocked and beaten, you call me and I will be there. If they swing bats to break your ribs, I will stand by your side and they can break mine too. If I am not given the honor to stand by your side and suffer with you, your medical bills will be covered, you will be cared for. While you are in the hospital, your family will be cared for, if you lose your job as a result, we will care for you. Your burden is our burden, we are one.
If bricks are thrown through your window, if swastikas are painted on your house, you call me and I will be there. We will replace the window, I publically stand alongside you to restore the brokenness caused to your family by ignorance and hate. Together we will scrub the paint off your walls. You can stay in my home, you spouse and your children can stay in our homes. Your burden is our burden, we are one.
The poor in spirit are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Those who mourn are blessed, for they will be comforted. The gentle are blessed, for they will inherit the earth. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed, for they will be filled. The merciful are blessed, for they will be shown mercy. The pure in heart are blessed, for they will see God. The peacemakers are blessed, for they will be called sons of God. Those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
Helpful links and blogs:
Latest posts by Ernesto Duke (see all)
- Christian Voting Part 5: Trump won. I’m White. Now what? - November 14, 2016
- Christian Voting Part 4: My Dirty Little Secret - October 13, 2016
- Christian Voting Part 3: Who Will Suffer Under Trump? Who Will Suffer Under Clinton? Does That Matter? - October 8, 2016