A few months ago, I lamented evangelicals’ support of Donald Trump in electing him to the nation’s highest office.
Months before that, I respectfully disagreed with my fellow brothers and sisters in the faith who supported the man most people of good conscience find morally repugnant.
But now, largely due to the 81 percent of white evangelicals who cast their ballot for him, he is now officially our president after Friday’s ceremony.
Judging by the numbers, a great majority of the group should be happy now. But what about the rest of us, the distinct minority who stood on our faith and principles and voted for someone else? What now?
As evangelicals, we believe in and follow the inerrant Word of God, so what does that tell us?
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth,” so says 1 Timothy 2:1-4.
Notice that verse doesn’t say you should pray for them only if you agree with their policies or political parties or behavior.
No, you should pray for them because they are our country’s leaders, whether you like it or not.
As Christians, I would remind you, we believe God is in sovereign control, and He chose Trump to lead this country at this time for whatever reason, as difficult as that might be to believe.
However, in saying that, I want you to understand a few things:
- First, I’m not saying we should walk in lockstep and agree with everything our leaders do. After all, God gave us a mind to think for ourselves, and we should vote our consciences.
- Second, if necessary, we should protest, peacefully, much like those who participated in marches throughout the world Saturday.
- Last, as a member of the media, I will stand up for our First Amendment rights in holding our president and other leaders accountable, whether they like it or not.
Outside of those points, as Christians, we should have respect for the offices and pray for the men and women elected to them.
Please know I get how difficult that can be.
During the campaign, I recoiled as he ridiculed prisoners of war, made fun of the appearance of a then-fellow presidential candidate and mocked a disabled reporter. And how could we forget the stories of him grabbing women by their genitals?
Once he was sworn-in, I was horrified at our president’s first full day in power as he opened his administration’s war on the “dishonest media,” blaming them for supposedly lying about the lackluster attendance numbers at his inauguration. And it was something he couldn’t let it go, even as he gave a speech in front of the CIA memorial during his first official visit as president.
He even had his press secretary lecture a room full of reporters during his presidency’s first press briefing, during which he read a statement full of lies and misinformation easily proved inaccurate.
Obviously, these are not behaviors befitting a president.
And yet, we are called to pray for him. Yes, even Trump, even after all he’s said and done.
You might ask, “Did you pray for President Barack Obama?”
Yes, I can honestly say I did. Many times.
Even while I disagreed with most of his policies, I continued to pray for him. His job was by far the most difficult in our country, with a tremendous amount at stake with every decision he made, not only for our nation but the world.
And those responsibilities don’t get any easier from president to president. In fact, the country and world grow more complicated by the day, so doesn’t he need our prayers that much more?
So, yes, I will pray for Trump. Even as I respectfully disagree with most, if not all, of what he says and does.
As Christians first, and Americans second, it’s what we are called to do.
And what we must do.