“With a tweeted attack on four minority congresswomen this week, President Trump made clear that his reelection campaign will feature the same explosive mix of white grievance and anti-immigrant nativism that helped elect him.
Trump’s combustible formula of white identity politics already has reshaped the Republican Party, sidelining, silencing or converting nearly anyone who dares to challenge the racial insensitivity of his utterances…
At the core of the strategy is Trump’s consistent drumbeat of equating the white European immigrant experience with the American ideal, setting those on his side of the divide against the politically correct elites, outsiders, immigrants or nonwhites who he implies are unfairly threatening what is good about the country.” (Scherer, 2019)
This book has been about how the Founding Fathers, likely the most visionary leaders America has ever had, tarnished their great legacy by failing to extend the great concepts of liberty and justice for all and the pursuit of happiness to America’s non-white inhabitants. The pungent residue of that failure is still palpable in American society and politics today.
This is exactly where President Trump fits in. He is the embodiment, the personification of the residue of racism and white supremacy that was not snuffed out by the Founding Fathers or sadly, even the Church.
When I started writing this book, I wrangled over candidate Trump’s appeal. It later became obvious. His appeal to many in white America has been the premise that the key to Making America Great Again is by making her white again. I believe that secretly there resides in many hearts the notions that America’s problems lay in the fact that America had become to brown. Specifically, that America had let too many brown people cross its border and had let a brown/black President into the oval office.
“Every Trump voter is certainly not a white supremacist, just as every white person in the Jim Crow South was not a white supremacist. But every Trump voter felt it was acceptable to hand the fate of the country over to one.” (Coates, We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy, n.d.)
This book is also about how the Church throughout its history, suppressed the truth of Scripture that God has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, (Acts 17:26), that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. (Acts 10:34-35).
The great leaders of the early Church denounced Darwin but embraced the Darwinian concept that the white race had evolved to a higher place than that of the brown.
Jemar Tisby calls a Christianity that allows racism and discord to coexist with it, a “compromised Christianity.” (Williams, 2019) This compromise was evident in the Church’s failure to take a stand in the forefront against slavery and as a proponent of civil rights.
This compromise exists today as the Church fails to condemn racism and division and instead sits silently by and cosigns, endorses, the notion that Making America Great Again means immigration reform and wiping away all the programs of the “black president” versus endorsing the truth that America’s greatness relies on its identity as one nation under God.
Finally, this compromise exists because the Church has misplaced its loyalties, exalting its loyalty to a particular political party over its loyalty to Biblical principles such as decency, unity, character, honesty, and morality. The Church has compromised its ability to serve as the nation’s conscience because of its own hypocritical and unflinching support of a leader who appoints lawmakers to make “Christian” laws that exceed his own moral capacity, strength of character and values.
Instead of finding the next “honest Abe,” the Church in its compromise would merely cosign absurdities, “like President Trump was a better president than Lincoln.” Instead of letting justice flow to the president, commensurate with his offenses, the Church sits in the front row of the partisan bus, wasting time that could have been spent preparing Vice President Pence or some other leader worthy of taking the mantle of national leadership.
Instead of encouraging the president to repent, the Church allows itself to become a party to blasphemy as political leaders compare the president’s trial for criminal wrongdoing to the trial of Jesus, the one who never did wrong. Instead of denouncing “race-baiting” and division, it allows the racial thermostat in America to be turned down to an icy cold and insensitive level where George Wallace-like sentiments could be uttered without rebuke, and thus failing the same test that Church failed in the days of the Founding Fathers.
Meanwhile, as all of this is taking place, the Church squanders some of its most valuable commodities, its Christian witness, the progress it has made toward unity among the races, and the power of its influence not only in America but abroad:
“many evangelicals voted for Trump for the future while overlooking the present.” As such, I fear evangelicals have risked years of processing past racial trauma for a future devoid of Black voices among them.” (Richards(Jr.), 2018)
“We nevertheless believe the evangelical alliance with this presidency has done damage to our witness here and abroad…And it has undercut the efforts of countless missionaries who labor in the far fields of the Lord. While the Trump administration may be well regarded in some countries, in many more, the perception of wholesale evangelical support for the administration has made toxic the reputation of the Bride of Christ.” (Dalrymple, 2019).
One of the things that struck me profoundly as I watched the impeachment proceedings was that most of the people involved were white. On both sides of the aisle, Republican and Democrat, and on the witness stand, were white men and women deciding the fate of the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth.
It is in those type moments that I sometimes feel like I am viewing our country from the outside. I know that minorities have come along way and that the demographic of America has changed dramatically since the time of my parents. But watching the impeachment proceedings made me feel like a minority, outnumbered and possibly without voice in the sense that I was trusting someone who didn’t look like me, to represent me and say the things that I felt.
It is a whole different matter altogether to feel that way in church or to feel like a minority in the body of Christ. Until the Christianity Today article, I felt like I was alone in my sentiments about the president and his character and his outright divisiveness. I looked for national Christian leaders and even local leaders to confirm what I was feeling to validate what I felt in my spirit—I found none.
There have been some pointed things said about some white leaders of national prominence in this book, leaders who I still admire because of their love for God and their tremendous impact for the cause of spreading the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I believe these things had to be said because the leadership demographic of evangelicals with the most influence at this critical point in our nation’s history is still predominantly white. It’s like the picture I shared of the impeachment proceedings.
I see white evangelical leaders, with tremendous influence, on television and social media, in essence, deciding what Christians should think about the president and about the climate he is creating in our nation. When I watch them, I feel like a minority, like my views and the things that I’m interpreting from Scripture and sensing from the Holy Spirit, are irrelevant.
This book is written in part for you, who hold the mantle of Christian leadership in our nation. I pray, that you bring the balance between party affiliation and the truth of the Scripture. I pray that you lead reconciliation efforts across party, denominational and ethnic boundaries, realizing that your loyalty to a person who, at most, will be in office at most for four more years might cost you credibility for a generation.
If President Trump was “chosen by God,” he was chosen to test the hearts of men and women, to include national and political leaders. I believe the test is being failed; failed in the same way that the greatest and most visionary leaders this nation has ever known, the Founding Fathers, failed.
I believe God is looking for a national leader to sound the horn and cry for unity under the banner of Christ’s love and standing upon the solid rock of Scripture vs. the sinking, shifting sands of political parties and affiliations. Forgive me if I have offended you as I cry out for leaders to answer the cries of my heart.
I have finished the book that I believe you told me to write. Forgive me for any word that fell short, any concept that I did not adequately deliver. Bless and favor the men and women of God, leaders, who I have called out by name. Touch their hearts and the hearts of those that support them in the way that you intended.
Lord, you looked for a man to stand in the gap, to make up the hedge. I believe that this book fulfills a small part of that. I have stood and cried out in the gap, in the racial divide of this nation that is and has always been both political and spiritual since the time of the Founding Fathers.
Father, bring healing to our land. Just as Jesus overturned the tables in the temple, overturn faulty concepts and things that aren’t to your liking in the body of Christ and in the hearts of men and women. Send a revival of unity Father that transcends parties, ethnicities and denominations. The Samaritan woman at the well told Jesus that Jews didn’t have dealings with Samaritans. Jesus’ response demonstrated that your love, even on Earth, reaches across ethnic lines. We are losing that again in America. We are digressing quickly to being the black church, the white church, the Latin, Korean, etc. church.
Through the mighty Spirit of God raise up a standard, a fresh wave of power, to combat the division that has come in like a flood at this key hour, not just in our politics but in the body of Christ. The Bible says, “The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
I pray that the Scriptures and revelations shared in this book pierce and divide to the point of exposing heart motives and intents, cutting away fleshly and even ungodly doctrines, prejudices and that their entrance would bring light to areas of the heart that have become darkened by division, apathy and even hatred. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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