I try to avoid writing about specific politicians while not avoiding talking about political issues. I believe it is a Christian’s responsibility to try to speak, and live, the love of Jesus into the issues of their countries. I also believe it is my responsibility as a pastor to encourage the people who I am privileged to pastor to live out their faith in the way in which they are involved in politics. I don’t believe that I should specifically, publicly recommend or condemn politicians by name. I will gladly personally tell anyone who I am considering voting for or have voted for, but I don’t speak about or write about such things in what I consider public forums. As I have written above, I try to talk and write about political issues, not politicians.
But I am going to change this for a brief moment.
President Donald Trump began his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast by saying “And, Arthur, I don’t know if I agree with you. (Laughter.) But I don’t know if Arthur is going to like what I’m going to say.” Arthur Brooks was the speaker before President Trump and the gist of Brooks’ eloquent message was that as a Christian he had been raised to love his enemies and not hold contempt for those with whom he disagrees. Here’s a quick snippet from Brook’s speech:
Trump did not expressly say “I disagree with loving your enemies and not holding in contempt those who disagree with you”, BUT I believe starting your remarks off with the statement “Arthur, I don’t know if I agree with you” seriously implies that you are disagreeing with the main point of the previous speaker. Especially if you then begin to attack your political enemies during your speech at a supposed prayer breakfast. You can also add to this that the only visible person not to raise their hand in response to Brook’s question, “How many of you love somebody with whom you disagree politically?” was the President. If it is the case that President Trump was disagreeing with Brook’s main point, and let me state clearly that I think it is, then as a Christian minister I feel that I must say HE IS WRONG!
Such a statement has more in common with Sigmund Freud (it is impossible to love your enemy) and Friedrich Nietzsche (loving your neighbor is actually a form of contempt for them) than it does the way of Christ. Jesus literally prayed for His enemies as they were nailing Him to the cross. Then He called His followers to behave in the same manner. If the President says the opposite of this he is WRONG.