I don’t usually post when I’m angry.
But there’s an emotion we call righteous anger. The kind of fury and frustration that arises from a broken heart. The kind of pain that makes you want to tear your clothes. The flush that splashes your cheeks at the sight of injustice. The sort of chest-constricting, goosebumps causing, I’m going to throw things while I cry if this isn’t made right feeling.
That’s what I felt when this made its way across my Twitter feed:
I don’t know who painted this.
I’m not sure it matters.
This painting is the fruit of bad theology. It’s the result of sprinkling a little Jesus on the salad of life. This painting exists because of blind, unthinking nationalism. It is a shining example of everything that’s wrong with believing that America and Americans are special (it isn’t and we aren’t). But first, foremost and glaringly – this is a portrait of idolatry. Trump will make everything right again. Trump is Jesus’ special guy. I’ll put my faith in Trump.
Just stop it.
I’m nearly halfway through this series. My heart hurts. Unbidden tears roll down my cheeks. Come on, people! Come on, church! How can we, who are so privileged, who possess multiple Bibles, who can listen to thousands of sermons at any time, who are the wealthiest and best-educated (comparatively speaking) be this stupid?
In the Old Testament, we read about the Israelites and their fondness for Baal and other ancient Canaanite deities. We think, “Wow, they were so dumb. How could they worship some hunk of stone? I would never do something like that.”
Except we do.
It’s not about Trump. He’s just the latest, loudest example.
The president, whoever he/she is, will never be your savior. He’s not going to make anything great again. She can’t fix you. He can’t provide for you. She doesn’t even have a clue who you are.
Oh, dear reader! Lay down this burden of placing your hope in people who are as frail and flawed as you are. Let go of the desire to “Christianize” the nation through law. If the perfect law of God as handed down at Sinai couldn’t save, then how can imperfect law imperfectly enforced by imperfect people save? Make like Gideon in the good days of his life and topple the statues that lurk in your heart. Prostrate yourself before the Holy King and beg forgiveness. Ask Him for a new perspective, eyes to see and ears to hear.
Please, please, for the sake of your soul, your heart, your mind, your life – read the Bible. Really read it. Study it. Ask questions. Learn things. Get to know the truth so you can spot the lies. Pray for the president, yes. Support him/her within the boundaries of faithful Christian ethics (i.e., follow God and do as He says first and always). Never, ever, idolize the president (or this country).
God doesn’t take kindly to that sort of thing.
For all entries in the 31 Days of Feasting on Theology series, go here.
11 thoughts on “31 Days of Feasting on Theology: Bonus Post”
Sobering. Convicting. Clear.
My heart is truly aching over this. I see the tendency to idolize fellow human beings in myself. May God root that out of all of us.
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Say that again! 🙂
I want to scream it from my rooftop while clothed in sackcloth while throwing ashes on my head. I really do.
Love your passion and heartily agree with what you have said. I read the painting as someone trying to say that Christ is directing Trumps thoughts, words and actions, which if that is what it is meant to portray is downright scary. As the Bible says the eye is the light of the body and if that light is dark then how great is that darkness!
Then again, the artist may be trying to say that Christ is ultimately in control. Which he is!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. 😃
Maybe the artist is trying to convey a positive message. You could be right. The church needs folks like you to balance out us pessimists. 🙂
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🙂 Believe me, my normal default position is pessimistic and my first reading as shared was not positive, but I am trying to change! 😃
This is spot on! I’ve seen such a deceptive cloud move over those who I KNOW believe in Jesus and call Him Lord. But they’re replacing Him with a dangerous idolatry for America – a desire to elevate themselves and this nation above all the world and, I fear, even the heavens. It’s absolutely astonishing! Do they even CONSIDER that God’s will might just be for this nation to suffer – even to collapse – because that’s the ONLY way people will finally wake up and turn their hearts back to God, and the only way for the things which “must happen” just as God says, to start happening. Oh Praise the Lord I’m not the only one who sees this. The Church needs to pray — prostrate before the throne, just as you say. Love this so much, and I’m glad you listened to the stirring of the Spirit when He prompted you to write these words. They need to be written, and read.
Rebecca, I often wondered during the election if the awful candidates we were presented with were a sign of God’s judgment. I don’t subscribe to the notion that the United States occupies a special place in His plan, but I also know that He brings countries to their knees when the people refuse to turn from evil. We see that time and time again in Scripture.
I’m with you; we need to pray. We need to remember that God has called us to be bearers of His light in a very dark place.
He’s very much concerned with LIVES more than nations (even the nation of Israel). I can see/do believe He had his hand in raising America to be as powerful and blessed as she’s been, knowing that for the most part we have been instrumental in helping to spread the gospel on a global scale and to hold back overwhelmingly and increasingly evil governments (not that ours has been without). The Bible says He raises up leaders and also brings them down. He saw America’s demise and the turning away of so many people’s hearts long ago. It came as no surprise to Him. When all is said and done, He’s not going to be asking our political preference or to which nation we belong (as if He doesn’t know). He will ask if we used every blessing and freedom to the best of our ability – to spread the gospel and glorify His name – and to pray and work against evil and injustices for the least of His. And yes, I believe the candidates were a DIRECT reflection of the heart of America — greed, dishonesty, lewd behavior, and a win-at-all-cost attitude. 😦