1 Thessalonians 5:15 (NIV) Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong,but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
On May 22, 1856, the United States Senate became a war zone. A member of the House of Representatives arrived, cane in hand, and approached Senator Charles Sumner, an anti-slavery Republican from Massachusetts. After a rather cheerless exchange, South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks raised his metal-topped cane and began to pummel Sumner about the head. Sumner was carried out with blood flowing profusely down over his face; Brooks retired from the House a few days later. The brutalized senator recovered after a while and served eighteen more years. Feelings ran strongly in those days.
Anyone reading history knows this is nothing new. That does not make it right or acceptable. But it is not new. In 1919, Teddy Roosevelt stepped down from the Presidency and helped his longtime friend William Howard Taft secure the office as his replacement. Within a few years, TR decided he wanted it back and began to attack Taft in ways that would embarrass all of us. The same way Senator McCarthy did in the early 1950’s, spewing out accusations against anyone he deemed a Communist sympathizer. Prompting another Senator to ask him on live TV “Have you no shame, sir?”
Recently, California Representative Maxine Waters called for open attacks on those who support President Trump. At dinner. In their homes. Anywhere. Major Hollywood celebrities open speeches with filthy comments presented with fury about the President and the audience stands and applauds. A “comedian” holds up a Trump head bleeding after decapitation and then complains that he has ruined her. You know all of this. It goes on and on.
Now, I like what President Trump has done in terms of policies. I am thrilled that he will get to appoint another Supreme Court Justice. The economy is strong, especially yielding low unemployment in the minority communities. We really must deal with border security. He may actually get somewhere with the North Koreans. New protections for the unborn. All good. BUT Mr. Trump has done very little to calm the incivility at home. Childish rants about those who oppose him are truly nonsensical and immature. He seems to have very little awareness of the cost to his dignity and the Office of the Presidency when he acts like a school yard bully.
Evangelicals are regularly criticized for defending him. I have been. And I am certain that if he walked on the water and cured cancer the same day, his opponents would find fault. But he really has brought on some of this vitriol by his own words and careless comments. We must pray for him. Pray that he has a complete and thorough conversion experience with the Risen Christ. Pray that if he really is a Christian (as some people say he is) it will begin to show up in his manners…not when he is being agreeable but when he is attacked. I pray for the day I might see Christ in him. I pray he might follow the Word of God expressed through the Apostle Paul:
1 Thessalonians 5:15 (NIV) “Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.”
And this note of timeless wisdom for all of us:
Proverbs 10:19 (NIV) “ When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”
Blessings! Pastor Alberta