I don't write about politics. But since November, it's all I've written about.
I've been confounded by one candidate's Goliath-like swagger towards the church, and the church's utter silence in his wake. Yeah, the church. The global church. It's the only thing I would defend in all of this, and it's the only thing the American church (or the Republican arm of it) can't seem to see.
This whole time, I've been looking for a candidate of faith to call out Trump. Not just chastise him for insulting people, as Jeb did. I wanted someone to shed light on the trail of broken lives his "winning" business practices have left behind. And to critique policies that range from outlandish to illegal.
Now the candidates are taking on Trump, but sounding like Trump in the process. I see the soundbites quoted in headlines but won't click on them. It's disheartening.
I also looked for Christian media to stand up to Trump. Particularly Christianity Today, which should be explaining the effect his words have in honor/shame cultures worldwide (as opposed to our guilt/innocence culture). He is dangerous in ways that have nothing to do with launch codes.
The magazine is remaining neutral but they pointed to a Max Lucado blog post and then interviewed him about it. Lucado's concern echoes mine -- that this is about more than politics. This is about the name of God.
As Trump continues to call himself Christian while denigrating entire groups of people, he is misrepresenting us and the God we serve. And he's doing this on an international stage.
I discussed this with a Trump supporter and she said of her support, “I have been on the receiving end of the anger from some of my UK and African friends but the changes we need in America must come first.” What her friends realize is that changes in America mean changes for the world. And they know the America Trump proposes is one that can't exist.
My dad once shared with me a theory he'd read, that the reason colonialism ended was the invention of the Instamatic camera, or the accessibility of cheap film and quick processing. People talked and theorized about the errors of colonialism but once they saw it, that was the end.
That's where we are now – in a deep cultural shift brought on by tech. We don't live in a newspaper world anymore. There is no time delay for our actions or our words. Our glaring interconnectedness will not allow for backroom plans to bully the world. The world is the context in which we will lead or lose. And leading, according to my faith, is serving. It is blessing the world with the blessings we've been given. I don't expect the government to serve that way, but I want a clear path for non-profits that do.
I need a leader who understands our global context. Who is comfortable with others. Who will not dominate our global friends, or further enrage our enemies. That leader doesn't have to be a pastor, or even a Christian. But that leader cannot proclaim faith in God while dismissing people made in God's image. That leader cannot say they are Christian while planning to block all that the church is called to be in the world.
That leader cannot be Trump. Please vote responsibly.
more from this series: Beyond Our Tribes