What Now, America?
By Hal Lindsey
Most American evangelicals supported Donald Trump throughout his presidency. They didn’t always like his rhetoric, boastfulness, or occasional vindictiveness. In fact, they didn’t always like him. But they liked what he did. They liked how he treated Israel and the amazing results of his policies in the Middle East. They liked that he lowered taxes, removed absurd federal regulations, and they liked the economic growth that came because of those things. They liked how the President strengthened the military and worked toward fair trade agreements. They were happy to bring Americans home from unending wars.
Most of all, they liked the idea that the most powerful person in the world seemed completely committed to protecting their rights, and the rights of all Americans.
Today, a small group of people would like to goad Trump-supporters (evangelical or not) into acts of actual insurrection. They want weapons fired and blood in the streets. They want excuses to crush conservatives — especially conservative Christians.
As I write, state capitals across the nation are beefing up security. The FBI and others say they have evidence that armed protestors are planning to march on major government buildings across America. Officials are concerned about protests turning violent before, during, and after the inauguration.
Protests are an American right. But violent protests are not. Violent protests are neither American nor Christian.
Americans love revolutions, and we have them regularly. We call them “elections.” Sometimes, cheating occurs during those elections. If you share that concern with me, then work to change the process. Work to bring transparency and fairness back into the system. But use your voice and your vote, not your gun.
There are people out there who want to provoke Trump-supporters, especially Christians, into showing themselves violent and dangerous. Don’t fall for it. Don’t let your friends or family fall for it. Instead, look to the Bible. Romans 13:1 says we are “to be in subjection to the governing authorities.”
Nero was the chief governing authority at the time that scripture was written. He was a horrible man. He persecuted Christians, blamed them for the burning of Rome, and used burning Christians attached to poles to light his garden. Yet the inspired word of God told Christians to be subject to him. The reason becomes obvious when you read Daniel 2:21. It is God who “removes kings and establishes kings.”
1 Peter 2:13-15 and 17 was also written during the reign of Nero. Those verses say, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men…. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.”
There is one crucial exception to our subjection to governing authorities. In Acts 5, Jewish authorities ordered the apostles to stop preaching and teaching about Jesus. In verse 29, the followers of Jesus answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”
But even as they obeyed God rather than men, they remained respectful of the governing authorities. Acts says that they did not resist when arrested and taken to court. At the end of the hearing, they were unfairly flogged. Did they plot revenge for such flogging? Did they organize an insurrection? Did they take up arms? No. Verse 41 says, “They went on their way… rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.”