There are many reasons for me to reject the plainly false and irrational assertion that, when offered two choices, both of which require turning my back on God, if I reject both I nonetheless support one or the other. If someone says to me, “You must choose to break with God one way or another, or I’ll kill you,” it’s absurd to suggest that, by standing fast in God’s way, I have chosen one of the ways that contradict God. And if death itself is of no consequence in this respect, what else can be?
What if others, whom I love are threatened with death and woes if I stand fast in God’s way? Should one in whom Christ lives surrender life in Christ in order to save them? How can it be so, when Christ has conquered death, restoring the true meaning of life, not just for me but for all who accept to be transformed in Him? Should I do evil to avoid a consequence that, by Christ’s power in God, He has rendered meaningless? Should I save the lives of others, in the flesh, by forsaking life in Christ, who is the only way of living death cannot end? Or, by trusting in the Truth Christ exemplified by His death and Resurrection, should I represent His Gospel of life to others, so that, if they choose to accept it, even though they die for doing so, yet they will live in Christ and God forever?
Is it for this that the Holy Spirit addresses these words to the church of Smyrna: “The First and the Last, who was dead and is alive, says these things: ‘Behold, the devil will cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried: and you shall have tribulation ten days. Be faithful unto death; and I will give you the crown of life. …He that shall overcome shall not be hurt by the second death.’” (Revelation 2:10-11) Trusting in Christ’s promise, why should we fear, who trust in God even unto death?
Yet again and again, these days, I hear from people who profess to live in Christ that we have no choice but to give in to fear. Some say to Christians in the black community, ‘Fear Trump the racist, Vote for Hilary!’ Others say to Christian conservatives ‘Fear Hilary the crooked, Muslim loving tyrant, Vote for Trump.’ But Christ says “Fear not, only believe (trust).” (Mark 5:35) So shouldn’t we trust in God’s rule, standing fast in our first love, no matter what?
These days, because I see nothing candid in Donald Trump’s candidacy, his supporters read their talking points at me, claiming that I am supporting the Democrats. Yet while Donald Trump funded, praised and socialized with the Clintons, Obama and their ilk, I broke with the all my closest family and kin, utterly rejecting their group-think allegiance to the Democrat Party. I did so in particular because the Democrats embraced an understanding of human life and politics that discarded the American creed.
That creed begins with the premise of God’s Creation, in consequence of which each and every human being is subject to the vocation of right, endowed by God; so that the primordial purpose for which governments are instituted is to secure the right actions we are committed to carry out, according to the voice of God in good conscience, which informs our will. That vocation of right was the premise such people as Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King relied upon to challenge the injustices of slavery and racial discrimination. It was the premise Americans risked their lives to vindicate in the Civil War, and the Great World Wars that overshadowed the first half of the 20th century.
It’s a premise that stands against all the regimes, whatever ideology they reflect or practice, that disregard the responsibility human beings equally share, to do right by God and one another. In all their varieties, the socialist ideologies of scientific materialism reject this vocation of right, endowed by God. They see and worship only material power, defining freedom with no regard but for success or failure in battles determined by that power.
Because socialism rejects God, I have all my adult life rejected socialism. This meant permanently turning away from the Democrat Party, as socialists consolidated their stranglehold on that party. They did so in regard to the most basic issues of justice, such as respect for innocent human life, and our familial responsibility, to God and humanity, to care for it. As a Black American, my rejection of the Democrats meant estrangement, even from my closest relatives.
I didn’t pay the emotional cost of such estrangement for the sake of some party name or label. I was a Republican as long as being a Republican meant standing for God’s rule for human justice, on the solid grounds set forth in America’s Declaration of Independence. I was a Republican as long as it meant giving priority to the effort to conserve America’s respect for God-endowed unalienable rights, including liberty.
But years ago I had to depart from the Republican Party because its controlling leadership commenced to follow the Democrats down the path that idolizes material power. They commenced to follow them down the path that idolizes unconstrained, licentious “freedom.” They commenced to follow them down the path that involves turning on “the kingdom of God and His justice.” (Matthew 6:33)
Why on earth would I break away from God’s standard for the sake of supporting morally vapid Republican candidates, when I refused to do so for the sake of my mother’s love, my brothers’ friendship or my common heritage with my fellow Black Americans? I look back, as they do, to the tears, travail and courage of a people enslaved by law, and then despised on account of it, in a land that called itself free. However, I know from that very heritage that it was the name and power of God that gave us hope when Martin Luther King cried out to Him. It was the name and power of God that gave us eyes to trace the grim facts of slavery and racist discrimination to their roots in the lust for money and power, pursued beyond all bounds that God intended.
Whatever excuse they make for themselves, people who profess to trust in God and Jesus Christ clearly close their eyes to both when they pretend that the objection to Donald Trump involves “imperfections.” In fact, it involves surrendering the standard of God by which Christ calls us to judge perfection. (Matthew 5:48) With that standard before us Jesus taught us to pray as sinners (Luke 18:13), relying on the mercy of God, and not our own will and power.
Christ knows we will always fall short of God’s standard. So he makes it clear that the challenge is to keep it before us, no matter how convinced we are that we fall short of it. For if we hold fast to God’s rule, submit to His judgement, and steadfastly plead for the mercy of His forgiveness, we will be saved, because we trust in Christ, in whom God has already made up for our shortcomings.
It was Donald Trump’s contempt for the mercy of God’s forgiveness that warned me of the true falseness of his candidacy. We live in an era when the only hope our country has of escaping the judgment against us is to repent and plead for God’s forgiveness. For like the Israelites of old, we have answered the blessings God showered upon us by abusing them, with false pride and ungrateful treachery. How can a man whose heart God hardens, like the heart of Pharaoh, against pleading for God’s mercy, represent us in doing so? By lifting him up we act like Cain, who pridefully exalted the work of his own hands, then slew his brother even as we have slain and slay our nascent sons and daughters, in spirit (with the promotion of homosexual so-called “marriage”) and in fact (by slaughtering our posterity with abortion.)
Regardless of the world’s estimation I choose to be part of the remnant, faithful even unto death, who will not depart from the standard of God. Are we many or few? What does it matter? The Scripture says that the day will come when there are only two (Revelation 11:3), and in their deaths the world of great and lesser evil will rejoice. Do we not have eyes to see that, even so, their faithful witness immediately portends their final victory? For where just two or three are gathered in Christ’s name, there He is in the midst of them, already triumphant.