Presidential Election of 2016
Trump and his “Christian” nation
Jeremy: are we ready to get fully into a discussion about Trump?
Matthew: Yes. *he says reluctantly*
Jeremy: the guy took about three weeks off from the Twitter craziness, and now he’s back at it and there’s no indication it’ll diminish once he takes office. It might be a small thing, but then again it might be the biggest thing. He’s already kicked off international disputes with his tweets
Matthew: Right, and has a pinned tweet praising Putin. SMH. Are treason laws still on the books that could be utilized to keep him from the presidency?
Jeremy: maybe, but who in Congress is going to pursue them?
Matthew: Not a Republican-led one who is mostly on-board with his presidency. EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE.
Jackie: Jeremy, I read through your twitter feed from yesterday about TGC defending themselves by pointing to all their articles that didn’t support Trump.
Jeremy: Yeah, was I off base?
Jackie: Heck if I know! But I do get how what you were referencing is like using the “I have black friends” defense.
Jeremy: I got frustrated with how they were all mansplaining RHE
Matthew: https://twitter.com/jaredcwilson/status/815707937410875393 And with tweets like this that use Reformed theology as a weapon, it becomes even more frustrating.
Jared C. Wilson on Twitter
“You know who said basically nothing critical abt Trump? Attractional megapastors and default Arminian evangelicals. But @TGC the real threat”
Jeremy: yeah, dudes like that irritate me. Patriarchy is similar to racism, it’s hard to see the effects of it when you’re on the powerful side of it
Matthew: Right and I don’t think it is unfair to be critical of TGC or a celebrated writer when they’ve let a theological formulation guide them more God’s own words. We all can fall into that trap easily. I have in the past and I know I will in the future. When we receive criticism from all sides I think it is good and healthy to take stock of our words and actions for any harm they might have done. What has irked me about TGC for a while is the air of pride and lack of humility, as if they are the arbiters of the Gospel. That same unwillingness to bend or invite other denominational voices into what should be a group dedicated to the gospel above denominational differences, could be the same impetus by which Trump wields his own prideful power.
Jeremy: exactly, and that’s the type of church environment I’m trying to avoid
and for me it’s also the pride aspect of TGC’s response. as though they couldn’t publish a bunch a anti-Trump pieces and promote a culture that feeds into Trumpism. I’ll admit that not being in a position of prominence I haven’t had to deal with much if any criticism. and I know that not all criticism is fair. But I’d hope that I’d always respond to even unfair criticism with grace and self-reflection. Rather than pulling out a bunch of numbers that “prove” I’m good
Matthew: Which again is part of Trumpism. Let me “prove” to you what I’ve done in the past or even in the present that shows me in a good light. And I think RHE is right to point out that sort of attitude creating and helping foster the environment where Trump became possible as the President. To blame shift that it was those “other” Christians who voted for Trump is to deny that many reformed folk were part of that 81% number. This wasn’t solely a prosperity gospel church issue.
Jackie: These days I feel a lot of push back sometimes when I want to talk about current events (BLM/shootings/general brokenness) because those events, apparently, don’t affect us directly. Like “we’ll pray for black people… but we can’t do much beyond that.” And there’s a deep lack of hope and agape type love in that response.
Matthew: Which honestly really sucks. Because church should be a place of welcoming, a place to lay your burdens down.
Jeremy: It absolutely should. be people are so concerned about being right
Matthew: I think for Evangelicals, many of them have become too comfortable with placing their hopes in the political system or the fantasy of a “Christian” nation and I hope that for some evangelicals that 2016 was a wake up call about the need for real gospel hope in Jesus and not in human institutions.
Jeremy: I think a lot of evangelicals are going to double down on the christian nation thing. We’re seeing that with the push back against Russell Moore. One pastor even bemoaned that because of Moore the SBC won’t have Trump’s ear.
Matthew: And Jeremy no doubt the majority of Evangelicals now feel emboldened by a Trump presidency in their pursuit of the mythical Christian nation.
Jackie: Trump is a symbol of discord and animosity.
Matthew: And this is why I think our conversation about the year keeps going back to him, because he typifies so much of why this year was horrible.