#lordsprayer: Moving beyond selective Christianity
At first I had a knee-jerk, judgmental response to Melania Trump reading the Lord’s Prayer today. I assumed it was manipulative. I remember learning it in kindergarten and reciting it over and over. After sitting on it, it’s exciting for people of all walks to see Christians (on Twitter #lordsprayer) excited about Melania saying the Lord’s Prayer at the Trump 2020 campaign rally today. Moving forward, we can all expect that Christian Trump supporters will hold the Trumps accountable to all Christian values including integrity, loving the unloved, welcoming the sinner, truth and forgiveness.
I encourage my conservative Christian friends to take this responsibility to heart and hold him accountable like you would with any other Christian leaders and expect him to represent Christ. If supporters believe we will now be a Christian nation led by a God-fearing couple, be vigilant and make sure it is actual Christianity, not a manipulative religious show and display of piety.
Otherwise, if you don’t, he is going to do tremendous damage to how Christianity is perceived (most people I know have had damaging relationships with hypocritical Christians, and it took me more than a decade after my own such experiences to even begin to seriously explore my own spirituality again after spending most of the first 18 years of my life as a dedicated believer).
Ask him to read and tweet verses that heal, such as one of my absolute favorites: “For I have not given you a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and a sound mind.” That would do a lot to Make America Great Again. That mentality could heal a lot of the divide between those on his team and the other tens of millions of people who aren’t.
Call upon the President to demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Anything this Trump family does will either honor or dishonor Christ (see George W Bush) so use your voice to make sure he leads with integrity and transparency.
The *loving* Christian citizen’s voice has never mattered more. I know, from talking to friends and family, that many of you felt like your values were attacked and eroded. Now you have a chance to transform the perception of Christianity, but only if you communicate to Trump that you expect him to represent Christian values. If this man reaps political points from public displays of faith, he should be held at least as accountable as any other religious leader would by his own flock. Tell him to walk the talk and to shift the talk to love rather than war. He’s the leader, he sets the tempo and tone for our country on both sides of the aisle.
I can acknowledge my bias (and wish more people would be transparent about their own and attempt to be neutral and constructive). My honest opinion to date is that he is hoodwinking Christians and other conservatives by pushing token issues so they’ll look the other way as he caters to the same Wall Street interests he promised not to, along with his own.
I’ve been feeling like this new administration will not ever listen to any dissenting perspective, so this public display of the first couple’s faith gave me some optimism that some peace in our country (let alone our fragile world) can come in the form of accountability from a large portion of his own base of support. I hope you will let the President know how you want to see him representing Christianity in our world (unless you are a die-hard Crusades fan or secretly hoping to see End Times go down soon, in which case I have to ask you not to share your perspective but you probably already made up your mind).