"Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which G od has established. The authorities that exist have been established by G od." (Romans 13:1)
That verse, written by Paul the Apostle, is one of the most difficult for modern evangelicals to fully accept. It was written at a time when the Roman authorities were bad dudes. They actively discriminated against the early Christians, murdering some, imprisoning others, including Paul, who was among their most ardent persecutors before his conversion.
Modern Christians sometimes suffer from the notion that G od is only active when someone they voted for wins an election and that He must have gone on holiday when the candidate they didn't vote for prevails.
My personal history with this attitude goes back to the days of
I attended church with Carter. He was an excellent Bible teacher and still is from what I hear. The problem for evangelicals occurred when it came to policy. Despite his fealty to Scripture, Carter enforced the "Roe v. Wade" Supreme Court ruling and was OK with same-sex marriage. He said Jesus never spoke against homosexuality, as if the rest of Scripture says nothing about it, or any other "social issue."
Some evangelical friends of mine are dumping on
Many conservative critics of the president prefer the image of a loving family exhibited by former President
I like to ask Trump's evangelical critics if they ever pray for him, as Paul also instructed believers to do: "I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask G od to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by G odliness and dignity. This is good, and pleases G od our Savior (1 Timothy 2:1-3, New Living Translation).
The question could also be asked another way and I have asked it of evangelical friends: "How many of you prayed for
It is a familiar analogy, but one that should be stressed again. If I am about to have surgery, I care less about a person's religion, sexual orientation or lifestyle than I do about how many of the surgeon's patients were healed of their afflictions.
It might make some evangelicals feel better to have a president who is one of them while also displaying conservative values, but if one has to choose, I'll take the issues and listen to my pastor, who speaks of a kingdom not of this world, which is far better than a corrupt kingdom that is passing away.
Thus ends today's "sermon." We can now take up the collection.