This is my confession. As a pastor, as an educator, as a member of the community, I have made a mistake in using the symbol: #NeverTrump.
In any other election cycle I’ve offered my personal opinion of the presidential election and have not been hesitant in personal conversations to voice who I would vote for. I would also actually enjoy… ENJOY… engaging with others as to why they would vote for the opponent. Imagine that… I used to enjoy this stuff! We were all better at it a few years ago…
In this election cycle I’ve still got opinions. The unfortunate thing is this election is so incredibly divisive, I could make an analysis both politically and spiritually but offered up that stupid phrase that just automatically put me in bad or good company (or opinion) right away.
So I offer my apology for the use of that hashtag because everything else I’ve tried to say has been missed.
What I have watched happen is what could potentially be a giant swing and miss on the part of the conservative Christian church in America and THAT was what I was aiming for in this election cycle.
Over the past several years I have seen the horrible mistake conservative Christians have made tying into political power and how we, as a group, are simply being used as a voting block and largely ignored the rest of the way. What I saw in this election cycle was the opportunity to break free of that cycle and bondage and my prayer has been that we, as conservative Christians, would finally learn to step up and be the prophetic voice so desperately needed in our culture.
To do that, we need to be free of being so politically tied in that most of the culture sees Jesus as a white Republican who basically hates a lot of things.
This was our opportunity. It is STILL our opportunity. THAT was what I was trying to go for in this election cycle.
But because I made the choice to be #NeverTrump, people have seen that and little else. They’ve missed my analysis on not just Trump, but the whole system. People have seen #NeverTrump and jumped to the false conclusion that must mean I’m voting for Hillary Clinton.
I allowed a hashtag to rob me of my voice. It’s not that I would have been heard anyway… but I allowed a hashtag to mute everything else I said.
I allowed that back and forth dialogue… and that’s not even a correct word, but it’s a polite word for what ensued… to take me away from staying focused on the opportunity of a lifetime for conservative Christians.
This was the whole point of having a preaching series we called “Living in Babylon.” It’s not about voting against Trump. It was about seeing what was ahead for us culturally and preparing us for it. And to be honest, voting for Trump won’t slow that process down! THAT was what I was trying to get at.
And I did it poorly.
As I’ve made my way through Daniel 1-6, I have seen the opportunity the American church has in the years ahead. I have tried to lift up opportunity but been sidetracked by destructive “conversations” on what I think about Donald Trump.
What is ahead for the American church is change. Our problem, for those over 35-40, is we’re doing a bad job in the transition. What I admire about millennials… and YES, there are things to admire about millennials… is they don’t carry that baggage. They have to prepare, but it’s an awareness they carry. For a generation watching “American Christianity” slip away as “life as we knew it”… we’re not taking it well.
In the past we’ve so tied ourselves to political movements and one or two major things we “vote for” (and then we leave the voting booth and do little else)… we weren’t a prophetic voice. We had become a pathetic voice.
What we have in front of us is the opportunity to gain the prophetic voice again. We can become that “minority report” that shakes itself of political affiliation and actually speaks LIFE into our culture and can lead the way, like Daniel was able to do in Babylon and Persia.
But to become that “minority report” we need to realize we’ve really lost “political power.” Friends… we never really had it. But I honestly thought this would wake us up.
One way or the other… we’ll find an awakening. I just don’t want it to be a rude awakening. I would prefer we could discern the times and make a Spirit-led shift.
THAT was what I was trying to say. And I let a hashtag get in my way. Herein lies my confession.