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January 23, 2021
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First Love, the Second Great Law, and the Third Temptation of Jesus

Jan 08 2021

I've really tried to be less political in my writing recently. I sincerely believe that the one who unites believers (that one, of course, is Jesus through the person of the Holy Spirit) is greater than the things of the world that would divide us: race, culture, politics, even the designated hitter rule.) However, the recent storming of the US capital building has caused me, along with the whole country, I suppose, to consider US politics as it plays out in the 21st century. That, in turn, has led me - in typical introspective fashion - to reassess my political thoughts, beliefs and actions of late.

I started with scripture. I'd like to say this is where I always start with the big questions of life, but sometimes, if I'm honest, I start anywhere else. I guess God just got me on a good day this time. The first question I wrestled with is, "Why, if I truly believe abortion is morally  (and biologically) wrong, have I been so opposed to the most "anti-abortion'" President perhaps ever.  My first thoughts were the same thoughts I've clung to since throughout the Trump presidency. I don't like being played.  There is nothing in Donald Trump's lifestyle, past or present, that indicates he has a shred of sincere Judeo-Christian morality or belief. But he has played a by-and-large biblically illiterate evangelical church for his own benefit throughout his candidacy and presidency. And so many have followed.  Yes, Jesus knew what he was saying when he compared us to sheep.

But I wanted to go deeper. I wanted to support my opposition to this man based on the Word, not just on rationalization. After all, no President is without his failings, and if this one can save the lives of innocent unborn children  how can I possibly support anyone else. While it seems like the God I know personally would be completely opposed to this man's leadership, the Book through which God speaks gave me nothing to hang my proverbial hat. Then I saw it:

Jesus was asked what ws the most important law. His answer was to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. The second most important was to love your neighbor as yourself. I sincerely believe that defending the lives of the unborn fits nicely into the second great commandment. But that is trumped (pun intended) by the FIRST great commandment.

More appalling to God  even than the 98% of abortions that are done primarily for convenience is the elevating of someone other than God to ones  first love. And therein lies the reason I always resisted Mr. Trump's presidency.  From the start, and probably for an entire lifetime, he has held himself up as an idol; a self proclaimed god with a bad spray tan. He has consistently presented himself as never wrong, always speaking truth, without need to apologize, unaccountable to anyone else, and quick to judge and punish those who oppose him: in other words a god made in his own image. And if abortion offends a holy God, idolatry offends him even moreso. God is, among other traits, a jealous God; He expects to be our first love.

At this point it is fair to point out that statues are only idols to those who worship them. The Donald cann present himself as the Messiah all he wants to. If I refuse to bow to him, wouldn't it be okay to vote for him simply because of his anti-abortion policies. After all, there have been other pretty terrible people who have been good executives.  Winston Churchill comes to mind. The problem in this case, is that the ends don't justify the means. When Satan tempted Jesus in Matthew four, his third and last offer was that he would surrender his influence on the world if Jesus only bowed down and worshipped him. Pragmatically, this seemed like a good deal. No war, murder, infidelity, racism from that point on. Jesus just had to bow down to someone who did not merit such adoration. But Jesus refused. Why? Because the ends didn't justify the means. Likewise, supporting a self-made-man-god to accomplish the noble end of saving the unborn is never justified. 

"But no candidate is perfect," I hear the Trumpets blare.

True. But, as flawed as they all are, I can not think of any other current politician this side of North Korea who truly believes he is perfect, and expects others to believe that too. 


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