What could it mean if Trump really was sent by God?

If you run in Christian circles (or if one of your distant relatives does, and you happen to be friends on Facebook) chances are, you've encountered some of "prophecies" claiming that 45 is sent from God.

Maybe you've seen these bizarre claims in illustrated form, like the one included here; with Jesus' arms around Trump as he signs that document -- Is that the travel ban?

Or maybe you've read it in an article you didn't have the self control to not click.

Charisma, an evangelical publication that says it's the place "where faith and politics meet," published an article that began with :

"... one of the newer voices of the prophetic movement, has shared another word from the Lord regarding not just President Trump, but how his presidency is reforming politics in America."

The article then goes on to discuss how Trump's election "is part of a move of God." (Note, I've deliberately not linked to this article here so you're less tempted to click through to it, but you can do the work to google it if you must.)

Or maybe you were scrolling through the TV channels and stumbled upon some of this on your favorite national Christian broadcaster. 

 
 

All this to say... there are lots of people who are claiming to have words from God regarding the election of Trump. And here's the thing.

I'm starting to think they may be right. Maybe this is a formative time... but in the completely opposite direction. 

It's absolutely possible that Trump's election may usher in a brand new reformation. 

Here's what I think that reformation might look like. 

An end to the conservative right's claim to have a monopoly on Jesus. 

For millennia, in its search to gain and maintain power the Church has been a slave to political forces. The most recent expression of that came with the alignment of American evangelicals and the political right under the leadership of Francis Schaeffer and the establishment of what he called the "Moral Majority." It's this movement that brought us the popularity of characters like Jerry Falwell, followed by his son and characters like Franklin Graham. 

And it's players like these who have been the predominant protestant voice of Christianity in America over the last 40 years and beyond. 

But this time is coming to an end as millions of Christians rethink just what their faith is all about.

 
 Graham and Trump both think Trump is from God. They just can't agree on the sign.

Graham and Trump both think Trump is from God. They just can't agree on the sign.

 

The end of an era when people have been kicked out because their brand of Christianity looks a little different.

In large part, the conservative expression of American Evangelicalism, considers itself to be the most pure and true form of the faith. In fact, growing up in this environment, I was taught that even Catholics were not to be considered Christians. And this idea of "in" and "out" permeates the Evangelical mindset. 

Over the last decade, we've seen church leaders who have asked questions, made insinuations, and made statements that diverge from the narrow script, and within the course of weeks, they are ostracized from the realm of Christendom.

But that age is coming to an end as a new way of thinking is emerging. The narrow conservative perspective has been losing ground for decades, and now there is a new perspective emerging. One that champions depth, exploration, and service.

And so what does this mean? 

An insurgence in people responding to the call of Jesus to fight for the oppressed and rejected. 

There are lots of good people fighting for the things Jesus fought for here in the US and around the world. And these people and the initiatives they're leading are making a significant difference.

The work of many faith-based non-profits around the world is shifting from a Christian-American Imperialism to something that actually helps address the needs that people face everyday. 

And here at home, there is a new generation with a different way of thinking about life, culture, society, and other people. 

A generation of Christians who aren't threatened by science. 

In some respects the fear of science in the realm of faith persists. A carryover from the age of Galileo, people of faith can shy away from science

But the fear that science may disrupt the Christian worldview diminishes. And, with time, we may hopefully see this dividing line drawn by faith traditions erased altogether. And instead, the integration of scientific discovery brings a new level of depth and discovery to the life of faith. 

People who embrace fact and take time to consider data

And this leads us to a new level of integrated consideration. We don't reject data, but we embrace it as a tool to inform our actions. We move from a surface level understanding to a deeper place of thoughtfulness.

People who aren't scared of reason and intelligence but embrace it as a necessary component for a rich and full life

All this leads to the end of anti-intellectualism. We're no longer afraid of information, but we embrace it with excitement and hope. Instead of shutting questions down, we champion them as necessary. 

Exploring the depths of life and faith and embracing the complexity of all things is recontextualized as part of a vibrant and meaningful life. There is a renaissance of thought and philosophy that believes the best is yet to be uncovered. 

And instead of being afraid of people who aren't like us, we embrace them with curiosity and hope.

This sense of curiosity isn't confined to the realm of the mind and heart. It's also championed in our relational lives. 

We move beyond the fear of the other and embrace people who aren't like us with the belief that they genuinely have something to offer. We value diversity of perspective and experience. And in that, we gain a deeper understanding of life, God, and one another. 

We're no longer afraid of people on the other side of the city, across the border, or around the world. Instead, we value cultural experiences as part of a life of growth. 


I'm not one to say that God did or didn't do anything in most areas of life – presidential elections included. But I am one to have hope. Hope that no matter what, things can turn out for good. I've already seen how many people of faith are more aware than I've seen them in the past. We must fight the temptation to fall into cynicism. And we must embrace hope. And, with time, maybe we'll see a new reformation that radically transforms what it means to follow Jesus.