Trinity Church York


We're not with him, and we weren't with her - because we're with Christ

By Matthew Roberts, 09 Nov 2016

What are we Christians going to say when people ask as – as they will this morning – what we think of Trump being elected American president? Basically, we need to make very clear that we’re not with him, and we weren’t with her. Because both represent two sides of a coin, the whole of which is opposed to the glorious kingdom of Jesus Christ. And we are with him.

It was pointed out by many during the campaign that the main asset each candidate possessed was the other. Clinton stood for the progressive liberal left: Pro-abortion, pro-identity politics (i.e. LGBT rights), pro-state intervention. Trump stood for the reactionary, individualistic right: anti-immigration, anti-bleeding-heart-liberalism, anti-establishment. The supporters of each saw in the other the epitome of everything that it hates and is opposed to, and so support for each was driven by hatred of the other.

But Christians can identify with neither. More than any previous election multiple Christian voices (with some shameful exceptions who invoked God’s support for one or the other) saw, and said, that it is quite impossible for Christians to support either of these candidates. That is because they merely represent two versions of what rejection of the true God looks like. Trump and Clinton merely disagree over which out of state-imposed equality and individual liberty (married to American national identity) is their false deity of choice. And like all people who perceive a blasphemy against their chosen gods, they get very angry with those who are guilty of it.

But as Christians, of course, we know that both of these religious (and they are religious) construct is wrong. There is one God, and one God only – the God revealed in Jesus Christ, the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The secular left follows its gods to the repulsive doctrines of the moral goodness of prenatal infanticide and a belief in the messianic abilities of the state machinery. The secular right follows its gods to the equally repulsive doctrines of the denigration of women and immigrants and a belief in the messianic importance of the national identity. Both left and right follow their gods to the dehumanising doctrine of the prime importance of individual sexual liberty, with its miserable effects on how men and women treat each other and even more on how all of society treats its children.

And so we are emphatically not with either. The entire left-right debate has become, in the post-Christian west, what Christians must see as an in-house disagreement among those who are united in their rejection of the one true God and his Son Jesus Christ. We are not with either; we are with him. That has several implications.

- Some Christians will be tempted to welcome a Trump victory because Clinton would have been so awful. That we cannot do. We must pray for him; but we cannot and we must not endorse him.

- Some Christians will be tempted to lament a Trump victory because they think Clinton would have been far better. That we cannot do either. We would have prayed for her too, had she won, but if we would have been inclined to welcome her victory that could only be because we have drunk at the wells of our liberal-controlled media too readily. If we don’t see the evils of what she stood for it is because they have become so much the accepted norm in Britain that we’ve been desensitised to them.

- Trump’s victory is a sign that what has seemed for a number of years to be the ascendency of the left is perhaps coming to an end. That is both a danger and an opportunity. Make no mistake, when human beings, sinful as they are, react against a real evil in society (as the liberal left consensus undoubtedly is) they do not naturally revert to what is good. They will rush to an equal and opposite evil, because they will continue to be just as opposed to the God who alone is the source of good. So they will react against foolish multiculturalism with racism; against destructive LGBT identity politics with anti-gay-community hatred; against the evil of abortion with the evil of male abuse of women. It may be that we will now start to see such things emerging, and if/when they do Christians must have nothing to do with them. Here is our danger. We must not let our right rejection of what Clinton stood for lead us one step towards support for the new world of Trump, just as we must not let our right rejection of Trump lead us one step towards support for the (still ascendant in Britain) world of Clinton.

But here too is our opportunity. We must steadfastly proclaim not the virtues of the godless right or the godless left, but the unique and sole reign and coming Kingdom of Jesus Christ. He alone is the answer to the evils that right and left see (often rightly) in each other. We must proclaim that there is only one route to righteousness, including righteous government, in this world: the recognition of that God has, despite the raging of the kings and rulers of the world, installed his King in his heavenly throne room (Psalm 2; Daniel 7). That all authority in heaven and earth has been given to him. There is no righteousness on earth, either for individual people or for national governments, that ignores that fact. God’s son became flesh, died and rose again to bring salvation from sin and all its effects. That salvation lies in its fullness in the future but its goodness can be tasted now by all who embrace it. There are many people disillusioned with the false gospels of left and right; we must tell the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us find the courage, and seize the opportunity, to do so.