Dear Christians, Please Recuse Yourself | Sojourners

Dear Christians, Please Recuse Yourself

Chicago marks the one-month anniversary of the Donald Trump administration on Feb. 19.Marie Kanger Born /

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight. (Prov. 12:22)

Christians who continue to support the policies of President Donald Trump while simultaneously claiming the truths of Jesus must recuse themselves due to an obvious conflict of interest. Followers of Christ must decide between supporting Trump or Jesus, because the two have missions that are diabolically opposed to one another.

The agendas of President Trump and the gospel are significantly contradictory, and becoming increasingly so. Yet many churches, pastors, spiritual leaders, and Christians continue to remain passively silent or even complicit in the hateful, fearful, and misleading rhetoric coming from the White House.

The world watches as many American churches remain happily content in their privilege, reveling in their political power, or refusing to abandon their comfort — despite the horrible witness being sent to everyone around them.

Such actions — or non-actions — from churches and the Christians who attend them reveal a disinterest and apathy toward proclaiming the gospel message, but also show that they don’t value truth, and specifically, the truths of Christ.

For example:

Christ’s truth: We will help and serve the poor, v. Trump’s truth: We will refuse to take in refugees.

Christ’s truth: We will love our neighbors as ourselves, v. Trump’s truth: We will build a wall to prevent people from becoming our neighbors.

Christ’s truth: We will help the oppressed, v. Trump’s truth: We will arrest, detain, and deport immigrants.

Christ’s truth: We will be called peacemakers and people who love our enemies, v. Trump’s truth: We will excessively increase our military and destroy our enemies.

Christ’s truth: We will care and show hospitality to the foreigner, v. Trump’s truth: We will ban foreigners from entering our country.

Christ’s truth: We will sacrificially give of ourselves to those in need v. Trump’s truth: We will hoard our wealth, comfort, and security.

The fact that many Christians continue to support such anti-Christian behavior is disturbing. At this point, Christians should disregard any pretense that President Trump is a man acting in a godly way.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves,” Jesus says in the book of Matthew. (Matt. 7:15-20)

You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Does Trump exude the fruits of the Spirit? Those are “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22-23)

Not every faith community is going along with Trump’s antics. And many Christians are vocally and actively resisting. But many white evangelicals — and others — continue to stubbornly associate themselves, and the gospel of Christ, with Trump.

So it is that Christians who follow the Prince of Peace are advocating for an increased military force. Christians who follow the great Healer are refusing to help those in greatest need. Christians who follow the King of kings are putting their trust and hope in a president rather than a divine God.

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. (1 John 4:20)

These types of posts (anything critical of Trump) will always get pushback from pro-Trump supporters angry with “attacks” against their brand of faith. But we must hold Christians accountable, and attempt to direct them back to the centrality of Christ — not a politician.

Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. (Luke 17:3)

Everyone makes mistakes, and nobody is perfect. But a lot can be said about a person’s repeated refusal to repent, apologize, or seek truth. And if the president is claiming to be a Christian, then he must be held to the same standards of accountability that the American church seems to have placed on everyone except Trump.

Because while the LGBTQ community, the pro-choice community, the liberal community, the environmentalist community, the science community, the atheist community, the Muslim community, and many other communities have been harshly and relentlessly judged, condemned, and even abused by the American church, this same church will remain silent toward Trump — refusing to condemn this idol it continues to worship.

God help us.