The Bible Informs Our Current Situation

Yes, I nuance things too much.

No, I will not stop.

Yes, readers are shocked when I give the simplistic view.

And, yet, I must.

Early Christians included a vow of allegiance to the Roman empire in their worship. This was the same Empire that taxed them, tortured them, enslaved them and, literally threw them to the wolves, if they did not nail them to a cross. Still, in their tiny groups, early Christians decided to be loyal to the authority set over them on Earth, praying the government would enable them to live orderly and just lives.

Fast forward to Hitler’s Germany and find the Minister/Resistance Leaders Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The martyred Bonhoeffer is claimed today by the Left and the Right, the result, one assumes, of a short life marked by gigantic intellectual achievement and utter self-giving. He truly found his center in those other than himself.

Bonhoeffer argued against Nationalist Socialism early on. He opposed what the Nazis were doing in Germany long before the concentration camps were built. When the Nazis nationalized the Church (another good argument to keep church and state separate) Bonhoeffer refused the new office and never changed his vows to pledge allegiance to the state. As conditions worsened for intellectuals, Jews, Gypsies, the infirm, Bonhoeffer moved to active resistance to the extreme evil manifested in his government. At the same time he continued to pray for a government over him on Earth that would allow him to live an orderly life. He would join others in active resistance to the evil he saw, going so far as to advocate violent action against the Nazi leadership.

Early Christians vowed allegiance to a government bent on their destruction. One of the great Christians of the 20th century evolved in his thinking to the point where he could not take that vow in favor of the government in front of him.

As we look forward to the coming inaugural, American Christians have to decide where we are on the identity of our government. If we have not yet subordinated ourselves to the Biblical prayer, we should certainly go there first. We must, I think, accept the feelings of others as real, if they cannot call Mr. Trump their own President Trump. Please remember there were many who would not have been able to say or write the words President Clinton, either. Our fate is thus revealed; we live in a Republic, not a Democracy and we may not always be represented by those whom we prefer. The most recent American Presidential election demonstrates our votes still matter, both those we cast and those we do not, as a change of a few thousand votes in key states would have changed the outcome. The few who chose not to vote at all did as much to determine the outcome as those who trudged to the polls and refused to bypass the first race on the ballot.

In short, we still have the ability to inform and influence our government. We have term limits, called elections, which occur so often (and are so easily accessed) that many of us cannot be bothered with them. Russians may hack our political parties, yes. I have yet to hear or read anyone who says the Russians were able to tilt the election by creating disinformation. The worst we can say is this; the Russians were selective in the truths they revealed. Bernie Sanders was slandered by the DNC and Mrs. Clinton did use a private server for public information, most of it very trivial. If the American electorate is so feeble it cannot see through these (and other actions) we have no one to blame but ourselves.

So, yes, a thrice married, neophyte non-politician with an itchy twitter finger will be in front of us for at least four years. Call him your President or not, he holds the office. Pray that he and his leadership team live in such a way as to help us live decent, orderly lives. This is not Nazi Germany yet, or even the ancient Roman Empire. There is a way to get through this with our religion intact.

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