Wednesday, January 18, 2017

An Inauguration And After?

On Friday the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, will be sworn into office in Washington D.C. The inauguration is a process that every President has participated in since George Washington became the nation’s very first on April 30, 1789 in New York City .

The event every 4 years includes the solemn ceremony, but then extends to parades, parties, balls and other assorted celebrations well into the night. This year, Trump's people raised a record 90 million dollars for the affair from private sources, but does not intend to spend anywhere near that much. The remainder will be donated to charity. Also, the security costs may well exceed 100 million. That is a large but understandable sum considering who will attend and with the very real potential for serious disruptions in today’s climate.

Just about everyone knows that the past election was a bitter fight and has left many on the losing side in a state of confusion, anger and despair. Some have even gone to extreme lengths to try to overturn the election results or at least discredit Mr. Trump before he even begins his first full day in office. Like it or not, such is the current political climate in a highly divided America.

But what now? With the voting booths silent for the next few years, and the new administration coming into control, what are citizens on both sides of the isle to do? That may be a rather daunting question for some.  But it should not be, on either side, for any who call themselves Christians and serious followers of Jesus Christ.  For these, there is something that is their Biblical duty concerning those who will lead the nation for the next 4 years at least.  They may not like and totally disagree with those now in leadership. But with that acknowledged, they are to at least support them in a few specific ways according to Scripture.

First, there is the weighty admonition found in 1 Timothy 2:1-3. “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Then there are Paul’s pointed words in Romans 13:1-7. Here he goes into great detail on the matter. And if this passage meant what it said under the conditions Christians faced back in the New Testament, there is little excuse for not following this directive in a place like modern-day America.

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake.  For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.”

America needs help and primarily in the form of a serious spiritual revival. And any new President, cabinet and congress will only be as good as their acknowledgment and dependence on God. And part of that can only come through the people of God when they pray for fervently and without political bias as commanded. And they must do so if for no other reason than this. “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”

Bill Breckenridge