Donald Trump’s Detractors: Resent, Rebuff or Reach Them?
Let’s face this one head on. All around us are deeply distraught supporters of Hillary Clinton and angry adversaries of Donald Trump.
Engage family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances and coworkers about the election and you may stir up a hornet’s nest!
We’re observing frustrated protesters, hostile celebrities, disillusioned students, angry politicians and noted TV personalities refusing to accept the outcome of the 2016 election.
Like it or not, these people are experiencing real pain and confusion. Many have valid offensives due to Mr. Trump’s pre-conversion, un-Christlike behavior and questionable remarks throughout the campaign. Others don’t know what else to do other than lash out with inflammatory speech on social media or seize the moment with press releases and televised interviews, issuing threats and bombastic tirades.
- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Trump is a “sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate. The election of Donald Trump has emboldened hate and bigotry in America. White nationalists, Vladimir Putin and ISIS are celebrating Donald Trump’s victory, while innocent, law-abiding Americans are wracked with fear…” USA TODAY 11/12/16
- Filmmaker Michael Moore went to Trump Tower to hand deliver a note that stated, “You lost! Step aside!” WASHINGTON POST 11/12/16
- Cecile Richards, head of Planned Parenthood, went on the Ellen Degeneres show to speak about a doomsday scenario unfolding with Trump’s win.
- In the post-election presidential briefing by Josh Earnest , the Press Secretary said, “Everything he (President Obama) said on the campaign trail about Donald Trump was true.” Many recall the President’s slam, “If you accept the support of a Klan sympathizer, the Klan, and hesitate when asked about that support, then you’ll take that support when you’re in office!”
- And if you thought you might get some comic relief with the often-irreverent Saturday Night Live broadcast, think again. Totally out of character, the show began with “Hillary” (Kate McKinnon) singing a funeral dirge (“I told the truth…”) almost bursting into tears at the end. This was followed by a monologue and skit mocking the President-elect and conveying racism was the cause of Tuesday’s “tragic” upset.
As Obedient Followers of Jesus, How Are We to Respond?
Recall the inspirational campaign of years ago where Christians wore flexible wristbands with the initials W.W.J.D? It served to remind us of our call to be imitators of our Lord in speech and conduct. When faced with a significant challenge, reflect on the method of our Master, and then proceed.
In our current cultural climate where there is increasing intensity of hostility and the opportunity, with the explosion of social media, to vent cruel, slanderous falsehoods and stereotypes as the “new normal” in our Internet age, what should be our response?
4 Divine Directives Contrary to Mainstream Culture
The following four commands are directives not electives in dealing with situations such as we find ourselves in today. They in no way imply that we act as wimpy “evanjellyfish” who are spineless, having no convictions or courage to stand up for what is right.
Jesus himself dealt with individuals like Herod by calling him a “fox” (Lk.13:32) and religious hypocrites as “serpents” (Matt. 23:33) and “whitewashed tombs” (Matt. 23:27). The key is emulating the spirit in which He addressed them, many believing He wept as he spoke so forcefully.
“I’ve always believed I should speak my mind to obnoxious and offensive people, and if they don’t like it, too bad!”
That’s fine if we “have the mind of Christ” (Phil.2:5) in dealing with difficult people. We should never be contentious and un-Christlike.
“But avoid foolish and unlearned debates, knowing that they create strife. The servant of the Lord must not quarrel; but must be gentle toward all people, able to teach, patient, in gentleness instructing those in opposition. Perhaps God will grant them repentance to know the truth, and they will escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will” (2Tim. 2:23-26).
The reason the “Bullseye Challenge” was released this year was to provide free videos and an accompanying book to equip us to speak intelligently and winsomely on the 30 hot button issues of today. Christians are equipped to be confident, informed influencers on today’s issues so we can engage folks with humility, mercy, kindness and grace. Churches, ministries, schools and families have been transformed by this resource. Take advantage of this tool!
So what are the radical instructions given us by our Lord? “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who spitefully use you” (Lk.6:27).
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