August 31, 2020
Letter to the editor
During a time when one has to question one’s Christianity because of those who dare to judge one’s beliefs, there is a Scripture that should form a basic foundation of what a Christian should do when faced with people exhibiting certain characteristics.
Paul in his second letter to Timothy identifies those personal traits that identify those whom Christians should avoid. Governmental policies, political issues, societal problems and so forth are not part of the list. The list contains only personal characteristics of those who should be avoided: “lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious, gossips without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.” (2 Timothy 3:2-5, New American Standard). Indeed, Paul states without reservation, “avoid such men as these.”
There are preachers and Sunday school teachers who espouse that any person who votes for a Democrat is not a “real” Christian. The main issues that drive comments like these are abortion and gay rights. Societal issues will be debated for years with people of all political and religious persuasions being found across the spectrum of thought.
How does one deal with those who seek to judge the Christianity of those with whom they differ on divisive issues? Those Christians who find that child-separation immigration policies, criminal corruption, inviting foreign influence in our elections and so forth are not disqualifying beg other Christians to judge these decisions of loyalty to leaders who either espouse or practice such un-Christian things as attempting to force them to decide on a political leader based solely on one or two hot-button issues.
Paul’s writings above are very clear. President Trump has a very good reason for trying to win again at all costs: he stands to lose his entire empire through mounting legal liabilities of corruption, tax evasion and campaign laws.
Finally, there are five words that President Trump said during the 2016 campaign that should alarm all Christians whether “conservative,” “moderate,” or “liberal.” These words were uttered in the context of solving Americans problems. These words were uttered in the context of knowing more than the experts, the generals and the academicians. The five words that haunt me to my inner core are those that the nominee of the Republican Party said during his many un-Christlike rallies: “I alone can fix it.”
As Paul might say, President Trump is “holding to a form of godliness” in order to attract a large number of Christians to his cause. I have come to understand how the anti-Christ can fool the established church.
May Paul’s words of instruction provide the discernment that Christians should have. With regard to those who exhibit the characteristics that he listed in the above-quoted passage, Paul gave only one choice: avoid those persons. For the life of me, I do not understand the attraction that so many evangelical Christians have for President Trump.
Earl B Chappell III
Virginia Beach, Va.