What are the lessons we can learn from last night? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
It’s not a secret to many of you that I do vote Republican and conservative consistently. This past election was no exception. Like many of you, I was skeptical. I was thinking it looked like Hillary would win. So was most everyone else. The reality is that we were in fact, wrong.
As I watched the results rolling in last night and thinking there could be a chance that Trump could pull this off, I wondered what I could learn from this. Eventually, we got to the point where it was no longer asking “What does Trump have to do to win?” and instead had switched to “What does Hillary have to do to win?” No doubt, for the Democrats, this was an upset.
I went to bed shortly before the announcement came since I had heard Pennsylvania might not be called until the morning. I got up to go to the restroom during the night and checked my emails to see if there was anything new. One of my friends emailed me and said that Hillary had indeed conceded.
Some of you are pleased. Some of you are disappointed. Some of you don’t know. Still, I hope that the lessons I give here will be ones that you can use whether you agree with President-Elect Trump or not. I think there are several things he did right that we Christians can learn from.
First, if you believe something is true, be willing to say it. Something that I think people found refreshing in Trump is that he blew apart political correctness and yes, I think that does need to die. It got us to be more individualistic and centered on ourselves and our feelings and make those dominant. This is also one reason I think a TV show like House was so popular. A TV Guide cover I saw once about it said “People say they want House to change but they don’t. You watch it because he’s a jerk.” House’s being straight-forward was refreshing to a lot of people.
Second, along with those lines, don’t be afraid of offending people. There’s no need to offend needlessly, but at the same time, we’ve reached a point where we’re afraid to say anyone to anything that will offend them. If we give the Gospel, we will offend people. It will be offensive to people to tell them they’re sinners. It will be offensive to them to tell them Jesus is King and they are not. If you are afraid of offending people, you will not be able to do evangelism well.
Third, be able to accept criticism. Remember the basket of deplorables remark? Many people were described with slurs of racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and Islamophobic. If you speak out against Islam, well you won’t make it anywhere. You had better get in line with the culture also on homosexuality as well.
The slurs didn’t stop the President-Elect at all. Too many Christians when they get told that they’re a homophobe or Islamophobe or something similar (And I am not saying that Trump is right in line with us on the issue of homosexuality) shut down immediately. They think the label might be true. All it takes then is to have your opponents put a label on you and you stop.
Fourth, we can win in the face of opposition. Trump did it. Naturally, the Republican candidate had the Democrats against him, but also many in his own party and the media. We Christians in the face of opposition often fall back and don’t do anything. What could happen if we push forward?
Finally, what led to his win? Because there were plenty of people who were staying silent, but were supporting him. Most every poll was wrong. There were a lot of people who were shy about their support of Trump and didn’t want to tell a pollster, but they were willing to show up and vote. So now we have to wonder. How many people out there could be silent but do agree with us on issues like abortion, homosexuality, etc.?
Ideological battles can be won. The problem isn’t that the church can’t win battles. The problem is that the church rarely shows up to fight the battle. We assume often that we are a lone voice like Elijah, but there could still be 7,000 that have not bowed their knees to Baal we don’t know about.
Maybe you’re disappointed after last night. Maybe you’re not. Maybe you’re not sure. Either way, wherever you are, this should be a learning time regardless. I often like to listen to Herman Cain and he ends each show with saying “I hope you learned something.”
I hope we all did.