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A great deal of criticism has been, and is being
leveled against President Donald Trump by the Main Stream Media along with
various detractors across the political spectrum. Some of what is charged
against Trump is deserved, either because he is combative by nature, or he
enjoys tweaking his opponents. Much of what is said about the President is
hateful, and intended to diminish the man and his presidency.
As I have written in previous articles for my
column, Donald Trump was not my first choice as the Republican candidate for
the presidential nomination. In fact, of the seventeen Republicans running,
Trump was number seventeen for me. As the various candidates dropped out, it
became clear that Trump was possibly going to win the Republican nomination.
Any of the seventeen would be far superior to a Hillary Clinton presidency.
The things I disliked about Trump from the outset
had to do with his overall manner. His attack on Senator John McCain, where he
said he was not a hero, was over the top. As a thirty-four-year veteran of our
military, I did not appreciate this vendetta against McCain. From a political
perspective, Senator McCain and I have little in common. But he did not deserve
to be publicly shamed and berated by Mr. Trump at the outset of the campaign.
Furthermore, I did not like Mr. Trump’s bullying
tactics toward the other Republican presidential hopefuls. He is frequently
rude and boorish. He has involved himself in activities that make me cringe.
But as I have written before: I was not voting for a Sunday School teacher.
In Mr. Trump, I believe those who voted for him
were a lot like me. That is, they didn’t always like what they saw in him, but
they were fed up with the empty promises of neatly groomed politicians who say
the right things to get elected, but fail to deliver once in office. Mr. Trump
is a hard-nosed businessman. He’s a wheeler-dealer. For many of us who
supported him for the presidency, we liked this man who knows how to get things
done. He has made many campaign promises, such as “draining the swamp” in
Washington D.C. Building the wall along the Mexican border. Restoring America
as the economic engine of the world. Building up our military as the premier
fighting force on the planet. And so forth.
Roots in Ripon - Author Chuck Roots
Some have challenged me for supporting President
Trump. How can I as a Christian, they ask, support someone who has been married
three times? How can I support a man who has owned and operated casinos?
Here’s my answer.
I support President Trump (just as I have
supported every president during my 69 years on planet earth, even those I was
diametrically opposed to politically and philosophically) because I believe he
loves America, and wants to restore our nation by protecting our freedoms and
Here is where I believe some of us in the
Christian community make a mistake. I did not grow up in the church, so I was
not exposed to solid Christian teaching. I had a life-changing encounter with
Jesus when I was a twenty-four-year-old sergeant in the Marine Corps. I had
much to learn about this Savior who loves me.
My life-style up to that point was far from
exemplary. The night I walked into that Christian Serviceman’s Center, changing
my life forever, I had been living with a hooker (prostitute) for the previous
six months. My mouth was a cesspool of vulgarity. I was in the bars almost
daily drinking with my friends. The path of life I was on scared me, but I knew
of no way to change. Jesus intercepted me and changed all of that, for which I
am forever grateful.
In becoming a Christian, I was accepted into
churches and fellowship wherever I traveled around the world. No one has ever
held it against me that I did not always live a clean, Christian life. I was
able to attend seminary. I have enjoyed being the pastor of several churches.
And I had a wonderful career as a Navy chaplain for twenty-five years. I have
been truly blessed.
So then, why is it that there are Christians who
cannot bring themselves to support our president because he has not acted like
a Christian throughout his life? To my knowledge, he has never professed to
have had a life-changing encounter with Jesus. Why then do we hold him to
Christian standards? This seems highly unfair. If the person doesn’t even know
the rules, how can you expect them to live according to those rules?
Here’s the most important thing in all of this.
Every last person on this planet is a sinner. Nothing
complicated in this. We have all violated God’s laws at one time or another.
So, we’re already toast, condemned. But God loved us enough to pay the price
for our sin. Jesus is that payment. In accepting Christ as Lord and Savior we
are forgiven. This is known as Grace. Jesus extends grace to us.
I’m no longer judged by God for my life of sin.
I’m forgiven! So, let’s not expect a person who is not a Christian to live like
one, whether it’s your neighbor across the street, or the President of the
United States. It’s all about grace.