Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Has God Ordained Donald Trump , Hillary Clinton or any Presidential Candidate to be President?

During almost every election cycle, someone invariably insists that their candidate has been "sent by God" to either lead the nation or be appointed to position. The same can be said of the current election cycle. 

The Arguments or should we say Rationalizations?

Some, such as David Hodges of 'The Common Sense Show Blog',  contend that similar to Jehosaphat that Trump has somehow been "chosen by God" to lead the nation even if he is unaware of it or not. Although he doesn't mention it like this, Trump is similar to the Babylonians who ransacked Israel at the behest of God as a fulfillment of prophecy and is destined to be President. Hodges, like many, are not disillusioned that Trump is godly, but contend that God is doing "something" within the nation that he would not do otherwise. 

Then there is Michelle Bachmann who, in an interview with CBN invoked what she thought was contained in the book of Daniel:

Ps. 75:6-7 ~ 6-For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. 7-But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

I believe she was referring to Daniel 4:17, only that America is NOT a "Kingdom" as Daniel outlines. However, Bachmann indicated that out of the initial 17 Republican candidates and against all odds, Donald Trump was raised to the top  to be the Republican nominee, and by virtue of that his candidacy is surely of God and is something that she will support because she does not believe that "God sits things out" or is uncaring about the Presidency. Nevertheless, her interview can be found HERE

I am not saying that either person is wrong for their thinking and for examining the issue in light of truth and why we are here today doing what we are doing. But there are some problems with what I believe may be "linear thinking" on the issue, especially as it pertains to a God who does not necessarily think linearlly (sic) or for purposes that we can outline. 

The first problem I believe is a slippery slope problem.

Slippery Slope

Arguments like Hodges and Bachmann's could be froth full of problems for Christians to explain. In order to defeat contradiction, one should be able to apply the same or similar logic to many different things and even other leaders and leaderships and not exclusively "American" leaders or leadership, that is unless one thinks that God only cares about America and or Americans. 

Example, Adolph Hitler (1939-1945) was certainly "raised up" to lead the German people at a time in history. I am confident that there were some great things that happened under his leadership. However, we KNOW that some of the most horrific things in modern history also happened under his leadership as well. The murder of over 12 million primarily Jews and the ungodly racist hatred and anti-semitism that spewed from the nation as a result could hardly be said to be either "prophetic" or "ordained by God" under any circumstance. Yet it happened.

The leadership of Pol Pot(1975-1979) killed and destroyed over 1.7 million people, nearly a third of the Cambodia. Was he "raised up" by God or was he a part of "prophecy"? It cannot be argued that he led the people. 

There there is former Russian leader Jozef Stalin(1932-1939) who is said to have murdered over 7 million people or caused them to have been put to death.

How about Fidel Castro (1959-1999) of Cuba? Former leader of a nation that has gained new open relations with America. Fidel is said to have been responsible for killing over 30,000 Cubans for disagreeing with his leadership.   

So it is a very difficult argument to make that either Hitler, Pot, Stalin, or Castro were fulfillment of prophecy, especially when, like Trump, neither of their names were called by God. It is furthermore difficult to say that either of these people came to power because they were "ordained" or sanctioned by God to do what they did by virtue of their exaltation or ability to reach the heights of leadership. 

In fact the latter thought would give rise to a warped conclusion that no matter how a person acts in "office" or after being "raised up" that they are somehow "special" to God or similar to the Blues Brothers "on a mission from God".  This is confusing for many especially in light of NT admonitions saying that we, as Christians, should be "subject" to the authorities that rule because their rule is because of God or their office is sanctioned of God. (Rom. 13:1, Titus 3:0, 11, 1 Peter 2:13-17)

I think out of hat conclusions along these lines, that leaders are "of God" and are to be obeyed and or reverenced simply because they are in position, are equally as flawed.  

The Conclusion Of The Skeptic & Atheist

In the blog, "500 Questions about God & Christianity" the blog author, who describes himself as a "mild mannered former Christian" examines the issue regarding the 2012 Presidential election in which commentary was similar to what it is now regarding "God's plan for the Presidency". This is what the "former Christian" concludes:  
"So does God appoint evil leaders? According to the Bible, yes. 
This fact highlights many contradictions that exist in God’s behavior: he’s benevolent, yet gives rise to evil leaders; he leads his followers to vote for one leader, yet he appoints another; he guides the motives of all leaders, yet they still disagree; he orders his followers to do good, and then orders them to obey evil leaders; he punishes nations and people who are helpless, and grants victory to evil tyrants; and he insists he establishes all authority, and then denies establishing all authority. 
If the Bible is truly inspired by God, one wonders why such contradictions exist."
In short, the situation of "leaders being ordained of God" as "former Christian" suggests calls into question the character of God. If these are the only alternatives, I would agree. Thank God however, that none of what I have outlined is the only conclusion that can be drawn from the rise and fall of evil men and women to either secular or spiritual office. Please allow me to explain.

Alternate View

In this, I must lay a few layers of ideas and truths to set the stage for my ultimate conclusion. Please be patient and read through each section to see if my mini-conclusions are sound. I'll be glad to respond to feedback and modifications in the commentary section, so please don't hesitate...

The Sovereignty & Nature Of God
First, we know that God is sovereign. Sovereignty meaning that God can act in any manner that he wishes in accord with his nature, without question or being subject to any authority. However, we also know that God is good. A good God does not operate his sovereignty outside of the realm of his goodness. 

Now if this is to be accepted, we must reconcile how God is good. Is he good by nature or are his acts good simply because he says that they are good? If it is because he says or calls his acts good, then his goodness could be arbitrary. In other words, God could call even the most vile evil, "good". However, if his good or goodness is because his nature is good, then his good acts cannot be separated from his nature.  In fact, I would like to go further and state that if goodness exists at all, it is because HE (ie: God) is good. Now, I already hear the critic. They say well in that case, if evil exists it is because God is evil and that I cannot have it one way without the other. Well, I simply say that I side with Norm Giessler on this one who stated that God made evil possible, but man made evil actual by and according to his choice of evil!!!

With the free will contingency in mind, one of the greatest goodnesses(sic) of God would be the extension of free will to free moral agents. Individuals who both have the will and right to make a choice of God and or of evil. One could argue that was not God's original intent, as God did not allow Adam or eve to eat of the "Tree of the knowledge of good and evil"(Gen 2:9, 17), however God being God, knowing all, made a built in contingency in that Jesus was a propitiation for sin from the beginning of all creation. 

Free will that is made to do one thing or another is not free will. Being given overwhelming reasons to do something is still not a violation of free will, because in the end one could make a choice either to do or not to do. Being forced to do something is compulsion and possibly determinism. Although many individuals argue this regularly (that God compels both the righteous and unrighteous to act and do what he wants them to do) I will not deal with it in detail here. One thing that God has preserved among humanity is the ability of men to make choices. I believe that it would be a violation of God's "goodness" to strip men of that choice to implement either good or evil, make a good decision or a bad decision out of man's own mind. However, that choice can be directed by God and ultimately does not at any time escape the knowledge or preparation of God in any way. 

The Knowledge Of God
With that said, and backtracking on what I have already stated, we know that if God is God at all, then he is omniscient. This means that he has all knowledge, both past, present and future. There is nothing that has got by him or nothing that can catch him unaware or unprepared. This is where it gets sticky, God, because of his knowledge, has made certain determinations. Those determinations are based and rooted in his goodness. Those determinations are not merely "responsive", or not merely in response or as a result of what men and mankind does. If they are in response to man, then it seems that life, living and purpose are man centered as opposed to God centered or sovereignty inspired. However, it could be that what we 'think" is man centered or inspired is ultimately inspired by God, as nothing has happened that has caught God by surprise as stated. 

At this point many simply say, "did God ordain it or did he not?" The only answer that can be given is that at times, he does and has "ordained"however at other times he has "permitted" something to be that he has not necessarily "ordained". 

For example, no one can hardly successfully argue that God "ordained" a husband to kill his wife and kids or for a mother to do the same. Or for a baby or a baby's mother to die in a drive by shooting or by a stray bullet. Or for a person to rape and or molest another. No one can say that Go has ordained these things, YET every man has a appointed time to live and to die, and every person on earth is subject to be touched as a result of crime or evil.  

Quickly. I use "ordain" here to mean something that God has "decreed" or declared that will happen without question or failure. 

The further question is "how does God ordain" or what is the "process" by which he has decreed something? ie: is the process open to change even if the purpose or ultimate aim is fixed? These are things that the bible is not clear on and where our faith in HIM his nature and HIS will for us is exercised. 

The King & His Heart
The bible constructs that the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord and that the Lord directs or turns that heart in a manner that pleases him. (Prov. 21:1) 

What this does not say is that God controls the King as a "puppet". Although at times a "puppet" could be made out of a person that follows the whims and dictates of their own minds and hearts. However, it does affirm that even the King can do no more or less than what the Lord has instructed, allows, or permits. So God setting the boundaries or parameters in no wise hampers free will.  

A Word On Pharaoh
Some conclude that Pharaoh was inexplicably tied to his own destruction because God "hardened his heart". (Ex. 7:3, 9:12, 10:20,27, 11:10, 14:4) I have often taught that this view, that God made Pharaoh obstinate as a result of his holding his heart in that position is incorrect. Pharaoh, who had control over his own heart, chose his obstinance against God of his own free will. However the language is similar to the language that a man uses when he has committed the crime of abusing his wife or children...in nearly every case the offender, in this case the man, will say that the wife or children "made" him do what he did. Of course we naturally know that no one took the hands of another and made them abuse them...however, the message is clear that the offender believes that the victims actions, however slight, caused the perpetrator of the crime to act. In any case, we all understand that the perpetrator is responsible for and had full control over their own actions unless they were working in self-defense.

Sisera & The Judges
One of the basic lessons of the Old Testament (OT) is that of the Judges and the "sin cycle" or the "cycle of restoration" that was displayed. We observe that like clockwork, when the people of God had a champion, they served the Lord, only to backslide when the Judge did not reign The people would indulge in sin, go through punishment for it, seek the Lord through calls for repentance and help, enjoy the blessings of restoration and renewal only to go back through the cycle again. 

During these times, it was clear that the Lord had allowed these things, even directing them clearly at times, for a purpose. In judges, it is clear that the purpose was to call men to prayer, fellowship and union with HIM. 

One such character that brought Israel to repentance and as such was a "servant" of God, was the character of Sisera. After judge Ehud died, the book of Judges records this:

Judges 4:1-3 ~ 1-And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, when Ehud was dead. 2-And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles.3-And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.

Jabin had Sisera as a general and appointed him over Israel. Sisera "oppressed" Israel for 20 years. Notice the purpose of God was to call Israel BACK to himself after they had backslid, but at the same time everyone acted out of their own free will. Jabin's appointment was his. Sisera's oppression was his. The people's repentance to God was their own. However, it was orchestrated and directed by God for his purpose without missing a beat. The ultimate purpose, following the story and the book, was to bring the people of God to a deeper, new and better relationship with HIM. 

So it is with the precision of a weaver or someone making intricate details to the smallest of things that God sewed together the tapestry of Israel's past and our present. Do we understand the why all the time? Absolutely not. We are not God and neither are we required to be. That is where faith in HIS character takes over.      

Summary To The Point & Conclusion:
I've talked through many things, but here is a quick summary/snapshot of some of the things:

God is good
God is sovereign
God is omniscient
God acts in his sovereignty according to his nature
God has a plan according to his omniscience that will not be missed
God responds to man and mankind based on their response to HIM
God is active in the choices of man and not merely responsive
Man makes choices for which God cannot be blamed
God deals with man according to those free will responses
God ultimately uses whom he will to do his bidding. Those who do this do not necessarily always do honoring things, by their own freewill choices.
God's ultimate aim is to bring man into union and fellowship with HIM

The Question:
In light of these things, lets look back at the original or initial question:

Has God ordained Donald Trump , Hillary Clinton or any Presidential candidate to be President? 

I would contend that while God is certainly not indifferent, God's plan does not necessarily center around either the Trump or Clinton brand.  Neither candidate has a relationship with HIM to do "righteously" by the people of God. I contend that God's ultimate aim is to call  men and women of God to repentance, union and fellowship with HIM. Certainly a Trump presidency, similar to a Clinton presidency should call ALL men to repentance because we will be equally as jacked up, in my opinion and in many instances if not most, more jacked up with Clinton!

Just like when President Obama, Bush, Clinton and others were elected and throughout their Presidencies, God has placed America in a position in which it MUST pray and renew its relationship with God. Trump is not a man of "prophecy" in my opinion and I see no parallel to any biblical character with the exception of the admonitions of Solomon about the wealthy and boisterous. I certainly see no parallel of Clinton either and just because either of them has ascended to high political ranks, I see no special calling upon either of their lives other than that they, as well as all men, good or evil, are instruments in the hands of God.  

Trump is not a deliverer and certainly doesn't claim to be one. Clinton, is not a deliverer and does not make the claim either. So neither of them can be vessels in the sense that either of them have some ethereal call upon their lives to be President and to do righteously as in doing what the bible requires men and women to do.

Their policies and practices make it difficult for any bible believer to fully give themselves to support any. For example, Trump has no clue as to why men should not be allowed into women's bathrooms, and views gay rights as a matter of a business move, while Clinton thinks it is a benefit to continue to promote abortion as a choice greater than the life of the baby that is destroyed in the process.

So I will agree and disagree with both Hodges and Bachmann. If Trump is in prophecy he is in there by being a man that boasts and speaks great things, but as one who does not represent biblical values. Although neither of these candidates are Kings, although some may think they are, both are on the same footing. They are humans, seeking to lead a secular nation into secular ideals and values with a fascad that God is pleased. 

Personally, God could not possibly be pleased with either of the candidates. As stated, they both have serious issues. The lesser "issue" is not necessarily a "lesser evil". They are just different evils that should leave the true believer with the knowledge that God is at work by taking away any natural hope of our deliverance as a people, heed the call of God to prayer and seeking him diligently. If we were waiting for a natural deliverance we should be confident by now that such a deliverer is not coming through this or any new political or social process.

Jesus is Lord and remains Lord and is calling ALL of us to him for HIS leadership.This election cycle, I hope that people everywhere will be able to see that and know that no matter what, without God our nation is in trouble and will remain so. 

Blessed! 

1 comment:

  1. Hey what's up Amerrrrrrrca. When I woke up this morning I was thinking about how disgusted I am with the presidential election, but I will exercise my right to vote. However, I was reminded that what people fail to understand is that there is a hidden agenda. Hillary and Donald are working on "the" father's behalf. Who is the father of this world?
    They are both puppets completing their assignment and they are doing a fine job I might add. Don't underestimate the father of this world for one minute. His major tactic is to kill, steal and destroy. He wants everyone to be distracted so he can set the stage for the anti-christ. The world will be in utter chaos and the anti-christ will have "all" the solutions to all the worlds' problems
    The world will wonder at his ideas and be enamored with his pragmatic theology. Our very moral compass will be turned upside down. Is that not what's happening today? The things that we were once told were wrong; are now right in the world's eyes. A lot of our children our totally confused. Even the ones that have been raised with solid moral foundations. Look at the music. Since when was it ever okay for men to go around calling women B's and H's to the sound of a good beat and better yet for women to embrace the lyrics. Don't you get it? The father of this world was one of the most beautiful angels who was given charge of directing the heavenly choir and was kicked out of heaven. So what better way to try and mock God than to infiltrate an entire culture with something so common to us all. You see music was a way and still is a way to praise God. The bible says: God inhabits the praises of his people.
    There will be no ability to buy or sell. Except by taking the mark of the beast "666" in your forehead or palm of your hand. Amerrrrrrrca this is no new strategy. God warned us about this in the book of Revelations, however, as we often do we ignore his warnings and just keep it moving. I think the more important question we should be asking ourselves is: What will prevent us from accepting the mark of the beast this election and future elections? Let us ponder on that as a nation.
    The bottom line is this Amerrrrrrrca: "You must be born again" to see the kingdom of heaven and let me make this perfectly clear. Don't get it bent and twisted. God sends no one to hell. We "all" make a willful decision. He's just kind that way. He forces his will upon no one. Romans 10: 9-10 clearly states: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
    So my question to you Amerrrrrrrca is: "Who ya wit?" I'm just saying.
    I dare you to like and re-post this. You scared? Just asking?

    ReplyDelete

Please send me an email if you try to post a comment and cannot do so. Dunamis1@netzero.com. Thanks.