Congratulations, Mr. President, on the stunning events of yesterday’s election. You shocked the world.
Anyone who knows me or reads this blog knows that not only did I not vote for you but I expressed in the strongest terms my belief that you were not qualified to be president, that I was disgusted by your behavior, disagreed with many of your positions, distrusted your sincerity even on positions we held in common such as the pro-life position, and generally disdained your personality, deportment, and conversation. Sir, I determined last summer that this day should not come and that I would speak out strongly against your candidacy, regardless of what anyone said about it or thought of me for it. I have done that and do not regret my stand. I followed my conscience before my Lord and have been a consistent, relentless, inexorable voice of negativity about you and your candidacy.
That all ends today.
America has chosen you as president, but my Bible tells me something even more significant. The God who is sovereign over human affairs sets up one and takes down another. I have not changed my mind on anything I said or anything I believed, but according to Romans 13, you have been placed in authority by God and I must now show proper respect and honor for your office and you, the man who occupies that office. Though you were not the man I would have chosen for the Oval Office, the American people and the God I worship have spoken.
That does not mean that all you do is of God. God raises up some leaders to bless a people and others to punish them or as an act of judgment. Whether you are a blessing or a judgment on our nation is yet to be determined. I pray that my fears will be allayed and you will prove to be a mercy of the Almighty on this nation I love so much.
My duty before my God is clear.
I am not going to offer you advice or give admonitions today. Frankly, after all I have said in criticism of you it would be crass for me to give you advice. You do have my commitment that I will seek to fulfill my biblical responsibilities as a Christian, as a pastor, and as a man of God toward the duly elected president of the United States.
I am commanded by God’s word to respect you and to submit to you as a servant of God (Romans 13). As an American citizen, I will continue to feel free to disagree with your actions and even to respectfully express that disagreement. I will seek to do so in a much different way than I have during your candidacy. Never again, as long as you are president, will I engage in the kinds of pejorative and derogatory criticism I did during the election. I will seek to respect your office and you as the office holder as I am commanded to do.
I will be praying for you, Mr. Trump, that God will bless you as president. I have some concerns about your faith, your reluctance to admit your need to repent and admit your sin, and some of your statements about the faith. I have concerns about some of your views. And I have to believe you are walking into a relentless buzzsaw of stress and pressure. As passionately and faithfully as I have criticized you, I will pray for you over the next four years.
- I pray that God will bring you to real and deep faith in him.
- I pray that God will show you the beauty and joy of repentance and the spiritual renewal it brings.
- I pray that God will reveal to you the power of dependence on the sovereign of heaven. We only win by losing, by dying to self and living to Christ. I pray God will show you that.
- I pray that God will give you a deep desire to know the word of God and to live your life according to all it teaches.
- I pray that God will give you a heart for the unborn, for the helpless, for the refugees and outcasts, for those whom life has damaged and abused, for people of every race and background.
- I pray that God will bless your family – I can only imagine the struggles you will face living in the fishbowl of the White House.
- I pray you will listen to the wise voices around you and learn to ignore those voices that speak deceitful words of darkness.
- I pray that you will fulfill your commitment to protect religious freedom, individual freedoms and the constitution of this great country.
- Sir, I will pray for you – your health, your inner peace, your joy, and your wisdom day by day.
Mr. President-elect, I have stood strongly against you – as strongly as I have ever stood against any politician in my life. But now that America has spoken and God has seen fit to elevate you to this noble place as the 45th president of the United States, you have my prayers, my support, and my hopes that you will so far exceed my expectations that I look back at my opposition to you as a season of foolishness.
This is a great nation and and it needs greatness in the oval office. I pray that you will rise to the occasion and be the man we need. May you succeed in your leadership beyond even your supporters’ expectations and hopes.
God bless president-elect Donald Trump.