At best, the election of Donald Trump has temporarily stopped the rising tide of anti-Christian hostility in the courts, but his election will not turn the hearts of Americans to God, nor will it slow the moral deterioration in our country. Spiritual renewal and cultural reformation are the job of the church, and if we don’t take advantage of this window of opportunity, we will have only ourselves to blame.
Imagine for a moment what our attitude would have been had Hillary Clinton been elected.
We would have been bemoaning the outcome, sounding the alarm and calling for prayer and fasting. We would have been shouting from the rooftops, “We must have revival in America! We need a great awakening! We are under the judgment of God! Wake up!”
But shouldn’t our words and deeds be just as urgent and passionate today? We make a fatal error if we take our foot off the gas now that Mrs. Clinton is not our president.
Our nation is ripping apart at the seams, there is an ever-widening gap between the values of the older generation and the younger generation, pro-abortion activists and LGBT activists and anti-Christian activists are not going away, our university campuses are breeding grounds for all kinds of unbiblical thinking, and our airwaves are flooded with bloody gore and sexual trash.
Why in the world would we let up on praying or contending for revival or reaching out to the lost now that Donald Trump is president? It makes no sense at all. President Trump is not going to evangelize our neighborhoods or disciple our young people or bring a God-consciousness to the nation (although he could help with the latter if he had a life-changing encounter with the living God).
Even if President Trump worked to overturn Roe v. Wade, that would only increase the need for the church to make the case for life in every city and state, and, to date, it is only a small remnant of faithful believers, both Catholic and Protestant, who have been actively involved in the pro-life cause.
As for turning back the tide of LGBT activism (all while showing love and compassion to every human being), that will not come from the White House — in fact the White House might not even see it as an issue of concern.
Moral and cultural changes will not come from the top down but from the grassroots up, and that means starting with you and with me.
In the words of Evangelist Mario Murillo, “Trump is not a pastor or a moral reformer. Trump is a foot in the door — a stay of execution. He is an act of God to buy the church time to repent and return to her rightful role in American life.”
Of course, there are many believers who are distressed by the thought of President Trump, and he would be the last one they would equate with a national spiritual awakening. Yet we evangelicals (especially white evangelicals) have had a dangerous habit of hitching our fate to the Republican Party, which, in practice, means praying like crazy while the “evil” Democrat is in office, only to fall asleep at the wheel when the “good” Republican wins the day.
This is not a mistake we can afford to make again, especially since so much has been given to the Republicans, and so, if they don’t govern well during the next two years, there might be a serious backlash against them in the mid-term elections. And if they do very poorly, especially in the White House, there could be an even more serious backlash against them four years from now. This, in turn, could usher in a more radical, liberal, Democratic party pushing its agenda on the nation, to the hurt of the church and the society.
So, what will it be? Will we hit the snooze button, as we did just weeks after 9-11 in 2001, or will we turn up the heat of prayer and outreach and repentance? If we do the right thing, we could be on the cusp of a gospel-based moral and cultural revolution. If we don’t … I dread the very thought.