I've written at length before about Isaiah 58, because it is a passage replete with meaning for our present time. One of the evils of Jerry Falwell's "Moral Majority" and its modern successors is that it conflates a sound, biblical faith with the idea that one must necessarily vote conservatively. There are numerous passages throughout both the Old and New Testament of the Bible which at times espouse some decidedly liberal viewpoints, including the requirement of a public safety net. While in general I do agree that a conservative translation of the Bible, as well as a conservative interpretation of it, are fundamental to a sound Christian faith, I can't deny the fact that the Bible is not an inherently Republican manifesto.
Ever since Trump first started his media rampage, he made it clear that he has no intentions of behaving in a humble or compassionate manner, nor of making any remote effort to be truthful. Lately, he has mocked the #MeToo movement and publicly shamed himself with a poem deriding immigrants, to name merely two recent examples of thoroughly un-Presidential behavior. While some of the elder generation may mistake this for mere candor, I find it to be a shamefully and astonishingly unbecoming standard of behavior for the highest office in our land.
I have never claimed to be a person of unassailable character, and I do believe in a God whose grace can cover over any personal faults. I also believe, however, that when a person assumes a mantle of leadership they also accept tacitly a burden of responsibility to act in a dignified, God-honoring manner that befits the trust he has given to them. Because immigrants, women, Muslims, and LGBT people are all image bearers of the Most High God, they are inherently deserving of the dignity and respect that we accord to our fellow believers in Jesus Christ. To believe that anyone is somehow an "animal" (which he narrowly applied to MS-13 members, but has since become a dog whistle for anti-immigrant racism) is not only contrary to our melting pot nation's history, but is at its basest level a denial of the human dignity of even the worst sinner.
Do I believe that immigration should happen legally? Sure. Will I ever support the dehumanization and blaming of an entire group of people for the actions of a few? Never.
God cares about the foreigner residing among us, and to say otherwise is to show one's ignorance of scripture. The Bible is not a Republican (nor a Democratic) manifesto, and to use it as such is to cheapen and defile it with the corrupting influence of human-made labels and political agendas. At number 5 on my list of 25 theses is the admonition that the church of Jesus Christ is not a political lobbying group.
This post is likely to be the first of many where I attempt to show that Trump is neither a good President nor a good reason to abandon sound biblical teaching simply to further a conservative agenda. If that irks and confuses you, then you're exactly who I'm writing these for. Let's just agree going forward that if you love Jesus Christ and his Word, there should be nothing in this life that is more important to you than that.