Since Donald Trump has been in the White House, a considerable amount of evidence has surfaced about members of the Trump Administration colluding with Russian operatives who interfered with the 2016 election as well as possible evidence of “obstruction of justice” by Trump and members of his administration. In the months leading up to the election, we learned that Donald Trump, Jr. met with a woman who was a “Russian government attorney” in hopes of obtaining damaging information on Hillary Clinton, according to emails that Trump Jr. released on Twitter. These emails show that Trump Jr. believed that he was receiving “high level and sensitive” information that was part of “Russia and its government’s support” for Trump Sr. That meeting, which included Trump Jr., former campaign manager Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, took place on June 9, 2016. His admission follows months of blanket denials from Trump officials about a willingness to collude with Russians during the 2016 campaign. This incident is just one of a number of scandal ridden situations that continue to surface about the Trump administration. Some of Trump’s former staff members have already been indicted by Special Counsel, Robert Mueller. Trump claims to be a Christian and it’s not up to me to challenge whether he is or isn’t. I am proud to be a Christian and I have been curious about what the Bible says about following corrupt leadership. Based on my research, I have concluded that Christians should not follow or support corrupt leaders.
Ephesians 5:11 says, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”
The Bible is absolutely clear about how Christians must react to such things when exposed to them. We are to have “no part” or take no part in it, meaning not even a little, and tiny part. Having “no part” means avoiding the “works of darkness” altogether, and that means avoiding those who do them. In fact, we’re told to expose them because whoever breaks man’s laws also breaks God’s laws (Romans 13:1-5).
Romans 13.1 says, “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” If this is so, what about the bad governments like those that abuse their authority. If God is the one who sets up governments, are we supposed to obey those bad governments? The answer is no.
The Bible tells us to obey governments unless they violate Scripture. Acts 5:20 says, “We must obey God rather than men.” Whenever a government violates biblical teaching, Christians are obligated to disobey that government. For example, if our government were to declare that we should kill all Muslims or Gay and Lesbian Americans as some Right-Wing Republicans have threatened to do, we should disobey. Governments are run by people and there is much evidence in the Trump Administration that it has become corrupt. Furthermore, the Bible never tells us to obey governments in contradiction to the revealed word of God.
In the Old Testament, God sent the Israelites to destroy different nations. Technically speaking, we could say that God set up those various governmental systems that He told the Israelites to destroy. But when systems become ungodly and anti-Christian, they are no longer properly representing God and should not be obeyed.
Are we seeing a conflict or a contradiction? Not at all. For example, Exodus 20, where we see two commandments: obey your parents and do not murder. We can see that our parents are the authorities above us, even as governments are, and we should obey them. But, what should we do it our parents tell us to murder someone? Should we obey? Of course not. Obedience to our parents is only proper when it’s consistent with the rest of the Scriptures. Likewise, submission to the governmental systems is only proper when it is consistent with Scripture.
Genesis 6:5 tells us that “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
When Jesus was speaking about the end of the age, He mentioned that it will be like in the days of Noah and He said, “For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man” (Matt 24:37-39). Imagine how hard doing business would have been in Noah’s day when all that they thought about was evil, continually, and every intention (business or otherwise) was always with a wicked heart. Do you see similarities today? Everyone’s going about their business, just as in Noah’s day, when the flood of God’s judgment came sweeping them all away.
Hosea 9:9 says, “They have deeply corrupted themselves as in the days of Gibeah; he will remember their iniquity; he will punish their sins.”
The “days of Gibeah” are like those of today. When a “Levite, the husband of the woman who was murdered, answered and said, “I came to Gibeah that belongs to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to spend the night. And the leaders of Gibeah rose against me and surrounded the house against me by night. They meant to kill me, and they violated my concubine, and she is dead” (Judges 4-6). So the days of Gibeah are like those we live in today with increasing violence in American cities and suburbs unfortunately representing Trump’s America. The point Hosea makes is that God “will punish their sins” and no one will get away with anything on Judgment Day (Rev 20:12-15).
Proverbs 28:15 “Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked ruler over a poor people.”
This is a great proverb because that’s what it feels like when wicked rulers are governing the land and it seems to be what’s happening today. Proverb 14:34 says “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” and that’s what this nation and many other nations are before a holy and just God. President Ronald Reagan once said that the most frightening words ever heard were, “We’re from the government and we’re here to help.” When the wicked are in power, it’s often a judgment of God, just like He did with ancient Israel. It’s like the nation gets the leadership they (and we) deserve and so He may be using evil rulers as part of His holy judgment against the nations.
When a nation exalts God, God will exalt that nation, and it’s obvious to me that He has exalted the United States for hundreds of years given the kind of nation we have become. Today, because of the Trump presidency, the United States can no longer be exalted because it no longer honors God’s core values such as taking care of the poor, showing love for everyone including Gay, Lesbian and Muslim Americans, and embracing and honoring the fundamental principles contained in the Bill of Rights that says, “that all men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These words remind those in government, not just in this country but in all nations, of the limits of their power, a moral boundary that must never be violated if the government is to retain its legitimacy.
Evidence seems to suggest that Donald Trump has a corrupt Administration, and its leadership is more interested in self than the people they should be serving. The Republican congress has also become corrupt in a number of ways. For example, despite evidence to the contrary, it refuses to hold Trump accountable for its actions including possible “obstruction of justice.” It has confirmed unqualified individuals as judges, some receiving life-time appointments. Its committees that were established both in the Senate and House were supposedly designed to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election yet they have decided to attack the FBI and the Justice Department in an attempt to halt the Special Counsel’s investigation. Without any input by Democrats or even a hearing, they passed tax legislation designed to favor the rich but screws the middle class. This “terrible” legislation does provide some temporary tax relief for the middle-class but provides permanent tax benefits for the rich and within the next several years, will cause several millions of Americans to lose their health care. To pay for the huge deficit this tax bill will cause, Republicans have started the process to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to be sure they are able to sustain the billions of dollars in tax cuts for the rich.
Romans 13:6-7, tell us, “For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.” Notice that Paul says that the rulers are servants of God. This is the context of the submission that is mentioned at the beginning of the chapter. If our rulers are no longer servants of God and if they continue to contradict Scripture, they are not to be obeyed. Remember, it is God Who “removes kings and sets up kings,” (Dan 2:21). God removed Saul and he can surely remove Donald Trump, but this is just my take.