Judging Donald Trump

Victor Chininin Buele

I love you, dear reader, too much to just sit by and watch.

President Trump allegedly said a very nasty thing about human beings from Africa and Haiti, perhaps others. My family has connections to work kingdom work there, and needless to say, we love the people of the African continent and the people of Haiti very much.

I have been noticing a trend in social media.
1. President allegedly says or does something obviously wrong, immoral, racist, or at the very least, questionable and demeaning of the office of the President of the United States.
2. Public outrage follows.
3. Those who didn’t vote for him and some who did (because I care about labels and caricatures, and I don’t want to say “liberals”) would turn on “the others” and require a retraction of some sort or a comment. An acknowledgment of “I told you so” is required.

There is another trend I addressed in here after the famous Access Hollywood tapes episode.
1. I do x. I like x. I feel x. I <whatever> X
2. x is anything that was a common moral standard in the overall culture but no longer is
3. Person a looked at me funny, or disagreed with me, or perhaps indeed sinned against me, I turn around and say, “Jesus said, ‘Judge not!”

So I want to spend a moment not typing again that word which the President allegedly used, but because I love you, I want to help you see what is happening.

You are starting to understand that Jesus didn’t say, “Don’t judge,” in Matthew 7. Don’t waste it.

We all know the cycle. And this is, in the interest of clarity, not a defense of Donald Trump.

I am an immigrant. And a Christian. My Lord was an immigrant. If the President said this, it is obviously morally wrong and heartbreaking. The cycle is the same–our friends at CNN look like they are about to have a heart attack in the air, Trump writes a non-denying denial on Twitter, talking heads talk some more, and by the end of the day something even more outrageous happens. Back to square one.

You were created in the image of God. God is a judge. So are we.
God has shown to reveal Himself to us, in part, as His Law. This Law teaches the way things should go, but it also proves itself ultimately impossible to fulfill on our own. That’s why the charges of the stereotypical hypocrite Christian and the pedophile priest stick. Because we are sinners. Rotten sinners.
We are all lawyers. We put in these very complicated cases to defend our actions even when no one is asking for an explanation. We also out in these very complicated cases to justify the goodness of our actions even as we feel ultimately dissatisfied with the explanations. Five bullet points to prove I’m right. A straw man argument on the other side I can easily defeat.

So, you and I have been judging Donald Trump.

Let’s let that take its full weight.

Matthew 7
1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.
2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:1-5 (ESV)

This text is about YOU. You are not to judge until you judge yourself rightly. You judge, and with the same judgment stick you will be measured.

I proved just yesterday to be no better than Donald Trump. Before I can look at the speck in his eye, I must do all I can to remove the gigantic log in my own eye. If that poor lady at the airport counter had a public display of my sinful rage for being inconvenienced…

Have you removed the log in your eye?

Until you do, don’t judge.
Go remove it.
Then, please, judge. We need you to judge. I saw this sign that said our freedom was in peril, and we must do all we can to protect it. I couldn’t agree more. I want you to have eternal joy, and for that I write.

But you can’t remove it on your own, and for that you need Jesus. The real thing. Not the made up one that you sketch from the GOP’s current platform or from that bad experience you had with a someone who called himself a Christian.

You may notice I have used the word allegedly. There is a chance that Trump didn’t say it. A slim one I think, but a chance nonetheless.

Why do we spend all this time judging Donald Trump about an allegation but not spend the time killing the filth in our own hearts first? We will then, rightly reconciled with God and neighbor, to be of much greater impact to the kingdom and the world.

There is somebody, somewhere you feel the same way about as what this comment is portrayed to say. Repent of it. Turn to Jesus and live.

Therefore, all my responses to whatever Trump says or does will always be the same:
You have judged.
Have you judged rightly?
Is all well with your soul?
OK! Now, brother or sister, let’s act and pray about the president’s actions.

Trust me, something changes when you finally see this rightly: you are just as Donald Trump is. He is just a caricature of our national sins. And Jesus is better than somebody who drops in to agree with you.

Don’t Rush to Judgment, But Don’t Rush to Apathy Either

Angela Chininin Buele

How often are we rightly told not to rush to judgment?  I know I need to be told this a lot.  I need to be told not to assign motive (usually of malice or mockery) to the words or actions of others.  I need to be warned not to assign consequences to the child who is the obvious “usual suspect” in a sibling squabble before I have heard all sides of the story.  I also need to be reminded that giving an internet review that raves in either extreme after just one or two encounters with the service of an establishment might show more emotion than discernment.

There are times when judgment is required to determine if John Doe is a thief.  We must use information to make such a judgment.  In an ideal situation, we would have complete and accurate information for this process.  This side of eternity, however, we don’t always have that much information or time.  If you are looking for a babysitter for your young children, and one candidate seems to be a little too eager to show physical affection, you would be wise to avoid hiring the person on the spot.  There is too much on the line to take such a risk. Now, to call John Doe a sexual molester based on perception alone is a different matter.  More data is needed.

Taking steps to protect your family and yourself against theft or sexual abuse necessarily assume that it has been judged that theft and sexual abuse are not morally good.

We are told quite plainly now, Don’t judge me or anyone else.  I think where this little quip goes most terribly wrong is that it fails to differentiate between determining that John Doe is a thief and judging that theft is not morally good.  This has taken us to a Zero Tolerance Judgment principle for which only some judgments qualify while others don’t.  For example, it is not socially acceptable to state that homosexuality is immoral, but it is acceptable to say that people who don’t affirm homosexuality are immoral.  Both are judgments.  It is also not socially acceptable to pass laws that would require pregnant women to view an ultrasound of their child before aborting, but it is socially acceptable to require elementary school children to be taught how to engage in sexual expression.

Proper judgment requires discernment, applied wisdom, and understanding.  The road of evading such judgment leads to ­­the darkness of apathy.  If the goal is for each person to do whatever feels good to him or her, there is no obvious place to draw moral boundaries. People are forced to eventually check out and not get upset with anything or try to change the way things are because whatever feels right is what is right.  Nobody cares.  You see, what seems to escape most of us is that you have to care about something to judge it.  You have to want to see your loved one safe so you evaluate the situations and surroundings that affect them to help advise and offer assistance.  Apathy is the lack of concern.  When you lack concern, you will not love or care for anyone.  There is no sacrificial rescue option when you are going down the apathetic, just-looking-out-for-yourself path.

Key Question: Why can’t there be a happy middle between absolute truth and total anarchy?

Unshakable Truth:  “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart’” ( 1 Samuel 16:7).

Time and time again foolish people choose foolish kings.  They choose leaders because of the way they look, the way they talk, the way they dress, the jobs they’ve had, the people they know, the campaign promises they make, or their profound passion to see the competitor NOT get elected.  Samuel’s job was to override the feel good choice for king – the one people would like and want; the easy choice, and trust the Lord’s right discernment of the heart of man.  So it’s God’s place to see and judge the heart, but His people are to carry out appropriate actions to point others away from the peril of darkness and toward Light.

The Real Choice: The stove is hot, the friend is drunk, and the gun is loaded.  Do you give unsolicited advice to see someone dodge disaster or do you keep calm and carry on, figuring that others are in charge of their own matters?