It’s been a week since the most divisive presidential campaign on modern history ended with former reality show star Donald Trump being elected the next president of the United States. One of the most disturbing things I heard since the election results was an explanation by an African American pastor of why Trump won. He boldly declared that God allowed Trump to win and added that Trump being “raised up” was much like God used Nebuchadnezzar to stir God’s people to return back to Him.
To all of that, I say STOP LYING ON GOD and twisting the truth of God’s word! Nebuchadnezzar is not known as one of the great patriarchs of the Old Testament for a reason. In fact, his story is a cautionary tale of the dangers of pride and arrogance. Daniel 5:19 explains: “…because of the high position he gave him, all the nations and people of every language dreaded and feared him. But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory.” An arrogant King, Nebuchadnezzar was ultimately challenged and changed by Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, the three Hebrew boys who refused to submit to his authority.
It is true that the bible is full of many instances when God used flawed people: David was an adulterer, Rahab was a prostitute, Abraham was a liar, and Peter had anger management problems. It is also true that God allowed Nebuchadnezzar to come to power, but I think it’s a stretch to say that God’s hand was upon him. God allowed Nebuchadnezzar to rule but I doubt that God’s original and perfect plan was to bring his children into captivity in Babylon. Captivity occurred because of disobedience. Ezra 5:12 says “But because our ancestors angered the God of heaven, he gave them into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.” The question remains whether Trump being elected is the result of the disobedience of those who voted for him or for the “moral failures” of the last few presidents. The Trump win is not necessarily God’s perfect will; it might be better stated as part of God’s permissive will.
Even if your motivation to vote was because of abortion, there is no scripture to justify voting for a man with a decades long record of racist and sexist as well as bullying behavior. The sad part is that some have perverted scriptures to justify what Pastor William Barber of North Carolina calls a morally and “theologically bankrupt” vote for Trump. This is similar to those who twisted scripture to defend the morally corrupt system of slavery and segregation. God will hold accountable those Christians who turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the inflammatory rhetoric of Trump and did not embrace the truth of Matthew 12:33 which reminds us that to “…love your neighbor … is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” In other words, no religious practice/belief or political affiliation should be more important than showing love and kindness to others.
Shewanda Riley is the author of the Essence best-seller “Love Hangover: Moving From Pain to Purpose after a Relationship Ends.” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.