The three presidential debates have only confirmed that we are experiencing the most squalid race in modern times. Others have been labeled the “dirtiest” and the “sleaziest,” but the current electioneering for the White House establishes a new category: the trashiest. Trump and Clinton are an insult to America. And they are a reflection of America. Why did God let it get this far? The answer can be found in three Bible verses.
First, a little perspective. One must go back to the Thomas Jefferson-John Adams match of 1800, in which a writer hired by Jefferson called Adams a “hideous hermaphroditical character which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.” Then there was the Andrew Jackson-John Quincy Adams 1828 mud-slinger, the Lincoln-Douglass hassle of 1860, the 1884 Cleveland-Blaine slugfest, and the Hoover-Smith grease-slinger of 1928, when Hoover forces planted a rumor that Catholic Al Smith planned to build a secret tunnel over the 3,500 miles between New York’s Holland Tunnel and Rome’s Vatican.
So my question is this: “Why would God allow Americans to be reduced to such a tawdry choice for their nation’s leader?” Three Scriptures come to mind.
1. Matthew 24:14
Here, Jesus revealed the whole purpose of history. “This gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” The whole purpose of history, Jesus was showing, is the spreading worldwide of the good news of the Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Perhaps what is happening in American politics reflects the shift in the advance of the gospel of the Kingdom globally. This may fit the historic purpose of spreading the gospel of the Kingdom.
2. Romans 1:21
God’s judgment comes upon people who “suppress the truth in unrighteousness,” rejecting the revelation that has been made so clear to them, writes Saint Paul. “For even though they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (1:21). So what we are seeing is the predictable judgment of God.
3. Matthew 5:6
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Much of the Western church has lost the vision for holy living, having swapped it for the “feel-good-about-yourself” faux gospel. But the contemporary trashiness of politics and culture generally can stir a new level of hunger for holiness, and for leaders with integrity.
I wrote recently that any hope that Trump might give moral leadership will be in his choice for a running mate. Perhaps the best thing Donald Trump has going for him is Mike Pence. Maybe that choice alone should compel a vote for Trump. Elect him and we get Pence. Elect Hillary and we get Kaine, who embraced Marxists in Latin America, and perhaps still dreams of the day when our nation might be a socialist country, like all the other failed states that litter the historical landscape.
Electing Trump possibly positions Pence to someday restore political, moral, and character excellence to the Oval Office. That would be a good day for America, and make the present walk to the voting booth through the stench worth it.
About the Author
Wallace Henley, a former Birmingham News staff writer, was an aide in the Nixon White House and a congressional chief of staff. He is a teaching pastor at Second Baptist Church, Houston, Texas. He is also a regular contributor to The Christian Post.