Inauguration Day: Reflection and Resources

untitled-design-1Today is Inauguration Day. Regardless of who you voted for in this election, today marks one of the most incredible traditions of this country – the peaceful transfer of power. The current President of the United States, the most powerful person in the world, willingly hands over his responsibility to the President-elect.

However, with that transition of power comes great responsibility. The mantle of leadership now falls to Donald J. Trump. That statement fills many Americans with fear and deep concern. It fills others with an uneasy interest at how things will unfold under his presidency. Yet, it fills many more with great excitement and anticipation. Because Christ is King over all, we should be filled with neither hopeless despair nor unbridled excitement.

Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
sing praises with a psalm!
God reigns over the nations;
God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
he is highly exalted! – Psalm 46:6-9

Rather, we can live with confidence and a commitment to God’s mission. We can with confidence entrust our new president and other civil authorities to the Lord, in whose hands they are a stream of water and he turns it wherever he will (Prov. 21:1). We can with confidence continue to love our God and love our neighbors (Matt. 22:37-40). We can with confidence continue to love our families and work as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:22-6:9). We can with confidence open our homes and hearts to those who are like and not like us (Rom. 12:13; Heb. 13:2). We can with confidence seek the good of the city (Jer. 29:7) and be salt and light (Matt. 5:14-16). We can with confidence boldly share the gospel and make disciples (Matt. 28:18-20).

As you reflect on this Inauguration Day, here are some resources for you to consider:

Why We Celebrate Inauguration Day – Ben Sasse
A little perspective can go a long way. Senator Ben Sasse (Nebraska) provides a helpful historical perspective on the peaceful transition of power and why this is good reason for all Americans to celebrate.

How to Pray for American in this Historic Moment and Reasons to Celebrate in the Midst of Extraordinary Challenges – Ronnie Floyd
I know of few men who have called for and pursued calling the church to pray for our nation more than Ronnie Floyd. I also have never been more grateful for his leadership than with his emphasis on pursuing racial reconciliation during his time as President of the Southern Baptist Convention. He provides some important encouragement and calls us to pray for our nation at this critical moment

If the church does not stand for and practice racial equality, lead and call for unity in our nation, and value life from conception to death, who will?  We cannot expect politicians to do what the church is not doing.”

Three Things Every Christian Owes President Trump – Bruce Ashford
Ashford provides, as usual, an insightful and winsome challenge to all Christians. In short, we owe President Trump the benefit of the doubt, honest criticism, and consistent prayers. His conclusion is compelling:

As Christians, we know that Christ was raised from the dead and that he will return one day to set the world aright. Having this knowledge, we as Christians should serve our nation by being the heart and strength of every good movement of social, cultural, or political concern. But we can’t be the heart and strength of any good movement if our public life is characterized by cynical opposition, naïve optimism, or apathetic spirituality.

Moore reminds us of the command to pray for our leaders and all those in civil authority. Christians are not called to pray for those they like and oppose those they dislike. Our prayers are for the success of our leaders and our good under their leadership. But we also pray so that we may be free to advance the gospel. Moore captures this understanding well:
We pray for flourishing in the civil arena because that’s good for everyone, and part of our obligation to love our neighbors. We also do so because we pray for the freedom for the church to announce, without hindrance (Acts 28:30-31), a message that outlasts the White House.

Faithfulness in the Age of Trump – Trevin Wax
Wax captures the unique situation many Christians face under Trump’s presidency. “Today, we are called to be faithful to Jesus in the age of Trump. And that task may actually be harder. Why? Because the lines between Christian principle and Trump’s policies are drawn in different and unfamiliar places, and because many conservative Christians belong to the party that Trump now leads.” It is well worth the time to read and consider Wax’s four words of caution for being faithful to Jesus under Trump’s presidency.

How to Live Under an Unqualified President – John Piper
I am grateful for Piper’s passionate and prophetic voice in the American church. Even many of Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters will not deny his moral failings. Piper’s reminds of this great sorrow and shows how to live under his presidency. Some may see this as an unnecessary attack, but I see it in the necessity of not forfeiting the church’s prophetic voice in our culture. He concludes: “Let us not exhaust ourselves bemoaning a Trump presidency. There are peoples whose privileges of prosperity and possibility are vastly inferior to ours. Having been so loved by God to receive the gospel, we are debtors to them (Romans 1:14). Do not think of the molehill of moral and social disadvantages of a Trump presidency. Think of the Himalayan mountain range of blessings we have in Christ. Let this put fire in our bones for what matters most: the salvation of the world.”

You may also enjoy listening to John Piper and D. A. Carson discuss “God Reigns Over All: Biblical Survey of God’s Kingdom.”

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