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Union Seminary @UnionSeminary
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1. Though much-analyzed, it's not discussed enough how parishioners' reservations about @realDonaldTrump hinge around personal behavior (adultery, affairs, language, etc.), not systemic sin.

This reveals a broader crisis within Christianity.…
2. Jack Jones, for example, says it's difficult to support a president who had an affair with a porn star. Terry Drew admits reservations about how Trump "boasted about grabbing women's crotches." Suzette finds him "abrasive." Brett Green disliked his "shithole nations" remark.
3. Now, this is all deeply sinful behavior and the members of Luverne's First Baptist Church are right to feel it contradicts Christ's message. However, decades of theology framing sin as an interpersonal affair leaves them blind to this presidency's other sins.
4. The Bible isn't primarily concerned with personal morality. Too often it's commandments are reduced to "how one can live a moral life," when, really, Scripture is far more concerned with how a society cares for the most vulnerable. It's not "What do I do," but "What do we do."
5. And on those questions, the biblical message is clear: End economic exploitation of poor people, liberate captives, heal the sick, welcome strangers. It's why Amos decries leaders who "sell the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals."
6. It's why Isaiah declares:

"The Lord enters into judgment
against the elders and leaders of his people:
'It is you who have ruined my vineyard;
the plunder from the poor is in your houses.'" (Isa 3:14)
7. It's why we find clear commands to treat citizens and non-citizens equally, why we're asked to cleanse all debt in Jubilee every seventh year, why God's gravest condemnation is generally reserved for tyrants who oppress the people they're meant to serve.
8. It's why, in Jesus' first sermon, he says he's sent "to proclaim good news to the poor...freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free."

And, it's why Jesus was executed for opposing an empire that subjugated his people.
9. And so—in looking at the Trump presidency—we should be rightfully appalled by his lying, abuse of women in his life, disparaging remarks about vulnerable people. But, Christians should also be outraged by policy that violates Christ.
10. It's a sin to deprive people of healthcare. It's a travesty to steal from poor people to line rich pockets. It's abominable to lock migrants in cages, to rip their babies from their arms. When Christians can't see this, it's because they haven't been taught the gospel.
11. Instead, they've been taught individual piety that masquerades as Christianity. You can see this revealed in views of salvation. Jewell Killough describes heaven as "whatever makes me happy." Brett Green remarks, he "thinks about it all the time, what it will be like."
12. Sheila rubs her knee and says, "In heaven I won't have any pain...I'm going to be in my kitchen...I think it's going to be beautiful to see all the appliances."

But if heaven is about a Mixmaster, then heaven in meaningless.
13. God promises more radical salvation than a mansion in the sky.

God talks of swords turned to plowshares, spears to pruning hooks; God promises that the first shall be last, and the last shall be first; God dreams of a world in which all have enough—and all have a place.
14. That's the other part of the Christian witness absent in Luverne: We don't have to wait until we die to start building God's kindom.

We can pass policy that guarantees healthcare for everyone. We can ensure no one goes hungry. We can open our borders to all who need asylum.
15. Because, if the gospel means anything, it calls us to work together to bring God's future just a little bit closer. And any president who actively conspires against this call commits far graver sin than any interpersonal abuse or failure.
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