About a month before the election I overheard a couple of my friends talking. Friend A was asking Friend B about some future plans. Friend B responded, “….unless of course I get my head chopped off hahaha”. Friend A chuckles along and they move to other topics. If you are like me though you might be wondering, what in the name of all that is holy was going on there? Who jokes about something like that? Especially considering what is actually happening in parts of the world. Well, the answer is they weren’t joking. Not really. My conservative friend’s reference to the end times, from Revelation, wasn’t so much a joke but an indication of his belief it would be happening…and soon! The real joke was the idea he would actually be around for any head chopping. As a true believer, he’s getting raptured the heck out of here before it gets really ugly and screw the rest of us! We should have seen it coming. They are the Noah of our times. If we wanted to keep our heads we should have gotten on the boat when we had the chance!
Many conservative evangelicals, like my friend, are also Trump supporters. Pre-election this was astounding to me – in a hypothetical it will never happen kind of way – that any self professed Christian could believe Trump was what God wanted for this country. Post-election, it’s gotten me thinking. Are they trying to bring about the end times? Is God not moving quite fast enough for them and they’ve decided to help him along a bit? How disappointing that Obama didn’t turn out to be the anti-Christ they so desperately wanted him to be! He was the obvious choice too! Did you hear that he’s actually secret Muslim? Every word that came from his lips was clearly a lie, whether you could prove it or not. But no…turns out he wasn’t quite the epitome of all evil he was promised to be. Although he’s not dead yet so maybe he will reveal his horns to us yet. Fingers crossed. But in the meantime why not elect a man even more fit for the job? After all, Obama’s brown sure came close but perhaps Trump’s orange really is a shade closer to the Lucifer red they were hoping for? And the lies! You really can’t trust a word this man says! So why not Trump? If the world is going to end anyways perhaps the “Christian” thing to do is make sure it happens in our lifetime.
I consider myself a Christian and so much of my life is spent trying to figure out what the “Christian” thing to do actually is. But I understand, to many, my “liberal” beliefs may actually cast doubt on that assumption. I’m told that you can’t believe in evolution and still believe God created the world. If you allow for the possibility God is actually okay with gay marriage you are denying the Bible. Abortion is murder and anyone who says otherwise is just plain wrong. The list goes on and on. I’m not going to pretend to know exactly where God stands on any one issue but when I’m in doubt I like to imagine what he might say at the end of my life. Please excuse the sarcasm. That alone might be sending me straight to hell.
God: “Welcome to Heaven! Let’s see what you’ve done with your life! Oooh you voted for the orange guy! Trump and the Republican Party absolutely represent me and all that I stand for! Good going electing them into office! Did you know I’m also a Patriots fan? Some have called Trump the second coming of Jesus. Now I think that’s taking it a little far but you can definitely see me reflected in him right? No? Not quite? That’s ok. I can work with him. After all I brought Nebuchadnezzar around. I did have to take away his sanity and make him think he was a cow before he recognized the error of his ways, but I’m pretty sure Trump is almost halfway there. I’m not sure what the twitter equivalent of a bovine meltdown is but I’m God, I will think of something. And if Donald Trump can’t make it work? That’s ok. You have the entire GOP to fall back on. I’m all about the politics and I always take sides. Did you know that I personally wrote their platform myself?
Thanks for standing up for the law enforcement officers that gunned down innocent black people. After all, in the scriptures, I definitely made it clear I was all about the law and order! Good job! The Pharisees were also all about the law and we were absolute best buds when I was walking the earth.
I’m so glad you made sure that women who chose to have abortions knew that they were criminals and murderers and had committed an unforgivable offense. It was very important to me that every child be born into this world no matter the circumstances. Women don’t need to be scared or thoughtful about the decision to have babies because I know that no matter what happened you would make sure that they had all the resources they needed. Oh you didn’t? That’s ok. That baby should have been born into a better family if they wanted a better life. Better yet that woman shouldn’t have had sex in the first place! But a baby is a great natural consequence and I’m sure other women will learn from their mistake.
It was especially important gay people knew their behavior was absolutely immoral and disgusting. Love and family? Please! I was really glad they knew they weren’t welcome in your church as is and shouldn’t be welcome in any church for that matter! Anyone who said otherwise wasn’t adhering to the scriptures in which I clearly stated that I hated gay people. Good job!
Refugees? Immigrants? Keep them out of your country for sure. I don’t care if they are children whose homes have been destroyed and they are fleeing for their lives. There is a slight chance one of them could actually be a terrorist and put your life in danger. After all it is quite clear in the scriptures that no matter what happens protect yourself first. Following me absolutely guarantees you a safe and prosperous life. Not feeling so prosperous? Well it’s probably the immigrants’ fault. I told you to keep them out of your country. You should follow my example. Remember that time when my life was threatened when I was just a small child? We stayed in Bethlehem and stood our ground to that nasty Herod. Oh wait…we fled to Egypt…I guess that made us refugees. I’m sure if I had stayed behind and been martyred with all those other babies my ministry would have had the same impact though. I’m also pretty sure we did it all by the books though so totally not the same situation. I wouldn’t worry about those “illegals and refugee terrorists” anyways though you’ve got that big, beautiful wall coming. What a great way to spend the resources I have given you! Tell me again is the wall supposed to keep “them” out or you in? It’s not clear at this point.
And finally thank you for destroying my creation. I absolutely understand destroying all of those animals natural habitats. They absolutely were getting in the way of your building plans. Expedite it! Pipelines are really important to me and are absolutely necessary to my plans. Smog? Love it! Lead in the drinking water? Absolutely! Hole in the ozone layer? Climate change? Too abstract! Ignore it! Who needs clean air to breathe and clean water to drink? Not me! After all I’m God. Oh, you do? Well that’s ok. Once the planet is completely destroyed I can always make a new one. That is one promise I intend to keep. Thank you for destroying it faster though! I really couldn’t have done it without you. It kind of stinks for everybody who has to live with it in the meantime but whatever I didn’t like them anyways.”
Can’t picture it? Yeah, me either. I can’t speak for God other than to refer back to the Bible. And yes you probably could find scriptures to backup any number of horrific things you want to accomplish but I don’t think you can actually expect any praise for it at the end of your life. Sorry, but I think Jesus made his priorities pretty clear when he ministered to the sick, the friendless, and the needy and commanded us to love thy neighbors as ourselves.
The Bible also makes it clear that God works in his own time and place. There is nothing we can do to speed him up or slow him down. The choice is to let him work through us or go around. You might ask him though, why in the meantime could he allow so much suffering? I can imagine his answer will be: “How could you?”