Piper, John Piper, like shaken not stirred. I like the man but there are many times he makes me go, now hold up here, close but no cigar.
I don’t intend this to be a political post, but politics are kind of unavoidable in the sense that his post is actually called, “How to Live Under an Unqualified President.” Just the same, it is actually some faith-based matters I want to speak of, not politics.
Specifically this spirit and attitude that seems to permeate a lot of people in the church and is somewhat problematic because it is rooted in a couple of deceptions. First off Piper declares Donald Trump is not morally qualified to be President. Yes, that is quite true, but on the other hand “there is none righteous, not one.” Romans 3:10. Who among us is morally qualified to do much of anything in this world? Jesus Christ is really the only sin free one we can look to as an example of what it even might look like to be “morally qualified.”
Second of all, all through history, there has never been a truly morally qualified human leader. David, he was an adulterer who had a woman’s husband killed. So a good King, one who had the Lord’s favor, and yet morally unqualified, as we all are. So true of all former US Presidents, some better than others, but every last one of them morally unqualified for office. They’re human so they do ugly things like own slaves, have affairs, make mistakes, lie under oath, lead us into war.
Next there is this idea that we the church deserve better leaders because we are the pure and unblemished bride of Jesus Christ. So, the world just better produce leaders as pure and righteous as we are, worthy of leading such morally qualified people. Because everyone knows culture just stops at the church doors. There are the sinners of the world, “those kind of people,” and then there is us. There’s two problems there, one being we are justified by our faith, by the work of Jesus Christ who died on the cross, while we were yet sinners. So those of us in the body are not even “morally qualified” ourselves, we’re justified by the work of Jesus Christ.
He doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
Piper always seems to have this idea that our authority and leadership must always be worthy, qualified, above us, and to some extent that is true, but consider marriage for example. One could simple declare one’s spouse unworthy and unqualified, but that kind of denies the hidden truth that you chose them. It takes some humility to see it, but who really is the one with poor judgment here? And if your own judgment is so flawed, should you really be pointing fingers at someone else? As the saying goes, “don’t be too critical of your husband or wife’s choices, you were one of them.”
Lastly, remember Josiah? He became king when he was 8 yrs old. Josiah is a good king and 2 Kings 22:2 tells us, “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.” He tore down idols, called people back to the Lord, repaired the temple. 2 Kings 23:25 tells us “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.”
God saw him, God heard him and yet we read, “Nevertheless, the Lord did not turn away from the heat of his fierce anger.” God is not fooled by the fact that we simply put a righteous man in charge and called it good. A nation is not her King. It was the heart of the people that mattered, and the heart of the people were building the same idols that Josiah was tearing down.
The heart and soul of a nation is what lurks in her people, and the only sorrow of a Trump presidency is that so many of our Christian leaders are acting as if we can just turn away and act as if our own hands are clean, obviously far superior and certainly not responsible for anything…… we may have actually brought upon ourselves.
So how do we live under an unqualified president? The same way we always have, with humility and a willingness to consider the horrifying fact that we often get the leaders we deserve, even more so in a democracy were we actually chose them. We remember that there is only one morally qualified King and He is already seated in victory at the right hand of the Father.
Than we remember that faith actually begins at home, with each one of us.
Near as I can tell, the bible says God will judge the nations, but not by the alleged virtue or non virtue of our Kings, but by the heart and soul of her people and the strength of our faith.
Also Piper, seriously? “Let us not exhaust ourselves bemoaning a Trump presidency.” You’ve been bemoaning for so long, I simply had to respond. You must be absolutely exhausted by now.