This is certainly on point:
It has long been frustrating to me that the only criterion by which Americans — almost without exception — evaluate judges is: Did he or she make decisions that produce results I’d like to see? Virtually no one asks whether the judge has rightly interpreted existing law, which is of course what the judge is formally required to do. Americans — again, almost without exception — want judges to be politicians and advocates. The idea that a judge should strive to interpret existing law regardless of whether it does or doesn’t promote politically desirable ends never crosses anyone’s mind, and if by some strange chance it did, the person whose mind was so crossed would reject the proposal indignantly. Americans in this respect resemble toddlers and their own President: they evaluate everything in terms of whether it helps or hinders them in getting what they want.
This devaluation of interpretation amounts to a dismissal of the task of understanding: everything that matters is already understood, so the person who would strive to understand is not only useless, but an impediment to the realization of my political vision. To the partisan, the absence of partisanship is always a sin, and perhaps the gravest of sins.
Alan Jacobs, “Judging Judges,” Snakes and Ladders (Jan 31, 2017) [link].
Matthew Schmitz wrote this back in August, but I just read it today. It is an interesting take on Donald Trump’s “faith,” and attempts to trace the influence of Norman Vincent Peale on Trump. Apparently Trump once said that Peale “thought I was his greatest student of all time.” Schmitz goes on to explain why that might actually be true.
But the best thing in the article is this description of Christianity:
“Christianity is a religion of losers. To the weak and humble, it offers a stripped and humiliated Lord. To those without reason for optimism, it holds up the cross as a sign of hope. To anyone who does not win at life, it promises that whoever loses his life for Christ’s sake shall find it. At its center stands a truth that we are prone to forget. There are people who cannot be made into winners, no matter how positive their thinking. They need something more paradoxical and cruciform.”
Matthew Schmitz, “Donald Trump, Man of Faith,” First Things (August 2016) [link].
That seems pretty thoughtful, though to my way of thinking it does not go far enough: The penultimate line should probably read: “People cannot be made into winners, no matter how positive their thinking.”
There is none righteous, no, not one.
From Andy Crouch:
But there is a point at which strategy becomes its own form of idolatry—an attempt to manipulate the levers of history in favor of the causes we support. Strategy becomes idolatry, for ancient Israel and for us today, when we make alliances with those who seem to offer strength—the chariots of Egypt, the vassal kings of Rome—at the expense of our dependence on God who judges all nations, and in defiance of God’s manifest concern for the stranger, the widow, the orphan, and the oppressed. Strategy becomes idolatry when we betray our deepest values in pursuit of earthly influence. And because such strategy requires capitulating to idols and princes and denying the true God, it ultimately always fails.
* * *
In these closing weeks before the election, all American Christians should repent, fast, and pray—no matter how we vote. And we should hold on to hope—not in a candidate, but in our Lord Jesus. We do not serve idols. We serve the living God. Even now he is ready to have mercy, on us and on all who are afraid. May his name be hallowed, his kingdom come, and his will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Andy Crouch, “Speak Truth to Trump” Christianity Today (October 10, 2016) [link].
The entire article is well worth reading.
[T]his morning I ask you to ask yourself: do I know and respect people who have different views than I do on the hot button topics of today? Do I have friends who are pro-choice and pro-life? Do I have friends who are for gay marriage and friends who are against gay marriage? Or don’t I think people on the other side of these issues are worthy of my respect? Do I think they must simply be avoided — and perhaps for the good of all even silenced altogether?
Without irony, I confess I do not always agree with Eric Metaxas, but this is a very nice speech on the importance of viewpoint tolerance and understanding in a democratic society. Somehow, I think this is about recognizing the image of God in others.