I don’t know if you were aware, but Donald Trump is running for president…
What started out being viewed as a shameless ploy for attention on his part has turned into a legitimate and viable push to attain the highest office in this land. Media outlets all over the world have been chronicling Mr. Trump’s ascent (or descent, depending on your perspective) in popularity. From reporting at rallies to telecasting live events to tweets and status updates being retweeted and repeated throughout the day, it is hard for anyone not to hear what Donald J Trump has to say.
Despite all of the rambunctious rhetoric surrounding Mr. Trump (and the subsequent cries of support and disapproval that accompany it), there is another sound that has my ears ringing; the deafening silence from so many of our clergy. In a space where Mr. Trump’s vitriolic, demeaning, bigoted, divisive, sexist language has become all too normative, it appears that so many of our brothers and sisters that occupy pulpits around our nation are too timid, too reluctant, (dare I say) too afraid to speak against the venomous verbiage being spewed by Mr. Trump.
Our indignation (presuming that my sisters and brothers in ministry are indignant) must not be relegated to the comfort we find in our pulpits and among our parishioners. We must be willing to declare God’s displeasure with anything that does not push our nation to be one pleasing in His sight. So many misinterpret the ethical dimension of our ministry as a oath of silence; more likely and willing to cosign someone than to criticize them. A responsible use of our influence is not only to further our own agendas (which prayerfully are Godly) but also to denounce things and ideas which are detrimental. The love of Christ in us, the commitment to live as Jesus would, and the intensated level of love we are called to ought prompt us to boldly display our disdain. The price of being popular is cheaper than the cost to be prophetic. Could it be that there are those who are engaged in ministry but aren’t willing to spend that much?
What happens when those who are called to proclaim the Word, Will and Way of God are afraid to do so in the presence of a spirit that is not off God? What does our world become when those who know the truth are apprehensive to speak that truth to power? We play a much more central role in the demise and decline of our society that what we are willing to own. On our day of judgement, we will not be celebrated for what we said loudly, but for what our silences said even louder. Prayerfully, we realize that we are in a place in time where those who listen to us as well as those who expect us to speak, share the same sentiment. Looking for those who speak on behalf of God and needing a word from the Lord, may it never be said of us that we cannot be heard.