Billy Graham was a spiritual advisor to President Nixon when Watergate erupted. The things that came out during the investigation caught him by surprise. He told Christianity Today in January 2011 that he wishes he hadn't been so political during parts of his career, "I also would have steered clear of politics. I'm grateful for the opportunities God gave me to minister to people in high places; people in power have spiritual and personal needs like everyone else, and often they have no one to talk to. But looking back I know I sometimes crossed the line, and I wouldn't do that now."
I believe today's Christian leaders could benefit from the wisdom that Billy Graham gained in his dealings with the White House. It is also my hope that Christian leaders would cease to be silent on the moral character and misconduct of the President. Many of our national leaders have "crossed the line," as Billy Graham said and used their pulpits, television shows, and other avenues to support/endorse and prematurely pardon the President. In doing so, they have diminished the credibility of their position by holding the "any Republican will do flag" higher than the ideals and values they teach from the Bible.
You may wonder, as a Christian, if I pray for the President. Of course, I do. I pray for him, his family. I pray that he would have wisdom. I especially pray that he'd have wisdom when it seems he isn't listening to the advisors that he has placed around him. This is an important point as the president is a part of a national leadership team of elected and appointed officials.
Recently, however, it seems that the American people have forgotten that we don't have just one national leader, like a king. Though the President has shown great admiration for Vladimir Putin, he is not in the same position as Putin, who can make decisions unilaterally, without opposition and accountability. We have a president and three branches of government that are a check and balance to each other. Our three branches of government and the American concept of Democracy reflect the incredible foresight and wisdom of the Founding Fathers. We should pray for all of the branches of government in America, as they are all are part of God's established authority as outlined in Romans 13:
Rom 13:1-3 (NIV) Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.
The President of the United States is subject to the laws approved by Congress and the Supreme Court. If the President is rebelling against these laws, he is rebelling against the governing authorities, and he will rightly bring judgment upon himself. We are all called to subject to the governing authorities. Colin Powell's quote illustrates this point with a recent example of the President's behavior:
"And I see things happening that are hard to understand. A couple weeks ago the President put a circle around south east Alabama, saying it's going to get hit by a hurricane. He put it on top of the meteorological prediction," he said. "In my time, one of us would have gone to the president and said, 'Mr President, you screwed up, so we've got to fix it, and we'll put out a correction.' You know what they did this time? They ordered the Commerce Department to go out and backup whatever the President mis-said. This is not the way the country's supposed to run, and Congress is one of the institutions that should be doing something about this."
Powell concluded, "The media has a role to play, we all have a role to play, you've got to remember that all these pieces are a part of our government. Executive branch, Congress, Supreme Court, and of the Fourth Estate, and we've got to remember that the Constitution started with, 'We the People,' not 'Me the President.'" (Colin Powell) (Becker, 2019)
The Bible says in a multitude of counselors, there is safety (Prov 11:14, 15:22). It also says that we should pray for all who in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives (2 Tim 2:2). In that regard, I also pray for the President's staff, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. Specifically, in regards to the President's behavior, I started praying months ago that the Lord would raise up righteous authorities/leaders to challenge the President if he indeed is caught up in wrongdoing.
I believe that the "authority" outlined in Chapter 13 of Romans doesn't stop at the three branches of government. It also extends to government agencies. At the time of this writing, we have at least two "whistleblowers" from government agencies that are helping to bring out the truth of the President's intentions in dealing with Ukraine. I look at this as an answer to prayer.
My prayer is that God, in His mercy, will continue to raise up righteous men and women in authority with the courage to confront the President, amidst the vast sea of men and women in authority in the government and in the church, who are afraid to.
Ezekiel 22:30, (World English Bible) says, "I sought for a man among them, who should build up the wall, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none. I do believe that God would not have had to raise up men and women in our government agencies to check the President's misconduct if our Christian leaders would have used their considerable influence collectively to do so.
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