The Ten Commitments of Resistance in the Trump Era by Wallis, editor of the social justice journal Sojourners, was written to help Christians deal positively with the election of Donald Trump and the principles of his presidency. No matter what side of the political spectrum you are on, these comm- itments are important; they speak to values that all Christians should stand behind. In this series of occasional blogs, I hope to bring my perspective as a Christ-follower to the commitments Wallis suggests, as I try to live like an apprentice of Jesus.
COMMITMENT #1 – WE WILL GO DEEPER IN FAITH (Part 1)
“Our times require a moral compass. We must replace certainty with reflection. Go from simply belief to actual practice. Seek both courage and humility. Read, study, and live the words of Jesus. Replace white identity with faith identity. Replace nativist religion with multi-ethnic and international faith”(“The Ten Commitments of Resistance in the Trump Era,”Sojourners )
How do we deal with the quagmire of recent American politics? What is the role of the Christian Church? How does each of us present a positive example to our brothers and sisters in Christ and to the increasingly critical and skeptical watching world?
Sojourner’s first commitment states that we must maintain a” moral compass.” What is a moral compass? The term is reminiscent of Stephen Covey’s “truth north” which to me means a framework of values and beliefs that gives direction to our lives and informs the choices we make. These values and beliefs come to us from the life and words of Jesus. Jim Wallis suggests that we all take a look at how Jesus defined a relationship with God and how his words and actions were based on that relationship. As Apprentices of Jesus we must remind ourselves that our intellectual beliefs are not the same as having faith; we must live out our beliefs.
Having a moral compass has little to do with political opinions. It means we have a center of morality which does not change as the political tides roll in and out. It means we believe that truth matters and that we don’t support the idea that we are now in a post-fact, post-truth society. The God-created universe functions on moral values, even if the earthly presidents and premiers don’t.
- Commit to reading all four gospels in 2017 – perhaps one per season of the year. Look for Jesus’s statements on how to treat others. See how he never compromises his values but still loves and respects all people.
- Pay attention to the deeper levels of the “news.” Lies are common and persuasive. We have to look under them and around them for context and for reality. We can’t respond if we don’t know.
- Be bold in speaking the truth as Jesus revealed it. We don’t have to be confrontational, but we do have a responsibility to speak out. The original disciples of Jesus as well as Paul all lost their lives (as did many unknown followers) because they would not bend to the society they lived in. We are not in that kind of danger – even more reason to be vocal.
MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT
“The ultimate message of the book of Revelation is: Don’t accommodate yourself to the society of the day. Resist. Stand up to it because the only one you can really trust is God and God will bring you through” (Rev. Andrew Taylor, University of Oxford on the PBS program Ancient Roads from Christ to Constantine).