Please, Evangelical Christians, I Beg You

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14-16

At a recent rally in Montana, President Trump took aim at an old George H. W. Bush slogan, the Thousand Points of Light. “We’re putting America first,” President Trump declared, and then continued, “You know all that rhetoric you see, the Thousand Points of Light. What the hell was that by the way? Thousands of Points of Light. What did that mean? Does anyone know? I know one thing: Make America great again, we understand. Putting America first, we understand.” And the crowd cheered and applauded. The President then added, “Thousand Points of Light, I never quite got that one. What the hell is that? Has anyone ever figured that one out?”*

In that crowd, I suspect there were Evangelical Christians. Good, honest people. People who have deep concerns regarding what’s going on in the United States, people who are drawn in by the President’s bold claims, people who helped elect this President, people who have, at least to some extent, the President’s attention.

My guess is that a lot of people in that crowd were among the “thousand points of light,” of which George H. W. Bush spoke when he accepted the presidential nomination at the 1988 Republican National Convention, and then repeated at his Inauguration. The “thousand points of light” highlighted the good work and value of volunteerism, “of taking part and pitching in.”

This is an important element of American life. It is also an essential Christian value.

Yet, the notion of “points of light” is obviously a complete mystery to the current President. The notion is mercilessly mocked, and all that goes with it: volunteerism; taking part; pitching in; getting involved in one’s community; caring for neighbor; etc. You know, that good ol’ Golden Rule sort of stuff that Jesus taught.

Please, Evangelical Christians, I implore you: stop applauding the President when he denigrates good citizenship, when he demeans the Golden Rule, when he casts aside those things that actually make America truly great.

Please, Evangelical Christians, I beg of you: listen to what he is saying. And understand that he’s putting you down, and your way of life. He’s mocking YOU.

And, tell him so. He might listen to you.

I don’t know for sure (I’ve never been to a Trump rally and haven’t ever spoken to anyone who has attended such a rally), but I feel like it’s a safe bet that a lot of people in that crowd in Montana are volunteers. They are caring, community-oriented people, who give back, who participate, who “take part,” who “pitch in.” They are people who help neighbors when they are sick, who give their time and money to places like soup kitchens and homeless shelters, who respond to disasters, who lead local boy scouts and coach youth soccer teams, who teach Sunday School and lead Bible studies.

I think I can safely bet that an average Trump rally attracts all sorts of “points of light.” People who make their light shine in all sorts of ways—big and small—in their own communities and beyond.

Please, Evangelical Christians, tell the President that you are among the Thousand Points of Light, and that volunteerism and caring should not be the subject of ridicule.

This is not the only issue I’d like you to take up with the President, Evangelical Christians, but it’s a good start. And, I beg you to start somewhere.

Please.

__________

*Quote from RealClearPolitics

About smaxreisert

I'm a United Church of Christ pastor serving the small, faithful Old South Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in Hallowell, Maine. I was ordained in Massachusetts in 1995, moved to Maine in 1997 and have served the Hallowell church since 2005.
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