Sermons from the Days of Trump

4 03 2020

Here is the introduction to my first book; and if you’ve not had a chance to purchase a copy, you can do so at Amazon, Parsons Porch, or just Venmo me and I’ll pop one in the mail.

We all know how the presidency of Donald Trump will be remembered. This is how I want to be remembered!

Few things have influenced my preaching as much as the election of Donald Trump! 

In 34 years of ministry, countless experiences have touched my heart and soul, and a variety of personal, church, national, and world events have influenced the way I have sought to interpret and apply Scripture to my life, as well as the way I have sought to help the people to whom I preach on Sunday mornings apply it to their lives.  But nothing has had a more profound impact on what I share and how I share it than the behavior and administration of our nation’s 45th president. 

Like so many pastors, in seminary I was encouraged to preach with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other.  I have always believed that the Gospel is nothing if it is not political, and that there is no way to faithfully and effectively preach without dealing with politics of the day.  But at the same time I have also sought to avoid partisanship, and to refrain from either demonizing one party or idolizing another.         

But sadly, and tragically, on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, something happened that would dramatically alter the trajectory of our country, and influence my preaching for weeks, months, and years to come.  At no point in my lifetime has an American President governed this nation with such blatant selfishness and narcissism, nor led the free world with such pompous arrogance and sanctimony.  His lack of regard for those on the margins of our society, his naiveté with regard to the inherent racism of American life, and his disregard for the misogyny that plagues our world, can only be compared to history’s most ill-equipped and uninformed national leaders.  His moral bankruptcy and ethical infidelity fly in the face of all that is of God; and so if his presidency has NOT had an impact upon what is being preached in American pulpits, then something is tragically wrong with the American Church!   

In my experience, Scripture has never been as relevant as it has been for the past several years.  The application of Biblical principles to living life in 21stcentury America mandates that preachers embrace their prophetic voice.  As was the case when the early Church sought to minister throughout the Roman Empire, faithfulness today will be defined by our willingness to speak truth to power, and by the courage we display in challenging the predominant theology of empire and the worship of national exceptionalism. 

Scripture always has, and always will, set the agenda for my sermons.  But when it comes to the application and interpretation of what I believe the Spirit to be saying to the Church today, for the past two years the various texts have set themselves in direct opposition to the policies and practices of the current administration.  And sadly, in too many instances, these policies and practices have become the norm for the Republican Party. 

The ‘kin’dom, or reign, of God is about people loving mercy, seeking of justice, and walking humbly with the Spirit.  The sermons included in this book are the fruit of my attempts to encourage the Church to do this.  They are the result of the Spirit’s movement in my life in the two and a half years following the election of Donald Trump, and I hope they continue to speak to you, the reader, today! 

Each sermon was modified only slightly to better fit this forum, with congregational examples removed to make the overall message more relevant to all readers.   At times, they may appear to be overly punctuated, but they were written to be preached; and those punctuations guided my delivery.  Further, since I often ‘wander’ from my printed manuscript, I cannot fully guarantee that what I said when each sermon was preached, is exactly as it appears in this format.   But it is close! 

In several instances I have included an introduction to the sermon: a brief account about what was happening on the national stage in the weeks leading up to my message; the lyrics of a song or hymn used in worship the morning the message was given; some other element from worship on that particular Sunday; or a combination of the above.  I have also include the Scripture texts for the day, and unless otherwise noted they are from the New Revised Standard Version. 

My hope and prayer is that all of these messages will inform both your faith AND your politics; for as our walks with God are deepened, so too should our walks with one another.  At times our faith is indeed intensely personal, but it is never private.  It is lived out in our world, and thus our civic life cannot help but be impacted by the faith we profess with our lips.

If these messages offend you, be sure that it is ME doing the offending and not Scripture or the Spirit.  For if it is either of them, that is between you and God.  But if it is indeed me, I apologize.  My goal is never to offend, only to be faithful.   


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