I’d like to start this off by giving a full disclaimer: I’m 20 years old, so my brain isn’t fully formed yet. I have lots to learn, much of life yet to live, and hormones working overtime. You have full permission to take parts of this might be valuable or helpful and to leave parts of that might be unknowingly naive or incorrect.
My heart in writing this is not to be the expert, but simply to organize a simple, biblical framework for how we as Christians should approach the ongoing impeachment trial of our president. I’m doing it as much for myself as I am for anyone to read. With that, let’s get started.
Currently, the President of the United States is in an impeachment trial to determine his guilt or innocence in committing “a high crime or misdemeanor” according the Constitution. There are several things at play here: partisan division, re-election concerns, media bias to the left and right, moral standards and Constitutional law. It’s all caught up in politics, a field of murky waters at best.
Although the temptation is to let our political affiliations drive our approach to the impeachment, I implore you to push back on that temptation.
A biblical lens will be far the wiser, and it’s what we’re called to as followers of Jesus. I’ve been convicted there are four things we must understand to approach the impeachment well:
- The Facts of the Case
- Biblical Standards of Moral Authority for Leaders
- How Constitutional Law Interacts with Biblical Principles
- Our Blindspots
Facts of the Case
Before we can ever have meaningful comments on the impeachment, we need a full understanding of what’s actually occurred. Nowadays, it can be tricky to find news sources that report all the facts (not just the ones that might be more helpful to their preferred outcome, if held alone). Personally, I’ve followed the impeachment since the first whistleblower report through a podcast called “The Daily”, produced by the New York Times (find it here).
Find a news source that presents the facts in an easily understood way. Then put the effort into understanding how it all fits together before commenting on it.
Biblical Standards of Moral Authority for Leaders
The second thing we need to grapple with is what the Word of God presents as moral standards. We as believers are called to be honest, full of integrity, and seeking the good of others over ourselves (Philippians 2:3). In the same way, any leader who would maintain moral authority should seek to uphold those same values.
We need to evaluate whether our president (and all of our elected officials) has built and maintained moral authority, specifically in this historic impeachment trial.
How Constitutional Law Interacts with Biblical Principles
What the Constitution of the United States and the Bible says are different things, and they hold vastly different weight. The Bible is true across every country, nation and people group, while the Constitution is simply the law of one country, created by broken humans (sorry, Founding Fathers).
However, we do live in America and are therefore bound by its laws (assuming they are just). What the Constitution deems as an impeachable offense is different from what constitutes a violation of moral obligation and authority biblically. We need to interpret the President’s actions in two realms: moral authority and Constitutional standards.
We may find his actions to be destructive to his moral authority as a leader and find that his actions do not warrant removal from office according to the law. We may find the opposite. Either way, we must understand how biblical principles interact with Constitutional law, as well as evaluate them separately.
This may be the hardest thing to grapple with when considering the impeachment: our own blindspots. I’ve found this to be a challenge in the conversations I’ve had with other believers, and I’m grateful for their boldness in holding me accountable. I’ve struggled to not let my opinions about other actions by our president influence the way I talk about the impeachment.
I need to want fair proceedings and justice first. It’s challenging though, to pursue justice in the face of unknown results, or when we disagree with other issues surrounding Trump. I’d imagine your weaknesses look different from mine, but taking a hard look at our blindspots enables us to have more helpful and healthy conversations about the impeachment.
Politics is incredibly hard to navigate, fellow believers. I will be the first to admit I have often approached it with pride & anger, rather than humility and grace.Yet, I believe that we as Christians must be engaged on many political topics because they are, in the end, about people, and the Kingdom seems to be really concerned about people.
I pray that as our nation moves forward in the impeachment trial of our president that we would consider the facts, moral authority, how it interacts with America’s laws, and our blindspots. I hope we can correct each other with grace when we mess up, and that we can learn from each other.
Ultimately, our highest allegiance is to Jesus, not to a political party or figurehead or nation. May He grant us wisdom in the challenge of where we find ourselves.
Thank you for reading!
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