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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Did God want Donald Trump to be President of the United States?

Some theists have argued that God chooses who will rule over the nations - that "He" has placed certain individuals in positions of authority for "His" own purposes. Some of these folks (like HWA and his devoted followers) have taken this logic a step further and concluded that this "truism" argues against Christ's followers participating in elections. So, according to this line of reasoning, God wanted Donald Trump to be President of the United States; and anyone who voted against him was resisting the will of God. Is that the case? Did God make Donald Trump President? OR Somehow move others to elect him as their leader?

Much of this reasoning is based on a dubious interpretation of a few scriptures. Chief among these are two passages found in the fourth chapter of the book of Daniel:  There we are told that Nebuchadnezzar issued a proclamation to the world about a vision he had been given by God - "to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men (was he talking about Trump here?)" Daniel 4:17; and, a little later, we are told that Daniel explained the vision to the king and told him that he'd lose his mind and wouldn't recover his sanity - "till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will." Daniel 4:25 Among the other scriptures which are often cited to support these notions, are two from the Psalms:  "For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations." Psalm 22:28 and "For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness." Psalm 47:7-8 Finally, another oft cited passage is lifted from Paul's epistle to the saints at Rome:  "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers (state authorities). For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." Romans 13:1

For those who are interested in understanding these scriptures, a few questions come to mind:  Do these passages imply that God actually places human leaders in office? Does that mean that God placed Hitler at the helm of Germany? Wouldn't that place at least part of the responsibility for the evil which these people unleash in the world in God's lap? Is this God's world after all? Is mankind learning the lesson of life without God? OR  Is God at the controls? Is he directing and micromanaging the affairs of mankind? AND, if "He" is, what does that imply about free will? Is it possible that these scriptures suggest that God has ultimate control, but that "He" has allowed mankind to choose his own rulers and go his own way for the time being? Is it possible that these scriptures imply that God permits/allows humans to govern themselves at the present time? Does it make sense that God would choose a bully, a racist, a misogynist and serial adulterer to rule over a people who mostly eschew such values? Would the broader understanding of these scriptures which the above questions imply preclude God from intervening directly in the affairs of mankind to keep "His" plan/purposes on track?

I don't think that we can blame this one on God. I think that the responsibility for this one rests with the folks who voted for this man. What do you think? 

3 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Ha! I don't remember posting this. Now I understand your email, Lonnie!

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  2. Once again you have made me think.

    My approach to understanding reality is to observe and read and then try to sort out fact from fantasy, verity from vagary. In doing so, I hold to some axioms. Anything contrary to them are to me obviously not true. Then I put all these pieces of the puzzle together in a way that seems to me to make the most coherent picture.

    The problem is that I am missing most of the pieces. And the logical question is Are the pieces I do have are random selections from throughout the picture? or Are they pieces that are properly adjacent to each other in the completed work? If the first, then it’s hopeless to think that I know anything. If the second, then there is a good chance that I have part of the picture correct and that I can extrapolate some other parts, realizing that the further the missing part of the picture is from the part I have constructed, the less likely my extrapolation is valid.

    Not that THAT is out of the way (whew!), I’ll say that my own estimate of reality is that we are holographic characters in a holographic universe. This implies programming by a REAL (i.e.: non-holographic) character. When he designed all the various levels of the program, how much randomness did he program into them? I suspect that he had a purpose in designing and creating the program, and it makes most sense to me that a purpose implies preplanned details and outcomes, or at least preplanned outcomes derived from continuing intervention (fine tuning) of the holographic events. Probably the latter. My best guess of what he is accomplishing is the preparation of us holographic characters to be translated into his reality in what is our future (I’m not convinced that he has a “future”). I think I’ll post this explanation to my blog (gordonfeil.blogspot.ca).

    That said, there are times when it suits his purpose to have fools reign over wisemen and wisemen to reign over fools.

    I take particular issue with your comment that Romans 13:1 refers to “state authorities”. How do you know that? In a democracy, the citizens are the higher powers. But in any case, Paul may be referring to church authorities.

    Thanks again for taking the time to make me think.

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