Children Are Watching

“Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.” – Romans 13:1-2 (NIV)

Here’s the thing, evangelical Christian parents: When you trot out a verse like this (or alternately the flawed “Trump’s just King Cyrus 2.0!” argument), you’re teaching your children that your inaction against (or worse, your explicit support of) this administration’s horrors is in service of God’s will. In other words, as long as it’s part of a mysterious, unknowable higher plan, you’re fine with:

  • Relentless lying
  • Adultery, potential rape and hush money payments
  • Constant, unapologetic racism
  • Utter disregard for the environment
  • Endless attacks on journalism and objective truth
  • Separation of children from families legally seeking asylum
  • And on and on and on… (I strongly recommend checking out this piece and this video interview which both contain great insights)

You don’t get to pat yourself on the back for your strong moral stances on Sunday mornings, then remain silently complicit for the rest of the week. Your kids notice this.

You don’t get to splash around in a dirty pool of whataboutism. It’s wrong regardless of who does these things, but as Carly Simon would say, nobody does it better than Trump. Your kids notice you giving him this pass.

You don’t get to “leave it up to God’s plan!” and ignore what’s happening in our country. Have you considered that taking a stance against this garbage is God’s plan? Look to the model of Jesus in the face of the “those are the rules!” crowd:

“On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.’ Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.

Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, ‘There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.’

The Lord answered him, ‘You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?’

When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.” – Luke 13-10:17 (NIV)

Watching the hypocrisy of modern-day evangelicals in the face of clear, shocking sin and injustice is deeply depressing. Is it any wonder that young people are leaving churches at an alarming rate? Jesus rebuked Pharisees too.

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Kyle Ford

Husband. Father of several clowns. Product guy.