Should a Christian Criticize the President?

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This is a question that is on a lot of people’s minds right now.

Are we, as Christians, allowed to criticize the President? And if we are, is there a line that can be crossed?

Is God displeased when we criticize the President and if I choose not to criticize him, is that my silent approval?

Should a Christian criticize the President and how do we know when we've gone too far? Let's look at what the Bible has to say. #alittlerandr #president #america #politics

Social media is extremely toxic right now.

Many who support President Trump are calling out those who don’t. And many who are against President Trump equate him to Hitler and the Tailban.

It was no different with President Obama.

Christians criticized his looks and called him Hitler…they called him an idiot, stupid and all sorts of degrading names (something I often spoke against), just like many are doing President Trump now.

The question is, does this cross the line?

The Bible actually has much to say about this, and later this year we’ll delve even deeper into this issue of criticizing and mocking, but today let’s look at what the Bible says about criticizing our President.

In 1 Samuel 26 David finds himself in a situation that may would consider favorable.

He finds the place where Saul is camped out, in his hunt to kill David. Saul and his men are in a deep sleep, and here is David standing right over Saul.

Saul’s spear is right next to him….the setup is perfect!

David – by all accounts – has a right to kill Saul. It would be considered self-defense. Saul has spent all of his time and energy hunting David down to kill him like a dog; David has done nothing but run for his life for months now.

With just one blow, David’s life could change!

He’d be a hero, he’d be free!

But, instead, he chooses to do something probably no one understood, and surely no one agreed with: He chose to save Saul’s life.

But lest you think that David was on Saul’s side, this act was less about Saul and more about David taking a stand for God.

David understood a biblical principle that many of us have forgotten today.

Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings…  Daniel 2:20-21

David knew that God had chosen Saul to be king, and to lift a hand against him would be lift his hand against God’s anointed. An act that comes with serious consequences!

But how does this relate to today?

No Christian would ever think of assassinating the President! Right?

There is a curious statement made by Jesus in Matthew 5 that I think bears looking at:

You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Matthew 5:21-22 (Emphasis mine)

What Jesus is saying here is that though the Old Testament law condemned a murderer to death, New Testament covenant takes this commandment about 10 steps further.

New Testament covenant goes past a person’s actions and straight to the heart. And “…out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45

Jesus is saying, if you show contempt for a person (Raca, which is Greek for blockhead or some other similar degrading word) and with your words seek to destroy their character (You fool!), you have literally murdered that person in your heart.

Your anger and contempt for them are equal to murder in your heart.

Criticizing the President’s policies and attacking a President’s person and character are not the same.

David didn’t agree with the things Saul did. He wasn’t on Saul’s side politically.

But David understood that he had to separate Saul’s actions from his position. While he was in complete opposition to Saul’s actions, he had to honor Saul’s position.

By honoring Saul’s position, he was honoring God.

So to lift his hand against Saul would be dishonoring God.

And my dear friends, nothing has changed today!

While we may have criticized Obamacare or the many executive orders he wrote….

While we may be extremely opposed to President Trump’s order to close our borders to certain countries….

We must take great caution that our opposition to his policies doesn’t turn into opposition to him. As Christians, we must learn to separate the President’s actions from his position.

We may be opposed to his actions, but we must never lift our words against his character or his position.

To do so is very displeasing to God.

I am not for President Trump. I disagreed with some of his positions when he was candidating and I’m sure I will find myself in disagreement with him many times over the next four years.

Neither am I against President Trump.

I am for God!

And because I am for God, I will do all I can to please God.

I will stand for truth every time, even when it brings me opposition!
I will stand for biblical values
I will stand for family values
I will stand for moral values

I stand for God, not for man.

And because I stand for God, I cannot raise my words against any man, his person or his character.

No, a Christian should not criticize the President.

He may criticize a President’s actions, but a Christian should always hold honor and value of a President’s position and character in his heart.

For it is God who made him rise to that position. And God will honor those who honor their authority!

Other posts for 1 Samuel are:
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  1. I confess I at times have a problem with this, but I agree with you. We should pray for those in authority and for the church to be able to act unhindered. I believe we should speak out against ungodly policies, but we should treat individuals with respect, even when we disagree.

    1. It is hard, at times, because we are passionate about our nation. And 4 – 8 years is a long time and much can be done to alter the course of our freedom. So, it’s easy to cross the line at times. I know I’ve been guilty and have to had to repent. Thank God for His grace and His loving kindness to remind us of what His Word says!

  2. Rosalind, thank you for your thoughtful comments. I shared on Facebook and hope others take the time to read and think on this and let Jesus speak to them. Thank you for speaking the words He lays on your heart, my dear Friend…

  3. Rosilind, I think a lot of people don’t like President Trump’s personality. I don’t follow the news very often, but as for his policies, I read on FB that he didn’t say women can’t have an abortion, he’s just against using gov’t funds for it. Also, he didn’t say that Mexicans and Muslims can’t enter the US, he just wants to weed out criminals. Personally, I think he’s a much better choice than the alternative. Sorry, but Hillary would have been like a puppet to her multi-million dollar contributors and I won’t mention who they were, but you can google where most of her campaign $upport came from. Also, I realize that few US citizens under a certain age have enough life experience to understand the implications, but I’m concerned that Sharia Law will become more commonplace in the US as it is in Dearborn, MI. However, someone has to be unpopular enough to keep that from happening and so be it. I don’t want to be popular right now, I’d rather be safe. <3

    1. I have come to believe that when it comes to the news, we should believe nothing we read and half of what we see. I am still unsure where I stand with President Trump. I’m taking it a day at a time, and hoping that I am pleasantly surprised. 🙂

  4. Amen, sister!!! That is exactly what I have been trying to get Christians to understand. The Bible tells us not to speak evil of the ruler of your people. Also. Romans 13:1-4, paraphrase, says all people are to subject to the governing authorities and when we go against authority we are going against God. We, as Christians, are commanded in the Word to pray for kings and all people in authority so we may live peaceful, quiet lives. Thanks sister…well said!

    1. I see no God in the current president in office. What I see is anti-Christian. anti-love, anti-peace, anti-respect and pro-bullying and pro-drama. What is Christian about this? The problem is too many people are too unassertive, meek and humble to MAN, not to God. God expects us to use the voice he gave us to speak against the lack of passion for all of his people. God is the maker and creator of safety and peace. We should never expect the person in the highest office to keep us safe. Only God can keep us in perfect peace and safety, not the president.

    2. I truly believe that recent generations have completely lost all respect for authority, even when there is disagreement with that authority, and we are beginning to bear the consequences of that. There is a strong line between disagreement with the morals and actions of an authority figure and dishonoring that authority.

    3. Dear Rosilind,
      I’m not sure if you’ll see as I’m over a year late to the discussion but I am moved to speak by you post and I hope there’s a chance that you and others will read it. It is very true that too often people attack a person’s character rather than their action. Too often we forget that we are all prone to err, that none of us are without sin and therefore cannot cast the proverbial stone. Authority figures are humans too so they will inevitably make mistakes. To belittle them when this happens is both petty, foolish and arrogant.
      I came to this site while researching whether or not it is acceptable to criticize leaders, so my apologies as I do not know where you are from. I myself am from the republic of United States Of America and my government has taken a unique stance on authority. When the United States were founded, it was done so under the unified the belief that “all men are created equal”. The above posts mentions the Bible’s explanation of a King’s divine authority so I am guessing you live in a country with Monarchy. England perhaps? If I’m correct I want to thank your country for not disemboweling United States Representative John Adams as was required by law. The United States of America is different from monarch ruled countries in that they openly rejected the legal precedent known as Devine Right of Kings, instead forming a system of government that elects a citizen to lead other citizens. The Constitution drafted and agreed upon by the Colonies established how the government was to be run, how this citizen was to be chosen to lead other citizens, and to ensure they remained one while leading. Reminiscent of the selfless act of the esteemed Lucious Quinctius Cincinnatus, General George Washington refused to accept the position of King when offered, instead becoming our first president, beholden to the same laws as all other free men, a leader yet a citizen.
      Part of what makes the United States of America different from other countries is that our leaders are not Kings. We as a nation reject Kings and any inherited power. God in his infinite wisdom gave us free will, and with free will comes the power to make choices for better of worse. And while a King is protected by his design right, having been ordained by God though birth, the United States is led by a citizen elected by the people. In fact, many in my country believe that a president should be held to a higher standard than other citizens. This I think is important as it can prevent an elected leader such as Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic and legal process. Hitler’s personal character was not wholly detestable; a vegetarian, he was against cruelty to animals and enacted laws to ensue such, he opposed crumbling moral values and fully supported the importance of family. Yet under his Authority, human cruelty reached unprecedented levels. He came in a moment of weakness to the German people, offering them hope and salvation from economic ruin. And while he did so for some, it came at a terrible cost. Opposition to his reign was seen as treason and those who spoke out were swiftly and ruthlessly felt with. Dachau was created to house the early outspoken critiques of Hitler’s reign. Inside, torture could be used to gain names of others who might disagree with the Reich. Whether or not the names screamed out by those under torment were truly opponents of the Reich mattered little as long as the possibility they they could be remained.
      While Monarchs rule through the divine right of Kings, Presidents preside over others, limited by the same laws as other citizens. Yes, a president will make mistakes, and yes, we must criticize the sin not the sinner. But care must be take to remember that millions gladly followed Hitler, obeying his authority even if it meant literally killing your neighbor. And fearing reprisals from a later generation, they dealt with their Neighbors’ children in kind. The fire of the holocaust did not discriminate young from old. Church bells rang throughout the county, their tolling declaring Christianity’s triumph over and old foe and Germany’s glorious triumph and rise from the economic ashes all the while the ash of children settled round.

  5. Exactly!!! Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini or does this only apply to American leaders? I’m curious, where were all these “pray for the president” people when President Obama was being called monkey, and nigger and his wife an ape?

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