Pastoring & Leadership

Raw Emotions on the Presidential Election

Muta Mwenya

This article was originally posted on Muta’s personal blog. You can find the original and more great content here.

It’s 2:55am as I’ve begun to type this. The room is dark and somber like many of the hearts of millions across America. Donald J. Trump has just won the highest office in the land, President of the United States of America.

I choose to write this now. Not when my thoughts are collected. Not when I’ve had time to process, because frankly I’ve had 25 years (the years I’ve resided in the US) to process and prepare for this.

A few moments ago, I posted to Facebook, that for the Christian Trump opponent, what one says, how one acts or their posture moving forward will be indicative of their belief in the sovereignty of God and his divine and perfect will.

I stand by that, and it is in the belief of this perfect will and this sovereignty that I share my deepest emotions. Not to negate the previous sentiment, but in my humanity, express my heartfelt reaction to what has just transpired.

As I write, I have these truths in mind: God allowed the enemy to afflict Job. God struck the hip of Jacob. It was the will of God that Christ would endure the cross.

With that said, here are three reasons why this hurts, and yet I will cry “though you slay me yet I will follow.”

  1. There is now a man who is sympathetic to and heralded by the Ku Klux Klan and a bonafide bigot on track to enter the White House. This makes me afraid for what’s to come. I grew up in a predominantly Caucasian town where I faced racism daily from teachers, students and neighbors alike. Will my 3 black sons have to grow up in a time where society reverts back to a Jim Crow era? Will my boys get the fair treatment deserving of every student in school or every human in society?If so, then for how long till their dignity is stripped away, like mine was, by school officials that have no regard for brown skin and can’t wait to make America great (or white) again? This may be a bit extreme, but excuse me, didn’t we think it was a bit extreme for an unqualified, narcissistic, megalomaniac to become president?
  2. Every effort of reconciliation is now going to suffer under the weight of perceived closeted racism. All of us who are building multi-ethnic communities of faith to the glory of God will have to grapple with the fact that being a part of a multi-ethnic church is going to be very difficult for minorities. It has been the weight of the evangelical, moral right that has swayed this election and as is assumed, this is made up of primarily Anglo church going voters.For minorities, this election was more than simply who was going to be president. It was far more personal. It was an election that proved America’s view of cultural progress and embracing the future of a diverse yet unified America. With this vote, minorities are faced to assume that our brothers and sisters who gloat in the victory of Donald Trump are saying “My ethics trump your humanity.”
  3. Believers will forget that God still reigns and will walk out on relationships based on political differences, more than what has already happened through the election. Christ’s prayer to be “one” will be ignored for a line drawn in the sand. You versus me. You versus my candidate. No more debates, just a chasm of division setting America back decades and grieving the Holy Spirit.

Do I believe the outcome of this election is God’s will prevailing? Absolutely. Will I respect Trump as president. Absolutely. It’s my God given mandate.

But God’s work in our lives as believers is neither comfortable nor easy. I believe God will afflict us if it will result in our salvation. As uncomfortable as I am about the road ahead for the state of this country, I’m confident that if God be for us, his people—red, yellow, black and white—no one and nothing can prevail against us no matter how much it hurts. Our victory is not political or social.

We win at the consummation of all things in Christ Jesus our King.

That is my only consolation in these quiet hours of the night.

Donald Trump is president. Even so, come Lord Jesus.

16 thoughts on “Raw Emotions on the Presidential Election

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  3. Mr. My-job-requires-anonimity-on-political-things

    Let me add: I love you brother. I know that you are hurting and I understand that. But let’s not forget that politics is the little kingdom. We are part of something so much bigger. We cannot let something as small as an election (even one that might have disastrous consequences) take our eyes off of our role in the big kingdom. We cannot let something as small as who someone voted for destroy something as big (as encouraging) as racial reconciliation. We can work through this bruh’. My prayer is that all sides, all races, give their brothers in Christ the benefit of assigning them charitable motives–don’t assume that the only reason for their vote (or other decision) was something nefarious. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Give them the respect (when the dust settles and the lamentation is over) of asking them, why did you vote for Trump (Clinton, McMullin, Johnson, Stein), I want to understand it. Then listen with an open mind. (I am preaching to myself too.) Love you and praying for you. I ask the same from you.

  4. Mr. My-job-requires-anonimity-on-political-things

    Muta, I think it is fine to publish your feelings, even raw. They are real and I have felt that way before when my guy lost and I thought the worst guy won. As Jamar said on his podcast, there is a time for lament and it’s healthy. And you conclude with some very strong and good statements. I couldn’t vote for Trump either (for the reasons you gave and many more) On the other hand, I couldn’t vote for Hillary either.

    But when the time of lamentation is over, I think it would also be healthy to look at some facts. Blacks and latinos voted for Trump in slightly higher margins than they did for Romney (whom no one credibly called a racist)–9% of blacks for Trump, 8% for Romney; 29% of latinos for Trump, 27% for Romney. It also looks like a slightly lower per cent of whites voted for Trump than for Romney. Finally, one-third of the counties that voted for Obama TWICE, voted for Trump Tuesday. Were those guys racist Tuesday, but not in 2008 or 2012? Trump won largely because people were sick and tired of the Clinton’s and their corruption. They were willing to try anything else. Do I wish they had chosen a more decent person as president. You bet. I also am concerned about some of who supported him. But racism does explain his victory or why many evangelicals supported him (although I certainly did not).

    I will however give him a chance. Pray for him. And oppose him if he takes a wrong turn. Chin up my brother. Watch Ernie Johnson’s commentary and see if it encourages you.
    It did me. He expresses my sentiments (and actions) exactly except I wrote in Evan McMullen.

  5. William Leonhart

    My wife is an introvert. If she had it her way, there would not be a comment section even on Facebook. 🙂

    Regarding comparing a 21st century evangelical blogger to a Pharisee or a Samaritan woman, I leave that to your expertise. There is no instruction there, only description. Just as a reminder, Jesus dined with the Pharisees as well as the tax collectors and prostitutes. He preached peace to those who were NEAR and to those who were far away. He did not choose sides. I try not to either.

    If I see someone adding to the law or preaching another gospel, I will respond according to their message, not according to their skin color. If I see someone telling others to shut up and listen when he is clearly blurting out unfiltered emotion without listening to others, I respond accordingly. I always do my best to respond according to the message, not the color of the messenger.

  6. Jon Dansby

    Hey William. I realize now how bad it sounded to say “ask your wife” like it could have been some kind of put down. Yikes! I was being genuine; we should ask those around us, especially our wives, rather than assume our own self-awareness. I probably could have run that comment by her 🙂 Thanks for the benefit of the doubt, my brother.
    It’s a good question, and a pastoral question, right? I reacted to your unnuanced reflex of correction to a blog post that is all over the place emotionally. Jesus spoke with unnuanced rebuke to the Pharisees. Paul did the same when confronting Peter. But Jesus was gentle and hopeful with the Samaritan woman, even in correcting her, because of her personal state. Which of these do you think Muta was most like? Feel free to enter in, and even to correct, but remember that “A word FITLY spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a WISE reprover to a listening ear” (Pr 25:11-12).
    Would love to hear your wife’s feedback 🙂

  7. William Leonhart

    Your assumptions about my wife and my pastorate are also an interesting use of timing, I might add. 🙂

  8. William Leonhart

    Jon, your assumptions about my wife and my pastorate are duly noted.

    So, is it your contention that a sense of timing and restraint is what’s needed here. . . for just one group of Christian brothers? I don’t recall you evoking Muta’s wife to question his sense of timing because he admitted, “I choose to write this now. Not when my thoughts are collected. Not when I’ve had time to process…” Are you of the mindset that one group of Christians, based on skin color, are called to be ministers while others of another skin color fall only in the “to be ministered to” class? Are we not both obligated to serve one another and treat one another like brothers, or should demands only be made of one group? Does the Bible present a double standard for Christians in the public sphere solely on the basis of their color of skin? Does Muta get to voice his “raw,” unrestrained views, because he’s “had 25 years (the years I’ve resided in the US) to process and prepare for this,” without having his timeliness, marital communication, and ministry called into question simply because he doesn’t share the same skin color and opinion as me (though we do share the same Imago Dei and Savior)? I’m honestly curious.

  9. Jon Dansby

    Will.I.Am. Brother, I bet it would be really great to take a class from you on the Reformed creeds. And you have a gift for clarity and I probably agree with you a lot. But, I have to say, your pastoral instinct really sucks. The Bible clearly says there is a propriety of timing, as in Pr 25:20, and also in Pr 27:14. You should probably ask your wife if I’m right 🙂

  10. William Leonhart

    I see nowhere in Scripture where one group of Christians’ voices are stifled because they don’t have the right color of skin to speak God’s truth. While I respect and am willing to listen to my brothers’ perspective, they also have an obligation to respect and listen to their brothers’ perspectives. There is something blatantly hypocritical in telling ethnic majority brothers they aren’t listening while the ethnic minority brothers are telling their ethnic majority brothers to “can it,” because they themselves don’t want to listen. The precepts of Scripture are binding on all ethnic groups, not just majority ethnic groups. It is the duty of all Christians to serve, love, and listen to one another, not just ethnic majority Christians.

  11. Jon Dansby

    Muta. I’m guessing your note is aimed primarily at me. I intended my comment to be an encouragement to a despondent brother, not a revocation of your right to feel anything.
    You worried, “are we going back to Jim Crow?” I offered, “it doesn’t look most Trump voters want that.” You worried, “must reconciliation be racially tinged, given white evangelicalism’s vote for Trump?” I offered, “probably not, Trump voters don’t seem to have a problem supporting blacks.” Are these not encouraging things? But perhaps I committed the error of singing songs to a heavy heart (Prov 25:20). I apologize for that.
    You (kind of) asked if I am anglo. I am, but I have a black son whose birthmom asked us to adopt and raise. So I take listening very seriously for his sake. Following and reading everything on RAAN is part of listening. But I don’t assume that the black voice is monolithic, and so I also read conservative minorities, like Jason Riley and Anthony Bradley (who challenges the crud out of me). I am heavily invested in learning and listening, but also in finding the root of the problem and uprooting it. I have come to believe that the Left’s gilded intentions and unintended consequences are far more damaging to the poor, and particularly poor blacks, than today’s white racism (which remains a problem).
    My son also had a racial incident stemming from the election that I had to settle. It was hurtful, it was worrisome; kids can be horrible. But it encourages me to know that Trump’s election doesn’t mean that half the country will be coming after my son. I hoped it would be for you too.

  12. Muta

    This is less about Donald Trump and more about the culture that has been unearthed by his statements and posture.

    The nerve that was struck within me has been qualified by three friends who’ve just shared about events that took place yesterday and today at schools in my area involving their children or children they know. Two black, one hispanic. Only one perpetrator was reprimanded while the others walked away unscathed as it was assumed by school officials to be “mean spirited but not harmful.” Really?

    I assume the individuals that have commented on this are anglo (forgive me if I am wrong). As I appreciate your feedback, I deeply urge my white brothers and sisters to learn to lean in and listen. Instead of trying to prove your statistics and experience with “friends who are black”. Just listen to the hearts of your black brothers and sisters. Trying to tell us how to think and feel or what facts we should be looking at is not helping but adding frustration. I believe there is a time and place for facts, figures and stats. However, no facts or figures can negate ones experience.

    You can’t see someone get punched in the face and then tell them about the statistical average that the likelihood of one being punched in the face is 1 in 4 million (arbitrary numbers)–so he must excuse this instance for an anomaly and move on. No, he was punched. Be empathetic and allow him to cope with the current pain.

  13. Timothy Kraftson

    I very much appreciate reading your perspective, especially your final comment. I worship with many African American families. I did not vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton because I saw both as very flawed individuals. I also believe that God is sovereign in these elections. I believe that Donald Trump has said things that were deplorable, but I believe that he will not be the demon that the left has portrayed him. The Republican party that I am part of, wants to give everyone the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential. I commend Jon Dansby for his remarks that reflect my position better than I could express them.

  14. Muta

    Great feedback. I respect everyone’s sentiments and thoughts. These are my own and I stand by them. Grace and peace brothers.

  15. William Leonhart

    As is demonstrated in many people’s votes for Trump as well as the reactions to his victory, “raw” is a vice not a virtue. As long as people blog, vote, and live as if “raw” is a virtue, this nation will continue to decline into deeper and deeper racial division.

  16. Jon Dansby

    My brother Muta. I pray that God would lift up your head and your heart. I personally despise Donald Trump as a person, but I have a few data points that may encourage you.
    First, though they were a minority of the percentages, there are millions of black and brown people who voted for Trump. I imagine that they hate the KKK as much as you, so perhaps Trump’s victory isn’t the statement about race that Van Jones, the HuffPost, or Center for American Progress would have you believe. I think it would be worth asking minority Trump voters why they voted for him. Maybe they believe that progressive policies will harm the poor, families, and small businesses more than Donald Trump’s words and personal sins. Seriously, ask them.
    Secondly, in Louisiana, a Deep South state that Trump handily won, David Duke barely got 3% of the vote. So maybe even whites who voted for Trump hate the KKK and weren’t voting for white dominance. That’s good, right? Yeah, the KKK (an organization with a pathetic 5,000 members) was hoping for a Trump win, but he clearly denounced them on March 3. Plus, they will always promote whoever is stricter on immigration.
    Finally, while we’ve had a progressive black president, black/white relations have spiraled down, not healed. So, perhaps (counterintuitively, hopefully) relations will get better now. Maybe today’s divide of black and white isn’t quite as significant as the divide between Left and Right visions of governance, flourishing, and unity in our country. For example, Trump supporters in Colorado (1.08 million) ALSO voted for a black Republican candidate (1.09 million). They identified with the black candidate who had policies they affirmed. Perhaps one fuel to the disunity and rage is Leftism as much as it is racism. Perhaps…
    Anyone reading this should watch Anthony Bradley’s “Can You Really See Me?” on YouTube (watch through the Q&A). Also, his lecture on public v. private charity. They are so good on navigating the image of God in all and the importance of good policy.

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