The Sin of Self
By Matthew Castro
(Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
In a recent article in The Atlantic entitled “Donald Trump and the Twilight of White America” (Article) journalist Derek Thompson provides a detailed explanation for the rise of support for Donald Trump’s candidacy for president of the United States. He says, “The Census Bureau released a landmark report on the demographics of American children under the age of five. For the first time in U.S. History, it reported that a minority of this group is ‘white’ – neither black, nor Asian, nor Hispanic.” A majority of American babies are now minorities.
There is no such thing as a majority now. The article says, “Trump’s core constituency is clear: Republican whites, particularly men, and especially those who didn’t go to college, who feel their whiteness like a second skin. Many of the first beneficiaries of the franchise now feel disenfranchised.” They feel fenced off from the American Dream. They see within the platform of Donald Trump a warrior ready to battle against the central fears of white America. There is extreme anxiety about their economic future, which is being threatened in their minds by Hispanic workers and global trade. Their sense of scarcity has triggered tribalism. Therefore, concern for self has resulted in hate of those who they believe are to blame for their disenfranchisement.
This sensitivity to personal feelings above the needs of others is a cultural issue with a gospel answer. Many within this group of disenfranchised white males claim to be evangelical Christians. The anger and fear associated with them will not be resolved by a political candidate. There are three issues that needs to be understood.
Christians Are Approved By God
Jesus Christ has made his church blameless and approved before God. The burden for resources, honor, respect or approval by people has been lifted and removed. The concern for self was crucified with Christ, and we are now to be concerned only for others. Therefore, racial resentment should never be an attitude of one redeemed by the blood of Christ.
Joy is found in the Presence of God
Hatred of others is a joyless pursuit. Joy is found in the presence of God, and we separate ourselves from Him, when we become over sensitive to self. Dueling was an archaic practice of men defending their honors and names against personal slander. Christians have been freed from the compulsion to be vindicated by the opinions of people. Therefore, discovering joy independent of public opinion.
Christ Has Freed People from Self-Sensitivity
Paul tells us in Philippians 2 that Christ came into the world completely unconcerned about his dignity. He became a servant submitting himself to death on the cross, so that those who struggle with the sin of self-sensitivity may be healed and changed. Jesus, the son of God, was completely dependent on His Father. He showed us how to live the joyful life by living completely under the will of God.
The point of this article is not to persuade you from voting or not voting for Donald Trump. The purpose is to show you that Jesus Christ through His death and resurrection has earned us everlasting favor before God. We are a blessed people in Christ alone, and to be truly disenfranchised is to be without Him. Look to Christ the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame. Trust Him, who gives us reasons to not grow weary or frustrated.