What’s the story?
Controversial US President Donald Trump is under mounting political pressure amid concerns over his ties with Russia.
That he was elected in the first place is still a nightmarish miracle for many. Since his very first day in office – and even before it – he’s been dogged by calls for his resignation or impeachment. Now though, it seems that President Donald Trump could very possibly be removed from his role long before the end of his elected four-year term.
During his successful election campaign, it appeared that Trump could do no wrong, or at least, that there was nothing he could do to lessen the unwavering support of his voter base. Scandalous remarks at Town Hall meetings, the infamous impersonation of a disabled reporter, the emergence of a recording which demonstrated Trump’s low view of the opposite sex – none of it could prevent the American public from putting him in the White House.
Now though, one issue is proving tricky even for Trump’s supporters, and especially those old enough to remember the Cold War, to ignore. Allegations abound that the President’s camp has close, secret ties with Russia, which extend back to well before the election. Americans still have a deeply-held suspicion around their old international enemy, and the idea that their President might have developed a secret relationship with the Superpower is a huge cause for public concern.
Months of rhetoric finally crystalised into action with the Justice Department’s appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate Russia’s alleged involvement in the 2016 election. If proof of tampering is discovered, it will almost certainly spell the end of Trump’s presidency, and could even trigger another election.
After hearing the news of the Special Prosecutor’s appointment, Trump stayed true to form by taking to Twitter to respond. “With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration there was never a special counsel appointed!” He added in a second tweet: “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”
What have others been saying?
Andy Walton on Christian Today provocatively asks: “Is it time to prepare for President Pence?”, in reference to Trump’s Vice President and theoretically the man next in line to the role.
The BBC’s Anthony Zurcher analyses Trump’s first 100 days in office – a key benchmarking moment for all Presidencies – and asks to what extent Trump has kept his campaign promises.
#1 – LIES
The Bible has a lot to say about lying, and the seriousness of doing so. Paul regularly mentions it as a serious sin (e.g. 1 Corinthians 3 v 9, 1 Timothy 1:9-11) and it’s even included in the list of Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20 v 16). Perhaps the most famous story involving deceit, which also illustrates the seriousness of the issue, is that of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5. At the end of the previous chapter, we’re reminded that the members of the early church sold all their possessions and held everything in common. Ananias and Sapphira did likewise, but secretly kept back a portion of their wealth for themselves. After discovering this, Peter tells them that they’ve lied not just to man but also to the Holy Spirit. Both of them then drop dead within a few hours of the discovery.
#2 – TRUTH
Scripture also talks a lot about truth, and about the ultimate revelation of that being Jesus himself. Jesus says “I am the Truth” (John 14 v 6), definitively adding that he is the only way to the Father. He also says that when you know the truth (him), “the truth will set you free” (John 8 v 32). While lying is illustrated as a direct route to destruction and even death, truth – walking in the light, in integrity, honesty and the way of Jesus – is the divine route to freedom on earth and in heaven. Throughout the Bible, deceit and truth are placed in opposition as an illustration of Free Will. Proverbs 12 v 22 is one good example: “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.”
Points for prayer
- Above all, we should pray that God’s will would be done in this situation. It would be easy for us to pray for Trump’s removal from office, but that would be to place our own agenda into a prayer.
- Pray that the truth will emerge, and that any wrong-doing will be brought out into the light.
- Pray for Donald Trump, that he will be honest, rather than seeking to cover over any wrong-doing.
- Pray for the special prosecutor appointed to investigate the election, that they will be able to work diligently and uncover any wrongdoing.
- Pray for America, that it will not descend into infighting, but be united whatever the result of the special prosecutor’s investigation.
Martin Saunders is Youthscape’s Deputy Chief Executive. A former editor of Youthwork magazine and the founding Editor of sister-title Childrenswork, Martin is a popular speaker and the author of various books including ‘Youth Work From Scratch’. He lives in Reigate, Surrey with his wife Jo and their four children.