A column I wrote for Christian Today last week with the title Yes, God Is Sovereign. That Doesn’t Mean He Chooses Who Runs America generated an extraordinary quantity of Twitter abuse. Some might have taken exception to a slight hint of anti-Trump bias (a “serial sex pest, braggart, narcissist, bully and all-round loose cannon who has been described as the most unqualified person ever to seek high office”) but in general the critiques had two main thrusts. One was that the Bible teaches God is in control of everything. The other was that if you didn’t believe that you didn’t believe in his sovereignty.
Both are wrong.
Take the biblical texts. Here are a selection of the many suggested, and why I don’t think they can be used to argue God chose Trump as President:
“I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster. I, the Lord, do all these things” (Isaiah 45:7). This doesn’t say that every time there’s prosperity or disaster God does it; it just says he does it. And it has nothing to do with Trump’s election.
“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (Proverbs 16:33). An election is not the same as a roll of the dice.
“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Amen and amen. God will bring good out of evil; it’s what he does.
“He changes times and season; he sets up kings and deposes them” (Daniel 2:21). The clear biblical witness is that God is active in biblical history; no argument there. But whether his involvement extends to dictating the result of a US presidential election is a different matter entirely.
So, you see where I’m going here. A text without a context is a pretext.