The Cultural Problem that Trumps Trump

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It has been a week since the revelations of Donald Trump’s outrageous statements about sexuality and women. I haven’t had much of a desire to comment even though this is a current event that Authentic Intimacy would typically want to talk about.

My primary hesitation is because I have no desire to speak into this election. It saddens me greatly that the two leading candidates for President of the United States both have well-documented lifestyles of greed, selfishness, dishonesty, and immorality. However, as I’ve thought and prayed about the situation, I realize that our politicians don’t lead us, they reflect us. 

Donald’s lewd comments and flippant attitude toward women, sexuality and marriage are a fitting picture for a nation that has reduced sex to a physical commodity bartered through an iPhone app. The average American regularly watches tv shows, movies and even commercials that glamorize the “freedom” represented by Donald’s approach to sexuality. Women all around us are marginalized, objectified and exploited because we encourage “boys will be boys.” Why are we surprised to hear such words from a man who has never claimed to be anything different? 

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both reflect and represent what our country has become. We have bigger problems than this presidential election. Our greatest threat is revealed in the Old Testament book of Judges. The people have dethroned the King, and everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes. 

When we as a people replace God’s authority with our own understanding, we begin creating a culture where there is no limit to the possibility of evil, even of evil celebrated. Perhaps in their own warped moral compasses, both Trump and Clinton believe that they are out to do “good” for the United States of America. However, “good" defined apart from the sovereign rule of God will always end in corruption and destruction. 

In today’s culture, judging another person’s choices is deemed as one of the worst offenses you can commit. Who are you to judge someone’s sex life, financial decisions, or moral choices? But isn’t that exactly what we are doing with Trump and Clinton? As we look at the actions of our prospective leaders, we know that secrecy, dishonesty, disrespecting women, racism, and sexual immorality represent deplorable character traits. There is a standard of right and wrong. As much as we want to erase that standard in daily life, this presidential election gives us a glimpse of what happens when we allow human intellect and rationale to replace God as the author of right and wrong. 

I can predict the future. How? Because I’ve studied the past and read the Scriptures. God does not lie. What we sow, we will reap. People that continually rejects God’s sovereignty and authority will not stand. 

I have no interest in who you intend to vote for in November. The changes we need cannot take place through politicians. However, I honestly believe there is hope of God’s favor and work in our nation if we take seriously that the greater battle is a spiritual one. 

The United States of America is in desperate need of Christians who will get serious about fighting this battle. If Donald Trump’s foul speech disgusts you, if Hillary Clinton’s deception outrages you, God would ask you to respond first by cleaning out your heart. Nehemiah, Paul, Daniel, Isaiah and practically every other “game changer” in the Bible began by asking God to cleanse them first. “Take the log out of your own eye before you remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” It is not merely advice for personal reconciliation, but it is how we prepare to make a right judgment about our times. We have pockets of immorality, selfishness, and dishonesty in our own lives that need to be addressed. 

A nation isn’t changed by the leaders it elects but by the men and women God appoints. I sense that God may be asking (as He did in Isaiah), “Whom shall we send?” Who will be the men and women willing to proclaim His love and truth in spite of a mocking culture? Lord, send me. 

“The world has yet to see what God may do with a man (or woman) fully consecrated to Him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.” ~DL Moody. 

 

photo credit: Unsplash/Library of Congress

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  • Josephine Drake

    Josephine Drake

    I'm appalled that you even sent me this in my email!
  • Valerie  Peralta

    Valerie Peralta

    Beautiful. Thank you for speaking truth so clearly. This message (respond first by cleaning out my own heart) is valuable and should be shared. Thank you for your obedience in crafting this call for repentance!
  • A Livelystone

    A Livelystone

    Juli, I totally agree that we would attain desired change for America starting with ourselves. I also concur that there is yet much to be desired in the quality of the two presidential candidates. I think you haven't been helpful though with your yardstick of moral equivalency between Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton. I hope you haven't done this just to make it look like you are shooting straight through the middle, castigating the two candidates equally. I believe that is an unjust assessment, dear sister. Given the stakes for America, that is a luxury we cannot afford. Mr Trump has serious flaws but the bottom line is that the person of Mrs Clinton and what she stands for are much worse. She will do great damage to the kind of condition you and I desire for this country. We have two poor choices this cycle. But if we care to do our due diligence, we would see that one is obviously, as the bible puts it, "more righteous" than his counterpart. This is why I believe we should exercise our privilege to determine who becomes president by casting the ballot for Mr Trump, warts and all.
  • Jodi Onaka

    Jodi Onaka

    Wow. I do agree that all men are sinful, but I disagree, we are to judge. We are to judge and discern and pick our leaders accordingly. Right now I am struggling in my church because we do not have standards for our leaders. May god have mercy on us.
  • matthew upson

    matthew upson

    I moved to London a few years ago and last summer a friend who is a leader in a men's ministry came to London and we met up for dinner. He asked me about Trump and it became clear he supports Trump.. As a man that runs a mens' ministry that strongly discourages adultery and sexual promiscuity I really was taken a back. I really don't see how a Christian leader can support a man for president who openly brags about sexually assaulting women and commits adultery. He really made me question his sincerity when he speaks about sexual sin,

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The neurochemicals released during sex and orgasm reduce stress, help you sleep and make you feel at peace. However, having sex outside of marriage or habitually masturbating is an abuse of the body's natural response to sex. If you are masturbating on a regular basis or use it to deal with negative emotions, I'd encourage you to find other means of coping. God gave us healthy ways to release the chemicals in your body that bring peace and contentment. Prayer, meditation, exercise, talking to a friend or creating something artistic might take more work, but they are alternatives to falling into an addictive cycle. 5) Am I honoring God with my body? "Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body" (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). 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A husband and wife should talk and pray together about the best way to focus sexually on one another when sexual intimacy isn’t possible.  Masturbation becomes a problem when it is a secret kept from your spouse, if it is a replacement for sexual intimacy or if sexual thoughts go outside of thinking about just the two of you. Many married women can only orgasm if they stimulate themselves. While I’d encourage women in this situation to work towards teaching your husband how to pleasure you (I recommend the book The Married Guy's Guide to Great Sex by Cliff and Joyce Penner), there is nothing wrong with touching yourself during sexual intimacy. You are sharing a sexual experience with your husband. Growing sexually requires you to explore your bodies together. Masturbation can even be beneficial for a married couple in cases of sexual dysfunction. A very common form of sex therapy called "sensate focus" helps a woman pay attention to how she responds to sexual touch, first by touching herself and then by guiding her husband's hand as he touches her. This can be an important step in healing, particularly for women who have experienced sexual trauma that triggers anxiety at sexual touch. Final Thoughts: I have great respect for women (married and single) who want to honor God with their sexuality. I believe masturbation is an issue that each woman has to ask the Lord about. While God didn’t specifically address masturbation in the Bible, God did tell us that He wants to give us his wisdom. "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking" (James 1:5). God is the High Priest who understands your questions and struggles. Even in this most intimate (and perhaps embarrassing) issue, don't be afraid to pour out your heart to him and ask for his specific direction and wisdom.   You may be interested in these follow-up resources: Is Masturbation a Sin? You May Be Asking the Wrong Question (Juli's blog) #160: Why God Created You to Be Sexual #166: We're All Sexually Broken Why We Don't Experience Victory (Juli's blog) Three Things To Remember About Sexual Sin & Grace (Joy's blog)