Preaching Articles

These days have become an important litmus test for white evangelicals in America. How worldly are we? How desensitized have we become, not only to sexual immorality, but to ethnocentrism, partiality, and pride? Has the love of Christ shaped our souls deeply enough that we “look not only to [our] own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4)? Do we have the mind of Christ to truly care for and extend love to those who are different from us?

We have neighbors and coworkers — even friends and family — who are not just disappointed or sorrowful over the presidential-election results, but also genuinely afraid. I don’t mean just the abstract, unrealistic fear of the candidate on the other side of the spectrum from you. No, this is anxiety born directly from specific comments that singled out race or gender. It is personal.

Personally Vulnerable

Muslims remember the president-elect’s declaration a year ago that they should be made to carry identification cards. They remember when his campaign said they should be given a religious test to enter the United States. They remember sitting with a growing sense of isolation and rejection as he and his campaign pressed repeatedly on the threat they pose to America.

Women who have been sexually harassed, assaulted, or abused see a man who has joked about these things now elevated higher in power despite it all. Women who have struggled all their lives for respect in their professions and communities have seen large segments of the nation embrace, applaud, and elect a man who treats women as mere objects and mistresses.

As Christians, we love and care for our neighbors despite our differences. Let’s give hope to the fearful today.


Disabled, sick, and suffering people who have found themselves depending on the Affordable Care Act to avoid losing health coverage know that one of the new president’s first acts will be to repeal that coverage. Many have found the new system to be a financial strain or a headache, but many Americans have also found it provided vital health care they weren’t able to obtain before (or prevented them from losing their coverage). The idea of stripping healthcare away wholesale (whether that’s realistic or not) is terrifying to someone who is seriously ill or handicapped.

Jews and African Americans have felt subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle finger-pointing from the president-elect and his campaign. They have seen hate groups opposed to their very existence come out of the woodwork and latch onto his campaign — mostly without any public discouragement or rebuke from him. They have seen him and his campaign repeat in echoes and hints of conspiracy theories long used to blame them for the ills of our society, theories that have fueled violent racism and abuse toward them in the past.

Some of us may think that the connections between some of these incidents aren’t that serious or plausible. But we aren’t the ones the arrow is pointing at. It feels different when everything seems stacked up against you. That’s what those who don’t feel personally threatened urgently need to understand. Whether you believe the president-elect’s reckless and careless words and associations really reveal a racist intention or not, your neighbors in all of these groups are reasonably fearful that they do. I have friends in all of these groups who have shared their fear and dread, asking for support, in the past 24 hours.

Hurt with the Hurting

“Evangelical Christians” are being “credited” with being a large part of the support that got him elected. How we treat the people that are anxious and afraid over this new presidency will reveal how much like Jesus we really are.

One of the central teachings of Christianity is to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37–40.) The Bible exhorts us to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15); it doesn’t lead with telling us to “judge whether they should be weeping,” says pastor H.B. Charles, Jr. The same is true for those in fear. We don’t have to agree with the intensity of their fear in order to empathize with them. Compassion doesn’t require us to be convinced another person is entirely correct. It requires us to care about how he is feeling. Even if you think the danger won’t come to pass, the fear is certainly real.

My daughter was sobbing Tuesday night as the election results came in because she was scared for her Muslim friend. I have heard from other friends who had similar experiences with their kids the morning after. More than likely, nobody taught these kids directly to be afraid of the president-elect. They’ve simply heard what he’s said and seen how it affects their friends. They are drawing intuitive, logical conclusions. Sometimes kids are afraid of things that we think they don’t need to be afraid of, but that doesn’t mean that we should ignore the fact that they are afraid. This is real, and this is serious.

Share the Load

It should break our hearts that the election of this man is making our fellow citizens and our children fear for their safety. If we understand that we must weep and empathize with someone in depression, even when they appear to have nothing specific to be depressed about, we should get that we need to mourn with those in fear even if we don’t fully share their fears.

If we see a dear friend struggling and staggering with a heavy load of groceries out of the back of his car, is our first instinct to say, “That isn’t a load you should be carrying”? Hopefully not. Let’s hope that our first response is to run over and grab part of the load to help lighten the burden.

And so it should be with emotional care for a friend. Our first reaction should be to try to come beside them, to lift up our friend, to help bear the burden of their fear or grief. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). Perhaps a time will come later to discuss some of the underlying assumptions, and possibly grow together in our perspectives. Or maybe time will show that their worry did not become reality. Or perhaps time will tell that our own lack of fear was naïve. But for now, what is needed is sensitivity, listening, tenderness, compassion, and a demonstration of love and genuine concern.

Reinforce Your Support

Let’s reassure our neighbors that we will stand with them. Right now it is vital for people in any of these affected groups to hear this. Especially from Christians, who (like it or not) are portrayed as having been instrumental in the president-elect’s rise to power.

Our neighbors need to know that, using whatever influence we do have, we are going to be sure to use it to see that they are protected and treated fairly and equally. They need to know we aren’t against them, and we won’t forget about them or turn on them. People need to see firsthand that the true people of God care for them and love them, just as Christ loved them and gave himself for them.

Pray for Them

And finally, pray for them. Pray for their comfort and peace. Pray for reconciliation and harmony between all of us. Pray that God will direct the president-elect so that he does not reflect the words and fears above, but instead serves all Americans alike. Let us not leave the spiritual state of his presidency up for grabs. Instead, let’s seek its transformation in prayer. To this God has called us:

I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1–4)



Anthony Bushnell is an attorney in Minneapolis and board member for the Christian Legal Society. He and his wife have three children and are members at Bethlehem Baptist Church.


Talk about it...

Richard Lichvar

commented on Jan 20, 2021

I'm having trouble understanding whether you are talking about President Trump or President Biden? Both have delved into (or been accused of delving into) the faults you reference! Yes, many thousands of Americans, including Christians, believe the recent Presidential election was stolen. They are hurting because of that. Many are afraid there is going to be mass violence because they see the USA plummeting into Socialism and there are groups pledged to fight for it and against it. Many see the movie "Red Dawn" happening for real. Many of those (who want to fight against Socialism) not only have (arsenals of automatic and semi-automatic) firearms but thousands of rounds of ammunition. Many (Christians) are afraid they face persecution in the face of the new Administration. (I believe they have basis for that given the anti-Christian biases seen with various state governors and city mayors.) Many white evangelicals are shaking in their boots because there is not one white evangelical poised to enter any cabinet or other top post in the Federal Government. In the end, I believe it makes no difference. Our source is God, not a President, not a Congress person or Senator, Not a mayor or a governor. There is a history of such things as these since the early church. We KNOW what the Bible says is happening. The first century church survived Nero, Trajan, and other Roman Emperors. It survived mass persecutions from many quarters (and implemented some of its own). I believe the bottom line is many Christians, especially white Christians, have become so lazy in their faith that they no longer have any faith. Cultural Christianity is rife in America. That means it is the job of those truly committed to Christ to endure, to uphold, to reach out to the fatherless, homeless (yes, including "illegal" immigrants), and the fearing with the comforting Gospel. The real Gospel, not the one preached in so many "Christian" churches today. (Yes, I believe it also means preaching "hell and damnation" again even though it will scare some people even more. Sin is sin. Hypocrisy is hypocrisy inside our outside of the Church.) Paraphrasing the Apostle Paul "To live is Christ. To die is gain." Christians win either way.

Rica Cuff

commented on Jan 21, 2021

Like Mr. Lichvar, I, too, am confused! This certainly reads like it was written about former President Trump, when he won election. None of what Bushnell writes here is reflective of President Biden. Has the authorship date been incorrectly posted? Is this actually from January 2016? Please review.

Nettie J Pennington

commented on Jan 21, 2021

I, too, am confused. The Title is interesting but the context of the content is ......

E L Zacharias

commented on Jan 23, 2021

It is very sad to think that evangelicals rose in force to breach the walls of the White House for the return of this third term of Obama-Biden-Harris. But, remembering how a former editor of Christianity Today opined that the DULY - ELECTED President Donald J Trump should RESIGN, I can see how this might be possible. A lot of Christians, are not discerning about their news sources. (FWIW, for this reason, I chose NOT to re-subscribe to what I now see as neo-liberal pap.) There is much to fear for these next four years, and perhaps for generations to come, if the Commie-Harris administration delivers on its promises: Loss of our Bill of Rights, loss of US independence to global interests, high taxes, high unemployment, higher racial discord, higher distrust of government--and the end of the American dream, as we know it. BUT, as mentioned, we are not to put our trust God and not in princes. Perhaps the church will benefit in the long run, as God's people come to the same conclusion.

E L Zacharias

commented on Jan 23, 2021

IMPORTANT EDIT: We ARE to put our trust IN GOD and NOT in princes.

E L Zacharias

commented on Jan 23, 2021

That Christians could have voted for this administration deeply puzzles me. Trump was PRO-LIFE, more than ANY other president. (GEO H Bush's wife was PRO-ABORTION, vociferously.) Biden was pro-death, too, like all of the D&C candidates. Trump was PRO-ISRAEL, more than any previous president, making Jerusalem the Capitol. Obama-Harris snubbed the Israeli President and did his best to enlarge the Caliphate of Islam in the Levant (threatening the very existence of Israel). Besides closing the borders, Trump enforced humanitarian practices for children caught up in illegal immigration (it was OBAMA, NOT TRUMP who had children in cages, check your FACTS, people) and busted state-wide rings of human sex traffickers in the US! (Media did NOT share this news, but this was incredibly large event, gained after the bust of the Virgin Island pimp to the stars and politicians, Epstein, who was hanged in his unguarded prison cell.) Trump was PRO-INDIVIDUAL, more than any other president, decreasing taxes and removing oppressive regulation, thereby enlarging the middle class greatly, until the Covid shutdowns, promoted by Democrat governors. Trump was FOR America's greatness, removing unfair trade practices, leaving the Paris (read: parasitic) Climate Treaty, which was designed to diminish US influence, and strengthening the military, which had been in decline over Obama's eight years. Trump's weakness was his boasting, which media magnified to the point of his destruction. LEFTISTS, who seek America's decline, have much to applaud: the rule of law is undone and the Banana Republic is open for business. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

E L Zacharias

commented on Jan 23, 2021

Correction: Obama-Biden snubbed Israel. (Not the marxist-inspired senator-turned-vice president, Commie Harris, who, while frothing at the mouth, threatened to impeach the duly-elected President Trump and round up his supporters (see source, below). In this rambling, she incoherently cited what resembled Scripture, and said, "You like that s**t? It's from some crappy old book. It's about Trump and his enablers. I use things like that when I run out of things to say." (Source:

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