Distinction with a difference
The 2016 presidential election sent tidal waves through the “establishment” and the main-stream media. It also created waves among those who claim Christianity as their world view. Arguments for and against being a Trump supporter and a Christian have been published in newspapers, blogs, journals, and social media. The question to be answered is whether a Conservative Christian can be a Christian Conservative. Are they the same or is there a distinction?
The same two words are used, but they have enormously different meanings. The second word in each becomes the subject with the first word the descriptor. The subject therefore defines the domain, institution, area, or sphere of what is being described. The Christian Conservative is describing a particular type of Conservative, whereas the Conservative Christian is describing qualities of a Christian. Each of these have defined spheres in which there may be overlap as in a Venn Diagram; however, the sphere itself has basic properties which define them. Some of the basic tenets of a Conservative are the belief in national security and national sovereignty, free markets, limited government and personal responsibility. Basic tenets of Christianity are the belief the Bible is the inspired Word of God and Jesus is the human form of the triune God, who died for our sins and provides all believers the path to salvation and eternal life.
As you can see, one sphere relates to the State and the other relates to the Church. Each sphere has its own sovereignty and even though there may be some overlap, the tenets of one sphere should not override the basic tenets of the other. This is the mistake most people are making when they claim Christians should or should not support Trump.
Sphere sovereignty is extremely important. If the State becomes too powerful, it infringes on the sovereignty of the Church. Examples of this are in the definition of marriage, forcing a cake maker to create something against his beliefs, and in the viewpoint of homosexuality. If the Church becomes too powerful, it could infringe on the State’s primary duties of national security, immigration and others, as we have seen related to the wall and immigration.
We elected Trump as our president, not as a pastor or minister. He has authority over the sphere of the state not the church. We may wish there were more overlap; however, sovereignty is important.
— DAN EICHENBERGER