Presidential Faith?

James 2:17 - “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works is dead.”


Faith is a word that has been on display this week with the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States.  The swearing in ceremonies indirectly referenced faith as the President and Vice-President placed there hands upon the Bible as they took their oaths. There were also several prayers of faith offered during the ceremony.  Next came the Prayer service at the National Cathedral where faith was once again in the spotlight.  Many of the commentators asked the question, “what is the faith of Donald Trump? What is his faith in?”  That same question was asked of Barak Obama and of George Bush and Bill Clinton.  It is a question that the public has wondered about most likely for as long as we have been a nation.  What is the faith of our President?  


I won’t attempt to answer that question for Barak Obama or for Donald Trump as I believe their lives will answer that question.  How they conduct themselves will let us know whether or not they are men of faith, after all faith without works James says is dead. It is nonexistent.  What he means is this, not that you work to earn your salvation, but that if you are a person of real faith, it will show up in your works.  Your actions will show your faith.  That is true not only of Presidents but also of people.  Our faith shows through in our actions and in our words.  


I think about George Washington.  Much has been made of his faith throughout history.  Was he a Christian, was he an atheist, was he a deist? Just what did George Washington believe.  His granddaughter Nelly who lived with the Washington’s because of the death of her own parents says this, “my grandfather George would travel to church if the weather permitted.”  When you read that it doesn’t seem that church attendance was all that important to him.  If the weather permitted and it was convenient he would go to worship, but you have to examine the facts of the statement, and in reality the statement in its entirety.  She went on to say “it was about a 3 hour journey to get to the church.”  That sheds a whole new light on his faith doesn’t it?  In fact we are a little more understanding toward the phrase “if the weather permitted.”  A 3 hour journey on horseback or in a wagon was bad enough if it were sunny, if the weather was rough however it would have been almost unbearable.  So here is what we know George would travel many times a year to church, and the journey took three hours.  


That is amazing.  A three hour trip to get to church and then a three hour trip home.  I think it is fair to say that faith was important to George Washington, in fact I believe his faith in Jesus shaped his very life.  His life however forces me to ask a question of myself, would I travel 3 hours to get to worship and then another 3 hours to get home?  If you take into account the time of the service itself and even as short time of fellowship after the service, Washington would have been looking at 8-9 hours of time spent traveling to and from worship, and in worship itself.  That is dedication and I have to ask the question, do I have that kind of dedication?  Is worship that important to me?  Is it to you?


Would I like Washington did, kneel in the snow to pray in the midst of battle?  Is my faith that real to me? Is your faith that real to you?  History will bear out the faith of our Presidents and eternity will as well.  Were they were sincere believers of not? Of course history and eternity will also answer that question about us, are we sincere in our faith or not? For those who are true believers their witness will continue throughout all eternity, for those that aren’t the Bible says, “there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  The question we must answer isn’t about the President, instead it is about us, is our faith real or not?