With Donald Trump the President-Elect, and the Republican Party retaining control of Congress, many evangelical Christians may be heaving a huge sigh of relief that at least Hillary was kept out of the White House. They may be thinking that now the country will bu put on the right path, and that a lot of our problems will finally get straightened out. Not so fast–says this little North Carolina mountain prophet.

We are living in a highly politically, socially, and morally divided nation. Tremendous anger was spewed out this year in the election campaign, not only from the candidates, but from constituents across the country who reflected the political spectrum. That anger could easily spill over into violent confrontations between people from varying sides of different issues. We are also living in a highly addicted nation, chemically, financially, and sexually. Combine this with the specter of gangs, sex traffickers, corrupt politicians, unscrupulous and unethical business people, ideological indoctrinators posing as educators, and news reporters functioning as propagandists instead of journalists, and we have the ground work for massive unrest at best, and an all-out civil war at worst.

How can such anger be de-fused? It starts with us Bible-believing Christians making sure we are authentic in our walk with Jesus Christ. This involves standing up for all of God’s truth, not just those parts which cause us to harp on the things that bother us the most. It involves us not only speaking, writing and praying about the problem of sexual license in our nation, but also the difficult issues of immigration reform, substance abuse, sex slavery, and business ethics. It is the last issue which, by my observations, we evangelical Christians seem least likely to discuss or seem to have a consensus of opinion on.

When I turn to Scripture to see how it describes economic oppression as an issue, I discover some very explicit warnings about letting greed take over and become the primary motivation for owning and managing businesses. The prophet Amos, for example, warned the people of Israel about cheating buyers of goods such as food by skimping on the amount of product they were selling “with dishonest scales.” (8:5) Likewise, the prophet Micah warned the people of ancient Judah of God’s disgust for their greed and covetousness that displayed itself in their lack of business ethics: “Is there yet a man in the wicked house, Along with treasures of wickedness, And a short measure that is cursed? Can I justify wicked scales And a bag of deceptive weights?” (6:10-11) Again, the problem was shorting customers on what they were paying for through the usage of dishonest weights and measures.

The same holds true today for too many American businesses. There are scam artists of every kind imaginable online and elsewhere. Then, you have established companies and businesses who are committing one form of fraud or another, be it banks setting up phony accounts in customer’s names, or cellular companies slowing data speeds on smart phones to curb usage of unlimited data plans. Foods and medicines are being sold in smaller quantities in the same sized containers as before for the same price as before, giving the appearance to consumers that they’re getting the same amount for the price when they’re not. All of this  shows a growing movement in American business to stiff customers with less than what the customers think they’re paying for.

What disturbs me most is the number of people who identify themselves as born-again Christians who think business should be free and unfettered in conducting itself in whatever manner it deems necessary to turn a profit. Obviously, any business has to make a profit to continue, but when profit is the ONLY reason and motivation for someone to own and operate a business, then abuses all too quickly emerge.

Greed, revealed in a lack of ethics in business, is clearly condemned in Scripture, because not only can it involve cheating customers out of money, product, or services, it also generates other harmful effects. It can lead to the mistreatment of workers by employers who care little for the well-being of their employees or their families. In the epistle of James Chapter 5, verses 1-6, we read a scorching indictment of the rich and of their abuse of their servants. Verses 4-5 are especially strong: “Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you: and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.” What this tells us is that God takes a very dim view of people making themselves extremely wealthy at the expense of those who work for them. What this also tells us is that business owners who identify themselves as Christians dishonor our Lord when they run their businesses in a manner that inordinately boosts profits for themselves at the expense of their customers and/or employees.

A side issue that is tied to economic oppression is what to do with aliens–undocumented immigrants, to be specific. Our President-Elect has promised drastic action against those who have entered the country illegally, but that is highly unlikely and not  really even desirable. To ship 11 million men, women and children back to their countries of origin is neither feasible nor sensible. We’ve already learned as a nation that simply sending illegal aliens home accomplishes little, especially if they’re criminals, because they come right back and commit more crimes. Do we need to shore up our borders and stop the flood of undocumented immigrants? Absolutely, but we need to make sure we do it in a manner that reflects God’s holy principles governing the treatment of strangers.

Scripture gives us some clear principles concerning the handling of immigrants. In Exodus 22:21-22, we read “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not afflict any widow or orphan.” This is a clear directive from God to the children of Israel even while they were on their way to the Promised Land not to mistreat immigrants. God went on in verses 23-24 to warn them, “If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear His cry, and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.”  Such a warning was given to drive home to the Israelites just how much God loves and cares for the poor, the alien,  the disenfranchised, and in general, those who find themselves in a hopeless condition.

We evangelical Christians need to be very careful about fostering a cold-blooded attitude toward immigrants, documented or otherwise. While there are certainly plenty of criminals, terrorists, and economic opportunists among them  who care little about our laws, there are others who have come across our border fleeing dangerous conditions. There are families who have come into the U.S. from various Latin American countries seeking to escape drug lords and sex-slave traders who want to take their children, some as young as only two years old, selling them into prostitution. A blanket deportation of such persons will not solve the problems they, and we face with human trafficking. Others have fled literal starvation into this country, hoping to be able to provide for their families. As Christians, we need first and foremost, to pray for our new president and Congress that they will pass immigration reform that is God-honoring and scripturally consistent.

This brings us to the other hot button issues we evangelicals have focused much energy and attention on in recent years: abortion, gay rights, same-sex marriage, and religious freedom. Do we need to stop focusing on these and other issues of morality to give attention only to economic oppression? Certainly not! If Satan succeeds in destroying the traditional family, he has destroyed the nation and everything good that could come from it. I am convinced we are already facing God’s wrath and judgment as a nation for the 55 million+ abortions that have taken place since Roe v. Wade. Likewise, the satanic lie that is homosexuality seems to be drawing more and more people, including evangelicals,to conclude that gay behavior, clearly outside the boundaries of what God established in Genesis 2, is all right and should be accepted. The possibility remains that certain portions of the scriptures and their teachings concerning this issue could still be ruled “hate speech” and have Bible-believing Christians and their pastors facing the possibility of criminal charges and imprisonment if they don’t change their position on LGBTQ rights.

The solution to all of this is that we need to be people  of prayer and the Word. We need to pray not only for the new president and other leaders of our country to be guided by God’s Spirit, we need to pray for repentance for ourselves, the Church, and for our nation, that God will move us all toward Him and away from Satan’s evil schemes. We also need to become people of the WHOLE Bible, not just those parts of it we like, which we see supporting our positions on things of importance to us. We need to read through all of the Bible from cover to cover, letting its overall message of redemption grip us and show us the kind of people we need to be in all aspects of life.

This is where the real hope for America lies; not in the new president, the Congress, the Supreme Court, or in anything else. While we need to stand against the moral and social evils of our day, we also need to stand for racial equality, business ethics, and social and legal justice for all those truly oppressed according to biblical standards. Above all, we need to be ready to present Jesus to all God brings us in contact with. He alone can heal a broken and divided nation, and bring peace to a troubled world.

All Scripture quotations are from the Updated Edition of the New American Standard Bible, published by the Lockman Foundation, 1995.