This image, with the knowledge that it came from the rally the proceeded the Capitol riots, is evocative, provocative and triggering.

Here are some wrong (sinful or foolish) thoughts that a person might have as they look at this photo:

Disclaimer 1: I might have thought some of these.
Disclaimer 2: It’s possible that some of these have been thought by no one. But I doubt it.
Disclaimer 3: I’m not only suggesting they are wrong, I’m further suggesting that almost all Americans would agree that these are wrong. Or at least possibly wrong.
Disclaimer 4: It’s a dangerous thing to be this condemnatory; as such I’d be interested to know if you think any of these are correct or wise.

  • Aha! This is evidence that Jesus is on the side of Trump supporters.
  • Aha! This is evidence that all Trump supports subvert/pervert the true message of Christ.
  • The people that put up that sign are definitely idiots/evil.
  • The people that put up that sign are definitely strong Christians.
  • The people that put up that sign were definitely aware of/ in agreement with the rioting that happened in the capitol.
  • Great! I can describe this image in a way that makes it look like all Christians are rioters.
  • The people that put up the sign were definitely thinking “Jesus Saves with Trump as president.”
  • No one at the rally saw that sign and thought “Yes, Jesus Saves with Trump as president.”
  • Great! I don’t like Trump supporters and I can use a pretext of care about truth, or racism, or Jesus to make Trump look bad. Yet again!
  • It’s a ‘Jesus Saves’ sign! What could possibly be seen as dangerous/wrong-minded about that?
  • If there’s a chance that a person might take a sign wrong, we should definitely not put it up.

And here are some correct/wise responses – which I hope all Christians would agree with:

  • The people that put up that sign might be well-intentioned and might have done some good.
  • People at rallies really should be careful with Christian imagery they post.
  • There is such a thing as feigning offense.
  • There is such a thing as feigning fear that others will see the wrong message.
  • There might be people who looked at that sign (at a gathering literally called the “Save America” rally) and be reminded that Jesus transcends politics and presidents in His ability to preserve and defend America.
  • Yes, Jesus does save.

With all the statement about judging (from Jesus, James, Peter, Paul) in the Bible, I think we should always tend towards grace and trust in God. But it’s sometimes very difficult to do that.