Thursday, February 13, 2020

Why Evangelicals Love Trump

I woke up Sunday at four o’clock in the morning and could not go back to sleep. I had received a revelation. For years I have been trying to figure out why evangelicals support President Trump. The standard answer, which I had come to accept, is that he advances their social agenda. They are willing to overlook the many unseemly qualities of the man in exchange for appointing pro-life justices to the Supreme Court, supporting gun rights, the nation of Israel, and the right of Christians to pray in schools, say “Merry Christmas,” and refuse to do business with homosexuals.

Then early on the Lord’s Day I realized there is a much deeper reason, a spiritual reason, that evangelicals love Trump. Evangelicals love Trump because he reminds them of their God! Trump is the earthly image of evangelicals’ understanding of their heavenly Lord. When you look at the unlikely relationship between white Evangelicalism and the president in this light, then it all makes sense.

Trump see himself as wielding unbridled power. That is why he admires strongmen like Putin and Kim Jong Un. Indeed evangelicals have compared Trump to the Persian king Cyrus, whom the Book of Isaiah labels “the Anointed One” (Messiah or Christ). Trump demands unquestioned allegiance and obedience from his followers – just like God. He is above all human laws and authority – just like God. He rewards and punishes his subjects based solely on their loyalty to him – just like God.

He and his followers believe that everything that comes out of his mouth must be true, and they will manipulate the facts in order to fit his latest Twitter pronouncement. His word is Truth, as infallible as any Word of God. He does not repent or need forgiveness because everything he does is “perfect.” 

Like God, he has a chosen people – Israel and evangelical Christians – who are the only ones who really matter.  All others are enemies and outsiders. As Jesus said, “Those who are not with us are against us.” Democrats and other liberals are dangerous threats to the wellbeing of our holy nation. God’s people need to be protected from their evil designs by whatever means necessary.

On inauguration day, Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, preached a sermon at a private service to the Trump and Pence families at Saint John’s Episcopal Church. In the message he favorably compared the president to Nehemiah. 

In the Bible Nehemiah built a wall around Jerusalem to protect God’s chosen people from the “ungodly” indigenous people of 5th century BC Palestine. Nehemiah also forbade intermarriage in order to preserve the purity of his race and religion. Israel today has built a wall to protect them from Palestinians. Trump is building a wall to protect America from an army of Hispanic “rapists, murderers, and drug dealers” invading our southern border.

Trump’s and Israel’s walls are echoes of the walled city of the heavenly Jerusalem built by God, of which the Book of Revelation says, “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life…. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” 

When evangelicals look at Trump they see a man like Cyrus and Nehemiah - appointed by God for this hour in American history. That is why they do not challenge him when he declares on national television that he is “the Chosen One.” For them he is. Christian politicians and preachers line up to defend their billionaire messiah. He is the personification of the self-esteem, self-help and prosperity gospels which have infiltrated the theology of conservative churches in recent decades.

His devout followers do not flinch when he brags of sexually assaulting women and pays off a porn star to keep her quiet. Their God likewise keeps women silent and in their place – useful only for childbirth and maintaining the home for their husbands. Trump’s newfound support for the “Pro-Life” movement serves the purpose of keeping women subservient. Even their bodies are not theirs. Welcome to Gilead. Females should not dare to challenge or supplant the authority of males, for as the apostle Paul says:

“A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”

In the evangelical and Trumpian worlds women – starting with Eve - are the cause of all sorts of problems, especially women of color. That is why Trump reserves his harshest verbal abuse and name-calling for them. They are the enemy – unless, of course they submit to him as God tells them to do. For the Bible tells us that earthly rulers such as he are appointed by God.

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”

Likewise the Scriptures say, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”

So now it is all clear. When evangelicals look at Trump they see a personification of biblical and godly values. They see a champion of their form of Christianity, a man’s man chosen by the Lord to bring the nation back to godly values. “Make America Great Again!” and “Keep America Great,” which means keep Trump in the White House. A defeat for Trump can be nothing less than a defeat for God.

When I look at Trump, I see something very different. I see a demagogue (or demigod) who is the exact opposite of everything that Jesus stood for, and yet claims the same devotion from his followers as Christ has. I see a messianic imposter who has put himself in the place of God. Like the “little horn” of the Book of Daniel, he speaks “arrogant and boastful words.”

I pray that Christians will see Trump for what is really is and will withdraw their support. That is what the (former) editors of the two largest evangelical magazines – the Christian Post and Christianity Today – urged. More and more evangelicals are waking up to the truth. President Trump is not our messiah. He is neither a godly nor moral man. He is an imposter “who deceives if possible even the elect.” Wake up, church, and serve the true and living God!


Kristin Berg said...

Agree....but their beliefs and support are still very scary to me and not sure I still understand their devotion to someone like him, whose morals are completely the opposite of mine.

Unknown said...

But, Marshall, the alternatives are so much worse. In 2016, We chose the lesser of two evils, and we will have to do it again this year, to keep the socialist baby killers, and illegals from totally destroying our country.

Marshall Davis said...

All it takes for evil to triumph is for people to believe that their only choice is between two evils. Voting for the lesser of two evils is still to vote for evil. Good is always a choice. Resist and vote third party if you must. Do not believe those who say that is throwing away your vote. It is never a waste to vote for good.

Anonymous said...

Well written. Thank you

Anonymous said...

On study my bible this morning,I just come across Daniel 11:36, and I made me ask,is Trump the Antichrist ?