Should Christians continue to support Donald Trump as President, even during the Democrats’ impeachment show and the 2020 presidential election? An editorial in Christianity Today called for the U.S. Senate to remove Trump on impeachment, using as its theology talking points from the Democrat Party.
Did God choose Donald Trump — an unlikely prospect — to help lead the United States of America back in a Godly direction? Such discussions reveal more about people’s ideas and misunderstandings about Christianity. This topic could be endless because it involves the Creator and Superintendent of the entire universe. But let’s start somewhere.
Donald Trump, in Christian analysis, is like Samson. Samson was a drunkard, a womanizer, crude, rude, unrefined, apparently did not often hold a job or tend fields but spent his time carousing. Samson was a local celebrity.
God chose Samson to “save” Israel (in practical terms in war). Why? Why would God associate with such a bad example of immorality? Because no one else would do the job. The story of Samson is about all the good, “moral” Israelites who ignored God’s call.
Why did God choose Samson, an immoral drunkard and womanizer? He didn’t. First God called others. But those others wouldn’t do the job.
Like Samson, God called Donald Trump because God couldn’t persuade all the superficial, morally-posturing, ‘Christian’ politicians to do the job. All these years, ‘moral’ Republicans lusted for the approval of men rather than helping real people in their actual lives.
The attention should not be on Samson or Trump but on all the phonies. Too many ‘good” Republicans ignored the needs of God’s people struggling in their lives. God had to look elsewhere after crossing everyone else off His list.
If those who long to throw the first stone actually read the Bible, they might understand. Jesus taught us in Matthew 7:16-20 (NASB):
16 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits.
For decades, all those much-better ‘moral’ Republicans politicians who act like model ‘Central Casting’ typecasts of Christians have utterly failed to actually do anything in office to improve the nation or the lives of its citizens. “You shall know them by their fruits,” Jesus taught us.
Donald Trump, imperfect in outward appearance, is bearing fruit where supposedly respectable, moral Republicans only talked and talked but did not act. (Your author personally tried to urge publicly-Christian conservative legislators in Virginia to pass amendments tweaking laws, and found they had no interest in helping real people.)
Jesus taught us about two sons in Matthew 21:28-32: One son told his father he would do what the father commanded him. But the son didn’t do it. The second son told his father he refused to do what the father commanded him. But then he thought better of it and actually did what the father wanted him to do. Jesus then asked the crowd which son did the will of the Father (God)? The son who said he would do the Father’s will but did not? Or the son who said he would not do it, but then did?
Donald Trump early in his life was certainly not a moral person. He was not a Christian in any sense. Trump was the prodigal son. But back then ‘moral ‘Republicans never did what they promised. Now, late in his life, Donald Trump, previously immoral and flawed, is actually doing what ‘moral’ Republicans said they were going to do, but never did.
But now ‘moral’ Republicans are furious at Trump. Showing us who they are by their fruit, they are not delighted that what they promised to do is now getting done by Trump instead. This seems more about jealousy.
Imagine Christians in the first decade after Christ’s resurrection. You hear about Saul of Tarsus running around arresting Christians, persecuting them, having them beaten, and even put to death. Then you hear of Saul of Tarsus suddenly calling himself ‘Paul’ and now preaching Jesus Christ. Would you follow Paul? Would you attend a meeting where Paul was preaching? Would you donate to Paul, as many did? But, Paul used to put Christians to death. Can we accept Paul as a moral leader now? Is Christianity about nailing people to the ground in their past, or drawing out of all of us our best?
We discover that many Christians don’t understand Christianity. Erick Erickson (previously famous for his own harsh comments similar to Trump’s), while generally disagreeing with the Christianity Today article, slips into the mistake by saying: “They’re also right that evangelicals willing to defend everything this President does are harming evangelicalism in the United States.”
No. The only harm is to a fake gospel. True Christianity is this: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.” — the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 1:15.
Christianity is not about being morally superior to your neighbor. Christianity is about falling on your face before a holy God and pouring out your broken heart in genuine sorrow for your many sins.
Those who worry about whether Christians are “lookin’ good” in public do far more damage to Christianity. Cheering a man doing a good job in spite of his moral imperfections does great credit to Christianity. Too many are spreading a false, poisonous, and anti-Christ gospel of moral superiority, boasting of your own goodness. That’s the poison of the Pharisees. You know, the ones who put Jesus Christ to death because Jesus didn’t meet their standards.
Remember how God chose David. All of the men who looked like kings were brought before the assembly. The Prophet Samuel dismissed them all. Samuel instead anointed as king an unlikely, unremarkable, ruddy little shepherd boy whom no one even considered to be in the running. “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7.
Is Donald Trump called by God? Everyone is called by God. A good, honest car mechanic is probably called by God. Most people never find or fulfill God’s call on their lives, mostly out of lack of interest in doing God’s will. Being called by God does not necessarily say anything about a man or a woman being more important. godly, moral, etc. A calling is only an opportunity, never a guarantee.
But, yes, God called Donald Trump to be President. God told me for one thing. I had given up and assumed crime boss Hillary Clinton was going to be elected President. God grabbed me by the neck and ‘splained to me to stop saying that and to pray for Trump’s election.
And what do we see? President Trump with all of his faults and defects, his poor way of speaking (not unlike Texas twang George W. Bush’s public speaking or George H.W. Bush’s torturing of the English language), his generally inept legal teams, and his David-like exuberance that makes him rush in without thinking, keeps winning.
By natural rules, Trump should be failing. And yet time and time again, God parts the Red Sea and visits the consequences upon Trump’s enemies. Trump is not perfect. Yet “to his own master must a servant stand or fall.” Do not reach out your hand against God’s Anointed. If Trump is imperfect, he must answer to God for that. But when God is moving, stay out of the way.