(Warning: This is a bit of a rant, so read with caution)
I am absolutely perplexed that followers of Jesus view Trump as the means to make America great again? If great is simply defined in terms of economics, maybe (and that’s a big maybe). But if great is defined in terms that Christians have argued for over the last 20 years – morality – then in what way will Trump make America great again? Leaders tend to create followers in their image. Followers made in the image of Trump will not make America great again. Not in the slightest. Not in God’s eyes.
WHERE IS THE REFLECTION OF JESUS?
Trump, in my honest no-political-sides-just-the-bible opinion, resembles less of Jesus than Cruz, less than Hillary, less than Sanders, less than President Obama. For all the constant complaints about the current President’s “Muslim-ness” from the right wing, he carries himself in a way that reflects the character of Jesus FAR more than Trump does. I cannot imagine what would be said, written, and done if the President spoke in the language, tone and content of Trump. And yet Trump continues to carry the “conservative evangelical” vote. Why? If we want a candidate that resembles Jesus, that we can speak of to our kids that demonstrates any respectability in leadership, why Trump? When I score each leader according to the qualities of a leader in the bible (Titus, 1 Timothy), Trump easily takes last place. He’s not even close. To vote for Trump on the basis of any Christian faith is to simply trash the bible. Take for example the list in 1 Tim 3:2-8:
- A leader is to be above reproach, be respectable – That means at the least we can take a persons actions, a persons words, and turn to our kids, or non-believing friends, and say “those words, those actions, are what God deems as respectable.” I would NEVER do with the many things Trump says.
- A leader is to be the husband of one wife – Some translations say “a one woman man.” It means a leader ought to know what commitment and fidelity is. Not be drawn away by lust. Not surrender commitments made for the sake of satisfying fleshly appetites. Is this true when we consider what Trump has said about women who are beautiful? His attitude, or lust, for women would never be what I train my boys towards.
- A leader is to be sober-minded, self-controlled – Or “temperate, sensible”. The idea is that leaders should not be carried away in the moment, the heat, the emotion. Leaders don’t just say or do what’s comes to mind. Leaders are not reactionaries with power. No. Leaders guide with principle, with thought, with conviction. Leaders are not “politically-correct,” but neither are they hot-heads that spout trash as soon it’s evoked in them. Somewhere along the way Trump convinced Christians that “to say it as it is” represents a character God commends. It is not. God expects us to speak truth, but to speak it in love. Jesus often spoke truth, but it was always balanced with love. Try taking Trumps “say it as it is” strategy in your marriage. You will not be married for long. Try it with your kids. You will destroy the spirit of your kid. There is so little sober-mindedness and self-control in Trumps communication. So little. And yet we applaud it as what will make America great again?
Those are just a few. I could talk about the bibles view that leaders should not be violent, but gentle. Not be quarrelsome. Not be a lover of money. Get that. A leader should not be a lover of money. There’s so much to say here. If you want to read more, read Randy Alcorn’s blog post:
So far the answer most evangelicals have given is NO.
When Jesus spoke of the religious leaders of his time, he called them hypocrites. Because of that, his instruction to the crowd in regards to these leaders was “do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice.” (Matthew 23:2). Jesus makes the implication that these “hypocrites” actually say righteous things, things that should be followed. Their failure is they don’t live what they say. But at least what they say is good. Followable. By implication, representative of the God they profess.
So it has been for as long as I can remember. The shock of hypocrisy in public figures has always been that personal lives have not conformed to public speech. So for example, a pastor gets up and preaches against sexual immorality and then is discovered having an affair. Or a public prosecutor rails against money and corruption, only to be discovered at the center of it.
What is so unique about Trump is that neither his actions nor his words resemble anything of the God he professes. There’s no hypocrisy because he doesn’t even have the conscience to buffet what he says. Instead, he takes pride in what he says even when it is unkind, uncharitable, unloving, and at times untrue. This is a new type of hypocrisy. One that is so filled with pride that it does not attempt to hide. Instead it gloats and it invites others to applaud the unChrist like attitude. Shockingly, the evangelical sector I’m a part of is doing just that. Applauding. Why? We should be renouncing.
Take for example this latest Tweet by Trump.
Think of what is said here in the back to back Tweet. Think of what Trump views as ok, alright. Think of what he is represent and offering. I have less respect for him as a leader and as a so called Christian than any candidate for something like this. It’s shocking to me. There’s no caution, no consciousness of propriety. This is not greatness. This is not going back to the Christian foundations of America. This does not represent Jesus in the slightest. It represents that type of attitude that Jesus denounced over and over again.
VOTE THE BIBLE
For so long, Christians have said “vote the bible”, or something like that. Vote what reflects the bible. I wholeheartedly agree. For that reason, I could never vote for Clinton or Sanders. I could never vote for someone that stands so strongly on the wrong side of the death of millions of children. However, if that issue was not considered, they easily (in my opinion) represent a better picture of Jesus than Donald Trump.