Dear Christian Leaders,
I hope this letter finds you well, and I thank you for the time, talent, and treasure you have given to the cause of Christ and its resulting American exceptionalism. Thank you for putting these words from the Scriptures into practice: “Now the Lord is that spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.”
I say these things because I want you to know this letter is coming from a place of concern more so than criticism. I struggle with a critical spirit, which is why I’ve waited several weeks before penning this letter that I have started and stopped several times. I needed to make sure I was in a place I could remove as much of myself as possible, and address these concerns in the spirit rather than with my own, haughty one.
With that long disclaimer out of the way, allow me to cut right to the chase.
If you are supporting Donald Trump, or flirting with doing so, you are playing a very dangerous game. There is simply no moral, biblical, or even strategic case for doing so, near as I can tell. And if I’m wrong, then let us come now and reason together.
So what made David a man after God’s own heart? That despite all his documented shortcomings, David in the end sought God’s forgiveness and repentance when confronted with “Thou art the man.” Trump, by his own admission, does not have a repentant heart. He has not sought God’s forgiveness, because he doesn’t think he needs it. Thus, the King David-Trump comparisons are flawed exegesis and should cease here.
Furthermore, the Scriptures make clear the qualifications for public office:
Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.
There is simply no way to avoid the conclusion that Trump violates every syllable of these requirements.
Now that we’ve addressed the biblical case, what about the moral one?
- Trump is a scam artist.
- Trump is a gossip.
- Trump is a slanderer.
- Trump is a misogynist.
- Trump is an adulterer.
- Trump is a deceiver.
- Trump is a liar.
Finally, let’s look at the strategic argument. Generally, there are three archetypes of politicians in the Scriptures:
1. Josiah – The true statesman. The man who does the hard thing, no matter how hard it may be, because it is the right thing. A man sold out to the cause of righteousness. Sadly, there are very few of these.
2. Hezekiah – The typical politician. The man who does the principled thing when it’s easy or it suits him. As in when the Scriptures say one of the holiest celebrations of the Passover since Moses came at the time of his ascendancy. However, when it gets hard, or his ego gets in the way, he will serve himself/mammon instead. So that same Hezekiah is relieved that at the end of his reign the judgment to come, which he contributed to with his own arrogance, won’t take place until he’s dead and buried. Rather than humbly repent and seek God’s mercy as a David might have done. Like most politicians, Hezekiah was principled at first, but less so the longer he was in power. Eventually principle gave way to political expediency.
3. Ahab – A pure megalomaniac whose only motivation is his own ego, elevation, and experiences. A hedonist/narcissist/tyrant whose only ethos is the golden rule: he who has the gold gets to make all the rules. Thankfully, there are very few of these as well, mainly because they’re like the Lords of the Sith in Star Wars. If there are too many of them, they tend go after one other.
Trump is an Ahab. He is not like anything we have ever dealt with before. He is not a RINO, Republicrat, or any other kind of Hezekiah type. He won’t even pander to you on the bathroom issue when it would help him. Why? Because you’re all nothing but marks to him. He is utterly and undeniably shameless.
He is the sort of figure we read about in history books. Not a raving madman Hitler type, and those making such comparisons are intellectually lazy and should be dismissed. Nor is Trump even the kind of megalomaniac Obama is, with his Soviet-era style ruthless pursuit of Marxism.
Rather, Trump is merely a conqueror convinced that if he’s calling all the shots the world would be a better place. He is a law unto himself.
In our day and age, Alpha Males are few and far between. So much so that many believe Trump is an Alpha, but he is not. Like most tyrants he is deeply insecure. How many 70-year old men are still defensive about their penis size? And it is those very insecurities that cause him to lash out so maliciously. Think of the damaged Commodus in the movie “Gladiator.”
The tyrant cannot be negotiated with. He cannot be befriended. Nor can he show empathy. For all is weakness to him. Therefore, everything is transactional. You are there for as long as you’re useful, and then gone when you are not.
Like what just happened to Ben Carson, and pretty much everyone else that comes into Trump’s orbit once he’s used them for what he needed at the time. Like how my friend Bob Vander Plaats was a great guy when Trump thought he needed his endorsement, and then Trump called him a crook when he didn’t get it.
Tyrants cannot be loved on. They must be broken. You will only know if they have been broken if you see the fruit of the spirit in their lives. Do they practice altruism, as in the right thing expecting nothing in return? Is there a public repentance, or a repentance of convenience? Meaning they tell you what you want to hear now just so they can get from you what they want.
Anything short of that and I can promise you, as God Almighty is my witness, you are being played. And once that is revealed it will not be the tyrant that is exposed for scorn and mockery, but you.
Every. Single. Time.
In short, this is a dangerous game. This is not dining with sinners. This is attempting to evangelize Herod’s Court, where even Christ himself kept silent among such godlessness and darkness. You have never been this way before. He is unlike anything you have encountered. He would arguably be the most personally damaged and feckless individual ever to occupy the Oval Office.
He is beyond the milquetoast pabulum the system usually serves up, which is why he was able to crush the system. When you dance with the devil, the devil doesn’t change. He changes you.
I am afraid of the message we will be sending this culture by compromising everything we claim to believe in, by supporting a man who embodies everything we supposedly oppose. And I’m afraid the cost for that message could transcend generations, as the culture declares we are the emperor who has no clothes. That when push comes to shove we offer them nothing not already of this world. The same fear-mongering and situational ethics they can get anywhere else. Just minus all that annoyingly sanctimonious moralizing. We will confirm for them they were right to tune us out. That we are who they thought we were. We will write the God-haters’ material for them.
That will have consequences for our fellow countrymen that will last long past the next four years.
This is our rendezvous with destiny. Except this time it isn’t wrestling with existential threats outside of us, but the brokenness inside of us.
We don’t need Barabbas the zealot. We need Jesus. And we have the means to give them Jesus, if only we have the faith and courage of conviction. When we came to Christ did we know for sure how it would turn out, or did we have faith? Let us stop trying to manipulate outcomes as our adversaries do, and instead show real faith that while we do not know what the future holds, we know who holds the future.
Duty is ours, but outcomes belong to God.
Thank you for reading my letter and at least considering these words. I pray you will fight the good fight, keep the faith, and finish the race.
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