By Jeff Rayno
The carnival barker shouts, "Behold the man with the Midas touch. Everything he comes in contact with turns to gold." Such is the case for Donald Trump who leads the Republican polls despite his many missteps and tripping of the tongue along the political trail. Being swept into this mass hysteria are many evangelicals who are so tired of being let down in their battles for pro-life, smaller government and religious freedom that they will trade their principles for someone they believe can win. These are not reasons to support Trump. In fact, evangelicals should run away from him as quickly as possible.
Ted Cruz, on the opening day of his campaign, professed his faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He also shared how Jesus brought his father back to the family after a time of abandonment. In contrast, Trump has awkwardly described his understanding of forgiveness – the crux of the Gospel. At a Family Leadership Conference in Ames, Iowa, Trump answered a question by pollster Frank Luntz who inquired if Trump had ever asked God for forgiveness. Claiming to be a Presbyterian (USA) and very proud of it, Trump said, "When I drink my little wine, which is about the only wine I drink, and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed."
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The taking of communion is an opportunity to remember what Christ did for us on the cross as a redeemer. It's also a time to examine ourselves closely, confess our sins and to make sure we are taking communion with a clean conscience. We're still sinners in a fallen world, but failing to examine ourselves brings judgment upon us. Trump doesn't demonstrate even a hint of comprehending any of this by his weak and impromptu answer. An upbringing in a church with solid biblical training would have yielded a more substantive response relating the wine and bread respectively to the blood and body of Christ. Christ does it all for us with no need for Donald Trump. Can Trump's ego compete with that?
This is similar to Trump's handling of questions in the realm of secular political and social issues. Trump never specifically talks about anything other than talking points that are guaranteed to fire up a frustrated electorate, whether it is illegal immigration, faulty trade deals or a government that lies and misspends our hard-earned money. While these allegations are all true, it fundamentally misses the underlying cause of it all: sin. Trump needs to understand our next president is fighting spiritual battles of a magnitude never before seen in the public arena of ideas.
Trump's explanation of his change from being pro-choice to pro-life was based solely on his feelings about seeing another person's child becoming a stellar adult. This is not a biblically based understanding as to why abortion is wrong. The Bible tells us that God knows us before we are even in the womb. We are carefully made by His loving hands in His image. Trump boils it down to a decision giving the human the ultimate authority to say yes or no as to whether God's child can live. As evangelicals we have no choice but to reject Trump's logic.
Trump boasted several times of giving money to candidates so that he could get something in return for his "investment." While this may be legal and common practice in the world, evangelicals should take note that "to whom much is given, much is required." Trump's money would be better spent feeding the poor, funding missions and supporting adoption if he were a believer, but clearly he is not. Our mission is to help others in this life, not to feed our ego, ambitions or desire to be the richest with all the toys. How could a man with this philosophy of life understand a man or woman who works tirelessly just to make ends meet? Watching the world in your helicopter high in the sky surely softens the reality of how average Americans live.
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Donald Trump is not a humble man. The next man to lead this country has to be one that is willing to bend his knees and submit the ultimate authority to God for guidance and direction. Failure to believe in a sovereign Lord will lead to a debacle that will merely leave God laughing at such foolish plans. Trump's biggest idol is himself. He should wear a T-shirt that says, "Look what I have done." For the evangelicals who do not treat their vote, as political commentator Steve Deace often reminds us, as an act of worship, the result will be four more years of bad policy being conducted by an egotistical ruler who calls those who oppose him idiots. Our children will be left with a future void of hope. Trump will blame everyone, but himself.
A man who cannot bridle his tongue nor control his temper is also one Christians should be very weary of trusting. The Bible is very clear that the true measure of a man's heart can be heard by the words that leave the mouth. Thinking before speaking is a rule we all learn from early childhood, but Trump, unfortunately, believes the glory of his wallet and persona far outweighs the proper decorum that life in the political spotlight demands. Leaders lead by example. Does Trump really want a nation of followers who will be like him? It would be a world of chaos, a world of no excuses, and a time that would lead to anarchy. This is not leadership. It is instigation, and Christians should know the man by his fruit.
It's easy to believe a man who says the things you think. But the ultimate source of this trickery practiced it in the Garden of Eden, and it worked on two perfect people. It's time for the clear-thinking Christians to look at the fool's gold before them and realize it is spoiled treasure. While thinking your prophet or profit will gain you the world, you may very well lose your soul to a man whose whole life is a grand illusion.
Jeff Rayno is a recovering Republican from 2007. Thinking independently has improved his outlook on life in many ways. He can be contacted at [email protected].