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I must rethink my position on Trump and faith

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I was not at all sure how to write this, and I’m still not a hundred percent comfortable with it, but I believe it needs to be written. I need to rethink my position on President Trump and faith.

By “faith,” I do not mean faith in Donald Trump. As the president himself said in May to an audience at Liberty University and tweeted on Friday, “we do not worship government, we worship God.”

By “faith,” I also do not mean Donald Trump’s personal faith in God. That’s between him and his Maker. Far be it from me, or anyone, to stand in the middle between a man or woman and God.

Then, what do I mean? I mean what effect has President Trump, for all his faith talk, having on our country, and is that something people of faith in God (I’m mostly talking about Christians here, but it also applies to any faith group) should applaud?

First, my misgivings.

Trump is not, by his public actions and persona, a pious or God-fearing man. He has publicly stated that he doesn’t need to repent, for in his eyes, apparently he believes he hasn’t sinned. The Bible calls such a person a liar, or a fool. That doesn’t mean that privately, Trump hasn’t sought God’s mercy–again, this is not intended to be a faith inventory for our president. His public statements and actions stand for themselves before humanity and God.

Therefore, I have many general and specific misgivings about Trump’s value to people of faith. I’ve written warnings several times about not giving scorpions a ride across the river. But now the scorpion has ridden on the backs of evangelical Christian voters, and we can only pray and hope that we don’t get the stinger.

I have my own personal doubts about whether, and when, that will happen. I have many reasons to believe it will, at some point when Christians disagree with Trump.

Or worse, to avoid the stinger, many God-fearing Christians may malign their own faith and betray their own consciences.

My main misgiving is that Donald Trump may weaken American Christianity more than it already is weakened. And much of American Christianity is already lukewarm, uninspired, dead to sin, entranced by idolatry, and weak as a newborn kitten.

But that doesn’t mean God can’t use Trump.

Actions > Words

On Monday, the Trump Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (sans Secretary) released its strategic plan document for the years 2018-2022, including this language:

HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.

Scientifically, biologically, and medically, that phrase is indisputable. Politically, it’s the third rail, charged by lightning bolts and covered with burning lava. To say that “health care begins at conception” puts the conceived human being’s health care at the same plane as the adult woman who carries the conceived human being.

And we know, politically, that goes against the “women’s health” movement, which survives only on the premise that the conceived human being is entitled to nothing until its maternal host decides to grant it life, at which point they call it a baby. This benighted atrocity allows mothers to assuage their consciences when they kill the baby (but in reality, most experience a horrifying mental trauma).

Trump has also ended the Obamacare birth control mandate, and has successfully nominated and sworn Justice Neil Gorsuch on to the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. That wasn’t a “win” but it certainly was no loss either, to the cause of unborn life.

The Trump Administration’s (and the president’s) words from the bully pulpit give Christians reason to have hope that the slow and quickening erosion of religious rights in the U.S. would stem a bit.

But Trump has trashed the First Amendment when it suits him. Any erosion of the First Amendment puts religious freedom in danger. So when Trump threatens NBC or the New York Times, he is indirectly threatening your church pastor, who relies on the same Amendment, separated by a few mere words, for an unrestricted right to speak.

Should we celebrate? Not yet.

God is good

One point that came up in discussion of this topic is the Biblical and unchangeable nature of God as Good. If God uses Donald Trump, it is for good. It can be no other way. God is not responsible for evil, and is not a tempter of man to sin (James 1:13).

That raises the question: What is “Good?”

Good to us is our comfort, our freedom, our financial success, our health, our children, our nation. Matthew 6:31-33 tells Christians not to seek those things, but “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.” Therefore, it’s “Good” when God withholds some of the things we of little faith crave in order to give us greater righteousness and His kingdom.

If God used Trump to humble Christians who have misplaced their faith, that, to God, would be “Good.” To those who are humbled, or humiliated, or persecuted, it would not seem good.

Therefore, God could have used Barack Obama for this purpose, or even Hillary Clinton. But God sovereignly allowed Trump to gain the presidency, and with it, Trump has the authority over this nation as the leader of the federal government.

Authority of leaders is from God

Another discussion point is that God appoints leaders and establishes governing authorities (Romans 13:1). Therefore, we must be subject to those authorities as citizens of the U.S. (or legal residents, or illegal residents who are not citizens, just the same).

Rebelling against “what God has instituted” brings judgment on those who rebel. This doesn’t mean we’re not allowed to disagree. It doesn’t even mean we cannot engage in constructive protest, or even civil disobedience. It does mean that–Christians, at least–cannot be anarchists.

So much for Antifa.

Let’s look at Trump’s economic achievements. There are really none we can directly attribute to him, but overall, those with the cash are sanguine about the economy. Therefore the stock market is bullish–very bullish. Investment is happily waiting for a place to profit, and corporations are gearing up to get a tax break.

If you’re rich, things are very good.

And that means if you are skilled in a job area where investment is going to hit, you’re also doing very well–or about to. If you’re not, you have the opportunity to move or retrain. If you’re counting on entitlements to make you happy, things may not be so good.

Either way, Christians should pray for President Trump, because he is in authority by God’s sovereign will (as Obama was), and we should not rebel against God.

Observations about opposition

The most interesting question for me is an observation about those opposing President Trump. On the whole, the greatest opposition to Trump and his administration comes from those who don’t simply lack faith in God, but from those who actively oppose God.

Those people who hate God and Christianity also hate Donald Trump, even if Trump did things that they would normally agree with. Trump says he has no problem with gay marriage (“law of the land”), but the LGBT community hates the fact that Vice President Pence is not a supporter of gay marriage. Even though the VP is essentially powerless to do–well, anything except break ties in the Senate, they still hate Trump.

They hate Trump because Trump is close to evangelical Christians. They say “white evangelicals” but that’s not true. A number of black evangelicals have also endorsed and become close to Trump–although one such minister, A.R. Bernard, resigned over Trump’s indefensible Charlottesville comments.

It really doesn’t matter, because Trump’s actions, such as they help any faithful Christians, help all faithful Christians, of any race. That being said, Trump’s words and actions, such as they hurt the cause of race relations, hurt all Christians, because racism is a sin, and God hates sin.

One thing we can observe is that Trump never attacked A.R. Bernard for his resignation. He made wry comments about those business leaders in his economic councils who resigned, but kept quiet about Bernard. And most evangelicals stuck with him. Faith and politics make terrible housemates, and many evangelical advisors wisely stayed out of the political fray.

Those who didn’t, compromised themselves and harmed the cause of Christ.

The Bible says to let the wheat and the tares grow up together. Not everyone who calls themselves “Christian” is in fact a follower of Jesus of Nazareth. And not everyone who appears to be aloof from faith is an unbeliever.

We must not divide everything into good and evil, day and night. There are surely satanic people and the demon-possessed who hate Trump because God may use Trump for good, and they oppose it. But there are others who, according to their conscience, cannot support Trump as an exemplar of Christian values, who are very serious disciples of the Christian faith. Both exist and do so without a paradox.

Conclusion

I had to go through this exercise because it was necessary to determine if I have misplaced my faith. Donald Trump may be a very powerful tool in God’s hands–as any POTUS could be. But if Christians or any with faith in God, misplace our faith in Trump, he can be damaging to that faith in the extreme.

For those evangelical leaders who pander themselves to Trump as he panders to them, you will meet your shame and humiliation. For those who rebel against God’s authority, you will meet your judgment.

But for those who rightly divide the truth–Biblical truth–we may find greater clarity with President Trump in office. We may find greater access to the Trump Administration, and great moral victories through its policies.

On the whole, I am much more pleased with Trump’s presidency that I expected to be at this point. Again, I’m not talking about Trump as a person–we could discuss his obvious flaws for tens of thousands of words. But as a person of faith in God, I am encouraged, for now.

My overriding prayer, as I recommend to everyone, is that Trump grow closer to God, and grow in wisdom, love, righteousness, humility, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. Against these, there is no law.

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Culture and Religion

Marco Rubio whips out Bible verse that goes after the Florida recount debacle

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Marco Rubio whips out Bible verse that goes after the Florida recount debacle

There are two prevailing opinions pertaining to the Florida election and subsequent recounts. Democrats generally feel like it’s good to “count every ballot” until they win, even if that means “finding” more ballots to add to their candidates’ tallies. Republicans have been fighting against the recounts despite that play coming across ingenuously to voters on both sides.

We should want every valid vote counted. The operative word there is “valid.”

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a Catholic, Tweeted a Bible verse that seemed apropos to the current debacle in Florida.

One might even say this draws in one of the favorite punching bags for Republicans, former presidential candidate “Crooked” Hillary Clinton. That wasn’t the intent, I’m sure, but it’s always fun to laugh at Hillary.

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Culture and Religion

3 reasons President Trump should offer Asia Bibi asylum

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3 reasons President Trump should offer Asia Bibi asylum

There are certain political moves that can be considered “no-brainers” for anyone in Washington DC. Offering persecuted Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi asylum is one of them.

The drawbacks of doing so are few but potent. It would enrage hardline Muslims in the United States who may go after Bibi and her family, but that’s a risk she’ll face anywhere she goes. It would put US citizens and military personnel at greater risk than they already are when traveling abroad, especially in Muslim majority nations like Pakistan. Lastly, it would spark negative press against the President who would ask whether or not he would do the same for a Muslim in a similar circumstance.

All of those negatives are mitigated by three important positives.

  1. It goes against the bigotry narrative. Don’t get me wrong. Mainstream media and leftists will still try to paint the act of offering asylum to a persecuted Pakistani family as racist because she’s Christian. Thankfully, most Americans are smart enough to see through that false narrative.
  2. Pakistan won’t mind. If anything, their preference would be for America, which is already evil in the eyes of most hardline Islamic Pakistanis, to accept a burden that will only perpetuate a narrative that already exists.
  3. It’s the right thing to do. Any time the President of the United States can do the right thing, he should. Lately, there just haven’t been many opportunities to do so.

Every day that passes brings Asia Bibi and her family closer to the dangers that are closing in on them in Pakistan. They need to be taken in as soon as possible. Italy, Germany, and even Canada have offered to step up. The United States needs to do the same.

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Culture and Religion

Why does the Left have the same agenda after they turned socialist?

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Why does the Left have the same agenda after they turned socialist

What does it say about the Left when they admitted to the truth, but kept the same ideas?

There was a time when the nation’s Left vehemently denied being socialist. No one was supposed to state the obvious truth that their agenda bore a striking resemblance to communist ideas from ancient Greece. Nor were they to be compared to that expressed 500 years ago in Sir Thomas More’s work ‘Utopia’ [Published in 1516]

Even when it was obvious with admitted socialist Senator Bernie Sanders agreeing with the Democrats in most respects, the Leftists still denied reality. Such is the case that, lies, deception and denial are part and parcel of their usual tactics. They still persist in denying that they incessantly demanding gun confiscation, while demanding gun confiscation.

The Left’s miraculous transformation to the obvious.

Then a few years ago something truly miraculous took place, some polling data showed that those who were unfamiliar with the oppression and mass murder that is endemic to socialism began to warm up to it’s promise. By ‘warm up’ we mean that some fell for the prospect of free health care, free college, free housing, free money, etc. Never mind that those promises were as worthless as Obama’s oft repeated lie that one could keep your health plan.

Suddenly Bernie Sanders became a ‘rock star’, followed by a cascade of newly minted socialists. What once was verboten to admit became the in thing to be an up and coming communist. Almost overnight, Democrats of all stripes became admitting what has been obvious for decades, that they were Reds through and through. Yes, red is the true colour of the socialist-Left, but that story of yet again another deception will have to wait for another discussion.

Nothing changed in the Left’s national agenda, why?

Strangely enough, aside from a few cosmetic items, the nation’s Left has the same policy ideas they had before they admitted the obvious. Back when she was First Lady, Hillary Clinton spearheaded a drive for nationally socialized health care. This is now one of the Left’s biggest vote-buying schemes, and socialism’s biggest goodies. They can admit to its collectivist in nature now, but they denied it previously.

Back when they were trying to sell the disaster soon to be known as Obamacare, they had to avoid bringing up the topic of the term ‘redistributing wealth’ a staple of socialism if there ever was one. Such would also have to be the case with their promises of ‘free healthcare for all’ since money doesn’t grow on trees.

Liberty Control is the last of our examples being a vestige of every socialist regime. The collectivist ideologies have to rely on force to redistribute wealth as well as suppress any opposition when the glorious promises cannot be fulfilled. They can’t very well do this with an armed citizenry, thus one of their highest priorities is to grab those guns. The Left has been on this same little quest for years, incrementally edging closer and closer to their ‘firearms–free’ nirvana.

The Takeaway.

It should be patently obvious why the Left’s national agenda never changed from when they denied being socialists to admitting the truth of the matter. They were dyed in the wool socialists all along, they just couldn’t be honest about it, as is the case with everything else they do.

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