“… the greatest….”

 

“Any guy who can do a body slam, he’s my candidate, he’s my guy.” President Trump endorsing Representative Greg Gianforte who pleaded guilty to assaulting a Guardian reporter in June 2017.

“I’m not on the ticket, but I am on the ticket, because this is also a referendum about me,” Trump boomed this month at a rally in Southaven, Miss. “I want you to vote. Pretend I’m on the ballot.”

“Though we like to carry around a pocketful of coins on which is inscribed, ‘In God We Trust,’ [and some state license plates] we actually put our faith more in the material upon which this is inscribed than in the God  to whom it pays tribute.” Dr. Clarence Jordan in his sermon Incarnational Evangelism.

“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

St. Paul writing to the Corinthian church concerning Christian conduct.

As much as I try, I cannot reconcile Christians supporting a person who says the first two quoted words. As much as I try, I cannot understand Christian leaders supporting the major political leader of our nation. Yet, the two quotations above were received by cheers from the listeners. I am caught between my reading of the Bible and their support of President Trump, a known liar and ego-maniac.

In a discussion with a self-taught pastor and supporter of President Trump, I asked the man how as a Christian he can support President Trump. Jerry said,  “God has used bad people before to do good, and He is using Trump to get this country on the right path.” Any serious reader of the Bible knows that Jerry was correct in his statement, but is President Trump, I asked, listening to God or himself. With that Jerry and I agreed to disagree and went on to discuss his latest removal as a pastor of a local church. However, Jerry is one of  legions who support President Trump and firmly believe he is making our country “great again.”

Many people in my life circle-neighbors, relatives, church members, friends, and more are strong supporters of President Trump. I do not know the heart of some of these folks, but I have a strong sense of the hearts of several of  them. And their support of President Trump causes me to mourn for them, me, and us. I  have siblings who think, like Jerry, that President Trump will “make America great again.”

In my reading of the struggles of the early Churches, I am struck by the similarities between, say A.D. 50 and today. During the first century, the Gospel was attacked by Gnostics, Judaizers, and even magicians, to name a few enemies of Christianity.  Christians had to be aware of treachery, twisting of language,  and firm in their belief. Today, Christians still need to  be wise and not be duped by offers “too good to be true” and promises that cannot be fulfilled and a system built on fallacies not cornerstones.

It seems to me that we need a national revival based on Scripture that shows us how we can have faith in God, not worldly things, hope for  a better life, and love for all, especially the widow and poor. We need to mourn for our pitiful lives and work to improve them. It’s all right there  in Scripture, and we need not desire to live in a state of perpetual excitement. That is a “striving after wind.”

 

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