Sunday 7 February 2021

President Trump and the post-Christian Evangelicals

A religious accident reported

When I first heard it, it felt like a topic for a school debate contest, but the facts that in certain circles the votes will come out in the affirmation validating it as the truth definitely means it needs to come up for some discussion, I know many will have angles on this matter, I am sharing my perspective.

President Trump was the best thing to happen to the Christian church in America since maybe Jesus.” A guest on the Newsmax network in America.

Now, I have been trying to understand the encouragement of and bonding with Donald Trump of the grouping and cohort labelled as Evangelical Christians in America, because their apparent affinities from my appreciation of that strand of Christianity does escape me completely. Not too long ago, I had to wade through the incredulity of no seeing the fruit of the Holy Spirit in Donald Trump, addressed in the referenced blog.

Blog - And they see the fruit of the Holy Spirit in Donald Trump

God is not a voter

She was responding to the content of an article that covered an interview on the Donald Trump influence on the Evangelical movement. [ The Trump presidency was a catastrophe for American Christianity] It puts a lot of things into context especially the desperate desire to alter the reality of the elections he handily lost. Some, even people I know thought it had been prophesied he will remain president and they held onto that belief until it became obvious someone had been blowing air in their ears.

For me, I had always been sceptical of the idea that in a democracy someone is chosen or elected by God, it is people who voted not a deity, now, someone might suggest the people were influenced by whatever means to vote a certain way by divine persuasion, that would be interesting if people equally believed the same things and were fully persuadable that way, but I am not convinced.

Man must be accountable to man

What concerns me more is the moment we attribute the election of a person to divine provenance to inadvertently take accountability out of the hands of both the electorate and man, the elected are then answerable to no one and depending on their personality and temperament, as power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The law of a theocracy is dictated without option to the people, not made by their judges and governments. The individual conscience is free to accept such dictated law, but the state, if its people are to be free, has the burdensome duty of thinking for itself.” Lord Justice Laws

Blog - The case for State law over religious guidance

It is my view that the presidency of Donald Trump tested the underpinnings of every institution of checks and balances literally to their limits, thankfully, they were robust, but no doubt, vigorously shaken.

I cut loose from them

For the many of us who took liberating Christian tutelage from some leading American Christian teachers in the Evangelical movement up to the recent past, who have now passed on, are wizened with age waiting for the Lord, or whose sons, daughters, and proteges have taken the reins of ministries they founded, Donald Trump exposed to almost unbelievable clarity the viscerally human flaws of these iron champions with clay legs and feet. All flesh and no spirit.

The church became political and sought power to protect its interests and base, they had become a tangent away and completely unrepresentative of the persecuted church of the Acts of Apostles to grew by travail and dispersal as Jesus Christ had predicted in his human walk on earth, nor did they represent the pioneering spirit of the Pilgrim fathers that landed America centuries, they looked more like the religious powerbase that John the Baptist first and then Jesus Christ railed against.

A Church not Christlike

They had unwittingly whilst forcefully become plotters against the person and gospel of Jesus Christ, whilst they paid lip service to a semblance of Christianity which was crudely Churchianity expressed in the words of Sanhedrin of chief priests and Pharisees that met to plan and instigate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, “What are we accomplishing? Here is this man performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, everyone will believe in Him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” [Bible Gateway – John 11:47-48 (NIV)]

Basically, The evangelical movement is in a post-Christian phase of being unable to suffer for either Christ or the gospel, they would rather take political power, install judges, implement their fundamentalist policies to bring forward a kind of government or society, maybe kingdom itself that is a flawed, tarnished, corrupt, pastiche of the promised kingdom of God on earth. The church had become comfortably powerful and powerfully comfortable.

The cohort is lost and for a while, I have practised with deliberation one of the best lessons from those teachers of old, don’t attach yourself too close to a person or a cause that you can’t cut loose long before danger looms. I cut loose from following many of these leaders and their teachings, in the main, the movement simply followed Donald Trump all the way into the ditch, there will be casualties and fatalities, but it is my hope that all is not lost and there is much to recover of life and souls from this completely avoidable and sadly delusional catastrophe.

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