torsdag 6. oktober 2016

Trump seek salvation from evangelicals. Part II.

Mr Trump’s campaign is in need of salvation. Is this a task for the churches, or should they be servants of the gospel, and let Mr Trump work out his own politically salvation if he can?

The most important clue to understanding why Trump has any support at all among “evangelicals”, is that the Republican Party traditionally has strong standing among Christians. 
So strong that many say: We are Republicans, no matter who the candidate is, we must support him!

The Republican Party, some claim is primary a party for the 1 % mega-rich, to ensure laws and taxes benefit them. But that will not earn them many votes, so they must have popular and good issues, like “family values” on the agenda. For many evangelical leaders, abortion and gay marriage, seems to be the most (even only?) important biblical issues on their political agenda. No matter other very legitimate moral questions, like wars, gun laws, unfair treatments of poor people, and current media culture. MEDIA created Trump, as a celebrity from his TV show, and to give him free publicity due to extreme behaviour and vulgarity. Media love it because "circus" entertains the masses.
Abortion laws, its an ongoing major political battle in US between pro-life (strict law against abortion) and pro-choice (abortion laws like in Europe). Republicans mainly support pro-life and Democrats pro-choice. Same-sex marriages is another major issue, and again the Republican Party are more against rights for homosexuals than Democrats who do not want to discriminate.
  Usual Christians concluded that Republican candidates were better on issues like abortion, marriage and family, and religious freedom, while Democratic candidates were better on racial justice, economic justice, and the environmentThe Supreme Court appointments are paramount issues for the evangelicals and Trump promises to select only conservative judges that will supports Christian values.

Many conservative evangelicals despise Obama and now Hillary Clinton. They see them as "antiChristians", since as leaders for a multi cultural society they will/can not force a
Christian conservative view on all citizen.
To read the attacks on Obama from some Christian leaders will not build up anyone who believes kindness and understanding should characterize a Christian.
On a 2015 Easter Prayer Breakfast in the White House, President Obama said:
"Where there is injustice we defend the oppressed. Where there is disagreement, we treat each other with compassion and respect. Where there are differences, we find strength in our common humanity, knowing that we are all children of God.” And he makes a reflection that was not in his written speech; On Easter, I do reflect on the fact that as a Christian, I am supposed to love, And I have to say that sometimes when I listen to less-than-loving expressions by Christians, I get concerned,Obama was talking about the Apostle John’s call to love “with actions and in truth” rather than with words. IF you want to know how Obama stands on Christian core values see his  2016 Easter speech here!
That makes headlines among Obama haters like:
President Obama attacked Christians as being "less than loving"!
"Obama Stomps All Over Jesus At Easter Prayer Breakfast!"
Some leaders 
sent an open letter to the President; demanding he stops attacking Christians and apologizes

Who would YOU think would be the ideal candidate for voters who proclaim personal morality as their driving principle?
A man who is faithful to and clearly in love with his wife, who has only been married once, who is a devoted father, who is deeply religious but doesn’t brag about it, who is measured in his language and avoids vulgarity.

The problem for conservative evangelicals is that the politician who fits this description is Barack Obama, but their role model must come from The Republican field, NEVER MIND WHO THIS IS! 
Those who denounced Democrat Bill Clinton for his immoral yesterday has no problem to endorse Republican Trump today.

Mammon rules.
America is not a democratic country, because the rich have a very strong influence. Every important public position, from President to local law enforcement leaders has to been elected, and this purpose needs MONEY - a LOT!
Who can give big money for that? The rich once.
And who will expect to benefit from that investment? The rich once.
Therefore, not at least the Republican party has assured that the mega-rich in America pays less taxes, and whatever favour they need from the government they can more easily get than the common man. Not to mention an “army” of well-paid lobbyist, so they can influence the government in a way that will make them even richer.

No NAV in US as in Norway, that care for ALL. Norwegian citizen who need support due to out of work, sick or a pensioner, will get support, even if alcoholic, drug user, criminal, or just lazy; - NAV will take care of you.
No wonder that a lot of hard-working, low paid, poor, treated unfairly, feel the government do not care for them when they suffer.  It is among them you find Trump's main supporters. They want to send him to Washington to brake up this undemocratic system.
For this group of voters, Trump can as he say; “kill someone, and they will still vote for me!The more bully and crazy he act the more they support him in hope he will make “hell” for the political establishment. They feel, not without reason, badly treated. But any hope that the Republican Party, suddenly will start care for the “working class” and let the rich contribute, is to hope for a much bigger miracle than Trump to be elected president.

Hillary Clinton.

Hundreds of millions have been used to turn every stone to find any reason for the slogan “crooked Hillary”.  I wonder if any person in history has been more investigated. Still, the biggest "scandal" so fare is her wrong use of an e-mail server. Around 40 books are now in the marked about her, and most of them compete with each other to paint her in black. Not to mention all the conspiracy theories spin around her; she is lesbianism, have deadly sickness, have got people killed, has been unfaithful to Bill, and on and on...
IF we stick to the facts, compared with Trump is she a saint. Numerous biographies have detailed her deep religious belief. She maintained a spiritual relationship with the Reverend Don Jones, the youth pastor in her Methodist church during her childhood in Park Ridge, Illinois, for 20 years.
She carried a Bible while working on the presidential campaigns of 1972 and 1992. She taught Sunday school. She gave sermons about Methodist theology when she was the first lady of Arkansas. She says grace before meals, she has joined prayer groups. When faced with troubles in her marriage, she stuck with her husband rather than seek a divorce. 
Even then some “evangelicals” ridiculed her for not ending her marriage, rather than following the teachings of the Bible on this point. There is nothing to suggest her devotion is shallow, while Trump’s purported faith is an obvious fraud. Still, some Christian leaders advocate that Trump is the best moral choice for president. 

What ARGUMENTS can Christian leaders use, to legitimate Trump as the best presidential candidate?   

Rick Joyner
is well know and respected, even international, for his long standing teaching and prophetic ministry.
Personally, I have been more blessed by his teaching ministry than his more speculate prophetic statement, who are not free from a political Republican bias. Here with Reinhard Bonke on the platform.

One of Joyner evangelical friends is Jim Bakker. Remember Jim and Tammy Bakker, and “Praise The Lord” TV, (PTL club 1876-1987)? He was sentenced to 45 years in prison for defrauding 116,000 PTL followers out of 158 million dollars. In prison Bakker write a book "I Was Wrong", where he confronts the “Faith movement”, that he was a well-known spokesman for. The now 74-year-old pastor served five years of a 45-year sentence and has again a TV ministry  where Joyner has join him. One must admire Jim Bakker to make such a spectacular comeback and Joyner for supporting him. In a program together on “Jim Bakker Today”, Bakker asked:

Why is the church so boringly uniform?” Joyner replay: In my opinion, it’s because still the evil religious spirit. I’m talking about an evil spirit, a religious spirit right now has more influence in the church than the Holy Spirit does.” A good example of the outspoken Joyner!
 Like Joyner, Bakker is support of Trump. Joyner has probably always been a strong supporter of the Republican party, and speak against Obama, for his “relentless assault on Christianity”. 

Joyner meets with Trump May this year as seen on this unclear photo.
And believe Trump “has given hope to millions of people that there may be real leadership yet to be found in this country...”
But he admits:  “I can appreciate why any Christian would have trouble supporting Trump”, but again ; “Fewer Christians are choosing a candidate based on the candidate’s faith. Rather they decide based on who they think will do the best job confronting the important issues of the time.” (Abortion and homosexual issues?) Joyner is impressed by Trump’s lack of political correctness (PC) and willingness to say what he thinks. 
It's easy to agree with Joyner that one can be “feed up” with PC, where the only certain view on religion, immigration, Muslims, socialism, and so on are correct. If any other opinion, one get the risk of being ridiculed by the mainly liberal media industry.
He think Trump “will resist political pressure and do what is right for the country, instead of for special interests.” To place such a big trust on a man that easily change his opinion and care less for his words, and have shown only “personal interests” in his whole life, I find strange and dangerous. Even Joyner lamented about; “His behaviour, demeanour, and language...immature overreaction to criticism and his tendency to try to bully...Questionable business practices including several bankruptcies”, and the list can easily be longer to show a person that is “obviously not a devout Christian”, to say it kindly.
Still he “can see sound biblical reasons for supporting Trump”

1. How Jesus pick leaders. 

How many of us would have chosen the ones Jesus picked to be His leaders? Why didn’t He go to the religious conservatives to find the future leaders of His church? Like it or not, the ones He chose were more like Trump than those we tend to esteem. Even the Apostle John, who is now known as the great messenger of love, was so reactionary that he wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume those who disagreed with them. On the night before Jesus was crucified, the disciples argued over who was the greatest. Sounds like Trump to me.

2. Gods support of David after his fall. 

How many of us would continue to support a leader who, after many years of serving and walking with God as a righteous and just leader, had an affair, and even worse, had the husband killed to cover it up? Yet it is said that Israel went astray by following Absalom, who sought to displace David because of his sin. In contrast, God commended Zadok the priest and gave an eternal blessing over his family for being faithful to David in this situation. The Lord knew when He called David that he would fall like this, but He called him anyway.

3. Not any leader is perfect.
And how could God love Jacob like He did? Jacob’s name means “usurper” and he was a devious liar and cheat, but “God loved Jacob.” 
This should not excuse character flaws in leaders, but there will only be One perfect leader. Character is important, but an unrealistic perfectionism can make us incapable of ever choosing a Washington, a Benjamin Franklin, a Lincoln, or a Churchill. Some character traits crucial for church leadership could be a hindrance for civil government leaders. The last person you want in a civil leadership position is one who “turns the other cheek.” As we see in Romans 13, those in civil authority are given the sword “to avenge evil”—they would be disobedient to not use their weapons for this purpose.¨

4. Religious conservatives were the worst enemies of Jesus
The Pharisees were resolutely devoted to the character, and Paul, the “Pharisee of Pharisees,” called himself “blameless.”
However, he was the worst enemy of the church and truth until the Lord struck him blind. The Pharisees were the most devout religious conservatives of the time, yet they were the worst enemies of the Messiah. Consider how they criticized everything He said and did and ultimately were responsible for having Him crucified. Think about how much grace and mercy the Lord had for sinners and how little tolerance He had for the self-righteous.

5. Even prophets can be wrong.
That being said, even some of the great prophets in
Scripture, like Samuel, had a hard time judging people after their heart rather than their appearance. It is hard to even for prophets to see people as they are called to be rather than as they are, but that is what we must seek to do. 
THIS IS JOYNERs 5 sound biblical reasons for supporting Trump, in his own words.
Its is interesting biblical arguments that are worth consideration. But one IMPORTANT difference between the disciples, Jacob and David and Trump, is that they were able to REPENT in a wonderful way, and God bless them for that!
But for “evangelical conservative Christians” who have certain moral issues on top of their political agenda, who want, like Muslims, laws that force the moral codes they favour, on all other citizens. Is not that politic the Pharisee way?

And one did not need to go to the Old Testament to find sound biblical reasons for NOT supporting Trump. Let me just suggest one from NT:
Now the works of the flesh are obvious: ...hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy...Gal.5,19-21 
No need to provide any interpretations here.
I say as Joyner: Sounds like Trump to me.
AND if one as Joyner seems to believe that Trump now is a newfound defender of Christianity then considers this Scripture:
If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, . . . he must not be a recent convert or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil” (I Timothy 3:1, 3:6).

Not all evangelical support Trump.
Peter Wehner, senior fellow at the conservative think tank, Ethics and Public Policy Centerwrites in National Review that Falwell jr. is "damaging Christian witness" by supporting Trump. (Se about Falwell jr. in blog I)
Wehner says: "For those of us of the Christian faith, the fact that Falwell is viewed by many as an Evangelical leader makes it that much worse. We have been pained by the harm that a previous generation did to Christian public witness because of partisan, reckless, and graceless comments. Now we have this."

Michael Farris
The well know lawyer and Henry College Chancellor, attended the first meeting of the Rev. Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority in 1980, who brought together Republican under the premise that "only candidates that reflected a biblical worldview and good character would gain our support. He was the Washington state director of the Moral Majority, and have been a leader of the "Christian right" ever since 1980 when he believed that Christians could dramatically influence politics.
-Today, we see politics fully influencing a thousand Christian leaders, he say after the meeting of “evangelicals” in trump Tower, NY. (See blog I) 
-While I don't question the motives of those who are trekking to the Tower, I strongly dissent from the wisdom of their chosen path," and he added; “This is a day of mourning. Today, a candidate whose worldview is greed and whose god is his appetites (Phil. 3) is being tacitly endorsed by this throng," he wrote. "They are saying we are Republicans no matter what the candidate believes and no matter how vile and unrepentant his character. They are not a phalanx of God's prophets confronting a wicked leader, this is a parade of elephants.
In 1980 I believed that Christians could dramatically influence politics. Today, we see politics fully influencing a thousand Christian leaders.
He declared that Donald Trump's "conversation" with evangelical faith leaders signaled The End of the Christian Right.

Still 70 % Christian in US!
The United States remains home to more Christians than any other country in the world!
A large majority of Americans – roughly seven-in-ten – continue to identify with some branch of the Christian faith. But the percentage of adults (ages 18 and older) who describe themselves as Christians have dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years, from 78.4% in a survey in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014.
Some Christians feel under siege, from the current political developments in the US when the Democratic Party have had the president.
But what witness will it be for the American public at large, that quite a bit evangelicals gleefully touts morality as the foundation of all policy while happily turning a blind eye to the behaviour that violates the same morality they are preaching? And what effect on the common man has the the hateful language some used in the name of Christianity?
And what will a president like Donald Trump
be as a Moral compass and role model for the whole nation, and as a world leader? That is worth considering for the evangelicals who still work to save Trumps total unpredictable political ambitions.
Its almost so one wanted Trump to be President, so all can see "the emperor without clothes". 
As one biographer sums up: the closer you look, the less there is. Less money, less substance, less meaning.

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