Leaders, Where is Your Discernment?!

pearl pig2I wasn’t going to write about Donald Trump. I wasn’t going to feed the narcissistic machine. I assumed he wouldn’t get this far. I assumed the bluster would blow over after a while–that people would realize who he is and let him fade into obscurity.

When he said Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her…wherever,” I thought surely now people will see that this is a man without respect.

When he mocked a respected POW from the Vietnam War, I thought surely now people will see that this is a man without honor.

When he belittled his opponent by threatening to expose his wife’s mental illness, I said surely now people will see that this is a man without mercy.

When he shamelessly ridiculed a disabled person, I said surely now people will realize this is a man without empathy.

When he called his own supporters idiots and insulted members of his own party, I thought surely now people will see that this is a man without loyalty.

When the newspapers began to expose his shady business practices and multiple lawsuits, I thought surely now people will see that this is a man without integrity.

But no. Conservative evangelical leaders recently packed themselves into a room to hear more of Trump’s bluster and lies, and came out endorsing him as “God’s man for the White House.”

They said we need to show Trump some grace. Cut him some slack. He’s really a nice guy once you get to know him. James C. Dobson says he knows someone who purportedly led Trump to Christ. We need to get behind Trump because he’s going to Make Christianity Great Again. He’s going to appoint pro-life Supreme Court Judges, repeal the Johnson Amendment, put prayer back in schools, and make all of the retail employees say “Merry Christmas” from Thanksgiving to New Years.

Nevermind that he can’t explain how he will make this happen–or any of his other promises, for that matter.

Nevermind that Trump has reneged in some way on nearly every business deal he’s ever made.

The Bible repeatedly warns us about people like Trump. About people who lack discretion. People who defraud the poor and reject the alien. People who lack gentleness and humility. People who withhold wages and refuse to honor their commitments. People who are quick-tempered and unstable. People who lie and cause dissention. In fact, I can’t open to a single book of the Bible that doesn’t offer some sort of damning commentary on Trump’s behavior.

There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community. ~ Proverbs 6:16-19

* * *

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. ~ 2 Timothy 3:1-5

* * *

This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings […]. But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.

They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! ~ 2 Peter 2:10, 12-14

Leaders, you know these verses. You have taught them for years. You have countless books and blog posts admonishing your followers to avoid people like this in their daily lives. And now you’re putting your stamp of approval on just such a person on the slim chance that he won’t turn and rend you like a wild pig the moment he swears into office!

Leaders, where is your discernment?!

You yourselves admit that Trump is “sometimes kind of obscure in the way he answers questions.” Ya think?! You ever stop to wonder why that is? Have you ever wondered why Trump can say in one breath that he will protect gay rights and then say in the next that he will overturn same-sex marriage? It’s because the man will say anything–literally, ANYTHING–to draw attention to himself.

Except that part about him accepting Christ. He’s happy to let you do that for him. And at oh so a convenient time, too.

In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
    who are caught in the schemes he devises.
He boasts about the cravings of his heart;
    he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.
In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
    in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
His ways are always prosperous;
    your laws are rejected by him;
    he sneers at all his enemies.
He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”
    He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”

His mouth is full of lies and threats;
    trouble and evil are under his tongue. ~ Psalm 10:2-7

Your followers aren’t fooled. They have watched in dismay while you put your name to everything you have spent years preaching against. All for some empty promises. All for a chance at a little more political power, which the Bible says you shouldn’t be seeking anyway!

This isn’t a case of a candidate being “less than perfect” or not growing up the way you did. This is a case of endorsing what the Bible calls evil. This is lending your support and reputation to someone who lacks character–whose tree groans under the weight of bad fruit.

You call this man your hope, your salvation? He shall be your undoing.

Your actions are splintering the Church in America even further. You are shunning your office of leadership, being led away by pretty words that say what your itching ears want to hear. Even your pal Matt Walsh has named you as traitors to the values you espouse.

I’m sure some of you think that by being on Trump’s committee, you can perhaps influence him to “be better.” You are damned foolish. Trump shows loyalty only as long as it gets him what he wants. You aren’t special. As soon as you outlive your usefulness to him, he will abandon you and laugh about it. That’s what narcissists do.

You called yourselves the gatekeepers, the discerners, the upholders of truth. By endorsing Trump, you have sold your birthright for a mess of pottage. You will go down with him. You will return to your churches to find your reputations tarnished, your followers divided, your book sales diminished, more people declaring themselves done with your brand of Christianity. And you still won’t have three Supreme Court Justices who support your values, prayer in schools, or people saying “Merry Christmas.”

Because Trump is everything the Bible says he is.

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28 responses to “Leaders, Where is Your Discernment?!

  1. Well said. I remember several months ago Trump was asked in an interview what he has asked God for forgiveness for and he said he didn’t think he had ever done anything in his life that required forgiveness. Ever since I have not been able to listen to a word he has said and take him seriously.

  2. I really hope this gets wide coverage. If I wasn’t surrounded by decent Christians I’d have an extremely negative view of Christians and Christianity. I’m extremely disappointed in Dobson (Falwell, Jr, not so much because we already knew what he was like long ago).

  3. Avril Said:

    “You call this man your hope, your salvation? He shall be your undoing.”

    “You called yourselves the gatekeepers, the discerners, the upholders of truth. By endorsing Trump, you have sold your birthright for a mess of pottage. You will go down with him. You will return to your churches to find your reputations tarnished, your followers divided, your book sales diminished, more people declaring themselves done with your brand of Christianity. And you still won’t have three Supreme Court Justices who support your values, prayer in schools, or people saying “Merry Christmas.”

    Hi Avril. Thank you for writing this piece. I wanted to write something similar before the November election, but you have done such an excellent job that there is no reason for me to even attempt it. This no doubt took a lot of organization and discipline to write—something I am not up to right now with assorted personal problems in my life.

    My only concern about this warning you have issued is that the leaders might, by some outside freak of nature, heed it—thus preserving the current Republican Party, which itself is against numerous items of scripture. I believe the current Republican Party needs to disappear, die, be nailed to a cross—whatever term is most appropriate—so it can be replaced with something more kind and loving that looks after the interests of the American people rather than big business and predatory interest groups. To my way of thinking, God is using Trump to kill it—per my vision—really—I did have these three visions. If you will look deep into your Bible, you will note that in ancient times God occasionally used evil people to bring about certain preordained end results.

    Nonetheless, you and i both know these so-called “religious leaders” will never see your blog article–nice though it is. And if they do, it will bounce off them like a rubber bullet hitting the door of a bank vault. It will do so because in their spiritual pride, they would consider it to be unimportant words from an unimportant person. They only take advice from “important people,” a term that excludes blog writers like you, children of the poor like me, and former carpenters from Nazareth.

  4. Pingback: Donald Trump and Christianity | Flee from Christian Fundamentalism

  5. So what is your plan? Are you supporting Hillary? We truly have the worst of two evils. People are fed up with political correctness and the political establishment. Perhaps if one of the other candidates had the guts to address the issues without fear, without reciting the party line, we might get have another option. The Republican Party, of which I was an active volunteer in years past, left me a long time ago. I am disgusted with them all.

    • I will vote for Hillary if I must to keep Trump out of office. Though I haven’t yet figured out what’s so evil about Hillary aside from occasional deception (which all politicians engage in) and (purportedly) being pro-choice. Hillary has extensive diplomatic experience as Secretary of State and has worked with many people in Congress. If you think there’s any sort of comparison between her qualifications and Trump’s, you are very mistaken. He is actively alienating his own party, and much of his success has involved fraud or other shady practices. Not to mention the absurd conflicts of interest that should have prevented him from running in the first place.

    • I agree with April’s evaluation of Hillary. My primary concern is that she may fold, like Bill did, in the face of a hostile, all-Republican Congress. Bill’s solution was to abandon traditional Democrat Party principles and go to bed with the Republicans just to get along and hold power. The term I used for it between 1994 and 2000 was “Out Republican the Republicans.” I can visualize the conversation now:

      Hillary: Bill. All the Republicans that dominate the Congress hate me and will not cooperate with me on even the tiniest of things. I am at wits end on what to do.

      Bill: Aw. That’s easy sugar pie. Just do what I did for six years. Call yourself a Democrat but behave like a Republican.

      It is no accident that a very large number of Republicans, even the far right ones, love Bill Clinton to this very day. Bill sold out—in just the same way that Al Mohler sold out his once widely known Southern Baptist progressivism in exchange for personal security, stability, and power. I do sincerely believe Hillary is a real “sellout risk” for the reason stated.

      Therefore, I consider myself to be an Independent voter, and for the first time ever, I am considering voting for a third party candidate. All of my conservative friends tell me any vote for a third party candidate is a vote for Hillary.