However surprising Trump’s rise to political prominence is, what is unsurprising is that some people are
ever eager to support authoritarianism. What does come as a surprise is who this batch of people is: largely, evangelicals.
It would seem to me that Christians ought to have seen through the charade of playing to our nationalistic fantasies, and they ought to have noticed the parade of inconsistencies. But it would seem that they haven’t.
Why is this? Why should a people whose faith teaches us to be patient, fore-bearing, discerning, shrewd, self-controlled and wary of tyranny be so easily duped by the ponzi scheme being run on us. A billionaire has set his sights on the Oval Office and correctly concluded that he would be best served in obtaining that venture by winning the support of Evangelical Christians. In order to do this, he has played American Evangelicals like a fiddle.
I would make the case that we have been groomed for this by decades of inane, cotton-candy preachers preaching Christ-less sermons. After 50 plus years of preaching that is marked by the worst kind of brevity, saccharinity, humanistic (and the aforementioned nationalistic) moralism, heavy on entertainment value and quite light on steady, Biblical exposition, we are ripe for a slogan heavy politician. We have abandoned preaching that works through the text of Scripture, explaining it as we go, teaching us as Christians how to think biblically, and what we learn of Christ in that text. The sort of preaching that shows us how we are to love God with our mind, not just our heart, soul, and strength.
As Ravenhill would say, there are plenty of sermonettes for Christianette’s. Following Paul’s train of thought in Ephesians is hard work; dealing with David’s soul-agonies in the Psalms is tedious; being reproved by Scripture is painful; having the sword of the word slice through our meticulously crafted defenses against it exposing OUR sins is humbling. So we have opted to have our Pastor’s teach us a mantra of such things like: “you can do it”, “think positive”, and “feel the anointed presence”. Above all we ask them to promptly quit speaking after 20 minutes so we don’t miss the football pregame shows.
The Word of God is like fire, sword, and rock and it is intended to shake our wordliness, pride, selfishness, faux-compassion, and self-righteousness. It is to humble the pride of man, and exalt the glory of God. It is to show us that Christ is King, and earthly governments must bend the knee to Him. Evangelicals are enamored with Trump because we would rather be spoken to “on our level” than have to deal with the fact that we have failed to offer our mind and intellect to God, to be shaped and sanctified by His Word.
Further, and in contrast, should it shock us that many of our Christian young people are supporting a socialist? We shipped our kids off to children’s church to learn, essentially, nothing other than that life is essentially all about sharing. “See children, the little boy shared his fishes and loaves, and God wants you to do that too”! We failed to teach our children the glories of Christ, and so we should not be shocked when they want to turn to the glories of the sovereign deity of Government; which is how the socialist worldview demands that we view the government.
As usual, we, not they, must repent. We not they must forsake this path of mushy-headedness and doctrinal laziness. We not they must do the hard and humbling thing like living modestly, humbly, and within our means. We not they must make this most vital change: purpose to seek God with a whole heart. We not they must show our nation what it means to submit to God’s Word as the authority on all things, everywhere, and in all generations.