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January 5, 2020
Trump Idol Worship and Christian Electoral Myopia
By Anthony Wade
Enough with consigning people to hell because they disagree with your carnal politics.
Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?" -- Matthew 26:53-54 (ESV)
The dominionist wing of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) will stop at nothing to achieve its seven mountains mandate dreams. They have so corrupted the apostate church that well intended Christians today cannot see that they suffer from two crippling spiritual conditions. The first is Trump Idol Worship. C'mon, let's be honest here. We all know to what I speak. This is not speaking about people who voted for Donald Trump, like Donald Trump or even plan to vote for him again. We are all entitled to our political opinions. Some like his brash style of disrespect. He has had legislative victories and the economy has some positive indicators. If that is the playing field you find yourself on, this is not speaking about you. The Trump idol worshippers are those who cannot bear to hear anything negative about their idol. They advocate that Trump is secretly King Cyrus with an Elijah anointing. They pretend that because he surrounds himself with NAR false teachers such as Paula White, that Trump is some kind of hero for the Christian cause. There is no discussion to be had with an idol worshipper. You either vote with them or they have determined that you are not actually a Christian.
The second condition is Christian Electoral Myopia. These are people who pretend to be flexible with their vote but will only vote based on one issue, usually abortion. Not that their candidate ever actually does anything about abortion; just that the say they will. For the empty promise, the myopic Christian will look the other way when it comes to poverty, endless wars, and a myriad of other issues that Christians should care about. Instead, they vote for the man or woman with the "R" next to their name because they promise this time, they are going to do something. They never do of course. Christians will openly admit to voting for GW Bush because of his pro-life stance yet when he had complete control of both houses of Congress do you know how may times he brought apportion up? Zero. Yet those very same Christian votes enabled the man to start wars that led to the deaths of over one million people. I say this as a backdrop to reviewing the article linked above from NAR pastor, Shane Idleman. It is a shame because Shane often is correct on Gospel matters but he has sold out completely for the dominionist agenda, as we will soon see. Let us reason once more together.
"Like many, I'm perplexed by the divide in the Christian community over President Trump. This article has been many months in the making as I've talked to people on both sides of the aisle. And as I stated in a brief op-ed, we can't have our cake and eat it too--there is no middle ground for Christians today. You can either choose a president who will wear a Planned Parenthood scarf at her inauguration (or one of countless others who would seek to destroy the America we know and lead us down the primrose path of socialism--or worse), or you can back President Trump. There is no plan B. I'm amazed at how many pulpits are silent on this. -- Shane Idleman
Wow. Talk about being myopic! So in Shane Idleman's eyes there is no plan B to Donald Trump and the reason why is the alternative will wear a planned Parenthood scarf or magically turn this country into Venezuela. That is such an intellectually bankrupt position to start with. The boogeyman of socialism still works with the uneducated, but most realize this is a red herring argument and always has been. Even if we elected a rabid socialist they cannot unilaterally change anything without working with Congress. As for why more pulpits are not speaking to this perhaps they realize that is not their mandate? Perhaps they realize correctly that every Sunday spent talking about the virtues of any politician is another Sunday you did NOT preach the Gospel. Shane Idleman has become so infected by the NAR that he has lost his call. He needs to get back to the Gospel.
"The following seven points may help us better understand the differences between pro-Trump and no-Trump Christians. Personally, I believe that No. 7 stands above them all.
1. Some believe that Christians should stay out of politics. That may sound noble and even spiritual, but politics has been instrumental in movements to protect the unborn and the poor, to abolish slavery and secure women's rights, and to advance the Civil Rights movement, to mention only a few. Politics won't save America, but in order to implement change and help others, we must take action; hence, the political process. Politics, which once focused largely on the economy, national security and the deficit, now tackle important moral issues. These major issues have enormous implications; to remain silent actually makes a statement that we are not concerned enough. Topics considered "too controversial" are often critically important; we can no longer ignore them." -- Shane Idleman
Clever conflation here but no one is arguing that positive change cannot occur through politics but Shane deftly ignores all of the negative change that can also occur. Why did we need a suffrage movement to begin with? Why did we need to free the slaves? Why did we need the civil rights act? That being said, no one is arguing that Christians should not vote -- just that they stop assigning virtue to their vote. Conferred righteousness upon what is ultimately a vote for evil is not a Christian endeavor. It is not a matter of being too controversial. It is a simple matter of what we are called to do. Romans teaches us that only the Gospel has the power of God unto the salvation of man. Only the Gospel saves. I love how Shane expresses that we can "no longer" ignore these social wedge issues when the church has been nearly completely compromised by these issues for decades now.
"2. Many are divided over foundational issues and the role of government. Some value appearance over abortion and graceful speech over national security. They are concerned that Trump is reckless but fail to see the plethora of conservative judges he has appointed and the protection of freedom of speech. Some even say, "Bring on the persecution. The early church did!" No, that's not correct. The early church did not invite persecution, and most Christians in persecuted countries wish that they had our freedom. Many need to wake up to this fact. We can't be united if we are divided on foundational issues. If everything is a priority, then nothing is. The highest priority is the value of human life. There is no contender. Our president is not a pastor; he is to be a terror to those who do evil (Rom. 13:3-4). This is why it's unwise to apply many of Jesus' teachings such as "turn the other cheek" to the institution of government. Contextually, Jesus was referring to personal affronts and insults, not to the administration of justice--which leads to the next point." -- Shane Idleman
Yes the new refrain is "it's all about the judges." This is the new myopia, same as the old myopia. A funny thing happens with judges though. What we thought they would do they rarely end up doing. John Roberts was named by GW Bush and the church went wild. They could not stop raving about him. Fast forward a decade and it was Justice Roberts that upheld Obamacare. Do you know who gave us the Roe decision? A 7-2 Republican led Supreme Court. Do you know who affirmed Roe in 2000? Another Republican led Supreme Court. Look at the tell here from Idleman. As a born-again believer the number one highest priority is the value of human life. No Shane. The number one priority must be God and securing eternal life. You know, the Gospel? This is what myopia will do to you. It makes you write silly things like we should not apply the teachings of Jesus to governmental affairs. Is the government beyond the reach of Christ? What is Shane advocating for here? That God tells us to turn the other cheek in our lives but expects our government to shoot first and ask questions later? Yeah, that's not remotely biblical.
"3. Many misquote Scripture to push their agenda. I've been shocked at how many people use "turn the other cheek" and other scriptures out of context. If you feel that the government should "turn the other cheek," I appreciate your heart, but you really need to think this through. Even Jesus didn't always turn the other cheek. When one of the temple officers struck Him, he called the man out and said, "Why do you strike me?" There is a time to call people out. The Bible does not promote pacifism in all cases, especially in the context of national security. Should we tell our leaders to turn the other cheek to Russia, China and North Korea? I would love to have a humble, Spirit-filled Christian in office, but this person would have to be an exceptional leader who not only shows grace to his fellow man but is also a terror to terrorists. And even if that person exists, I am not sure if they could win the presidency. There are only two candidates ... two choices when it comes to enough votes to win." -- Shane Idleman
Yes Shane, many misquote scripture to push their agenda, such as what you are trying to do here. You see the answer Jesus gave is not just "why did you strike me." He was making a legal argument within the context of the law. He said if what I said was wrong, show how, otherwise -- why did you strike me? The larger point however is that Shane somehow does not think this represents Jesus turning the other cheek! Are you kidding me? Remember, Jesus laid down His life voluntarily as a lamb led slaughter. Read the key verses where he has to remind us that He could have appealed to the Father at any point and had 12 legions angels at His disposal. You are simply wrong here Shane. Your myopia is blinding you from being able to see that Jesus was most definitely turning the other cheek when he laid down His life. Lastly from this snippet we see how dangerous these conditions are. Even if there was a candidate that was a spirit filled Christian and an exceptional leader -- Shane would not vote for him if he did not think he could get enough votes to win. That is how you know you have completely compromised yourself and sold out your Savior.
"Again, the president is to protect and defend, not turn the other cheek. I believe that this is also why many of us view Trump's tweets differently. For example, on immigration, although I would not have said what he said, what I read into many of the tweets is that he was talking about securing our borders from those who wish to do us harm. He was not making a blanket statement that applies to all immigrants. We have a legal process to enter our country, and if we want to change it, there is a constitutional method to do so. As Christians, we should be able to agree about the rule of law, even if we don't care for the words used to express how those laws should be enforced. So, on the one hand, I can have great compassion for refugees and others who want to live here, but on the other hand, I realize that we have to do things the right way. How I treat refugees is different from how the government does. I do not believe in the separation of church and state as it is defined today. But I do believe the church and state are to be separate in their duties and functions while being interwoven in their core beliefs and principles. Our second president, John Adams, said: "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." (More can be found in my book, One Nation Above God, free on Kindle.)" -- Shane Idleman
Now we see the Trump idol worship at work. Things that are established facts, with accompanying media, are downplayed, marginalized, or "read into." We are supposed to believe that when Trump said there were fine people on both sides of a Neo-Nazi rally, we really did not hear what he was trying to say. When he called Mexicans rapists it was all just a misunderstanding. Then the ridiculous hairsplitting regarding refugees is sickening. Does Shane Idleman think he can muster this defense in front of Jesus? Do not tell me that you have great compassion personally while advocating for having no compassion as the government.
"4. Many are looking through the lens of color or race. Instead of looking through the lens of a biblical worldview, many vote based on ethnicity. Sadly, the lie that Donald Trump is a racist has driven fear-based voting. Somehow (in ways still unclear to me), white Christians are viewed as Republican racists, when in reality, it was the Republicans who fought against slavery and championed freedom. I just finished reading Ulysses S. Grant's biography, and it's amazing to learn about the true cost of freedom. The tens of thousands who gave their lives in the Civil War would be horrified to see how the truth has been twisted today. Unfortunately, racism is still alive, but it's found on both sides of the political aisle. Neither party should be characterized as racist." -- Shane Idleman
I am not going to spend much time here on a history lesson. Every time the Republican Party claims they are the party of Lincoln, Honest Abe rolls over in his grave. Demographics change over the course of a hundred years. Shane can try splitting the bill all day long but people with an ounce of discernment know that he is again wrong. Anything to defend your idol.
"5. Many believe that whatever good President Trump has done for the church, he has done more damage in the long run. The argument goes something like this: "Because evangelicals are so closely associated with Trump, it makes the gospel look bad." They would add, "We have always been the 'character counts' people. What has changed?" Nothing has changed. We are not voting for people based on a Christ-like character (though that would be a huge plus); we are voting for the future direction of America. And how do we know that President Trump is not slowly changing for the better being around so many godly influences--from James Robison to Jentezen Franklin to Franklin Graham to Robert Morris? I think that those Christian leaders closest to him would be the ones to best assess the spiritual climate of the White House rather than arm-chair quarterbacks. -- Shane Idleman
Franklin Graham who has accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from Trump and recently sold out the memory of his dead father by pretending he had voted for Trump in 2016? Jentzen and Robison who are voracious wolves or Morris who abuses and beats sheep with an ungodly tithing paradigm? These are the people you hope influence him? I am sure they have. The reason why Trump was drawn to the Paula White wing of the NAR is they worship the same god -- mammon. The hypocritical point about character is that when the immoral shoe was on President Clinton's foot the same church leaders did not just say it would be a huge plus if the president had Christ-like character. They said it was a requirement. Now that the immoral shoe is on the foot of their idol, they are all talking about how we don't elect a pastor. Pure, unadulterated hypocrisy. Our witness for the Gospel counts Shane.
"My concern for the group under this point is that they worry too much about his personal character. Yes, character counts, but President Trump doesn't set the spiritual climate of our nation, we do. God doesn't let a spiritual awakening hinge on the character of one person. America's first Great Awakening happened under the difficult reign of the king of England. Granted, he wasn't elected by the people, but the principle still stands: Let God deal with President Trump, and let us be concerned about personal revival and renewal. God's call of repentance is not to Hollywood, Washington or the media (though that would be great to see); His call is to us. "If My people ... turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chr. 7:14). The silent majority needs to wake from their spiritual slumber. Here is an analogy that will bring this point home. The head of a neighborhood watch program, who took the late-night watches, had previously had an affair. He was occasionally gruff and impulsive, and sometimes his words were crass and offensive, but he watched over the neighborhood diligently each night. Each week he invited church leaders into his home to pray for him and his family and to seek their advice. He often stood against others on the committee who wanted to enact policies harmful to the neighborhood and to the children, such as advocating an open-door policy where residents were required to allow anyone into their homes at all hours of the day for handouts. Is this not the kind of person you would want leading your neighborhood watch? Does his past or demeanor matter more than the results he is seeking? If you are intellectually honest, the answer is not difficult. In the same way, the answer is simple for America. Again, we are not voting for people based on how godly they are; we are voting for the future direction of America: the right to life, the elevation of God's Word back to its proper place, the appointment of conservative judges, securing America and her borders, creating jobs and improving the quality of life for all Americans." -- Shane Idleman
Excuses excuses excuses. Idol worship on full display. Shane is right that spiritual awakening resides within the purview of the church but the church has been compromised by idol worshipping a man of beyond questionable character. That combined with the myopia blinds Idleman from seeing the stupidity of his analogy. I am unsure I would want someone heading up my neighborhood watch who did not share my faith but putting that aside, the issue is if you start lying about this man. If you start making excuses for all of his behavioral issues. If you start twisting the bible to claim that he is King Cyrus or Elijah. This is the trade off that the NAR desires. Forget that godliness stuff. We aren't electing a pastor! If he gives us all of the carnal political stuff we want then who cares if he is moral at all?
"6. Some feel that many pro-Trumpers place patriotism before the kingdom of God. But is being a proud American wrong? Not necessarily. Yes, for some pro-Trumpers, "MAGA" seems to be more important than the Great Commission. It is wrong to put man's kingdom before God's kingdom. But we have dual citizenship. We have a responsibility to both, with God's kingdom as the priority. We cannot overlook our civic responsibility as Christians--we can no longer hide behind the excuse, "I don't want to get involved." As citizens, we have the privilege (for now) to place people in positions of leadership. God blessed us with this privilege. Whether we like it or not, we are involved. Millions are not registered to vote, and millions of registered voters stay at home. We'll stand in line to see a movie, but we won't stand in line to vote and elect leaders who will affect the direction of our country. While nationalism can include a self-righteous attitude, it doesn't have to--it's all about how we define it and how we live. Watch my short clip on nationalism here and my clip titled "What You Must Know About America" here." -- Shane Idleman
Yes Shane. Pride is wrong. Read your bible. We most certainly DO NOT have dual citizenship! The bible says that our citizenship is now in heaven. It is not split. We are supposed to be but pilgrims and sojourners through this land. God's kingdom is not just the priority! It is first second and last. Our only involvement with this world is to bring the Gospel into it so that some might be saved out from it. Period. Full stop. It is not patriotism that you place before God Shane. It is a love for this fallen world and the sin and excess you enjoy because of it. As for staying home, that just might be the righteous choice. Spurgeon said that when confronted with choosing between two evils he chooses to not choose. This example should hit home. In 2012 God gave the church an unthinkable choice between the uber-liberal Obama and the member of the Mormon Satanic cult in Mitt Romney. I would bet dollars to donuts Shane Idleman not only voted for Romney but claimed he was the godly choice. This is what happens when you fall into idol worship and myopia. Your ends start to justify your means but God does not ascribe to Machiavellian philosophy. There was no way that His choice was the Satanic cult member.
"7. Christians are divided because many who claim to be "Christians" are not genuinely saved. As a result, their perception of truth is skewed. Having interacted with people about President Trump since 2016, I have noticed that many no-Trumpers shared pro-LGBTQ statements and rainbow flags on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Most of them also had a low view of Scripture and avoided words such as repentance, holiness and sin, but they willingly flaunted their favorite R-rated sexually charged movie and saw no problem with sharing profanity-laced memes and "jokes." This was very telling. Many are led by Hollywood, not the Holy Spirit. If Hollywood and the national media are on your side, there's a problem." -- Shane Idleman
Wow, did he really just go there? So it is bad enough that this country is divided. It is bad enough that the church is divided. Shane Idleman has now declared that if you are not pro-Trump then you must not be saved. Wow again. Putting aside the Fox News absurd talking point demonizing the press, I would rather stand with the media then be surrounded by Paula White, Jentzen Franklin and Robert Morris. That is the real problem here. Idleman has lined up squarely with the apostate church and has now doubted the salvation of anyone with the temerity to disagree with him.
"In closing, I agree with what Dr. Michael Brown said in his op-ed regarding evangelical elites versus evangelical deplorables and how to improve the communication. That's what I'm hoping to accomplish. After all, we are either building a strong nation for our children and grandchildren, or we are destroying it from the inside out. The choice is ours. So the question we should really be asking is: In what direction will those running for office take us? In the upcoming election, we will be presented with one of two choices. So, yes, I believe that most Christians can be united if we commit this truth to memory before November 2020: There is no plan B." -- Shane Idleman
Absolutely disgusting. The ironically moronic part is Idleman actually thinking he is trying to improve communication by questioning the salvation of those who disagree with him. Beloved, let me cut through these final NAR talking points. There are more than two choices this year. Besides being able to write in any candidate we wish, abstaining from this lesser of two evils choice is still a choice. Do not ascribe to the arrogant and biblically vapid arguments from the NAR dominionists like Shane Idleman. Donald Trump is not your savior. Stop worshipping at his feet and break off the scales from your eyes that make up your myopia. If you want to vote for any candidate -- more power to you. Just stop pretending that you have made some righteous decision and everyone else must be bobsledding to hell.
Reverend Anthony Wade -- January 3, 2019