We are trying to put ourselves in the shoes of Christians in America, to understand why so many of you support of Donald Trump. But, while we are happy that you back him for China’s purposes going forward, we are also baffled.
Especially when we run across verses like this from your Bible…
When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent
If Donald Trump has an area where his words are many, it’s in his mastery of the Art of the Lie. If this doesn’t trouble you, we wonder again where your heart is when it comes to your God, because we want to know what you want.
We look at Trump and laugh at your old American saying from playgrounds across your country, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”
Given your current President, you might want to rethink that…
The banality and weaponization of Trump’s words are bad enough, but the greatest cause for concern is his nonstop, dawn-to-midnight assault on facts, truth, reality. That places Trump in a sinister category all his own.
Many politicians are guilty of not telling the full truth of events. A significant number shade the truth from time to time. A few fall into the category of consistent, outright liars. But only very few—and only the most dangerous—are committed to destroying the very idea of truth itself. That is what we have in Donald Trump, along with many of his aides and courtiers. We saw it at the dawn of the Trump presidency, when he insisted—and sent out his press secretary to insist—that the crowd size at his inauguration was larger than that of Barack Obama’s, despite photographic evidence to the contrary. And that behavior has continued virtually every day since.
According to The Washington Post, Trump has made more than 10,000 false or misleading claims as president, roughly 12 a day. The Trump presidency is notable for the number and velocity of his falsehoods and misleading statements. They have been made in speeches and tweets, on matters significant and trivial, about others and about himself—and he virtually never apologizes or issues corrections. He says what he wants, when he wants, regardless of the reality of things.Trump’s Sinister Assault on Truth, By Peter Wehner, The Atlantic, June 18, 2019
“The man lies all the time, writes Thomas Wells, an attorney Trump once hired. In Bob Woodward’s book Fear, Trump’s former personal lawyer John Dowd describes the president as “a f******” liar,” telling Trump he would end up in an “orange jump suit” if he testified to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. And the former White House aide Anthony Scaramucci, when asked whether he considers Trump a liar, admitted, “Okay, well we both know that he’s telling lies. So if you want me to say he’s a liar, I’m happy to say he’s a liar.” (In a later interview Scaramucci put it this way: “He’s an intentional liar. It’s very different from just being a liar-liar.”)Trump’s Sinister Assault on Truth, By Peter Wehner, The Atlantic, June 18, 2019
Peter Wehner says many things well, and there he is again, showing how deeply he understands the power of verbal actions—likening Trump’s words to weapons.
Trump’s problem with lying is like a flashflood, and people are starting to keep track. Does this give you pause? Isn’t your God into this kind of keeping track, putting numbers to tears you shed and hairs on your head? Doesn’t this kind of information about this President you’re so fiercely backing concern you?
On Thursday, the Washington Post published a remarkable story on its front page revealing a recent spike in the number of “false and misleading claims” made by President Trump. In his first year as President, Trump made 2,140 false claims, according to the Post. In just the last six months, he has nearly doubled that total to 4,229. In June and July, he averaged sixteen false claims a day. On July 5th, the Post found what appears to be Trump’s most untruthful day yet: seventy-six per cent of the ninety-eight factual assertions he made in a campaign-style rally in Great Falls, Montana, were “false, misleading or unsupported by evidence.”It’s True: Trump Is Lying More, and He’s Doing It on Purpose. By Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, August 3, 2018
It turns out that’s when the president decided to turn on the spigots of false and misleading claims. As of day 558, he’s made 4,229 Trumpian claims — an increase of 978 in just two months.
That’s an overall average of nearly 7.6 claims a day.
When we first started this project for the president’s first 100 days, he averaged 4.9 claims a day. But the average number of claims per day keeps climbing the longer Trump stays in office. In fact, in June and July, the president averaged 16 claims a day.
Put another way: In his first year as president, Trump made 2,140 false or misleading claims. Now, just six months later, he has almost doubled that total.President Trump has made 4,229 false or misleading claims in 558 days, By Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo, and Meg Kelly, Washington Post, August 1, 2018
The volume is overwhelming, like a flashflood.
“The President learned during the campaign that he could do this and be rewarded for it,” David Priess, a former CIA officer and CNN political commentator, told CNN’s Erica Hill this week. “He did not take a hit for anything that was discovered about not telling the truth to the American people or holding back things like tax returns, like medical records.”
“The lesson he clearly learned was, ‘I don’t have to do it and there will not be a price to pay that matters enough to me.’ “
Trump is so far unique because of the volume of fabrications he has gotten away with, unlike predecessors who told untruths less frequently yet paid a bigger price.Trump divines his own truth without consequences, by Stephen Collinson, CNN, May 7, 2018
…a pathological flashflood…
To justify his belligerent actions, Trump lies relentlessly and remorselessly. In fact, according to a Washington Post analysis, Trump has made over 3,000 false or misleading claims since taking office. And, the Post notes, his lying seems to have escalated in recent weeks. Moreover, Trump’s confidants describe him as increasingly likely to ignore any moderating advice offered by those around him. There are no “grownups in the room” who can stop him as he surrounds himself with corrupt and bellicose cronies prepared to do his bidding – all of which is entirely predictable from his psychology.
Trump’s wild exaggerations in recent weeks reveal the increasing severity of his symptoms. Consider, for example, his repeated claims that the vague outcome of his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un constitutes an end to the nuclear threat posed by Kim’s regime, or his blatant lie that Democrats, rather than his own policies, caused the forced separation of migrant children from their parents at the southern border with Mexico. The Post recently counted 29 false or misleading statements in a mere one-hour rally. Whether intentional or delusional, this level of persistent lying is pathological.Trump’s Psychopathology Is Getting Worse, JEFFREY D. SACHS, BANDY X. LEE, Project Syndicate, July 3, 2018
Here’s your Senator Cruz in agreement …
CRUZ: I’m going to tell you what I really think of Donald Trump. This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And in a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology textbook, his response is to accuse everybody else of lying.
He accuses everybody on that debate stage of lying. And it’s simply a mindless yell. Whatever he does, he accuses everyone else of doing. The man cannot tell the truth, but he combines it with being a narcissist. A narcissist at a level I don’t think this country has ever seen.
Donald Trump is such a narcissist that Barack Obama looks at him and goes, ‘Dude, what’s your problem?’ Everything in Donald’s world is about Donald.Cruz Explodes: “Pathological Liar” Trump “A Narcissist At A Level I Don’t Think This Country Has Ever Seen”, By Ian Schwartz, Real Clear Politics, May 3, 2016
So, if Donald Trump was chosen to help bring the story of the United States to its end, what if his amazing “propensity for lying” is playing a key role in the unfolding drama?
Trump compounds his contemptuousness through a propensity for lying that seems pathological – including lies about those very insults.Trump: The Worst Human Being, by Quin Hillyer, Weekly Standard, December 7, 2015
Trump is always talking about fake news, but, look at this…
Fresh off his nuclear summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore, Trump has touted the meeting as a success. He tweeted Wednesday that “there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea” as a result of his work, and he has been critical of the press for its general disparagement of the summit.
“So funny to watch the Fake News, especially NBC and CNN,” he wrote. “They are fighting hard to downplay the deal with North Korea. 500 days ago they would have “begged” for this deal-looked like war would break out. Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News so easily promulgated by fools!”Trump: Fake News is ‘Our Country’s Biggest Enemy’, By David Rutz, Washington Free Beacon, June 13, 2018
Then we saw this, from your Shapiro guy, which made us wonder how you Christians, who claim to put your trust in your God, could not but wonder why Trump is making false claims about reality…
Ben Shapiro Retweeted Donald J. Trump
Absolute stupid garbage. Kim’s vision involves murdering his relatives with WMD in public places and creating massive gulags for dissenters while keeping millions in misery.
Donald J. Trump Verified account @realDonaldTrump
….Chariman Kim has a great and beautiful vision for his country, and only the United States, with me as President, can make that vision come true. He will do the right thing because he is far too smart not to, and he does not want to disappoint his friend, President Trump!
So, if Trump himself, through his lies, is producing fake news, is he in some manner paralleling the “biggest enemy”?
Let’s hear from Peter Wehner’s words again…
Donald Trump is engaged not just in an assault on truth; he’s engaged in an effort to annihilate truth. We’ve never seen anything like it in American politics. It’s relentless; it’s done morning, noon, and night. And it’s not just lies. It’s the nature of the lies. It’s an assault on provable truths, demonstrable truths.
— Peter WehnerWhat’s Left of the Right?, Democracy Journal, Summer 2018
Isn’t there another character in your Christian story, your villain, who would like to annihilate the truth? Just sayin’.
But maybe you ought to be thinking along the lines of this Beckwith guy about the effects on unraveling the moral fabric of your society.
The death of truth in our society has created a moral decay in which “every debate ends with the barroom question ‘says who?’”Francis J. Beckwith and Gregory Koukl, Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air
And, if Christianity is the story we are in, you Christians may be facing a giant gap with your “chosen one”.
So, are you sure you want to keep looking the other way and ignoring his lying? Are you really going to keep giving him a ‘mulligan’ for this?
Especially when he is in a class all by himself…
The more a leader deceives the public, the more he erodes trust, weakens institutions, and creates damaging precedents.
But as the sheer number of lies indicates, the US has never seen a president like Donald Trump.White House of Lies, By Joseph S Nye, Asia Times, AUGUST 12, 2018
But trust isn’t the only thing eroding. Lying corrodes democracy…
The tribal premium on loyalty has obliterated the quaint idea — actually, the idea that provides the foundation for democracy — that voters deserve to know the facts and to hold politicians accountable. But Blunt, like so many other Republicans, can no longer think in such straightforward terms like: Is lying wrong? Does lying corrode our democracy?Put aside the law for a moment. Trump’s lying is just plain wrong. By Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, May 7, 2018
And then there’s the erosion of civil discourse…
What is happening in America is often described as the erosion of civil discourse, but the effects of the country’s polarization go far beyond the demise of polite conversation. Neither in Red America nor the States of Resistance is it possible to calmly discuss public policy. Disagreement over facts appears to be greater than ever.
Stanford University’s Shanto Iyengar, a professor of political science and communication, says political party preference has become a litmus test for values and character in modern America. “Democrats and Republicans view their opponents as hypocritical, selfish and close-minded, and are unwilling to socialize with them, or even partner with them in different types of activities,” he says.
Declining trust in government and a lack of honest debate results in a polarized population susceptible to fake news that lives in states growing less moderate by the month.US anger and divisiveness blamed on ‘Truth Decay’, By DAVID DEVOSS, Asia Times, JULY 4, 2018
And look at this, from your Novak guy. It is yet another indicator that the great danger facing America is internal…
During the past 100 years, the question for those who loved liberty was whether, relying on the virtues of our peoples, we could survive the most powerful assaults from without. During the next 100 years, the question for those who love liberty will be whether we can survive the most insidious and duplicitous attacks from within, from those who undermine the virtues of our people, doing in advance the work of the Father of Lies. “There is no such thing as truth,” they teach even the little ones. “Truth is bondage. Believe what seems right to you. There are as many truths as there are individuals. Get in touch with yourself. Do what feels comfortable.”Awakening From Nihilism, By MICHAEL NOVAK, National Review, April 25, 2019
And since, as we noted previously, Americans increasingly know their history less than before…
As our political discourse is increasingly dominated by sources who care nothing for truth or credibility, we come closer and closer to the situation that Walter Lippmann warned about a century ago, in his seminal “Liberty and the News.” “Men who have lost their grip upon the relevant facts of their environment are the inevitable victims of agitation and propaganda. The quack, the charlatan, the jingo . . . can flourish only where the audience is deprived of independent access to information,” he wrote. A nation whose citizens have no knowledge of history is asking to be led by quacks, charlatans, and jingos.The Decline of Historical Thinking, By Eric Alterman, New Yorker, February 4, 2019
So, will your democracy thrive under Donald’s lies? Perhaps his lying is better suited to a totalitarian regime…
Orwell was right. The totalitarian regime rests on lies because they are lies. The subject of the totalitarian regime must accept them not as truth—must not, in fact, believe them—but accept them both as lies and as the only available reality. She must believe nothing. Just as Orwell predicted, over time the totalitarian regime destroys the very concept, the very possibility of truth. Hannah Arendt identified this as one of the effects of totalitarian propaganda: it makes everything conceivable because “nothing is true.”How George Orwell Predicted the Challenge of Writing Today, By Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, June 10, 2018
And do you take our enemy, Solzhenitsyn, seriously?
But let us not forget that violence does not live alone and is not capable of living alone: it is necessarily interwoven with falsehood. Between them lies the most intimate, the deepest of natural bonds. Violence finds its only refuge in falsehood, falsehood its only support in violence. Any man who has once acclaimed violence as his METHOD must inexorably choose falsehood as his PRINCIPLE. At its birth violence acts openly and even with pride. But no sooner does it become strong, firmly established, than it senses the rarefaction of the air around it and it cannot continue to exist without descending into a fog of lies, clothing them in sweet talk. It does not always, not necessarily, openly throttle the throat, more often it demands from its subjects only an oath of allegiance to falsehood, only complicity in falsehood.Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, Nobel Lecture in Literature 1970
And he wasn’t the only dissident who saw that…
Destroy the foundation of factual truth, and lies will be normalized. This is what the Czech dissident (and later president) Václav Havel described in the late 1970s when he wrote about his fellow citizens making their own inner peace with a regime built on hypocrisy and falsehoods. They were “living within the lie.” In such a situation life becomes farcical, demoralizing, a theater of the absurd. It is soul-destroying.Trump’s Sinister Assault on Truth, By Peter Wehner, The Atlantic, June 18, 2019
And Paula showed us this…
Once the appeal to objective standards of truth and justice are removed, we are left with only the arbitrary exercise of power.Jim Leffel, “The New Challenge in Christian Apologetics,” Presentation to Faculty, Cornell University, April 1999.
So, as the drama unfolds, you might want to meditate on the reality that many of your fellow Americans will embrace both lying and contempt as tools for living because they will believe it worked for the Donald…
The dirty little secret is that many on the left seem to believe that Trump was onto something. They believe that being nice and playing by the rules of civility and decency (where truth matters) are obsolete concepts. They believe that persuasion and bringing people together are just slogans.Celebs Threatening Trump Doesn’t Help, By Matt Lewis, The Daily Beast, January 23, 2017
Revelations that Trump dictated a doctor’s report on his health before voters went to the polls and his ever-shifting story on a hush payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels might have been a debilitating blow to any normal politician.
In Trump’s case, they were simply more of the same flurry of daily controversies that characterize his presidency. While his critics reacted with outrage, his supporters saw media fact checks as just more “fake news.”
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, whose criticisms Trump has previously rejected, compared the President’s method to the “moment-to-moment flexibility in the treatment of facts” described by George Orwell in his novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four.
“Up is down, black is white, war is peace,” Clapper recently said on CNN. “What disturbs me is this is becoming normal in this country. The people just accept the fact that the place to look for truth is not the White House.”Trump divines his own truth without consequences, by Stephen Collinson, CNN, May 7, 2018
These lies have multiple consequences. First and most obviously, they demonstrate that the president’s word simply can’t be trusted. Yes, I know that there are readers who will immediately respond that “we already knew that” or that his dishonesty is already “priced in.” But don’t forget — as recently as last year, 76 percent of Republicans still believed that Trump told the truth “all or most of the time.” I personally know many people who believe that Trump’s ability to “tell it like it is” is one of his chief appeals.
Second, the extent of the lying across the Trump team shows that Trump’s lies can’t be contained to Trump. Even honest people who believe and repeat Trump’s words or the words of key members of his team can find themselves deceiving the public. Those who resist Trump’s efforts to deceive can find themselves overruled and publicly shamed. It was to Donald Jr.’s credit that his instinct — after news of the Trump Tower meeting started to leak — was to be transparent. It is Trump’s shame that he forced his own son to put out a misleading statement instead.The Mueller Report Should Shock Our Conscience, By DAVID FRENCH, National Review, April 18, 2019
And the more they do so, the more our Party will party, because your fragile house will just keep dividing…
If the language surrounding the investigation remains florid and purple, if Democrats try to please their Trump-hating constituents by screaming impeachment and liberal media tries to garner audience by jumping openly and vociferously on the bandwagon, the Trumpians will respond in kind by stirring the pot through their media and their argumentation.
The result might well be violence. Not rhetorical violence. Actual violence. Actual political violence. Actual conflicts between anti-Trumpers and Trumpers. At demonstrations. In the streets. Of our cities. Political violence of a sort we haven’t seen in 50 years, and maybe haven’t really seen in this country in the modern era. Those who believe Trump is a unique menace whose threat to our democratic way of life will be met with those who believe the elites are using illicit means to oust the legitimately elected president of the United States.
This is not a fantasy. This is one possible future. And every rational person who cares about the future of the country should be mindful of it, and should work to forestall it.Beware Triggering the Coup Theory, By John Podhoretz, Commentary Magazine, February 15, 2017
Is violence right around the corner? Are your sure you want to keep backing a President who is leading your country deeper and deeper into your dangerous divide?
Political polarization has many sources, but the prime cause of it now is the president himself. Polarization defines Trump’s survival strategy, and it means that demagoguery — toward immigrants, toward crime, toward special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe, toward dissenting NFL players, toward anyone who takes him on — is what his presidency is all about.
What thus needs exposing is not simply Trump’s indifference to the truth but also the fact that he depends upon the kinds of lies that will tear our country to pieces.Call out his lies. He depends on them. By E.J. Dionne, Jr., Washington Post, May 30, 2018
Did you know you were choosing a President who inspires moral decay?
But the most immediate thing to be on guard for in the new era is the way Trump inspires both supporters and opponents to abandon their moral, ethical, and professional standards and give in to their unchecked instincts to acquire power and humiliate or denigrate their perceived enemies, usually their fellow countrymen. Trump’s political success can be partly explained by the way in which America’s culture war has a logic of escalation. Trump’s presidency may see a quickening of tempo.
We are already tempted to hate and fear each other and think the worst of each other, especially as we contemplate our country through backlit screens that draw us to them by stimulating our most basic fight-or-flight instincts. The virtues of sobriety and liberality will be denigrated as liabilities by both sides in the Trump era. Expect them to become rarer and more valuable, especially when their value seems less obvious.
Keep your heads on a swivel.What I fear about the age of Trump, By Michael Brendan Dougherty, The Week, January 18, 2017
So, what if you have made a foolish wager by ignoring the impact of Donald’s lying?
Mr. Trump and the Republican Party are right now the chief emblem of corruption and cynicism in American political life, of an ethic of might makes right. Dehumanizing others is fashionable and truth is relative. (“Truth isn’t truth,” in the infamous words of Mr. Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani.) They are stripping politics of its high purpose and nobility.
That’s not all politics is; self-interest is always a factor. But if politics is only about power unbounded by morality — if it’s simply about rulers governing by the law of the jungle, about a prince acting like a beast, in the words of Machiavelli — then the whole enterprise will collapse.The Full-Spectrum Corruption of Donald Trump, By Peter Wehner, New York Times, August 25, 2018
You see, one day Paula Wong showed me this, from your Colson guy, the former “hatchet man” for your President Nixon. And as you may know, Colson underwent a massive change in his story…
The only thing that makes life meaningful is if it is tied to truths – otherwise we are adrift in the cosmos; we are lost. We will drift around looking for some place to moor the boat. We’ll be caught up in the fads of the moment, and living with false presuppositions. So the most urgent, the most desperate need is to find truth.
So we have to be rooted in truth. That truth is then going to lead us to certain propositions that will give us a meaningful and fulfilling life.Charles Colson, My Final Word
That is so disturbing for our team, because if Christianity is the story we are in, then it means we are pushing away our deep desire for a meaningful life.
But, what if you are also pushing something away?
And, what if by looking the other way and ignoring the serious implications of Donald’s lying, you have revealed something to your God?
Because, if Christianity is the story we are in, he is watching you.
You see, it caught our attention that Jerry Falwell, Jr. — to whom we will always be so grateful — considered a liar like Donald Trump his “dream president.”
But look at this passage which Paula Wong discovered…
What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar.
Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after a lie!
So, when Jerry began to embrace the Donald long before the 2016 binary choice bind, was he unaware of Donald’s propensity for lying? …
What sort of man is the president of these United States? We know he is a habitual liar, one who tells obvious lies for no apparent reason, from claiming to own hotels that he does not own to boasting about having a romantic relationship with Carla Bruni, which never happened. (“Trump is obviously a lunatic,” Bruni explained.) He invented a series of imaginary friends to lie to the New York press about both his business and sexual careers. He has conducted both his private and public lives with consistent dishonesty and dishonor. He is not a man who can be taken at his word.Trump’s Credibility Problem, by Kevin Williamson, National Review, June 12, 2017
A decade ago, my lawyers questioned Trump under oath during a deposition in a libel case he filed against me for a biography I wrote, “TrumpNation.” (Trump lost the case in 2011.) Trump had to acknowledge 30 times during that deposition that he had lied over the years about a wide range of issues: his ownership stake in a large Manhattan real estate development; the cost of a membership to one of his golf clubs; the size of the Trump Organization; his wealth; the rate for his speaking appearances; how many condos he had sold; the debt he owed, and whether he borrowed money from his family to stave off personal bankruptcy.
Trump also lied during the deposition about his business relationships with organized crime figures.My Lawyers Got Trump to Admit 30 Lies Under Oath, By Timothy L. O’Brien, Bloomberg, June 12, 2017
Did Jerry not know then who he was embracing? And was he unaware of what your Bible says?
Look at some of the passages we found…
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.
Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool — how much worse lying lips to a ruler!
The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.
A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin.
Everyone utters lies to his neighbor;
with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.
May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
the tongue that makes great boasts,
Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.
My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts— the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.
A man of crooked heart does not discover good, and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity.
Oh that my head were waters,
and my eyes a fountain of tears,
that I might weep day and night
for the slain of the daughter of my people!
Oh that I had in the desert
a travelers’ lodging place,
that I might leave my people
and go away from them!
For they are all adulterers,
a company of treacherous men.
They bend their tongue like a bow;
falsehood and not truth has grown strong in the land;
for they proceed from evil to evil,
and they do not know me, declares the Lord.
Let everyone beware of his neighbor,
and put no trust in any brother,
for every brother is a deceiver,
and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.
Everyone deceives his neighbor,
and no one speaks the truth;
they have taught their tongue to speak lies;
they weary themselves committing iniquity.
Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit,
they refuse to know me, declares the Lord.
Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts:
“Behold, I will refine them and test them,
for what else can I do, because of my people?
Their tongue is a deadly arrow;
it speaks deceitfully;
with his mouth each speaks peace to his neighbor,
but in his heart he plans an ambush for him.
Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the Lord,
and shall I not avenge myself
on a nation such as this?
And did Jerry miss what your famous King David had said about, well, look at this…
Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure.
No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.
I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites.
But maybe he was aware of what King David had written. After all, didn’t Jerry try to use the worst part of King David’s story to justify his support of Donald Trump?
Falwell believes Trump gives America the best chance to be great again.
“God called King David a man after God’s own heart even though he was an adulterer and a murderer,” Falwell said. “You have to choose the leader that would make the best king or president and not necessarily someone who would be a good pastor. We’re not voting for pastor-in-chief.”FALWELL SPEAKS, By Sarah Rodriguez, Liberty Champion, March 8, 2016
But was Jerry not aware of what your God communicated to David after his adultery and murder?
“Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’”
So, is it possible trouble is coming Donald’s way? Because what if what King David said in the following verse is going to play out before Jerry’s very eyes?
You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
And this passage especially caught the attention of our team. If Christianity is the story we are in, doesn’t this passage then mean our President Xi Jinping can play the Donald?…
An evildoer listens to wicked lips, and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.
And think about the Donald’s love for our puppet in North Korea.
So, did all this reveal something about Jerry? Has he migrated into the minimalist corner?
For instance, as we have already explored, Donald Trump is a very proud man. And throughout your Bible we found your God opposing proud people. Over and over again.
And look what Paula showed us from one of your famous pastors…
Many of you are filled with great excitement and passion to see reform. Your desire is to see the Church flourish. You want God to use you to bring change. But for some of you, He won’t. You will fail miserably for one reason: you’re not humble. He promises to oppose your efforts (James 4:6). Rather than being used by God to bring life to the Church, the Enemy will use you to destroy.Francis Chan, Letters to the Church
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. ” James 4:6
So our team is wondering — why did God’s opposition to the pride of Donald Trump not matter to Jerry, the head of the largest Christian university? Was what Jerry wanted powerful enough to blind him to this?…
The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
And if Christians in America refuse to consider these possibilities it makes us wonder what it is you want.
What do you want?
Was embracing Donald Trump an expression of trust in your God? Was turning a deaf ear to what you knew he was like saying anything about what it is you want?
We must show you these two verses we found that might catch your attention. What if they are a hint of things to come your way in America’s unfolding drama?…
Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Wow. Trump is pretty focused on self exaltation, don’t you think? And your Jesus is pretty on the nose about what will happen to people like that. But, there’s no getting around it– status is very important to the Donald, which reminded us of the status genre in story.
Could this help us understand something about the direction the desire for status can take you? It looks pretty bleak for the young Americans who are following Trump’s lead especially.
For whatever reason, the shift away from this sort of life has also brought with it a shift in values, and Twenge thinks that this, too, can account for the increase in anxiety and depression. “There’s clear evidence that the focus on money, fame, and image has gone up,” she said, referring to various surveys that have been conducted over the decades in which young people are asked about their goals and values, “and there’s also clear evidence that people who focus on money, fame, and image are more likely to be depressed and anxious.”For 80 Years, Young Americans Have Been Getting More Anxious and Depressed, and No One Is Quite Sure Why, By Jesse Singal, New York Magazine, March 13, 2016
So, what if Jerry Jr. got what he really wanted?
“I think evangelicals have found their dream president,” Falwell said.Jerry Fallwell Jr.: Evangelicals Have Found ‘Dream President’ in Donald Trump, BY BRANDON SHOWALTER, Christian Post, April 30, 2017
But has Jerry considered how this insight from your Colson guy fits with the Donald?…
My contention is we live in a postmodern culture which has lost any sense of biblical literacy – which believes that truth is negotiable, a mere personal preference. It’s a culture that has no concept of its own sin.Charles Colson, My Final Word
Doesn’t that insight point to the possibility that the Donald may have been chosen as a revealer?
And what if he was chosen to play a unique role in your American drama as a storyteller? For it’s clear, Trump is a storyteller…
Like any entertainer, like any producer, Trump knows his story needs heroes and villains. It’s us versus them, darkness versus light. Newt Gingrich said it well on “CBS This Morning” in June: “Trump is a storyteller, he’s an entertainer. His whole career has been like this.”
When the hosts brought up Trump’s fabrications, Gingrich said, “He should tell the truth, but he also likes to tell stories. And sometimes his stories stretch things.”
Obviously Gingrich was being generous. Trump doesn’t just “stretch things,” he lies day in and day out. The dishonesty is one of the defining features of his presidency.
But many of the lies are in service of the grand story he’s telling. Look past the lies for a moment, and you can see why his crowds love it. He says he’s putting America first, fixing the economy, and fighting the dark forces trying to stop him. His story is about wall-building and swamp-draining and deep-state-defeating. In other words, he is the hero, battling against Democrats, Never Trumpers and Robert Mueller.President Trump is winning the story-telling game, with help from his friends in the media, by Brian Stelter, CNN, August 5, 2018
And is it possible Jerry has not considered how the Donald’s lying may move your nation toward a nightmare – in multiple ways?
Serious things…like lying to capture political power…
We live in a time when intentional, systematic, destabilizing lying—totalitarian lying for the sake of lying, lying as a way to assert or capture political power — has become the dominant factor in public life in Russia, the United States, Great Britain, and many other countries in the world. When we engage with the lies — and engaging with these lies is unavoidable and even necessary — we forfeit the imagination. But the imagination is where democracy lives. We imagine the present and the past, and then we imagine the future.How George Orwell Predicted the Challenge of Writing Today, By Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, June 10, 2018
And could his lies play a role in ending your healthy democratic debate?
Trump is not simply a serial liar; he is attempting to murder the very idea of truth, which is even worse. “The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda,” according to the Russian dissident and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov. “It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”
This is an urgent matter, and it makes this a dangerous moment because without truth and a common factual basis for our national life, a free society cannot operate. And right now, for a significant number of Americans—including many people on the right who long defended the concept of objective truth and repeatedly rang the alarm bell about the rise of relativism—truth is viewed as relative rather than objective, malleable rather than solid; as instrumental, as a means to an end, as a weapon in our intense political war. A depressingly large number of Trump supporters—again, many of whom have for years agreed with the conservative political philosopher Allan Bloom that relativism was impoverishing our souls—now seem to relish this “post-truth” political moment.Trump’s Sinister Assault on Truth, By Peter Wehner, The Atlantic, June 18, 2019
And speaking of murdering truth, there’s the whole question of war, too…
[T]he best way to cover up one’s own lies is pre-emptively to accuse the other fellow of lying. That’s why, by the way (as I may have mentioned once or twice before), democratically-elected bodies throughout the world have banned the charge of lying against one’s political opponents (or, in Senator Ted Cruz’s case, one’s allies) as “unparliamentary language.” What debate is possible between parties who deny each other’s good faith? But we have long since abandoned this necessary rule along with anything like genuine debate. When debate ends, war — even if it is only a tragical-comical burlesque of a war with words, for the most part, as the only weapons — is what remains.Constituting Truth, by James Bowman, From The New Criterion, September 30, 2018
And speaking of war, his disregard for truth could widen quickly to a disregard for democratic norms and rule of law.
I don’t believe that President Trump was lying when, the day after he swore the oath of office, he told a roomful of CIA employees that the crowd at his inauguration “looked like a million, a million and a half people” and “went all the way back to the Washington Monument.” I don’t believe he was lying when he recounted that the rain “stopped immediately” when he began delivering his inaugural address and that “it poured right after I left.” And I don’t believe he was lying when, on Monday, he repeated in front of lawmakers his post-election falsehood that 3 million to 5 million illegal ballots cost him the popular vote.
Trump was doing something far worse.
Lying, as defined by philosopher Harry Frankfurt, is an act undertaken intentionally to obscure the truth. Liars look at the truth and go in the other direction; but in doing so, they recognize implicitly that there is such a thing as the truth and such a thing as its opposite.
Trump, however, often operates without any connection to the truth. For him, truth is not an enemy so much as an irrelevance. As a real estate developer and cultural figure, his routine spouting of falsehoods could be comparatively harmless, even entertaining. As president, however, his disregard for the truth could easily become disregard for democratic norms and the rule of law.Can a president who disregards the truth uphold his oath of office?, By Quinta Jurecic, Washington Post, January 27, 2017
Which possibly could bring a disordered liberty…
Nations are ultimately judged not by their military might or economic wealth but by their fidelity to “the laws of nature and nature’s God.” In the view of the Founders, just government is self-government. Liberty is not license but is “ordered liberty”—liberty in response to moral truth. The great threat to the American experiment today is not from enemies abroad but from disordered liberty. That disorder is increasingly expressed in a denial of the very concept of moral truth. The cynical question of Pontius Pilate, “What is truth?”, is today frequently taken to be a mark of sophistication, also in our political discourse and even in the jurisprudence of our courts.We Hold These Truths: A Statement of Christian Conscience and Citizenship, by Richard John Neuhaus and Charles W. Colson, First Things, October 1997
Is Trump capable of honoring his presidential oath, or is he out of his depth?
By sitting in the Oval Office, Trump is coming up against an intricate system of responsibility and consequences. To put it bluntly, the world behaves as if the president’s words mean things. This is perhaps most acute in the area of law, which — despite the reputation of lawyers for fast talking and forked tongues — is a highly systematized structure of meaning used to evaluate the merit and relevance of facts and arguments, and which imposes consequences based on a certain ascertainment of truth.
In the Lawfare essay, I speculated that Trump’s flouting of the truth would render him characterologically incapable of honoring his presidential oath, which requires the president to “faithfully execute” his office and to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” — both duties that demand a basic level of respect for the concepts of law and of meaning. Now, of course, Trump has sworn that oath. Yet we can’t know whether he will be any more faithful to his pledge than he was to the reality of the weather on Inauguration Day.
Both truth and law provide constraints on human action, binding us to the facts of the world and to certain agreed-upon norms of behavior. In that way, they limit our freedom, yet they also create the shared space within which we interact with one another.Can a president who disregards the truth uphold his oath of office?, By Quinta Jurecic, Washington Post, January 27, 2017
If Christianity is the story we are in, then Satan is playing a role in the unfolding drama of America, right?
And we were rather startled by this passage we found, in which Jesus takes verbal actions condemning both the “doing” and the “talking” actions of the villain…
They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
Wow. Jesus was sure a man of strong verbal actions.
And Jesus says when your ultimate antagonist, Satan, speak lies, he is speaking out of his own character. Doesn’t this give you serious pause about supporting a man who unleashes a powerful flashflood verbal actions by constantly spewing lies?
If this doesn’t give you pause, have you read your T. Desmond Alexander guy yet? We highly recommend you do, for he shows great insight into your Christian meta-story…
Satan’s greatest deception is to persuade us that we do not need to acknowledge the sovereignty of God. As with Adam and Eve, he continues to deceive human beings regarding God’s authority. Not surprisingly, he is particularly keen to have people ignore or reject the biblical meta-story. By doing so Satan bolsters his own position as ruler of the world.T. Desmond Alexander, From Eden to the New Jerusalem
These are perilous times in your fragile country, times which require great moral leadership – if Christianity is the story we are in. But Trump doesn’t seem to comprehend this vital role…
Showing his dismissal of the idea of the moral leadership underlying “American exceptionalism,” Trump said in 2015, “I don’t like the term.” Exceptionality, for him, is measured by the same things as greatness: wealth and power. Germany, he argued, was actually more exceptional because it was getting the better of us in trade deals. “I’d like to make us exceptional,” he went on to say, by “[taking] back everything we’ve given the world.” While we reclaimed our riches from other nations, though, he thought we should avoid the word “exceptional” so as not to “rub it in.”
The point, however, is not some special label we give ourselves or anything to do with our GDP or trade balance; it is whether we believe our country has any moral mission to live up to. Without it, everything becomes relative, and every country’s greatness becomes defined solely by its power, rather than the ends to which it puts that power.What Makes America Great?, By Daniel Krauthammer, Weekly Standard, April 28, 2017
How can a president such as Donald Trump live up to any kind of moral mission?
Are you still glad you embraced him?
And now we are wondering if you are going to experience another Trump Gap.
Here is a reminder of the concept of the gap…
It is not a gap between what a character wants and what a character expects to happen. It’s the gap between what a character does at a specific moment in life in an effort to achieve what they want. And they take an action expecting that this action will cause a helpful enabling positive reaction in their world. But a gap opens up when the world reacts more powerfully than they expected, reacts differently than they expected and the world certainly does not cooperate with them. The world in fact is antagonistic and thwarts or blocks their desire for what they want. So it’s a gap between action and result, between what a character expects to happen when they take an action and what really does when they do. That is the gap that we’re talking about.Robert McKee’s Storylogue Q&A: Opening Up The Gap Between Expectation and Result
“The story lies in the gap between expectation and reality.”
Robert McKee @McKeeStory, May 18 2016
So, if you put your trust in the Donald instead of your God, as the drama in America unfolds, you really may experience a Trump Gap.
Is that what you want?