My ex-brother-in-law is a Trump supporter. Other than that, he’s a great guy. I helped “lead him to the Lord” about 40 years ago. He was zealous then and he’s zealous now, deacon at his church and all. He loves the Lord.
However, he also loves Trump. To give you a little context, he also loves Benny Hinn.
Anyway, since he’s my ex-brother-in-law, I don’t have to endure holiday gatherings listening to him say Trump is the greatest thing since Benny Hinn.
But there’s no way of drowning out the evangelical clamor for Trump in the media. They won’t shut up about him. I can’t help but wonder:
What would they do if Trump was a member of their church—right over there, sitting in the front pew? See? Right there. See the bald spot?
I know what they’d do, and I know because I was a zealous Christian for 35 years. I know what they would do—because I know what I would have done.
Long story short: They wouldn’t put up with his nonsense.
New Christians—and supposedly Trump converted to Christianity right around the time he undertook his quest for the White House—are treated in a very specific way by longtime believers. Taken under the wing.
They would explain to him that as a Christian, he is a disciple of Jesus Christ and, as such, his calling is to live like Jesus did. What Would Jesus Do? as the wristbands say.
And when Trump would start acting like a heathen—blaming others for his mistakes, exaggerating his importance and his accomplishments, not just criticizing people who criticized him but sticking in the knife and twisting it a good turn or two—Trump’s discipler would take Trump aside and lovingly explain that a disciple must follow the advice of scripture:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4
They would cut Trump a lot of slack, sure. They’d know that “the flesh is willing but the spirit is weak.” They’d tell themselves that they’re not ones to judge. But for the grace of God, I could be the most powerful man in the world. Imagine the pressures he’s under!
But if Trump kept acting like an unbeliever, at a certain point they would start getting tough. If Trump wouldn’t change, they’d jettison him. After all:
I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. 1 Cor. 5:11
Specifically, they’d whip out the Matthew 18 Process, so called because it comes from this verse:
If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. Matthew 18:16-17.
I’ve actually seen the Matthew 18 Process done. At a church I attended about 30 years ago, an assistant pastor was “caught in an adulterous affair.” The head pastor went to him, but he wouldn’t budge. So they took two people and confronted him. Nothing. So they called a special nighttime meeting of the entire church. At the meeting, the pastor called out this guy by name and commanded him to repent. I was actually sitting right next to him. When the pastor issued his ultimatum, the adulterer stuck his finger in his ear, wiggled it around, and then pulled it out to see what he got. He walked out unrepentant, and so we would have nothing more to do with him. If we were walking down the aisle at the grocery and saw him coming our way, we’d turn around and walk away—or turn our backs and pretend we were busying ourselves choosing a breakfast cereal. Hmmm, can’t do Count Chocula. He looks too much like Satan.
That’s it! That’s what evangelicals should do. Shun Trump. Hard medicine, yes, but in the best interests of his soul.
Not likely. To them, he’s not just the president. He’s God’s anointed.
Jesus must be turning over in his grave.
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