Honestly thinking (& rethinking) about God, the universe, and everything in between

The Pursuit of Trump: How Your Choice Could be a Faithless Act

Our “hero” surveyed the landscape.

The enemy had the upper hand. His own troops quaked with fear. Many had deserted their posts.

The consequences were dire. Our hero’s once great nation was at war, and they were losing ground. The people’s future depended on the very choices he alone made today. 

Should they lose this battle, his nation faced extinction by a Pagan enemy whose culture was bent on destroying his people’s very identity as a chosen nation of the one true God.

The time for waiting patiently had passed. Something needed to be done NOW!

What appeared on the outside to be a faithful act turned out ultimately to be…faithless.

Thus, with no other choice, Saul did the one thing he could do offer burnt offerings to God.

But what was meant as an attempt to gain God’s favor in the midst of desperation was soon met with the greatest of rebukes by Saul’s spiritual advisor.

“What have you done?!” exclaimed the prophet Samual. “You have done a foolish thing. You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you!”

The consequences of King Saul’s one single choice on that one single day were quite severe his kingdom would not endure (1 Sam 13).

What appeared on the outside to be a faithful act of Saul turned out ultimately to be…faithless.

Before continuing, let me be upfront by saying I am no less guilty of committing faithless acts. Scientists estimate that the average human makes about 35,000 choices per day, and I am quite certain that a large percentage of my 35,000 choices are committed out of faithlessness rather than faithfulness.

I am also quite certain I have been faithless at times when entering the voting booth or throwing my weight behind a political opinion. What I may have thought in the past were acts of faith, upon further reflection, turned out actually to be faithless.

But how does one determine what is “faithful” and what is “faithless?”

The Bible is full of stories of humankind committing both faithful and faithless acts, along with the consequences that follow. An examination of all of these stories reveals the following themes that are repeated throughout:

1. Faithless acts are committed out of feelings of powerlessness and fear.

King Saul feared losing the battle and, thus, the nation, if he did not act now. Thus, he sought to take control of the situation himself, over and against what God had told him. 

These sorts of stories stem all the way back to the “original sin,” when Adam and Eve, fearful of missing out, sought control and power by eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. You then see the same type of actions replicated throughout. 

“Faithful” Abraham, terrified of being killed by his generous travel hosts, chose to deceive them by pretending Sarah was his sister and not his wife twice (Gen 12 and 20). Furthermore, both Abraham and Sarah, not trusting that God would pull through and give them their promised descendants, took matters into their own hand by having Abraham sleep with Sarah’s servant Hagar (Gen 16). 

Joseph’s brothers, jealous of their father’s favoritism and upset at his dreams of power over them, took control of the situation by throwing Joseph into a pit and selling him into slavery (Gen 37). 

Scared they would die in the desert from lack of provision and later at the hands of the terrifying “giants” in the promised land, the Israelites constantly grumbled at Moses, at one point making themselves a golden idol (Exo 32) and at another attempting an insurrection (Num 16). 

God’s chosen servant Moses himself, feeling powerless against the people’s complaining, struck the rock twice in anger rather than speak to it as God had commanded (Num 20).

Even once settled in the promised land, the Israelites, disappointed in the corruption of those already governing them and fearing the people groups surrounding them, sought power by demanding a king to fight their battles (1 Sam 8, 12). 

Worried his act of unfaithfulness would be discovered, David took control by arranging the murder of Bathsheba’s husband (2 Sam 11).

Peter, scared he too might be arrested, denied knowing Jesus three times (Luke 22). 

And Judas, seeking the power of riches, and possibly with the goal of forcing a rebellion, betrayed his “friend” and mentor with a kiss (Mark 14).

Feeling frightened or out of control, all took matters into their own hands…through faithless acts.

2. Faithless acts work.

Regardless of Saul’s reckless actions as the Philistine army closed in, his troops still managed a win (1 Sam 14). 

Adam and Eve DID gain knowledge (Gen 3:7,22). 

Abraham avoided being killed by his hosts (Gen 12:20, Gen 20:14-17) and he did end up getting a first child through Hagar (Gen 16:4,15). 

Joseph’s brothers successfully got rid of their annoying brother for years (Gen 37-41). 

Water did come from the rock after Moses struck it in anger (Gen 20:11). 

The Israelites received their desired king who, in turn, won them many victories against their enemies (1 Sam 8-11). 

David did get Bathsheba (2 Sam 11:27). 

Peter escaped being arrested (Luke 22:62). 

And Judas got his 30 pieces of silver (Matt 26:15).

Thus, throughout scripture, we see another repeated theme that those who engaged in faithless behavior frequently still got the immediate results they were seeking.

3. Faithful acts often don’t work (at least not according to the world’s standards).

On the reverse end, we also repeatedly see that those who acted out in faith often did not get the immediate payback they would have hoped for. 

When Moses first spoke up in faith on behalf of his people, Pharaoh “rewarded” them by making their slave labor significantly harder (Exo 5). And once the Israelites were finally set free, they did indeed give up many of the food comforts they had back in Egypt and would, at times, go days without any good water (Exo 15-16).

The “Hebrews Hall of Fame” (Heb 11) lists out many famous acts of faith but acknowledges outright that when these faithful people died they “did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.” The text goes on to share the fate of many of the faithful:

There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and fogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised… (Heb 11:35-39, NIV)

In the New Testament, Stephen was rewarded for his faithful obedience by being stoned to death (Acts 7:54-60). 

The apostle Paul was beaten, flogged, imprisoned, stoned, shipwrecked, starved and put in a host of other dangers (2 Cor 11:23-27). 

And, of course, Jesus, the most righteous person who ever lived, was crucified for his faithfulness (Luke 23:41).

All this goes to demonstrate that one’s faithfulness can never be measured by worldly achievement, comfort, or avoidance of difficulties. In fact, scripture promises that the faithful in Christ will be persecuted (John 15:20, 1 Tim 3:12)

4. God can use both faithful and faithless acts.

Of course, the Bible is full of stories where faith actually did pay off. 

It was because of faith that Noah built an ark for rain he hadn’t yet seen. As a result, he saved his whole family and the future of humankind (Heb 11:7). 

Faith allowed the Israelite people to pass through the red sea and finally be set free from slavery (Heb 11:29). 

By faith the walls of Jericho fell after Joshua and crew marched around it seven times (Heb 11:30). 

And several times Jesus responded to individuals right after healing them that it was their faith that made them well (Matt 9:22, Luke 17:19, Luke 18:42).

Even in cases where the individual did not get to see the immediate reward, God ultimately used that faith to accomplish His purposes. Because of Abraham’s response in faith to God’s call, God established descendants of his “as numerous as the stars” in the new promised land (Heb 11:12).

But on the other end of the spectrum, God clearly used faithlessness as well. The most well-known illustration of this is Joseph’s response to his brothers years after they had thrown him in the pit and sold him into slavery. Joseph went on to become a leader in Egypt, enabling him to save many lives, including his brothers, from a famine. He graciously announced to them, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to keep many people alive.” (Gen 50:20, NASB).

Likewise, God used the faithless, hardened heart of Pharaoh to display His power and proclaim His name throughout the earth (Exo 9:16).

God employed the evil king Nebuchadnezzar as a servant to bring punishment upon His own rebellious people (Jer 27:6).

And, of course, had it not been for the faithlessness of those who brought about Christ’s crucifixion, there never would have been a resurrection.

5. Faithless acts always have consequences – often long-term.

As noted earlier, Saul may have won the battle against the Philistines, but his reckless single choice still cost him his kingship. And Israel may have initially wound up with a winning leader in Saul, but in the end he became abusive.

It should not be shocking to see such severe consequences for “minor” actions. After all, the entire world was thrown into disarray after one couple took a single bite from a fruit.

The Israelites’ grumbling and fear kept them wandering in the desert for 40 full years, reserving the promised land for the next generation (Num 14:21-35). 

And Moses may have gotten water from the rock, but his single act, no matter how small it seemed, kept even him from entering the land himself (Num 20:12).

Faithless actions not only harm us, but often those around us. When Abraham and Sarah deceived their hosts, those hosts suffered severely (Gen 12:17, Gen 20:3). 

Abraham and Sarah’s faithlessness that led to the birth of Ishmael through Hagar led to conflict between Ishmael and Isaac (Gen 16:4-12, Gen 21:8-13). Ishmael is considered by some to be the father of the Arab nations, and Isaac is the ancestor to the Jews. Could it be that Abraham and Sarah’s faithless choices helped set in motion much of the conflict we see in the Middle East today?

And while God may have temporarily used Joseph’s brothers’ actions to bring about good, is it possible that their selling their brother into slavery resulted in all of their descendents becoming enslaved for hundreds of years?

David’s actions may have gotten him Bathsheba, but they led to the death of his son and his nation divided (2 Sam 12:10-19). 

And Judas may have immediately received his 30 pieces of silver, but the emotional consequences were too much for him and his story turned tragic (Matt 27:3-5).

Faithless acts might bequeath temporary wins and even be used by God for His purposes, but in the end, are they ever worth it to the ones who committed them?

All of the above point to one consistent truth: pragmatism, or basing things on what “works,” is never a good measure of a person’s faithfulness.

If anything, something working might be, and often is, a sign of God’s faithfulness, not ours. In those cases, we need to make sure to give God credit rather than ourselves. 

But you even have to be careful with that because God regularly works in ways that are long-term and beyond our understanding. Thus, in cases where it appears to our eyes that God is not working, or at least not working fast enough, we easily become disheartened, believing deep down that God is the one who is not faithful. We then, in turn, rely on acts of pragmatism in order to take control of the situation and alleviate our fears.

In those situations, pragmatism, rather than being a sign of faithfulness, actually becomes a demonstration of our faithlessness.

In summary, while it’s possible for pragmatism and faithfulness to coincide, what “works” should never be our end goal and can never be the measurement of our faith.

So what then is faith’s goal and what can be its measurement? Furthermore, how do we achieve it?

Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness.

The author of Hebrews tells us that “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Heb 11:1, NIV). 

The author goes on to demonstrate through the “Hebrews Hall of Fame” that the faithful, instead of pragmatism, relied on that which was unseen. They stayed focused in everything they did on the eternal, believing that God Himself would bring about that which was good, in His own way and in His own time…even if it was something distant…even if it means long-waiting and suffering.

After listing all the actions of the faithful, the author then goes on to encourage his readers to endure hardship, recognizing it as part of God’s loving discipline (Heb 12:7), and follows with this important exhortation: 

Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness —without it no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14, CSB). 

In other words, our endgame is not pragmatism, comfort, safety, or control, but rather the pursuit of peace with others and holiness…even if that may seem impractical.

In fact, the implications of not pursuing holiness are quite consequential.

Holiness is at times hard to define, but is generally understood to be separation from the world’s ways and conformity to the character of God as seen through the example of Christ. As J.C. Ryle wrote in his classic treatise on holiness, “It is something of “the image of Christ” which can be seen and observed by others in our private life, and habits, and character, and doings!” (Ryle, Holiness: It’s Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots, loc 2525).

Jerry Bridges, in his book The Pursuit of Holiness, explains, “In all of our thoughts, all of our actions, in every part of our character, the ruling principle that motivates and guides us should be the desire to follow Christ in doing the will of the Father. This is the high road we must follow in the pursuit of holiness” (Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness, p. 51).

But how do we know we are following God “in every part of our character?” How do we measure it?

The apostle Paul gives us examples as he lists out the characteristics of those who walk according to God’s Holy Spirit within them: 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22-23, CSB).

Thus, if we are wanting to measure someone’s faithfulness versus faithlessness in their actions, and we are wanting to know if they are following the will of God, it is not simply a matter of evaluating it based on pragmatic results, but rather on their character.

Ends-justify-the-means theology is never a good approach to life.

Of course, scripture emphasizes over and over again that such holiness is not achieved by working really hard at it, but through intimate relationship with Christ. It takes place through a “renewal of your mind” (Rom 2:12).

Furthermore, as we make our daily choices, we are not to rely on our own practical “wisdom” but instead on that which comes from above. As James writes,

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice (James 3:13-16, NIV).

Then, echoing qualities similar to Paul’s fruit of the Holy Spirit:

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness (James 3:17-18, NIV).

Thus, ends-justify-the-means theology is never a good approach to life if it means compromising our holiness. Faith is reflected not in what “works” but in a belief in things that are beyond our own understanding and in the way we treat others and reflect the character of Christ along the way.

As we move into another presidential election year in the U.S., predictions of doom and gloom dominate the news cycle and social media. If you listen long enough, you’ll feel that things are out of control in our country. 

Fear of what may happen should “the other side” win in our culture wars motivate and invite us to use the power of the voting booth (as well as other means) in order to get things back under control. To many, the “enemy-at-the-gate” that threatens to destroy our country must be defeated at all costs.

What we’ve ended up with is an idolized pursuit of Trump as the answer to our prayers.

Of course, you cannot help but notice the amount of passion many on one side have for re-electing our former president Donald Trump. As Trump does not fit the typical mold for what a Christ-follower should look like, dozens of explanations have been offered as to why us Christians could and should choose him as we enter the election booth.

But one thing that I have observed, as I’ve read hundreds of articles, books and social media posts over the years, as well as listened personally to reasonings by many fellow Christians, is every single explanation offered, no matter how much they are framed in “faith” terms, always resorts to pragmatism.

Pervasive with expressions of fears about our borders, our economy, our children, and the future of the country, we are urged to “take back our nation” by voting for the one person who can do it most effectively.

Even those who previously showed reservations about Trump and either didn’t vote for him or “plugged their noses” at the polls have since become ardent supporters because of everything they see him as having accomplished during his first term. In other words, in regards to the Supreme Court, Roe v Wade, the border, the economy, and the Jerusalem Embassy, it all “worked.”

Of course, much of it is couched in spiritual language with prayers and prophecies and analogies to “Cyrus,” but at the end of the day it is all pragmatic.

Like Saul in the midst of a different kind of war, the motivations have the appearance of faith, but the choices are ultimately…faithless.

Much of this can be seen in the oft repeated expression, “We are electing a Commander-in-Chief (or a businessman), not a Pastor-in-Chief” a deistic notion of the world that sees some operations as belonging to God and others not, failing to see all of the earth we stand on as holy ground, and a hollow call to the god of pragmatism over holiness.

Strangely, I have never heard any of Trump’s detractors demanding it be an actual pastor in the position – rather they emphasize the importance of the leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world having certain character qualities (peace-loving, patient, kind, etc.) essential for strong leadership and for creating greater peace both within our nation and with other nations.

Many critics also point to the eternal consequences of throwing the church’s enthusiastic weight behind such a flawed man, as a watching world looks on to see what the “body of Christ” values as most important.

Instead, with a fear-based focus on our individual country’s most immediate needs and an eye less on what is unseen and eternal, what we’ve ended up with in the church is an obsessively idolized pursuit of Trump as the answer to our prayers a man whose divisive character represents the opposite of “peace with others” and holiness.

Many supporters, of course, argue that “God can use anyone. After all, He used Cyrus, Pharaoh, and even a talking donkey!,” never acknowledging that God could equally use anyone else from the GOP, or an independent, or even Biden or Hillary from the party of the donkey. 

In fact, if they truly had faith in the power of God they would believe that God could, at the sound of His voice, change the election rules overnight and raise up an actual talking donkey tomorrow to effectively lead this country. While that example may seem silly, what it indicates is a loss in the belief in miraculous prayer how God can do the incomprehensible in ways that are beyond our own plans by responding to the prayers of those who are earnest.

The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect (James 5:16, CSB)

But few have that level of faith, so they turn back to the god of pragmatism and justify it with what can be accomplished…through Trump.

While giving voice to “God” as the one who makes all things possible, they credit Trump as the one who achieved the good and believe he is the only possible solution (that our limited God can use) going forward, no matter how much that may temporarily compromise peace or holiness.

Many also forget that, yes, God did indeed use the actions of Joseph’s brothers to bring about the good, but their faithless actions were still labeled as “evil.” Do we get to justify our faithlessness as right because we know God can turn it to good?

Will we not be still held to the consequences of our actions?

We have already begun to see some of the consequences. Many people have pointed out that they have never in their lifetime seen the nation so divided. Families have broken apart. Churches have split. Friendships are ruined. Threats of civil war permeate the air. 

Trust in our electoral system, something experts claim is essential for an effective republic, is at an all time low. Spurred on by the distrust and the marching words of Trump, thousands of individuals, for the first time in history, violently stormed the nation’s capitol building, leading to the deaths of several individuals and the jailing of hundreds. 

Medical care has become politicized its consequences likely resulting in the deaths of thousands.

Citing the 2016 election as the inciting incident for their “deconstruction,” thousands of once active Christians have left the church, many simply choosing not to attend, many becoming “ex-vangelicals,” and others leaving the faith entirely. Thus, in pro-Trump Christians’ attempt to preserve our culture from becoming a post-Christian society, they may have actually hastened it.

Calling upon the ends-justify-the-means argument of hiring a Commander-in-Chief rather than a “Pastor-in-Chief,” conservative Christians will never be able to demand again that “character matters” when it comes to choosing future leaders.

The tail has wagged the dog.

Amidst all this, a significant number seem to have abandoned all sense of personal pursuit of peace with others and holiness. 

Spreading posts like wildfire that attack the actions and character of others with whom they disagree, such Christians seem to thrive on social media “takedowns.” Conspiracy theories run rampant, with believers (those who claim to follow the one who is the Truth) frequently and willingly spreading false information and gossip.

Criticizing the once cherished qualities of “winsomeness” and “empathy” as forms of weakness and compromise, they encourage the abandonment of fruits like kindness and gentleness because the seriousness of the hour demands it in our culture war with our enemies. 

They cite Jesus’ flipping of the tables and tough talk with the Pharisees as justified reasons for fighting as the world fights, as though the many words of Paul, James and even Jesus’ sermon on the mount regarding how we treat even our enemies just don’t cut it and are somehow far less relevant.

Within the community that was once known for caring for the poor, downtrodden and refugees, ANY discussion of loving and caring for marginalized “neighbors,” is often written off automatically as too “woke.”

While the New Testament authors encouraged endurance through persecution, even recognizing it as part of the Father’s loving discipline toward our sanctification, conservative Christians have made self-preservation and protection against any persecution a top priority, even if it means the compromise of personal character.

In short, in lieu of the pursuit of holiness, many have pursued becoming just like Trump. The tail has wagged the dog.

These are just the consequences that are already seen. But what about the ones we don’t yet see? With arguments for extreme executive orders and full presidential immunity, along with threats of pulling out of NATO, who knows for certain the consequences of a second term under Trump. And beyond that, whether he is re-elected or not, we still have not witnessed all the unknown consequences in the decades, perhaps centuries, to come.

I pick primarily on Christians who support Trump here because many of them come out of the camp I am a part of conservative evangelical. In addition, they are the ones who more vocally claim to be operating out of “faith” in their choice.

Implicit in their vocalizations is the subconscious belief that Christianity itself is dependent on the survival of the United States. This is because, to them, America’s founding and the principles it was built on are every bit as significant in the history of the faith as the cross itself. And the best practical way to preserve that right now is through a man named Trump.

Many on the left have equally set aside the fruit of the Spirit.

But there is another pursuit of Trump from the other side that is equally built on fear, control and pragmatism the pursuit to destroy him and his type.

Foregoing the eternal promises we have in God despite the immediate circumstances we face, they equally walk in gloom and doom and place all hope in Trump’s defeat. They forget that God works all things together for good even if it is something yet unseen.

Desperate to change the situation no matter the cost, many have resorted to their own forms of falsities, from biased media reports and social media posts to falsified documents and questionable political maneuvers that bring up questions of legality. The consequence is even further lack of trust in our media and politicians.

Fearing the voice of opposition, they seek to take control by shutting down the free speech of anyone with whom they disagree, dropping all notions of grace in the process. The consequence is the destruction of open dialogue as well as the reputations and livelihoods of individuals.

Many on the left, including progressive Christians, have equally set aside the fruit of the Spirit, further adding to the divisiveness in our nation. 

I have witnessed first hand those who left evangelical and fundamentalist spaces only to become every bit as mean-spirited and judgmental as the churches they claim to have left. In their passion to provide justice for those who are marginalized they don’t drop their judgmentalism they only change who they are judgmental and unkind toward.

Average Americans are labeled and villainized simply for having a different opinion. Even the most hesitant Trump supporter is treated as “deplorable,” as it becomes forgotten that they too are made in God’s image, deserving of love, and like everyone else…scared.

You’ve subjected the power and character of God to a man-made two party system.

Both sides (the left and right), therefore, have become engrossed in feelings of fear and powerlessness. The devil then, playing these fears off each other, comes along as the ultimate advertiser by pointing out both the problems and the solution (the defeat or victory of Trump). In short, we’ve all been duped…into faithlessness.

Some will exclaim, “Well, what choice do we have?! It’s either Biden or Trump. I don’t like either, but we’ve no other choice.” But then you’ll have to contend with the reality you’ve subjected the power and character of God to a man-made two party system.

We’ve got to believe that God is bigger than that. And, in our relationship with Christ, we have more freedom of character than that.

This is not an argument to not vote. I’m a firm believer that everyone who legally can has a responsibility to participate in our political system. But rather, it is a challenge to how you choose your vote. Do you choose out of fear? Are you attempting to control? Or are you choosing to keep your eyes focused on the eternal, seeking wisdom from God that goes beyond our own understanding, and pursuing peace and holiness in the process?

I don’t have the answers for exactly what that would look like should all Christians choose to follow through. Perhaps it would mean the church uniting as one for a change and rallying behind a brand new candidate, one outside the two parties and who reflects the qualities of actual peace and holiness. It would likely be a long-shot and would increase the odds of “losing.” It would not be pragmatic.

But can you imagine the witness to a nearly post-Christian world if the church stood up and said no to the usual and yes only to: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?

It would be a radical move because we would have to get past our fears and have “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” It would require faith.

In reality, this goes beyond politics. It goes into our everyday lives. The pursuit of Trump that has so impassioned us over the last several years merely serves as a reflection of how easily divorced our daily actions are from real faith. Out of the good that God intends for us, I suspect God may be allowing all of this in order to make that more clear.

Faced with 35,000 decisions a day, we most often make the most pragmatic choices that tend to alleviate our fears rather than rely on the peace of God beyond all understanding. We look to solutions where we feel most in control rather than rely on the power and wisdom of God in heaven. But faith is so much more than that.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment (2 Tim 1:7).

As I reflect back on my own life, I’m coming to realize just how many choices, both daily and political, I have made, and continue to make, out of feelings of fear and powerlessness. This article is as much for me as anybody. My actions have largely been faithless.

But knowing we have a merciful and forgiving God, I know that every day can be a new day for both me and those who are reading this. All I know to do is press on from this point forward and follow the advice of the author of Hebrews:

Therefore, strengthen your tired hands and weakened knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed instead. 

Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness (Heb 12:12-14, CSB).

4 Comments

  1. Richard Ong

    You have a distorted view of Trump and appear to view his faults — frightfully exaggerated by our corrupt media — as somehow unique in the annals of history. LBJ was found of the most disgusting, degrading behavior in front of other, JFK cheated on his wife and liked to pick up whores in his limo on 13th Street in DC, Bush ’41 went back on a sacred promise not to raise taxes, Bush ’43 pushed the Axis of Evil garbage and waged murderous war on Iraq and Afghanistan on false promises or continued the killing for 23 years long after anyone knew what crimes the Afghan people had committed. Clinton waged aggressive, murderous war on Serbia. His wife revealed in the grisly murder of Gaddafi and precipitated the descent of the richest nation in Africa into barbarism. FDR stood the Constitution on its head and stole the gold held by Americans. He provoked the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He agreed to the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe. Truman killed hundreds of thousands with the A bomb quite unnecessarily and worked to ensure the victory of the Chinese communists in 1948. He repatriated Russian POWs and DPs to the Soviet Union as part of Operation Keelhaul. Wilson promised to keep us out of war but immediately involved us in one and conspired in the lunatic Treaty of Versailles. He had a ludicrous view of the constitutional role of the president. Lincoln was a vicious tyrant who caused the death of hundreds of thousands with his evil view of “the Union” as the only sovereign entity. Obama authorized Operation Timber Sycamore to undermine Pres. Assad and fuel the continuation of the ISIS and al Qaida costing upward of 400,000 civilian casualties and the destruction of the cities. Biden has waged an inexplicable proxy war on Russia on the vicious, mendacious pretext of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and incontestable drive for world domination.

    But that Trump. He really stands out. A unique, dangerous guy.

    He wasn’t the victim of vote fraud, he incited the crowd at the Capitol, wanted to overthrow the government, and has NOT been the target of the most evil, vicious abusers of our legal system.

    The first part of your essay is thoughtful and insightful but you’ll excuse us chickens if we conclude that while God has His own timing and works in mysterious ways he hasn’t yet lifted a finger to stop the killing or arrest the slide into American totalitarianism.

    We the People first supported Rush who articulated our unease at the innumerable betrayals and lunacies of the ruling class and the betrayal of the constitutional scheme. Then came Newt and Ross, then the Tea Party, and finally Donald. Granted he’s a symptom not a driver with even a surface understanding of the Constitution but he’s the best there is, unless it’s Vivek or Alan West or MTG.

    Americans at all levels simply will not do their jobs and what decisions they do make are completely bass ackward. In what universe are the ruinous foreign wars, monetary debasement, soaring debt, malinvestment, “climate change” madness, and wide open borders the result of Patriots pursuing the interests of the nation?

    But I will try to achieve holiness to the best of my ability.

    • Steve Baldwin

      Thanks, Richard, for taking the time to read the article and for sharing your perspective. Also thank you for providing a very thorough history which demonstrates how Americans and their leaders, like all of humanity, have been committing faithless acts since the earliest of days. But I’m primarily not interested in focusing on what happened in America’s past so much as what we should do at this time — in this very hour. If Jesus and the apostles had used the faithless acts of their ancestors as an excuse not to focus on the need from repentance from the faithless acts of their present day and age, there never would have been the significant change and conversions that took place, which in turn rocked the world.

      I’m also not interested in making political arguments at this point as opposed to looking at what does faith in this day and age look like. I am very interested in your statement, “…if we conclude that while God has His own timing and works in mysterious ways he hasn’t yet lifted a finger to stop the killing or arrest the slide into American totalitarianism.” What I hear in that statement is that God can’t be trusted to do what needs to be done and, therefore, we must take control of the situation ourselves. Would that be an accurate interpretation?

      If so, God also didn’t lift a finger to stop Jesus’ crucifixion, in the same way He didn’t lift a finger to stop Joseph’s brothers from throwing him into a pit and selling him into slavery. Were Jesus and Joseph wrong to have held onto faith in those situations? Should they have taken different actions?

      What does faith look like when God doesn’t appear to be lifting a finger?

      Now if you told me that, after spending a significant amount of time in intimate prayer, God has personally directed you to advocate for and to support Trump, then I have to gladly cheer you on for responding faith. But is that what’s going on here?

      • Richard Ong

        It’s mostly accurate. It’s not that God can’t be trusted to act. It’s that he hasn’t. He never does. E.g., WWI. Bolshevik horror.

        What we are seeing is satanic and each and every thing being done by officials is exactly the wrong thing. I’m not religious though I tend to believe there is an inevitability to the return to sanity, whatever or whoever the cause. We’ve descended too far into utter madness, however, so realistically I don’t see that happening. Smoking ruin is more like it.

        But, until there’s the scintilla of evidence that the Lord is beginning to restore decency and order, all humans can do is try our best to fight for our lives and liberty.

        I don’t have any faith. Trump with his flaws is the best we got. My historical points are meant to provide perspective on your point that there’s something odd about our supporting him, that it’s some kind of intellectual or moral failing on our part, that our faith is misplaced. They’ve all been faithless swine. Lincoln chief among them.

        I don’t mean to be unpleasant but I can’t imagine anything more pointless than prayer. I think the Deists of the late 18th century were closest to the truth. There is a supreme being but He’s indifferent to the affairs of man.

        So we go to war with the army we’ve got. Our political system is utterly incapable of casting up leaders of any substance or of self-correcting. We’re on our own and need to muddle through as best we can, though we’re probably looking at civilizational collapse. We appear to be importing primitives and parasites by the millions as official policy. This election may be the last one before we step into the totalitarian abyss.

        It’s not about Trump.

        • Steve Baldwin

          I appreciate your honesty. In reality I don’t think that Trump himself is that unusual in our history. What IS unusual is the conservative and evangelical Christian response to someone like him. But even then I think he’s rather a symptom of what has actually existed as an underlying thread all along in the American church — it’s just that, out of fear, conservative and evangelical Christians (of which I am a part) are showing their hands this time.

          My challenge is not so much to someone like you who openly states an alignment with Deistic thinking — and thus is living honestly out what you proclaim to believe — but rather to those who openly proclaim alignment with the “Word of God” and actively promote having the same kind of faith as the prophets, Jesus, his apostles, and the first century church. Theirs was a call for faith without fear, trusting God for everything and living out a holy life that never compromises on character, no matter what the worldly consequences might be — even if it meant persecution. But the truth is that the majority of American churchgoers and leaders actually live more as Deists than the kind of faith that scripture calls for, and the pragmatic, and even enthusiastic, support for both our current choices (Trump, Biden) as well as past leaders (such as ones you list), ultimately reveals that.

          Neither Trump or Biden are really new problems. They are just the quiet part out loud.

Tell me what you honestly think. Keep it respectful to all (no insults, personal attacks, etc).

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