In 2016, just weeks before the November election, I wrote a piece responding to the oft-repeated claim that Donald Trump was God’s man, and I concluded that perhaps he was — not for saving America as many evangelicals claimed, but for shaking the church from its lukewarm, cheap grace slumber.
God began revealing his plan to shake the church back in June of 2016 when the group I refer to as the Fellowship of the Pharisees held a closed-door meeting with Trump to officially put their politics ahead of their faith by exchanging G-O-D for the G-O-P.
In this meeting, Donald Trump, fully convinced of his own piety, instructed the Fellowship of the Pharisees to ignore Scripture’s command to pray for those in authority and instead, pray that he’ll get more votes than Hillary.
In October 2016, a video was released to the public that showed Donald Trump bragging about grabbing women by their genitals because “when you’re a star, they let you do it.” Right on cue, the Fellowship of the Pharisees jumped to his defense.
Michele Bachmann, the former Congresswoman from Minnesota and religion advisor to the Trump campaign at the time — she’s on the record proclaiming that Donald Trump was “raised up by God” to be president — blamed the video revelations of Trump’s sexual abuse on the media.
Vice President Mike Pence said he was personally “offended” over Trump’s comments and that he wouldn’t defend or condone them. However, he didn’t condemn God’s man either.
Christians within the campaign weren’t the only defenders of Trump’s sexual assault against women. So-called evangelicals also joined in.
Tony Perkins, leader of the Family Research Council, defended Trump. Perkins dismissed the revelations of Trump’s sexual assaults and said his support for Trump wasn’t based on “shared values.”
Ralph Reed, who once ran the now-defunct Christian Coalition and condemned Bill Clinton in 1998 after the Monica Lewinsky affair because “character matters,” dismissed the video revelations as a non-issue compared to real issues like . . . making money.
Many others in the Fellowship of the Pharisees excused Trump’s immoral behavior in 2016, and they have continued doing so throughout his presidency, most recently during the “Porngate” scandal where Trump paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep her quiet about an affair between the two.
Fealty to Trump has replaced faith in God with these charlatans and false prophets, and it looks like the shaking of the church has begun as a result, as we witnessed from recent events involving Jerry Falwell, Jr.
Falwell was president of one of the world’s largest Christian universities before resigning Monday evening after reports of a several sexual trysts involving him, his wife, and a so-called “business partner” went public.
During the 2016 election, Falwell often excused Trump’s immoral behavior and told Christians to vote for him because he will be our Commander-in-Chief, not our pastor-in-chief. Ironically, he went on to use a similar defense for himself and his wife’s sexual indiscretions in an ABC News interview following his resignation.
“I was never called to be a pastor. My calling was to use my legal and business expertise to make Liberty University the evangelical version of Note Dame.
“Some of us are called to be preachers, that wasn’t mine. I was called to make Liberty University the greatest Christian university in the world, and I couldn’t have done that as a preacher.”
You know, I took a look at Liberty University’s mission statement and couldn’t find “make Liberty University the evangelical version of Notre Dame” anywhere. I also found nothing that gives the university president an exemption to the Liberty University Honor Code concerning sexual relations.
During the rise of Nazi Germany, Dietrich Bonhoeffer recognized that the church in his day had become ineffective by their refusal to call evil by name along with an over-reliance on what he referred to as cheap grace, which is defined as forgiveness without repentance.
I have written before about the frightening parallels between the church of today and the church of Nazi Germany.
Jerry Falwell, Jr. and the rest of the Fellowship of the Pharisees are guided by politics and personal ambition, not by the faith they claim to possess. When people like that defend immorality and rise to a level of power and influence that damages the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a great shaking of the church is all but certain.
Since Trump is God’s man, you’d better get ready for some more shaking.
“Everything that can be shaken will be shaken from within
Better have your house in order when the shaking begins”
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.