During the 2016 presidential election, a common refrain by the group of false prophets I refer to as the Fellowship of the Pharisees and evangelical supporters of Donald Trump was that he was God’s man for our times.
I openly rejected this claim due to Trump’s blatant immorality and his complete lack of character. However, I wrote in October 2016 that Donald Trump was indeed God’s man, but not for the reason his supporters believed. Donald Trump wasn’t picked by God as the last chance to save America, he was picked by God to launch a great shaking of the church.
If I were to summarize the spiritual condition of the church ever since Donald Trump arrived on the scene, I’d say it has endured a period of great shaking, much like the shaking that took place in the 1980s. That was the decade that exposed numerous scandals involving several evangelical leaders, including such names as: Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Peter Popoff, and Robert Tilton.
While it’s true that ungodly leaders and false prophets have existed throughout church history, the 1980’s have been universally recognized as a period of great shaking within the body of Christ because, as St. Peter tells us, God’s judgement always begins with God’s household. (1 Peter 4:17)
Donald Trump has exposed the Fellowship of the Pharisees as political opportunists and purveyors of a cheap grace, lukewarm gospel. Instead of seizing the opportunity to bring the revival America so desperately needs, these prosperity gospel hustlers have elected to sacrifice the true gospel of Jesus Christ for a seat at Trump’s table — a sacrifice they will offer again in 2024.
This type of “shaking” almost always begins with the people of God to give them an opportunity to clean up corruption and purify their hearts, but God also uses it to give a clear warning of coming judgement on a nation’s leaders and the people who follow them.
This isn’t about being pro-Trump or anti-Trump; it’s about how God is using him to expose the hypocrisy and compromise of the Fellowship.
An early example of this shaking took place in October 2016 when Trump was caught on tape bragging about sexually abusing women. Not only did the Fellowship of the Pharisees excuse his behavior, they defended it using — or I should say, misusing — God’s Word.
Former Congresswoman and Trump’s religion advisor at the time, Michelle Bachman, blamed the revelations of Trump’s sexual abuse on the media. And Trump’s “Christian” running mate Mike Pence said he was personally “offended” over Trump’s comments and that he didn’t defend or condone them, but he didn’t condemn Trump either.
In 2018, Trump’s immoral behavior was excused again with the “Porngate” scandal when it was revealed that Trump paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep her quiet about an affair between the two.
Following this revelation, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins was asked in an interview why evangelical leaders supported Trump considering his long history of such behavior. Perkins responded that Trump would be given a “mulligan” for his immoral behavior before adding that Christians were “tired of being kicked around by Barack Obama and his leftists” and that America finally had “somebody on the playground that is willing to punch the bully.”
You’ll find scripture references where Jesus talks about punching the bully in the TRV Bible (Trump Revised Version) used by the Fellowship.
In August 2020, the Fellowship was effectively shaken when Jerry Falwell, Jr. was forced to resign after reports of several sexual trysts involving him, his wife, and a so-called “business partner” went public. Falwell often excused Trump’s immoral behavior because, to paraphrase his words, Trump was our Commander-in-Chief, not our pastor-in-chief.
Ironically, he used Falwell a similar defense for his and his wife’s sexual indiscretions following his resignation when he stated that he was not the “spiritual leader” of Liberty University.
The failure of the Christian community to hold Trump accountable for his complete absence of character, along with choosing to defend him when it is openly displayed, has effectively and permanently removed character and integrity as criteria to be president.
During the rise of Nazi Germany, Dietrich Bonhoeffer rebuked the church for refusing to call evil by name and its overreliance on what he referred to as cheap grace — defined as forgiveness without repentance. I’ve written about frightening similarities between the church of today and the church of Nazi Germany.
The 1980s evangelists mentioned above defended their immoral behavior using God’s Word but held a biblically unsound affection for Scriptures dealing with grace and forgiveness.
Biblically illiterate and/or ignorant evangelicals have rejected criticism of Donald Trump’s immoral and indefensible behavior, choosing instead to praise him as God’s man. But presidents aren’t appointed by God, they are elected by individuals exercising their free will.
God will stop the spread of cheap grace, and he will shake the things that can be shaken to expose the men and women who are destroying the testimony of the church. And just like the evangelicals of the 1980s and the Fellowship of the Pharisees, Scripture promises that they will be removed from their self-centered, politically motivated positions of power.
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.
Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.
In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
II Peter 2:1-3 (emphasis mine)
In the story of God’s judgement on Judah, the Old Testament is filled with examples of how God gave his people every opportunity to reject evil and escape judgement. Bud despite God’s numerous warnings, Judah not only rejected the opportunity to turn from evil, but she became even more defiant and wicked by demanding her free will right to choose evil.
If God judged Judah, his beloved nation, for choosing evil for herself and embracing evil in her king, why should anyone think America will be spared for doing the same thing?
God has used Donald Trump to give America an opportunity to turn from evil by exposing the moral failures of the false prophets and the Fellowship of the Pharisees who facilitated his rise to power. Trump was used to shake the church from her slumber, her reliance on government, and her abandonment of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; not to bring blessing and prosperity.
The Fellowship of the Pharisees proved in 2016 that Donald Trump was God’s man, and if he’s given another four years in 2024, the church is in for a lot more shaking.
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.
For media inquiries or to have David speak to your group, use the Contact Us form.