Sunday Faith Blog

This article is written by someone named Greg Snyder*

“A recent New York Times article stated that four-fifths of evangelical Christians intend to vote for Donald Trump. At the recent Republican convention, Trump thanked evangelicals for their support, adding, “I probably don’t deserve it.” This minor aside was perhaps a half-conscious reference to certain lifestyle choices: the multiple marriages, the gold-plated logos, the opulent lifestyle. Trump is right. He does not deserve the support of Christians, not simply for reasons of lifestyle, but because his values are fundamentally opposed to Christian commitments – commitments that Jesus urged in word and deed, principles for which he laid down his life. These values constitute the Kingdom of God, the heart of Jesus’ message.

There is no mystery about the heart of Jesus’ teaching. Jesus welcomed the downtrodden and embraced social outcasts. Those that society rejected, he accepted. Those that society feared – Samaritans, lepers, and other outsiders – he welcomed. Those that society shunned, he touched and healed. The bible that Jesus read and believed and preached, the Hebrew Bible, bears eloquent witness to the same principles. The God of Israel condemns those who “trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth, and push the afflicted out of the way.” “I will save the lame and gather the outcast.” Does Donald Trump represent these values, even remotely?

When an argument arose among the disciples about who among them was the greatest, Jesus directed them to take their eyes off themselves and focus on the powerless: “whoever welcomes this little child welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me, welcomes him who sent me.” When Jesus went to a feast and saw guests competing for places of honor, he said, “those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Can these teachings be reconciled with the persona and character projected by Trump?

Many Christian voters object strenuously to abortion, and support Trump in the hope that he will appoint Supreme Court justices sympathetic to their cause. The weight of this real and persisting moral issue cannot be denied. But should this one issue, important though it may be, cause Christians to jettison the manifest teaching of Jesus on all other subjects?

Jesus was a prophet, not a politician, and experience has shown that politicians must be complicated creatures: as public servants, they cannot pursue their own fierce moral vision while ignoring all others. A good prophet will almost certainly be a bad president. But there are better and worse politicians; some politicians are animated by visions of community and inclusion and have patience for the hard, painstaking work of governing. Other politicians galvanize followers by calling up the evil angels of grievance, fear and racial hostility. We must now decide which imperfect candidate is the better kind of politician, and which is the worse.   END OF ARTICLE

Z: “Jesus is a PROPHET?” says this ‘professor of religion’?

What do you all have to say to this thinking.  The Comments Page on the linked article is amazing to me, you’ll be happy you scrolled down at the end of this article to read them.  I was quite surprised.

I’ve love your viewpoint on Trump and Christianity…..and Jesus urging everyone to give everything away, always…….

“Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,”  Titus 3:1**

**If you have a verse much better than mine, pertaining to the article I posted above from The Observer or supporting better your point of view, please put it in comments, I’d really appreciate it.

God bless you this Sunday and always… Z

*Greg Snyder, the author of this piece at The Charlotte Observer, is a professor of religion and chair of the religion department at Davidson College.

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22 Responses to Sunday Faith Blog

  1. One thing that struck me here was that Trump was thanking evangelicals for something he didn’t deserve.
    Like evangelicals thank God for something they don’t deserve, His mercy.
    That was probably the one time he struck me as humble.
    A rich man, Joseph of Arimathea (a lawyer!) gave Jesus his tomb. Had he sold all and given it away, prior to being told to, he would not have had it to give later when needed.
    God doesn’t care what we own as long as He owns us.
    I often wonder if the rich young ruler was Saul of Tarsus.

  2. geeez2014 says:

    that stuck out to me, too, Ed….kind of surprising on Trump’s part…”humble,” not a word we see much in Trump.
    Do you have any Scripture indicating Paul was a ruler at all? I know he was well heeled, well educated, but ‘ruler’?

  3. Adrienne says:

    By all first hand accounts, Trump has done much for many. He is credited with many acts of charity and kindness which he never mentions, and asks other people not to mention, either.

    Pastor John Hagee was interviewed on Joe Pags show a few days ago. It was very powerful. I was busy painting the kitchen while it was on so I plan I listening to it again.

    http://woai.iheart.com/onair/the-joe-pags-show-10/pastor-john-hagee-talks-with-pags-14978651/

  4. geeez2014 says:

    “For the purposes of my Sunday Faith Blog and what we achieve through it, I’m FAR less interested in Trump and his faith than I am in this “religion professor’s” calling Jesus “a prophet” and telling us that if you’re not giving all you have away you’re not a Christian.

    Am hoping to get some comments on that, too. THANKS!

    Adrienne, yes, I do believe Trump’s done plenty in the way of private charity…I actually think he’s got a very big heart as some stories have come out…. thanks for that link. Good luck with the kitchen 🙂

  5. Surprise to me, It turns out that neither gospel, Matthew or Mark, calls him a ruler.
    Just a young man with many possessions.
    Chapter titles call him a ruler.

  6. Jesus, among other things, was a prophet.
    He was more than that, but it was an office He held, and which describes some of His behavior.
    I’ll give the guy a pass on that.

  7. geeez2014 says:

    Yes.. I’ve never heard of Paul as a ruler.

    I wouldn’t give this religion professor a pass on that at all, particularly considering all else he says…He’s using ‘prophet’ because he knows that if he writes “the Son of God,” eyes roll in the back of the heads of some readers……Yes, Jesus was a ‘bit’ more than a prophet 🙂

  8. geeez2014 says:

    The COmments, as I pointed out in my piece, were amazingly pro Trump; kind of stunned me.

    SO, if you don’t give everything away, you’re not following Jesus…….
    Excellent topic I hope we can get to…the crux of my post…??!!

  9. We have had this discussion in my Bible Study since some of us are affluent, and some not.
    We must all see ourselves as only stewards of God’s property.
    I won’t give His stuff to someone else that may not be who He wants me to give it to.
    I wait on His command.

  10. Mal says:

    “He probably doesn’t deserve it, given his lifestyle” brings to mind what Jesus said to the mob that wanted to stone the unfaithful woman “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” I’ve never met a perfect person. In fact, the only perfect one was crucified…nailed to the cross. Also, no one attending church is perfect. That’s why they attend weekly to “recharge their batteries.”

  11. Mal says:

    You can also add “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

  12. Baysider says:

    I was most struck by Jesus telling the rich young ruler to sell all he had and follow him. That is not a formula for entering the kingdom, which the writer kind of makes it sound like! That is Jesus knowing where that man’s roadblock was to following him – his pride and his possessions. I suspect Mr. Trump and a goodly portion of the planet have the same roadblock. I hate it when writers trot this stuff out. It’s like that Chronicles passage “if my people who are called by my name” promise to Israel that so many just grab as a promise to themselves, the church, the nation.

    Both of these examples have good principals for how we behave. We must humble ourselves before God. But we also must be clear about how Jesus taught was the way to heaven – through His actions, not ours. From that writer’s tone I’m not sure he believes that. Giving our goods to the poor does not procure salvation. Ed has it right. Once saved we understand we are stewards of God’s property and actions follow.

    I didn’t mind the prophet comment. It conjures a figure who stands for an ultimate truth in contrast with those who bend and flex with the public sentiment to curry their favor.

  13. geeez2014 says:

    Ed, that is brilliant advice…thank you. Honestly, that’s very thought provoking. We must feel moved to give, mustn’t we. I can’t imagine Jesus wanting all of US on the dole for having given everything…. times are different today………..not quite so easy to walk in sandals from one tent to the next looking for Christians who’ll help!

    Mal, I like what you said, too…yes, let them all throw stones, these kids whose parents paid fortunes for their liberal educations. And YES! on the judging line.

    Baysider, I kind of feel much of what Christ said is not particular to only that time/place he said it. I do believe that if we, as His People, call on His name, His promises abound.
    I, too, found the writer’s words very work-based….just wrong from start to finish.

    The PROPHET Comment came to my mind during church this morning…and why I DEEPLY (very deeply ) resent it and find it so wrong for non believers to read it, etc…it literally, with one usage of that word, means NOT THE SON OF GOD. And, sadly, MANY MANY schools of theology today are teaching that, believe it or not. Seriously, they are. So I’m highly sensitive to that and feel badly that these profs actually believe and teach that. Never in the article does he talk about the Son of God. It’s different to suggest He was the Son of God (or God, for that matter) and also a prophet in the ‘first news/first ideas’ that he brought to Earth …in that nature, He was a prophet. But he was NEVER EVER ONLY A PROPHET. (so there!! :0)

  14. geeez2014 says:

    SPARKY…in case you come by today; no way to comment at your place again…I’m so sorry. I did want to say that one line in it from Scripture “Some day soon the trump will sound” is being greatly misread by cons and dems alike on FB and other social media, if you get my drift! Have seen that many times and it’s not good!!

  15. As for Jesus being a prophet,
    We will have no doctrinal burning at the stake over the issue though.
    Unless you start it first 🙂

  16. geeez2014 says:

    Ed, I am sure you read my comment…
    I’ll burn a stake here but not on this issue!. To consider a Christian wouldn’t call Christ the SON OF GOD first, and THEN PROPHET, is not in my Christian experience of years of Bible teaching/leading.
    And the fact that some theology schools teach otherwise is not anything that can be argued about, either; it’s just fact.

  17. Mal says:

    Hey Z! Quit hassling Ed. As a businessman he probably enjoys making a little “prophet”.

    ;o)

  18. geeez2014 says:

    Very clever, Mal!
    How do you like my new masthead photo? My stepdaughter sent me about six of those glowing “Z”s in the skies over Lake Starnberg near Munich….isn’t it amazing?

  19. Baysider says:

    Hah! That’s funny. I missed the “Z” but saw the big drone looking thing. It’s sweet that she is looking out for shots like this.

  20. geeez2014 says:

    The other was clearer but I didn’t like the drone….(a friend of hers’)…so I sub’d a new shot! Thanks.

  21. geeez2014 says:

    And yes, it’s SO sweet she does this…..she once sent me pix of gorgeous old wooden window shutters with that old fashioned wooden “Z” formation that holds the wood together from a lovely trip to a French village!
    And, of course, she wrote the “Z” in the sand in New Caledonia, which was my old masthead…which will probably replace this one again some time soon!
    She also sends me many pix of old churches or doors and windows because she knows I gravitate to those shots. Very thoughtful….she’s more like a daughter to me now and I’m always touched by her many kindnesses.

  22. Mal says:

    You know, Z, I really hadn’t noticed it till you mentioned it. Its awesome……..really!

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