The Pharisees in the White House Aren’t Christians

The Pharisees in the White House Aren’t Christians September 1, 2018

After Donald Trump ended his prepared remarks to a roomful of modern Pharisees, he spoke off the cuff and threatened the fear mongers with a fearful future if Democrats take control of Congress in November:

“They will end everything immediately,” Mr. Trump said. “When you look at antifa,” he added, a term that describes militant leftist groups, “and you look at some of these groups, these are violent people.”

Trump demonstrated he sees the conservative Evangelical leaders as little more than another special interest group. He encouraged the ministers to support Republicans in the election and stressed how much his administration has done for them.

The Pharisees worshiping the golden calf in the White House dining room routinely fabricate lies claiming Trump has some shred of Christian faith.

He doesn’t care about “Christian” issues, because he’s not a Christian. During the campaign, when the Pharisees were anointing him, he repeatedly revealed his ignorance of the basic principles of Christianity by rejecting his personal need for forgiveness, not understanding the meaning and purpose of communion and citing as his favorite Biblical verse, “an eye for an eye.” No one has ever publicly asked him a single complex, serious question about his faith. He obviously never exhibits any understanding of Christianity or Jesus— his only concerns are satisfying his childish impulses and making more money.

Like most successful con men, Trump is able to make people project on him what they want to see.

Remarks at the dinner repeatedly referenced religious freedom.

When conservative Evangelicals talk about religious freedom, they mean freedom for their religion, not others. Beyond Jewish Trump family members, there were no other religions represented at the meal paid for by tax payers.

Religious freedom means they can economically exploit their faithful followers, free of normal government oversight intended to protect the public.

To conservative Evangelicals, religious freedom means the right to discriminate and to be as bigoted as Trump.

The room was filled with ministers opposed to equal rights for gay people and opposed to the private reproductive rights of women, but demanding special accommodations for their own religious views.

Jesus makes it absolutely clear what people are supposed to do:

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, ‘You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’” — Mark 12:30-34

Love the Lord. Love others.

What does loving the Lord look like?

“Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” — Isaiah 1:16-19

“He has told you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” — Micah 6:8

I’ll make it plain. What these Pharisees say and do is not the example of Jesus.

Their policies and actions are not of God. We don’t love people when we deny them basic human rights.

God doesn’t want your money. God wants you to take care of people.

God doesn’t want sacrifices. God wants justice for the poor and the oppressed.

If any of these Pharisees happens to stumble upon the actual message of Christ, it’s by chance, not design. Nothing in their lifestyles, examples, theology or personal property values has anything to do with Jesus of Nazareth.

I hesitate to deny anyone’s profession of faith, but just calling themselves Christian doesn’t make them Christian.

Claiming to be a chef, doesn’t make you a cook, the proof is in the pudding.

You can’t turn on the radio, and claim to be a musician.

You can’t sit in the back of a limousine and claim to be a race car driver.

Quoting scripture doesn’t make you a Christian.

You can claim Jesus with your words, but it is worthless if you don’t even attempt to follow Jesus with your life and actions.

Let me make it plain.

Do not be like these people.

Their Christianity is not Christianity.

The conservative Evangelical Pharisees at the White House, including the Vice President, do not represent the message of Jesus. Pharisees know the Bible well enough to find individual scriptures to support arguments, but they neither preach, teach, live nor demonstrate the teaching of Jesus.

Pharisees have long ago sold their souls for riches and access to the White House. Jesus says they have their reward.

Pharisees claiming to be Christians aren’t Christian.

These Pharisees, like the Pharisees Jesus faced, distort and destroy the message of Jesus.

The Way of Jesus is a better way to live and a better way to find God.

Love the Lord. Love others.

Help strangers. Seek justice. Correct oppression. Don’t discriminate. Do good. Help orphans and widows.

Be humble. Pray privately. Forgive others. Turn the other cheek. Give to others. Love God as God loves you.

Help the poor. Help others. Love everyone.

God is on the side of the oppressed, the victimized, the helpless.

This is the message of God and the Good News of Jesus.

About Jim Meisner Jr.
Jim Meisner Jr. earned a Masters of Divinity degree from Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University, in May 2009. He served as a pastor from 2007 to April 2010. You can read more about the author here.
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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Meredith Indermaur

    Because???

  • John Steel

    Because that’s called being a talmudic jew

  • Lloyd L Williams

    Correct John Steel

  • azimuth5

    Therefore…what? Progressives are Talmudic Jews? The Trump Administration are not pharisees? Here’s a reminder: 1. Love the Lord God with all your heart, might and strength. 2. Love your neighbor as yourself. Are the Christians in the White House practicing these 2 greatest commandments? Do they love and take care of the poor, elderly, sick, marginalized (immigrants, gay/cis, etc.) or do they lecture us on what we should do to be holy “in their view?”

  • azimuth5

    Correct? Why? You can only be Conservative to be a Christian? Does that mean I have to abuse my wife and kids, malign gay people, and tell the poor to get a job in order to be Christian?

  • Rudy Schellekens

    It does not matter WHO is in the White House. As a Christian, I have to submit to those who are in authority – whether I like them or not, whether he acts the way I like or not.
    As a Christian,m I am responsible for the way I live MY life, not for the president and the way he chooses to live HIS life.
    As a Christian, I am responsible for the way I deal with those around me, not how the president deals with those around him.
    As a Christian, living in the U.S. I have the right to vote. and THAT I am responsible for. If you voted from this current president, YOU are responsible for putting this president in power. You may be disappointed now, but this can be fixed in the next presidential election.
    All of Evangelicalism (or that part which voted for this president) is responsible for where we are. You claim to be a Christian and you voted for the current president, knowing what was known about him before the election? Time to rethink THAT vote is too late. It may help you think a bit more at your next vote.
    As a Christian, I could not in any way shape or form vote for him. Nor, for that matter, ms. Clinton. So I selected a different name. I am fully aware that means my vote was “lost.” But I can live with myself…

  • Kate Johnson

    Really? How is that?

  • Kate Johnson

    If you can tell a tree by it’s fruit, then a huge swath of what claims to be American Christianity is nothing but a sorry counterfeit. It looks far more like a tribalistic, self congratulatory, mammon worshiping, social club, primarily concerned with it’s own comfort and earthly security, than anything that reflects the teachings of Christ. The American evangelical community, in claiming one of the most amoral people in this country is a “Christian”, has lost all credibility with everyone not in their insular little group. They’ve revealed that either they are entirely lacking in discernment, or they are able to easily jettison their supposed “principles” and sell them out for political expedience and personal gain.

  • John Steel

    You’re literally insane. You have no idea what you are talking about.

  • You are precisely correct, Mr Steel. I have never before come across anyone aware that a Pharisee is a Talmudic Jew. We Jews have been stuck with these Pharisees for 2000 years, and where has it got us?

  • Actually yes, you cannot be leftist and Godly at the same time.

  • azimuth5

    Yes, you can be Leftist and Godly at the same time Paul & John. Jesus, just look at what He did. The 2 greatest commandments- what do those commandments say to you?. Here, I’ll explain it further. Not attacking people because they happen to be gay or trans. Not cutting programs for the poor, and instead, feeding them and helping them get jobs. Not cutting health programs for the sick; instead finding a way to get them treated. These are considered “lefty” attitudes, are they not, gentlemen? Well, I hate to inform you, but, the 2nd half of the Bible is not about “the rules” but about the unconditional love of God and Jesus Christ, and, once allowing that Christian unconditional love in our hearts, extending that love to our fellow humans, no matter who they are or what they do. That’s not insanity John Steel- that is Christianity in a nutshell. As a Christian would you deny food to a hungry person? Would you walk by a gay person beaten by bullies in the street and not help him to a hospital. Gentlemen, you both have the names of Jesus’ Apostles. You should maybe start acting like it.

  • azimuth5

    Name calling, John, serves no purpose. I am not insane. You think I am wrong? State your argument and discuss like an adult.

  • azimuth5

    Yes, and now you have these Pharisees, the Trump Administration, stuck in Washington, making the “Christian” rules for the rest of us while ignoring Jesus Christ’s 2 Greatest Commandments. Please explain to me Paul how Trump is NOT a Pharisee?

  • At the outset, Moses had to find a way to hammer the Ten Commandments (aka the Covenant) into Israel, and his main method was by means of a set of powerful but simple explanations known as the “Oral Law.”

    It was strictly forbidden to write down the Oral Law, because every third-rate rabbi would think that his own ideas were as good as anything devised by Moses and the Elders, and the Oral Law would become a huge sea of garbage..

    Nevertheless some corrupt rabbis, in collusion with cynical Roman officials, disobeyed the ancient rule, and wrote down the Oral Law, and, of course, created the ocean of garbage, known as the “Talmud,” and managed to get the Jewish people to accept it as genuine scripture.

    The Talmud created a vast Talmud education empire, yielding vast fortunes for the rabbis and their Roman masters, all the way to the Senate in Rome.

    The Talmud abomination was the boring rubbish that caused the nation to discard religion altogether, and break the Covenant.

    These corrupt rabbis were the Pharisees we are discussing, and their descendants still have the Jews by the throat to this day. The struggle to rescue the Covenant was led by one of the noblest and bravest gentlemen ever seen in Israel. His name was Jesus.

    However, any shortcomings Mr. Trump may have, he does not turn scripture into garbage , and is therefore not a Pharisee.

  • azimuth5

    Refreshing Paul. And thank you for the historical perspective. You are well versed- no sarcasm intended. And at least you weren’t reduced to referring to me as a libtard. I do have one question- do you think Pres. Trump has managed to maintain the basic ideas invested in the 2 greatest commandments? If he is not a Pharisee, do you see his Christianity as Christ-like, which evokes unconditional love for human suffering?

  • azimuth5

    I believe you can be leftist and Godly, as applying the 2 greatest commandments fulfills both of those aspects.

  • Mr. James Parson

    I am confused, are they a “huge swath” or an “insular little group”?

    I wonder who is a Christian. Are Mormons, Catholics, and JW included?

  • GDunn

    What makes you think a single vote has any significance, or that democracy is God’s Constitution? You submit to GOD first as the Shema commands. Sovereign placed authorities AFTER.

  • Rudy Schellekens

    I KNOW a single vote has importance because of what we have seen over the past few years in close elections on at least local levels, where candidates lost by a single vote (or won for that matter).
    I also know that as a Christian (Not a Jew, for whom the Shema was written, btw), I submit to God – and by submitting to authority, I show my submission to God

  • GDunn

    As a Christian YOUR first command is Shema, funnyface. What is being “true Israel,” according to Paul sir? The Gentile Evangelist? Think he was just be’en gentle?

    Gut golly I must be talken to Colonel KLINK.

  • GDunn

    Who is Christian? Text itself determines, and the historical positions theologically of the 1st gen authors determine.

    You thinky think Trinity or OSAS or the Free Pass to Heaven are sola scriptura, then have attit. The Creeds must desist, for Reformation to resist.

  • GDunn

    This last statement should be for Jesus, orthodoxically. With just a trace of irony.

    “I submit to Jesus, and by submitting to Jesus, I show my SHEMA submission to YHWH.” For he was and is the Beloved One sitting
    now at the Right Hand of God.

    By the way, Mk 12 has the scribe asking, “Which is the first commandment of all?” This in light of God’s Commands, yes…for the Jew
    but also for any God-fearer gracing the outer courts sir.

  • GDunn

    Um, he is an Aryan?

  • azimuth5

    GDunn,you are correct, sir, he is Aryan. But do remember the other meaning of Pharisee, which has nothing to do with the race of the complicit rabbis, but more to do with their hypocrisy, the saying of “I believe in this”, but doing something else. The Pharisees said they followed God’s law, but actually practiced just the opposite. Jesus, who was not an Aryan, but a Jew, brought the spiritual intent of the law, which was “love your neighbor as yourself”, Therefore, President Trump is not an actual Pharisee by “race”or “identity”; rather, he is a Pharisee by action, claiming to be acting on Jesus behalf, while breaking Jesus’ greatest commandments.

  • Rudy Schellekens

    And His purpose for being on earth was to reconcile US with God, not to establish a relationship with Jesus – but a relationship with God through Christ.
    My “First command” is to love the Lord, my God

  • GDunn

    Pharisees followed small law to the maximus, creating a void in heartfelt maximum love toward God. Shema is always first, even in Judaism and starting there and especially there. Pharisees lost
    track of this. Small law was for them the epitome of law abiding. It would take the outpouring of Espiritu from God by faith in the Christ in the upper room to solve the Pharisee equation, how to do law to the extent God requires.

    The “hypocrisy” was actually losing sight of the main thing. Shema: YHWH our Elohim, YHWH one, you shall love YHWH with all of your heart soul and might. Pharisees INTERPRETED this to mean to
    do the smallest laws since God wants this from each and every one of His own.

    But the smallest work of FAITH shows how dastardly these deeds are. Faith works have a supernatural dimension, and to convert a man’s soul to God and His Beloved Son is one of the greatest faith works.

    How dastardly is washing before EVERY meal, and your right (or left) hand FIRST? Every single thing
    you do symbolic of a bigger thing? The wink of your eye becoming an involuntary BLINK of your eye MEANING something? This in modern view is obsessive compulsion disorder and rightly so.

    Yes…hypocrisy was simpler too. They were not sinless and the inside of the cup was dirty as well. This is true for all of us, HOWEVER…Jesus said our righteousness must EXCEED that of the Pharisees, so how can that mean Law is done away with, as MANY theologians tell of? Being inherently a CURSE unto us?

  • GDunn

    Looks like my post was deleted. I am still finding out what gets moderated here.

    You thinky think your single vote is important then gut for you.

    Your opinion is important too, since opinions are like belly buttons, everyone gots one.

  • David Cohen

    And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
    – Acts 3:44-45 (KJV)

    So, according to you, the first Christians described in the Bible were not really Christians.

  • Exactly, they were Jews trying to hold on to the Covenant that was being betrayed by the rabbis and their Talmud. Jesus was teaching the ancient Oral Law designed by Moses and the Elders to try to prevent the Talmud from destroying the Covenant,(the Ten Commandments) and his delivery of the Oral Law was so powerful that the Romans saw the opportunity of building a gigantic new religion on the same values, with some changes from what he was teaching.
    Jesus foresaw that the new religion would become enormously successful, but the changes were weaknesses that would eventually destroy it, as we are now witnessing.