That Awkward Moment When Your Christian President Contradicts Jesus

One of the biggest challenges for American Christians who embrace the idea that they live in a “Christian Nation” is how to reconcile the very Un-Christ-like things their Government says and does.

Image: Elim Feliciano

Never mind that there is zero trace of anything Jesus ever taught in any of the foundational documents, including the Constitution.

Never mind that Jesus already is a King who reigns over His own sovereign nation whose citizens are from every tongue and tribe and nation on Earth.

Never mind that the Founding Fathers – even if every one of them had actually been followers of Jesus – went out of their way to establish a Government that was most assuredly anything but “Christian” but instead made provision for the free practice and reverent observance of every religion, or none at all.

All of that aside, those Christians who insist on asserting ever-increasing influence upon the United States Government have a very serious problem: Politicians are lousy examples of Jesus.

For example: The man who is currently the President of the United States claims to be a Christian. Just like the President before him, and the one before him, and the other 40 before him.

Here’s the issue: Presidents of Empires are not submitted to Christ.

For that matter, Empires are not submitted to Christ either.

So, when the professed “Christian” leader stands up in front of millions of Americans and boldly contradicts Jesus, it should really concern these Christians.

For example, if an American President should stand up and say:

“Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values. In confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense.”

This should cause every true follower of Jesus to gasp in horror and disbelief; “Did the President of the United States just contradict Jesus, Paul and the entire New Testament?”

Yes. Yes, he did.

But how did most American Christian leaders react to this? Largely by applauding the President, agreeing with him, and celebrating just how “Pro-Christian” he is.

Wait, what? Oh, yes. They did.

This is the problem. Most American Christians weren’t even aware that the President had contradicted their Lord and Savior at all.

Why? Because most of them don’t take Him very seriously.

Jesus, the guy they claim to follow and worship, actually said that showing weakness is not the “surest path to conflict” but the surest path to peace.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?” (Matt. 5:38-47)

Paul, the Apostle who wrote most of their New Testament scriptures, also loudly affirms the power of weakness, saying:

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12: 9-10)

The whole “unmatched power” comment by the sitting President is also very curious in and of itself, since America is already the most powerful military force on the planet, spending more on military defense than the other 7 largest nations combined.

If it were actually true that “unmatched power is the surest means of our defense”, as he said in his televised speech, then isn’t this nation already the most well-defended nation on the planet?

How much more “unmatched” do we need to be?

It also makes the rest of his speech even more insane as he goes on to say:

“For this reason, I am asking the Congress to fully fund our great military.”

If the United States military spending is already billions more than what other nations spend on defense, then in what way is the US military not “fully funded”?

Keep in mind that when any US President uses the phrase “our great military” in reference to increased government spending on the military, that is not a reference to the men and women in uniform. Almost none of that “military spending” makes its way to the pockets or bank accounts of actual soldiers.

No, what they mean is simply this: Billions more dollars in Government contracts for weapons manufacturers like Lockheed Martin, Northrup-Grumman, Boeing, Raytheon, etc.

Those corporations are not hurting for cash.

They already received billions of dollars to build weapons, many of them the Pentagon specifically admits they do not want, or need. But they build them anyway because Congress funds their contracts.

But I digress.

The most offensive statement spoken by the President of the United States, to me at least, was this one:

As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression. Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, we are not there yet.”

I guess this statement offends me the most because Jesus is the Prince of Peace. If anyone claims to follow Jesus, then they are, by default, saying that they also follow the Prince of Peace.

Now, could anyone have any better ideas about how to achieve peace than the actual “Prince of Peace”?

The truth is: Jesus has already shown us the path to peace, we just refuse to believe Him or walk in it.

America already has enough nuclear weapons to pulverize the planet twenty times over. Has this strong and powerful nuclear arsenal deterred any acts of aggression?

None at all.

America is still engaged in warfare all over the world, as it has been for 222 years out of the last 239 years of its existence.

This “magical moment” is spoken of facetiously, not hopefully. There is not even an attempt to pretend to even want such a day to come.

When one says, “we are not there yet”, I have to ask, “Why not?”

The promised Messiah has come. He, as the Old Testament prophet Isaiah promised us, was the One who would “teach us His ways so that we might walk in His paths”.

And where does His path lead us? Well, according to that same prophet, if we follow this Messiah then He will teach us to “beat our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks” so that “nations will not take up arms against other nations, nor will they study war anymore.” (See Isaiah 2:3-4)

To me, our “magical moment” took place almost 2,000 years ago.

When this Messiah was born a legion of angels appeared in the heavens shouting “Peace on earth! Goodwill to all mankind!”

When this Prince of Peace arrived, he affirmed the path of peace and the power of weakness.

He told us “My Kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my disciples would fight.”

But it’s not, and so we don’t.

Jesus – the One this President and every other US President has claimed to follow – told us this:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Just in case you’ve not been paying attention, this is how the “world gives us” peace:

“In confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense….As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression.”

But this is NOT the way that Jesus brings us peace. His peace is based on loving our enemies, turning the other cheek, and blessing those who curse us. His peace involves admitting that we have been trying this way – building stronger weapons and bigger armies – for millennia now. None of this has ever led us to peace. It has only led us to more violence.

Peace is not based on stockpiling nuclear weapons capable of vaporizing the entire planet several times over…and then claiming that we just need a few hundred more to make sure.

At what point do we admit the insanity of this way of thinking?

Remember: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing, over and over, expecting different results.

A very wise man once told us: “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.” But no one takes that guy very seriously anymore. At least, no one who has an Empire to lead.

Perhaps this is why Leo Tolstoy was prompted to write:

“All churches that unite with state power are not only un-christian, but are always the most vicious enemies of Christianity.”

Of course, all of this could very easily be remedied if Christians in America would untangle themselves from the Empire and pledge allegiance to the Lamb of God.

Then there would be no confusion about who they follow and what they believe. They could get on with their mission to live out the Gospel and demonstrate the transformational power of Christ to make us new creatures who overcome evil with good.

At the very least, if we could untangle our faith from politics, there would be no opportunity for the leader of an Empire to call himself a “Christian” while contradicting everything that Jesus stood for.

To be clear: I am NOT saying that Empires should be run according to the teachings of Jesus. I’m saying that Christians should not be running Empires.

Let those who follow Jesus get busy following His commands to love God and love others until the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdom of our God.

**

Keith Giles is the author of the Amazon Best-Seller “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb” and he also co-hosts the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast. He lives in Orange, CA with his wife and two sons.

 

 

 

"The end of the world is described in Mark 14.Mark 14,vs 30/31 states that Jesus ..."

Jesus Never Predicted The End Of ..."
""I don't think we have a gun problem per se . . ."We do have ..."

Cold, Dead Hands
""I think you seem to be saying that Jesus thought that the daily sacrifices in ..."

Jesus Never Predicted The End Of ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • A J MacDonald Jr

    “I have, therefore, chosen this time and place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth too rarely perceived. And that is the most important topic on earth: peace. What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children — not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.

    “I speak of peace because of the new face of war. Total war makes no sense in an age where great powers can maintain large and relatively invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without resort to those forces. It makes no sense in an age where a single nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by all the allied air forces in the Second World War. It makes no sense in an age when the deadly poisons produced by a nuclear exchange would be carried by wind and water and soil and seed to the far corners of the globe and to generations yet unborn.

    “Today the expenditure of billions of dollars every year on weapons acquired for the purpose of making sure we never need them is essential to the keeping of peace. But surely the acquisition of such idle stockpiles — which can only destroy and never create — is not the only, much less the most efficient, means of assuring peace. I speak of peace, therefore, as the necessary, rational end of rational men. I realize the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war, and frequently the words of the pursuers fall on deaf ears. But we have no more urgent task…” (US President John F. Kennedy, American University Commencement Address (Delivered 10 June 1963)

  • The definition of insanity…..

  • Judgeforyourself37

    We are not now, and never have been a “Christian Nation.” Our forefathers were deists, not Christian. That being said, we are a diverse nation, when it comes to religion, ethnicity, country or origin and skin color.
    In addition, it matters not your religion or lack thereof. We have, and I hope that will continue to have a strong separation between church and state. We are starting to forget this fact when the far right wing starts pushing an agenda of “religious liberty.” You may have all the religious liberty in your own life. You can believe and follow whatever tenets there are in YOUR OWN religion, but do so in your own home, but do not, I stress, DO NOT force others to believe as you do.

  • Phil Tanny

    Let’s keep in mind that all Christians did not vote for our current President. As example, half of American Catholics voted for Mrs Clinton. Lots of Christians, millions of them, find the current regime just as distasteful as you do.

  • My article would be exactly the same if Mrs. Clinton were the President. This article is not critical of Republican politics. It is critical of Empires.

  • Chuck Johnson

    His peace involves admitting that we have been trying this way – building stronger weapons and bigger armies – for millennia now. None of this has ever led us to peace. It has only led us to more violence.-Keith

    That’s very dramatic, but incorrect.
    Human societies continue to become more peaceful.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ramBFRt1Uzk&t=75s

  • sugarpuddin

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

  • sugarpuddin

    Where?

  • Chuck Johnson

    Throughout the world.
    Human societies are getting more peaceful as time goes by.

  • kaydenpat

    Trump is on film encouraging rally attendees to physically assault protesters. Nothing he says as President should be remotely shocking to anyone. And Trump worships Trump. He’s his own god.

  • MadGastronomer

    Citation needed. Where is your evidence that a) all human societies are getting more peaceful, or at least human societies on average are, and b) that this has anything to do with the development of stronger weapons?

  • Chuck Johnson

    I go with the archaeological and historical evidence that is explained by Pinker.

    It has to do with the development of military weapons because such weapons are now powerful enough to make nations decide to not use them.

    Newer communication technologies also make war less exciting and desirable. The “enemies” of the USA continue to evolve into real people thanks to getting to know those people.

    Propaganda programs are less successful in converting “the enemy” into faceless, mindless monsters thanks to new methods of communication.

    https://warprayer.org/

  • mcbekki

    That pretty much sums it up. Imagine…someone who actually follows the word of God. What a concept! Amen Keith. Last time I read the Bible I thought I read that we were in the world but not ‘of’ the world….and that we as Christ followers belong to the Kingdom of God…not man. Thus, King of KIngs and Lord of Lords. Yes, I get what you are stating, makes perfect sense to me. It took me awhile, but I’m learning….the more I study, pray and seek to really glorify HIM. I guess that’s what you call being sanctified ….and ‘following’ Christ…not just calling yourself a Christian. Be ye Holy as I am Holy our Lord says….Holy means….”set apart’. We need to pray for each other.

  • Danfun64

    You do realize that Christian Imperialists will say “If we aren’t in control of empires, then Satan and the forces of darkness are in charge of them. Those who aren’t with us are against us!”, don’t you?

  • Charles Winter

    If this were a Christian nation, there would be no debate about healthcare because we would all be Samaritans taking care that all received all the care that they needed. All of the poor would be housed and clothed and have enough to eat.

  • Kyllein MacKellerann “

    I am quite sure the Deist “Founding Fathers” would be surprised at the claims that this is a “Christian” nation since they weren’t Christian by the measure of the times they lived in. Many of them publicly diverged from the religious leaders of the day-and when they created the Constitution, they specifically prohibited a “National Church” in the Constitution and its Amendments. SO—what to do when the President and the Government do non-Christlike things? Nobody, including the President and the Legislature is above the law. They can be forced to adhere to our laws, whatever form of “Religion” they espouse, and can be punished if they refuse to do so. Even the words “In God We Trust” are a motto, not a directive; and the “God” in which we trust is not any particular God but rather is a declaration personal-rather than national-intent. We are a polyglot of a nation, with a polyglot of Deities. They are all as real as the people who worship them, however many those Gods might be; they are all valid.
    This is something the Religious Right sometimes forgets. As good Christians, we ought to help them remember…

  • honesttoGod

    While the point that the essay is about empires and not the GOP vs. Democrats, I don’t think it would have been exactly the same, because the “Christian” leaders praising the military swagger and the accumulation of power would not have issued that praise to Secretary Clinton, even though she would have likely said very similar things. Also, a picayune point– though the largest number of books in the New Testament are attributed to Paul, the largest piece of the New Testament was written by Luke, because Luke-Acts is longer than the combined writing of any other New Testament author. Of course, you do say something in this connection about Apostles, and I suppose that would leave Luke out.

  • Lord Fnord

    I watched Alex Gibney’s fine HBO documentary “Going Clear” last night, and it leaves me with a powerful impression: Both Donald Trump and Sarah Huckabee Sanders look very much like Scientology-trained operatives. Eerie!

  • jamesparson

    At least that means he is not an atheist. That would be really bad.

  • jamesparson

    That is not the Christianity that I know.

    The Christianity seems to insist on converting and owning others. To to quote the author of this article:

    … Jesus already is a King who reigns over His own sovereign nation whose citizens are from every tongue and tribe and nation on Earth.

    This sounds like a threat. I better get in line can become a Christian or else. Where do I donate my time and money?

  • jamesparson

    Makes no difference if you don’t pray for me. Spend time with the dog and/or cat instead.

  • jamesparson

    Enough of them did.

    And enough of them continue to support him

    And enough of them are silent in their disagreement

  • Our King takes no prisoners or captives. You’ll be loved, welcomed and blessed.

  • Tim

    Actually, that would be better. Then he couldn’t pretend he was a Christian, which is about the only thing that got him elected.

  • Tim

    No, but 81% of them (evangelicals) did.

  • TheMountainHumanist

    I’m guessing Trump admires LRH’s business model.

  • TheMountainHumanist

    Now this is only my view as a secular humanist but…

    I think when we try to inject the purported teachings of Jesus into modern democratic politics, we are shoving a square peg into the round hole.

    My best guess about who Jesus really was – an ascetic, apocalyptic wandering Jewish sage who truly believed the Kingdom of Yahweh would happen in his time. He advocated a life of ascetism..don;t own anything beyond shoes and/or a staff; depend on the kindness of strangers; preach a soon-coming “kingdom”. I don’t he think he anticipated that democratic republics would even arise — he was raised in an autocracy. I’m basically in agreement with Bart Ehrman on this point.

    Politics? He had no intention of creating a manual on government. He assumed he’d be living under a monarchy with Yahweh as king. I doubt he anticipated a bunch of European settlers would even care about his teachings in 2,000 years (I figure he really only meant his teachings to be for Jews).

    in other words, we’d no more want to ask Jesus about political structure then we would ask Buddha about software engineering.

  • newenglandsun

    Thank God for Sen. Rand Paul’s harsh words and objections to both parties on their wasteful spending tonight. I actually agree with this sentiment here. I’m not anti-military but the billions of dollars we use on military spending is wasteful, used for wars, doesn’t end up in their pockets, and doesn’t really go to building strategy. The Russians have a severely less advanced military than ours and yet they were able to boot our CIA out of Syria when we had Assad against the ropes in 2013. Why? Because they spend on strategy. We need tactical training for PREPARING defense but nobody talks about spending for strategy. Instead, it’s all about brute strength.

    It would be better for the U.S. to budget yet what it does is it keeps raising spending on so many wasteful things. Weapons, abortion, deportations of non-violent illegal aliens, etc. Then, somehow, when it runs out of money, it says, “All right, listen up everyone! We need your hard-earned money to pay for our wasteful nonsense!”

  • newenglandsun

    I think he forgot that Trump and Clinton both shared practically the same philosophies on military. In fact, Mrs. Clinton’s plans on Syria were criticised by her own party as a potentiality to bring about a war between the U.S. and Russia.

    Of the billionaire, for the billionaire, by the billionaire.

  • Kevin R. Cross

    If he was one of us, he couldn’t have gotten the extremist Christian Right Wing on side. And the vast majority of Atheists are centre-left, so we still wouldn’t have voted for him.

  • Tony Prost

    The same Rand Paul who voted for it?

  • Jeanne Ballard

    This nation was founded on judeo-Christian values not on the teachings of Jesus Christ.. No founder ever claimed that. I disagree that “Christian should not be running Empires” . I do believe that Christian MORAL men ought to be running this country. The U.S. Constitution was written for moral men of any religion The key is “moral” other wise this Constitutional Republic will never last and if it turns into a Democracy it will surely fail as have all others.If two wolvees and one sheep are voting on what to have for dinner, the sheep always loses

  • Jeanne Ballard

    You can twist anything to mean anything

  • Jeanne Ballard

    The slimey actions of the RINO and democrat/socialists are what got Trump elected. WE are tired of this swamp called D.C.

  • Jeanne Ballard

    We once were, and did start out as a Christian nation, And do not say that our founding fathers were deists and not Christian this is not correct, In fact religious services were held in the Capitol building from 1800 . for quite a number of years until after the Civil War The reason was for a lack of churches(Christian and other)

  • Jeanne Ballard

    And this is why they used the Capitol Building for Church services until after the civil war?

  • newenglandsun

    That is obvious fake news. He voted “nay” on it.
    https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/115-2018/s31

  • Cynthia Brown Christ

    Why don’t you take 5 of the top Forefathers, and independently figure out what religion they were, and what their opinion of Christianity and religion was.

    Until then I don’t think you are qualified to post your clearly self-serving opinions.