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
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.