10 Things Donald Trump Might Not Realize About Becoming “Born-Again”

10 Things Donald Trump Might Not Realize About Becoming “Born-Again” June 28, 2016
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(c) Gage Skidmore, Flickr

Donald Trump is a born again Christian– or so they say. And by they, I mean Focus on the Family’s Dr. James Dobson, who recently claimed that he had first-hand knowledge that Trump recently accepted Christ and that he was now a “baby Christian” in need of our prayers.

Of course, this demonstrates the amazing timing of the Holy Spirit and the wondrous ways in which God works. I mean, to become a born-again Christian right at the very moment when one needs the vote of the born-again Christian voting bloc? God certainly is mysterious!

Since folks like James Dobson are exhorting Christians such as myself to come around to Trump and begin to help, guide, and shape this “baby Christian”, I’ll do just that– because I happen to know a thing or two about being born-again. In fact, as a kid I was so scared of going to hell that I got reborn around 800 times before my 16th birthday.

As an adult with 8 years of seminary study behind me, and many years of being a Christian, I now see the idea of being born-again with more complexity than Trump may see at the moment. So, I’d love to help him understand what he’s committing to. Here are 10 things that Donald Trump probably doesn’t know about being born-again:

10. Your life should demonstrate a “before” and “after” that contrast each other.

At the heart of it all, it’s really this basic: being born again means something big in your life has changed, and that you’ve turned toward God. It is completely impossible to experience this and not live differently. If Donald Trump is truly born-again, the Trump of today will stand in strong contrast to the Trump of yesterday, because the former will be a “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17).

9. Being born-again requires repentance and asking for forgiveness.

There’s certainly no way around this one that I’m aware: becoming born-again involves an element of being forgiven for our sins, and that means we have to be honest they exist and ask for forgiveness (1 John 1:9). However, Donald Trump has been rather forthright that he doesn’t believe he needs God’s forgiveness– so if he’s truly born-again now, we’ll see a far different stance on this than the old Donald had.

8. Becoming born-again is next to impossible if you’re rich, according to Jesus himself.

Honestly, I’m not sure how the Don got past this one, but Jesus said it was pretty much impossible for a rich person to become born-again. He famously said that it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 9:24).

Many errantly teach that by needle, Jesus meant a gate where camels really struggled to pass and had to get on their bellies to do so, but there is no historical evidence that any such gate existed in first century Jerusalem. This interpretation is repeated because we are taught it, not because it is true or warranted.

Instead, it is far more likely Jesus was using an exaggerated metaphor. It is not possible for a camel to go through an eye of a needle, and it seems quite likely that Jesus believed the same thing about rich people and becoming born-again.

7. Being born-again means you’re dedicated to modeling your life after the example of Jesus.

The Bible says the ultimate proof that one is born-again is that they begin doing the things that Jesus did, and begin using the life of Jesus as the ultimate model for how we should live and love others (1 John 2:6). If Trump is truly born-again, we should expect to see him begin acting like Jesus, saying things like Jesus said, and loving people the way Jesus did.

6. Being born-again means you welcome immigrants.

In Matthew 25 Jesus warns that there will be many Christians who will face God’s judgment on the last day, and that they will be surprised when this happens. The reason Jesus gives is that they did not welcome immigrants, or care for the poor, among other neglected actions (Matthew 25:43). Thus, according to Jesus, if one does not welcome immigrants and care for the other oppressed groups mentioned in this passage, one is not truly born-again.

So will Donald Trump radically change his immigration stance? Will he nix plans for the wall? That’ll be a test to see if he’s really born-again.

5. Being born-again means one actively uses his or her resources to serve the poor and hungry.

Caring for the poor was important to Jesus– so important that he said Christians who don’t do this will face God’s wrath on judgment day, a fate for some Christians that Jesus describes as “eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46). Thus, those who are truly born again-refrain from oppressing the poor and instead care for them, and advocate for them. In fact, later in the New Testament it’s argued that if one does not do this, the love of God is not in them (1 John 3:17).

Born-again? Great– we’ll soon see Trump busy caring and advocating for poor people.

4. Being born-again means you radically love your enemies.

In Matthew 5 Jesus says those who actually follow him are committed to nonviolent enemy love (v38-48). He even goes as far as to say that nonviolent enemy love is a requirement of being considered God’s children (v45) and that God’s Kingdom itself is nonviolent (John 18:36). He explains further in Luke that we are to live this way so as to mimic God, who Jesus claims is “kind to the wicked” (Luke 6:35). Thus, it is impossible to be born-again and not advocate that we love our enemies.

So, will Donald Trump reverse his positions on war, and torturing our enemies? Will he begin teaching Americans that we should find ways to love our enemies? Will he begin responding to his political enemies with love and kindness? If the answer is “no” than he wasn’t actually born again.

3. Being born-again means one rejects all forms of greed.

Greed is a desire for having more than one actually needs, and is one of the most frequently condemned sins throughout the Bible. In fact, Paul argues that it is impossible for greedy people (those who take more resources than what they actually need) to become born-again (1 Cor 6:10) or inherit God’s Kingdom. Thus, those who have been truly born-again carefully monitor themselves to refrain from hoarding wealth, or using/consuming more resources than what they actually need.

If Trump is born-again, we’ll expect to see him begin to give away much of his wealth to those who have less, and will see a Trump who lives far more simply and modestly.

2. Being born-again is evidenced by a deep humility that considers others more important than one’s self.

It is impossible to become born-again and not be humble. Paul says that salvation is not by works specifically so that no one can boast about it (Eph 2:9). He goes on to say we must be “completely humble and gentle” (Eph 4:3) and that our humility should be the kind where we view others as being greater and more important than ourselves (Phil 2:3). Furthermore, James argues that the mark of true wisdom is that one lives a life of good deeds, done in humility (James 3:13).

So is Donald Trump born again? If he is, you’ll see a drastic change in how he talks about himself in the coming days.

1. Being born-again means one rejects the need for political power.

Being born again is at the core, the beginning of a journey to be like Jesus. And what was the first test Jesus faced? The first test for Jesus was being tempted by Satan in the wilderness.

What did Satan offer him?

Political power, that’s what. (Matthew 4:8-8)

Turns out, the thing Donald Trump is trying to sell Christians in exchange for their vote, is the very thing Jesus rejected. This is an indictment against both the seller and the buyer– because the example of Christ is to reject this quest for the illusion of power.

So, did Donald Trump really become born-again, as James Dobson is claiming?

If he did, you’re going to see a radically different Donald Trump in the coming days; one that would be hardly recognizable, other than the hair of course.

 


unafraid 300Dr. Benjamin L. Corey is a public theologian and cultural anthropologist who is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with graduate degrees in the fields of Theology and International Culture, and holds a doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the author of the new book, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, which is available wherever good books are sold. www.Unafraid-book.com.

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  • Animal

    Of course, we know these things to be indicative of a true follower of Christ. But, evangelicals and Trump supporters will only respond by saying, “But, he is just a baby Christian, give him time”. That seems to be the response to any celebrity who claims some new relationship with or acceptance of Jesus. Conveniently, his infancy will last throughout the remainder of his campaign to which evangelicals will blissfully continue to their support of Mr. Trump.

  • Alan

    It struck me over the weekend that the Christian Right is doing exactly the opposite of what Jesus did when tempted by Satan. But your list won’t convince anyone who’s already on Trump’s side. As a Trump supporter recently told me, humans have an infinite ability to rationalize away the truth to get what they want (and he said it totally unaware of the irony). Trump reminds me much of the cult leader who says “You are special. Only you know the truth.” That never ends well.

  • Thanks for a brilliant analysis.

    But I won’t be holding my breath waiting to see these changes in Trump.

  • Matthew Burr

    The proof is in the pudding. Trump’s pudding is still nasty. However, if his pudding becomes clean and sweet, I’m still not sure he’s qualified to lead a country.

  • Tami Terry Martin

    Benjamin – normally I cheer every word you write. I love your stuff and follow you, well, religiously. But I just can’t do it for this. I recognized that I needed a savior when I was 5. How much of a contrasted “before” and “after” can I expect? I was a preacher’s kid, btw, and pretty sheltered.

    The rest? Those look like the marks of a MATURE christian. Not a new one.

    Do I believe what Dobson has said about Trump? Absolutely not. That man lost his credibility a long time ago. Do I believe Trump is a “baby christian?” No more than I expect to be able to fly tomorrow. But this isn’t the way to get where you’re wanting to get. Every single real baby christian who really DID just accept Christ has read this impossible list and likely has despaired. I doubt that’s what you wanted.

  • Realist1234

    Ben, my opinion for what its worth-

    10 – you have high expectations. Sanctification (the process of becoming more Christ-like) takes time. If someone was an ignorant git before being ‘born-again’, it is very likely they will continue to be an ignorant git for some time after. For some individuals, some things can change immediately but I would suggest for most everything takes time, particularly a person’s character.

    9 – it really does require repentence. God does not forgive without it. So if Trump truly believes he has nothing to repent of, then no he is not ‘born-again’ as the Holy Spirit has clearly not opened his eyes to the truth..

    8 – True, but not actually impossible as Jesus Himself said. This summary sheds some light on the issue – ‘Jesus’ message is clear—it is impossible for anyone to be saved on his own merits. Since wealth was seen as proof of God’s approval, it was commonly taught by the rabbis that rich people were blessed by God and were, therefore, the most likely candidates for heaven. Jesus destroyed that notion, and along with it, the idea that anyone can earn eternal life. The disciples had the appropriate response to that statement. They were utterly amazed and asked, “Who then can be saved?” in the next verse. If the wealthy among them, which included the super-spiritual Pharisees and scribes, were unworthy of heaven, what hope was there for anyone?’ It is clear the rich young ruler believed he could be saved if he did this, that or the other – Jesus negates this idea.

    7 – True, but again this takes time.

    6 – I think we’ve had this discussion before. Matt 25 relates to people’s attitudes to suffering followers of Jesus, thus showing their attitude towards Jesus (as he said to Saul, why do you persecute Me? when Saul was in fact persecuting His followers). But I know others disagree with that view. But Im not sure you can judge Trump as not being born-again because of his apparent attitude towards immigrants specifically. Rather than the Matthew passage, I would quote Isaiah 21 which specifically deals with refugees. But I doubt Trump is aware of it or if his evangelical advisers have pointed him to it, sadly.

    5 – I strongly disagree with the first part of your paragraph. “Christians…will face God’s wrath on judgement day, … “eternal punishment” . That sentence is an oxymoron. Nevertheless the caring of others is part and parcel of the Christian life, as it is the outworking of the fruit of the Spirit of love and kindness. But again as fruit it takes time to develop.

    4 – I agree, with the exception of the issue of war, which is state-sanctioned. But you know my view.

    3 – Agreed, but again will take time.

    2 – Agreed, but again will take time.

    1 – I disagree if you mean Christians should not be involved in political life. If you are in it for ‘power’ then yes you shouldnt be. But if you are in politics because you want to make a positive difference and have an influence in people’s lives, then I dont see anything wrong with it. But yes, it certainly appears many simply grasp for political power.

    I do not know whether Trump has become a follower of Jesus (though I suspect not), but we can only look at his words and actions and life in the months to come.

    And just a thought, if Trump and Boris Johnson become the US President and the UK Prime Minister respectively, we’ll have two key world leaders with major hair going on!

  • liberalinlove

    Baby Christians were never qualified to lead until the fruit of the spirit and Godly wisdom was demonstrated in their lives.

  • Craig

    Okay first off? You don’t conveniently become “magically” born again when running for the presidency. And even then? The occult (who run this country behind the scenes) has ways of saying they’re also “born again”. Last I check? You can be “born again” of corruptible seed. So the words “born again” means zip! Second off? He’s pandered so dang much for the past year, to everybody he’s been in front of at any given time? That’s he’s flat-out disingenuous in my eyes and a borderline liar. Third off? His pride is sky high! Higher than any of his towers/buildings. Fourth off? He has gotten so unbelievably dirty/juvenile when it came to challenging others and/or blatantly making fun of them, especially in debates? That it just stuns me how many don’t care! Now, I don’t walk on water and I got planks to be sure! But I myself am not running for the highest office in the land either. (To which lest I need to remind you? Is where the powers and principalities dwell, The high places.) Both him and Hillary scare me and I’m not voting for the lesser of two evils. Not happening! Both political sides are going in the same direction. Only the paths and time it take with which to get there, are different.

  • In light of #1 (the pursuit of political power), we can’t wholly be sure James Dobson has been born again either.

    The man hasn’t been advocating for his worldview so much as lobbied for it. His overt political statements on Focus on the Family letterhead were the reason I quit supporting that ministry years ago. Not that he leads it anymore; he resigned in 2010 because his board wouldn’t let him designate his son as his successor. (Seems Ryan Dobson’s “grievous sin” of divorce disqualified him from employment. But hey, when it’s family, it’s okay to hold ’em to a different standard.)

    That being said, Dobson’s in no position to correctly identify Trump. Well, identify him as anything more than a co-religionist in their devilish distortion of Christianity.

  • Don Lowery

    When I left the Baptist fold over two years ago and became an Anabaptist…I started asking questions about each of these points. When I couldn’t get answers and started getting push back from those who didn’t like their sacred goats being disturbed…I couldn’t keep attending an evangelical church which didn’t believe what was being preached/taught.

  • CrazyDogLady

    Mr. Dobson’s statement tells me much more about Mr. Dobson than it does Mr. Trump. Trump does not need to be any kind of Christian to get most of the evangelical vote. Every single member of my immediate and extended family (save one blessed, liberal aunt) and who knows how many friends will vote for Trump this November, having fully admitted that they neither like him nor think he is any kind of Christian, because they believe that the other candidate (indeed, the other party) is trying to usher in a one-world government and bring on the end times. So Trump doesn’t need to be born again. It is Dobson and his fellow evangelical leaders who need to believe this about Trump so that they can justify endorsing him.

  • Matthew

    But how soon Benjamin? Before the election? Doesn´t sanctification typically take time?

    I too have my sincere doubts about Trump and his bid for the presidency, but if he has truly embraced Christ we should be joyful and should also offer him the grace (and patience) that we too have been offered.

  • Paul Norman Hanover

    Well, I agree with your points in general, to look at someone’s life and point to specifics and say, they’re not a Christian if they do not yet do this and that, makes me question whether you understand God’s sovereign will and what it means to grow as a Christian.

  • smartipants8

    Crazy Dog Lady is right! Hillary is trying to usher in a one-world government? The USA can’t even keep the UK in the EU!

  • RustbeltRick

    If sanctification takes time, maybe pronouncements about the conversion should also wait until after the election as well. As it is, Dobson seems to want this story out in the public right now (in the weeks leading up to a convention where many born-agains will be attending and tuning in), and one can only conclude that Dobson has put this story forward for the public’s benefit, and not for Trump’s spiritual benefit.

  • Blerg

    Trump is no more a Christian than my dog is. But I am really starting to question how many Americans actually are Christians. A large number say they are; but their actions belie their words.

    I recently criticized a well-know Christian on his Facebook page, because he said “liberals are stupid” for wanting to help the poor. What followed was a stream of vitriol from his fans, saying that I was delusional, brainwashed, a Leftist, etc. I was reminded repeatedly that poor people are moochers, sucking off the government, and that they should get jobs, so that taxes can be lower.

    I suggested that if Christians truly did their job and cared for the poor, it would not be necessary for the government to do it. More name-calling.

    I am disgusted by the state of Christianity in America today. And I believe that it is “leaders” such as Dobson, Franklin Graham, Joel Osteen, etc who are to blame. Years of preaching prosperity gospel and hatred/fear for those not like us, has led this country as far away from Christ as we can get.

  • Blerg

    Yes, but even new Christians demonstrate the change God has made in their heart and soul. Trump would have some evidence of a change of heart.

  • RustbeltRick

    Obama wrote eloquently about his Christian conversion and conservatives smeared him as a fake, or a Muslim. Trump, meanwhile, has never said anything about a conversion, and his words and actions reveal all the hallmarks of a person lacking in faith and self-awareness, yet we’re supposed to believe the words of a partisan hack like Dobson who somehow has insight into Trump’s religious evolution. Screw that, and screw the people like Dobson and Franklin Graham who have dragged Obama’s faith through the mud for 7 years. These people play the faith card from the bottom of the deck.

  • That was pretty good except the bit about the occult masters who run things behind the scenes.

  • Jim Olson

    I call bullshit on his pandering nonsense. True. If he has become Born Again, then we’ll see the changes outlined above. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  • I also heard that Trump is also now a foreign policy expert, but he’s really new at it so we have to circle around and give him a lot of support while he adjusts to his new status.

  • Steven

    Benjamin, if I were a new Christian and read this post, I’d probably toss my hands up in the air and say, “Well, if I have to go through all of this, then, I may as well give up right now”. This is a list of impossible standards. I’ve been a Christian for several years, and there’s really not much of a contrast in the “new” me vs. the “old” me. I was pretty sheltered growing up – a healthy kind of sheltered, but sheltered all the same. And true sanctification takes years, decades, forever, etc. Numbers 1-7, I can get behind, but 9 and 10 in particular are pretty questionable. Dangerously so, especially for those new to the fold. Other than that, I love your stuff! Keep it up.

  • Craig

    All ya really gotta do to be a card-carrying member of the illuminati? Is don’t believe the Bible. But there are men in high-places, loaded with money, who wanna take that ole serpent’s promise “ye shall be as gods” very very literally. They are doing the light-barer’s bidding to systematically enthrone him and they will succeed. (Lucifer means light-barer/bringer.) He tempted Jesus with “all the kingdom’s of the world” and it wasn’t a valid temptation, if there was no merit to the claim. Jesus told Pilate that his kingdom was not of this world. Adam surrendered to Eve and Eve surrendered to the serpent (Lucifer) and that’s the way the chain of command crumbles. The illuminati believe the Eden fruit (as portrayed on the back of your “i” devices) to be a good thing and the real God to be the bad guy for trying to keep us from its knowledge. So in their mind? Lucifer’s the good guy bringing them illumination. Hence illuminati. They aren’t just a buzzword catch-phrase in social media. They’re quite legit.

  • RonnyTX

    Benjamin:
    Donald Trump is a born again Christian– or so they say. And by they, I mean Focus on the Family’s Dr. James Dobson, who recently claimed that he had first-hand knowledge that Trump recently accepted Christ and that he was now a “baby Christian” in need of our prayers.

    Ronny to Benjamin:
    I watch the news a bit and my oldest sister, she watches it a lot! I have not seen and she has not mentioned to me, that Trump has come out recently and said he has been saved/born of God. Now if that has recently happened in his life, then he would announce that to the world. Has he? If he hasn’t, then no, he has not recently been saved/born of God. For if he had of been, he could not keep such, to himself; but instead, he would have to announce such, to as many people as possible. And of course, with Trump, he could easily do that, on national television. Now why hasn’t he, if what Dobson says, is true?

  • I think we need to admit that we’re past the point where “born again” and “evangelical” is more a descriptor of a political allegiance than a religious/spiritual one, at least in the U.S. (and probably here in Canada).

    To all the comments regarding sanctification, I don’t think Ben is suggesting that any new Christian would be perfect by the next day. He says that these are commitments. We should be able to see this direction in the life of new Christians. We should continue to look more and more like Jesus, including the things mentioned here. There might be some dramatic changes along the way or they might be slow and steady, but there will be a noticeable commitment to change.

  • Lyle Collie

    Donald’s born again story reminds me of the guy who say’s the “prayer” with the Pastor, so he can be “born again” to qualify to date the pastor’s daughter, then soon disappears into the “backslidden ” world as the Pastor (soon to be) grandfather tries to explain his daughter’s condition to an angry church board.

  • TRUTH IS! The “american gospel” is “good news” for those who “love this evil world and their own self (“I”, ego, id, pride) life in and of it”, yet such is thankfully rejected and regarded as “bad news” by those “alien and pilgrims while on the earth”, those whose “citizenship(Life) IS !NOW! in Heaven”! (John 12:25, Hebrews 11:13, I Peter 2:11 , Philippians 3:20)

    And those who have been Truly “Born Again” of The Holy, Set Apart, SPIRIT that IS of Our FATHER and GOD have REALized that “whoever would be a friend of this evil world is the enemy of GOD”! (John 20:17, James 4:4, Hebrews 11:13, II Peter 2:11)

    And we have REALized that “religion was and is yet needful, for “disobedient and gainsaying (contradicting and opposing GOD) people”, those souls who are “stiff-necked and uncircumcised of heart and ears”! (Romans 10:21, Acts 7:51)

    “Needful for those worldly and/or religious ones who would rather have a man (Moses, Samuel, etc.) than Our FATHER and GOD speak to them, and those who would rather have a man(Saul, David, etc.) than Our FATHER and GOD rule over them”! (Exodus 20:19, l Samuel 8:4-21, John 20:17; 14:28)

    And “The Word of TRUTH (aka: the ‘bible’ of the worldly and religious ones)” bears witness unto The TRUTH that testifies, there IS Only One “Pure Religion And Undefiled before Our FATHER and GOD”! (James 1:18,27, John 20:17)

    And rightly Spiritually discerned, “Pure Religion and Undefiled before Our FATHER and GOD is this! To visit The FATHERless (those who have no relationship with The GOD and FATHER{Creator} of ALL), and widows (those whose “bridegroom aka: The Messiah” has not risen from among the dead) in their affliction and to keep oneself (soul) uncontaminated by the world!” (James 1:27)

    Not a system but The Active Faith of those who, in TRUTH, have been “Born Again” of The Holy, Set Apart, SPIRIT! Those “sons of Our FATHER and GOD” who have their portion !NOW! in HIS Family, of “WHOM the whole Family in Heaven and ON EARTH is named”……. (II Thessalonians 2:10-12, John 3:3,7, I Peter 1:23, I John 3:1-2, Philippians 2:15, Ephesians 3:15)

    “A Household of Faith” indeed and TRUTH! (Galatians 6:10, Ephesians 2:19)

    And NEW “Jerusalem which IS above IS free, and IS !NOW! the mother of us all (Spiritually “Born Again” sons {physically male or ‘fe’male} of Our FATHER and GOD)”! (Galatians 4:26, John 3:3,7, I Peter 1:23)

    Thankfully the “Mother” of the “Born Again” brethren (physically male or ‘fe’male) of The Messiah is no longer “mother earth”, earthly and of the flesh……. For “NEW Jerusalem” which IS Heavenly IS SPIRIT and of The TRUTH!

    Simply, ALL other religion IS “IMPURE and DEFILED”…….

    “Come out from among them and be separate”! (II Corinthians 6:17)

  • Herm

    Just then Donald Drumpf came up to one child of God truly born in the Spirit and asked, “What good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

    “Why do you ask me about what is good?” the child of God replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

    “Which ones?” he inquired.

    The child of God replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

    The child of God answered, “Utilize all your possessions today to buy the Presidency of the United States of America, sell the remainder of your possessions and give all you have left to the poor before you serve in that office in the name of our Father in Heaven, live only on the salary your constituents pay you to represent them, expecting to live out your last days on Earth soley on your graced by Man and by God retirement, and then you will have treasure in Heaven. When you have chosen that path then come, follow our Lord God and the only Teacher of truth beginning with what is written in your beloved Christian Bible (the only book you tout greater than the “Art of the Deal/Con”) at Luke 14:26,27 and continuing eternally with Christ in you and you in Christ.”

    amen

  • jp

    We will know it is real if he starts slicking his hair back and using gel.

  • Ron McPherson

    Just last week I mentioned to some family members/Obama haters that our current president has the most Christian testimony of personal conversion of any president that has served within my adult years. They looked at me as if I had just grew horns.

  • Jay K

    @Benjamin it’s voting bloc, not block.

  • Al Cruise

    To sum it up, you cannot be born again and be a religious based fundamentalist conservative. Jesus would agree.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Steven, with all due respect, you’re not running for the highest office in the land, and neither are any other “baby Christians.” That puts the issue on an entirely different footing… No one, Christian or not (which I am not… I’m Jewish, but have no vested interest in disparaging the belief systems of anyone else), expects them to be held to the standards expected of one campaigning for the Presidency, and especially one who is one of only two presumptive front-runners…

    Different matter entirely.

  • jlosinski .

    Best response-

  • Artistree

    Being “Born Again” or Born from Above….
    “Blessed are they who, placing their trust in the cross, have gone down into the water….We indeed descend into the water full of sins and defilement. However, we come up, bearing fruit from our heart, having the fear of God and trust in Jesus in our spirit.” ( Epistle of Barnabas 70-100 AD)
    We are all familiar with the Christian fish symbol that some Christians put on the back of their cars. Some of us might have a Jesus fish on our car ( not me, I’ve got a German flag because I’m German but I have nothing against the Christian “born again” symbol. I wonder however, how many Christians realize that the fish symbol is a picture of Baptismal Regeneration in Christian Baptism. The fish symbol that we all recognize was a sign used by the Early Christians to identify church meeting places and themselves. The word “fish” in Greek ΙΧΘΥΣ (Ichthus) is an acronym which translates into English as “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior”.
    Tertullian, writing a bit more than a hundred years after the Apostles, said, ” We, little fishes, after the example of our fish, Jesus Christ, are born of water.” Jesus said, ” Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” ( John 3:5 RSV).

  • “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world! If any man loves the world The Love of Out FATHER is not in him”! (I John 2:15-17)

  • whollyfool

    Glad to see you invoking good old two Corinthians. I hear that’s one of Donald Trump’s favorites….

  • Wow, what a load of crap. Matthew 25:43 says to welcome immigrants???? WTF. You do realize some of us can actually go to our bibles and read right? When you post untruths, don’t expect to be taken seriously. Although I do agree with you on Dobson- that guy is a first class moron. And btw, the “source” for Dobson on Mr. Trump’s born again experience was Paula White- not exactly a credible person.

  • That isn’t true that Dobson’s son ever got divorced. You see, Dr. Dobson is an expert on the “family” so divorce of course could never take place in his Holy Family.

  • Matthew

    You may be right. I´m simply trying not to be judgemental. As soon as I begin thinking about criticizing another person´s conversion experience and their lack of Christian growth, I immediately look at the log in my own eye and at how much I miss the mark personally.

    Only God knows where Trump truly stands spiritually, but politically speaking I have seen and heard enough to still support the mantra of DUMP TRUMP!

  • whollyfool

    That is why I love Ben’s blog.

  • Matthew

    You make such good points, but frankly with each passing day I am becoming more and more tired of all the polarization in America. It is taking root in Europe as well.

    The ideologies are simply so far apart that we cannot even talk and reason with one another anymore.

    No wonder so many people are turned off to the carriers of the Gospel message. Lord have mercy.

  • Bones

    You’re lucky you weren’t disowned for supporting the satanobamahitler.

  • Bones

    Well being ‘born again’ comes from the Jewish teachings of converts becoming new creatures. Andwe’really not seeing that especially in light of his recent comments.

    And really I don’t give a toss if our leaders are born again or atheists. Heck look what born again Bush unleashed on the world.

    Personally I look forward to the massive slide of the US dollar if Trump gets in though he won’t.

    His comments about the Mexican judge show how thin skinned and prone to irrational reactions he is.

  • Bones

    Hard to believe Trump is a candidate for the presidency.

    Has anyone mentioned this to show how reactionary he is without regard for facts where he supported the death penalty for 5 children EVEN AFTER they had been exonerated.

    Central Park jogger case

    The Central Park jogger case concerned the assault, rape, and sodomy of Trisha Meili, a female jogger, and attacks on others in New York City’s Central Park, on April 19, 1989. The attack on the female jogger left her in a coma for 12 days. Meili was a 28-year-old investment banker at the time. The attacks were, according to The New York Times, “one of the most widely publicized crimes of the 1980s.”[1]

    Five juvenile males—four black and one of Hispanic descent—were tried, variously, for assault, robbery, riot, rape, sexual abuse, and attempted murder. They were convicted of most charges by juries in two separate trials in 1990, and received sentences ranging from five to 15 years. Four of the convictions were appealed; they were affirmed by appellate courts. The defendants spent between six and 13 years in prison.

    In 2002, Matias Reyes, a Hispanic male who had been a juvenile at the time of the attack, confessed to raping the jogger, and DNA evidence confirmed his involvement in Meili’s rape. He also said he committed the rape alone. Reyes at the time of his confession was a convicted serial rapist and murderer, serving a life sentence. He was not prosecuted for raping Meili, because the statute of limitations had passed by the time Reyes confessed. District Attorney Robert Morgenthau suggested to the court that their convictions related to the assault and rape of Meili and the attacks on others to which they had confessed be vacated (a legal position in which the parties are treated as though no trial has taken place) and withdrew the charges. Their convictions were vacated in 2002.

    The five who had been convicted sued New York City in 2003 for malicious prosecution, racial discrimination, and emotional distress. The city refused to settle the suits for a decade under then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, because the city’s lawyers felt they would win. However, after Bill de Blasio became mayor and supported the settlement, the city settled the case for $41 million in 2014. As of December 2014, the five men were pursuing an additional $52 million in damages from New York State in the New York Court of Claims.

    Advertisement from Donald Trump[edit]
    On May 1, 1989, Donald Trump took out full-page advertisements in all four major New York newspapers calling for the return of the death penalty. Trump said he wanted the criminals of every age who were accused of beating and raping a jogger in Central Park 12 days earlier to be afraid.[81] The advertisement, which cost an estimated $85,000[81] said, in part, “Mayor [Ed] Koch has stated that hate and rancor should be removed from our hearts. I do not think so. I want to hate these muggers and murderers. They should be forced to suffer … Yes, Mayor Koch, I want to hate these murderers and I always will. … How can our great society tolerate the continued brutalization of its citizens by crazed misfits? Criminals must be told that their CIVIL LIBERTIES END WHEN AN ATTACK ON OUR SAFETY BEGINS!” [82]

    Lawyers for the five defendants said the letter had inflamed public opinion. After Reyes confessed to the crime and said he acted alone, one of the defendants’ lawyers, Michael W. Warren, said, “I think Donald Trump at the very least owes a real apology to this community and to the young men and their families.”[81] Protests were held outside Trump Tower in October 2002 with protestors chanting, “Trump is a chump!”[81] Trump was unapologetic at the time, saying, “I don’t mind if they picket. I like pickets.”[81]

    In June 2014, after the City announced a settlement of more than $40 million in the civil suit brought by the five defendants, Trump penned an editorial for the New York Daily News in which he called the settlement “a disgrace” and insisted that the group’s guilt was still likely: “Settling doesn’t mean innocence. … Speak to the detectives on the case and try listening to the facts. These young men do not exactly have the pasts of angels.”[83]

    According to Yusef Salaam, Trump “was the fire starter”, as “common citizens were being manipulated and swayed into believing that we were guilty.” Salaam and his family received death threats after papers ran Trump’s full-page ad. Warren argued that Trump’s advertisements played a role in securing conviction, saying that “he poisoned the minds of many people who lived in New York and who, rightfully, had a natural affinity for the victim,” and that “notwithstanding the jurors’ assertions that they could be fair and impartial, some of them or their families, who naturally have influence, had to be affected by the inflammatory rhetoric in the ads.” According to The Guardian, the case and the media attention reflected the perceived racial dynamics at the time; a similar case involving a black woman, raped the same day in Brooklyn and thrown from the roof of a four-story building, received little media attention.[47]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Park_jogger_case

  • Gregory Smith

    Could that be some show of humility, learning lessons of how to become more Christ-like in his actions? I feel this is simply a political stunt, but I’m not judging, because I’m most certainly not qualified. God Almighty knows what’s in our hearts, and will judge accordingly.

  • Realist1234

    Patently false.

  • Realist1234

    Re immigrants, have a read of Isaiah 21. I have little doubt the west should be welcoming fleeing Syrians.

  • Al Cruise

    By their fruits you will know them. God’s truth.

  • RonnyTX

    Benjamin:
    4. Being born-again means you radically love your enemies.
    In Matthew 5 Jesus says those who actually follow him are committed to nonviolent enemy love (v38-48). He even goes as far as to say that nonviolent enemy love is a requirement of being considered God’s children (v45) and that God’s Kingdom itself is nonviolent (John 18:36). He explains further in Luke that we are to live this way so as to mimic God, who Jesus claims is “kind to the wicked” (Luke 6:35). Thus, it is impossible to be born-again and not advocate that we love our enemies.
    So, will Donald Trump reverse his positions on war, and torturing our enemies? Will he begin teaching Americans that we should find ways to love our enemies? Will he begin responding to his political enemies with love and kindness? If the answer is “no” than he wasn’t actually born again.

    Ronny to Benjamin:
    I just saw Trump this morning, talking on a news program. Seems he still thinks water boarding torture, is still a great thing and something to use, against an enemy.

  • RonnyTX

    Al Cruise:
    To sum it up, you cannot be born again and be a religious based fundamentalist conservative. Jesus would agree.

    Ronny to Al Cruise:
    Well, you can be; but then God changes you over time, as God shows and teaches you better. :-) And I know that on a personal level, because I was taught in church and by some church leaders, to very much be a religious based fundamentalist conservative. But then over time, God did teach and show me better and I am so grateful, that God did just that, for me! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Al Cruise to Realist1234:
    By their fruits you will know them. God’s truth.

    Ronny to Al:
    True. Now what are the fruits, of one who has been born of God?

    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22

  • Matthew

    Thanks Bones.

    With all that has been happening in the world lately, I´m being more and more drawn to the simple words of Jesus:

    “My kingdom is not of this world.”

    My hope and prayer is that Trump is truly a new believer, that he grows in his faith, and that he loses the presidential election.

    I don´t want to turn this into a discussion about American politics, but can you briefly tell me why you think Trump won´t get elected?

  • RonnyTX

    Gregory to Ronny:
    Could that be some show of humility, learning lessons of how to become more Christ-like in his actions? I feel this is simply a political stunt, but I’m not judging, because I’m most certainly not qualified. God Almighty knows what’s in our hearts, and will judge accordingly.

    Ronny to Gregory:
    Gregory, I don’t believe it would be some show of humility, for Trump to be saved/born of God and then for him not to tell as many people as possible, about that. I just don’t see how he could keep from doing that, if he has recently been saved/born of God.

  • Matthew

    Who are we to judge? Let´s take the logs out of our own eyes. Let´s allow our comments to bring us together rather than push us further apart. Can we not see how we are destroying our brotherly and sisterly love witness with all this polarization and in-fighting?

    How will they know us? By the LOVE we show one another. Fundies and progressives alike.

    Jesus would agree I think.

    Jesus be the center. Lord have mercy.

  • RonnyTX

    Ah Ron, so sorry they looked at you that way. :-( But I’ve got some family members, who are much the same. And my parents didn’t teach me this; but early on I was taught by some, that the Republican Party was the party of God. And when I went to vote, I knew I was supposed to vote for the most conservative Republican. And that I did, for years on end. Then God taught me better on this, as I saw that neither the Republican nor the Democratic Party, was the party of God.

  • RonnyTX

    Bones to RonMcPherson:
    You’re lucky you weren’t disowned for supporting the satanobamahitler.

    Ronny to Bones:
    Now, that’s a good one! :-) LoL

  • Questioning

    Amen

  • Matthew

    .

  • Al Cruise

    ‘Who are we to judge” Tell that to the hundreds of fundie leaders who worshiped Trump last week. If you would like some judgmental quotes from Trump just ask. I can even give you video clips if you would like.

  • Matthew

    He´s not perfect … and I´m certainly not defending him … but what I am calling for is a higher love. We absolutely must get beyond the in-fighting.

    It — among other things — is destryoing the Christian witness.

  • MY dog is Presbyterian.

  • TRUTH IS! “The WHOLE world(not just a portion) IS under the control of the evil one”!(I John 5:19)

    And “whoever would be a friend of this world is the enemy of Our FATHER and GOD”! James 4:4)

    And there IS Only One “Pure Religion and Undefiled”! (James 1:27)

    “Come out of her(babel/con-fusion/babylonworldreligion), MY people”! (Rev 18:4)

  • Al Cruise

    “It — among other things — is destroying the Christian witness.” Here is were you are wrong. It is leaders who support views like Trump’s that is destroying Christian witness. Like the old saying goes, which is more evil? People who do evil in the darkness or the people who create the darkness .

  • The Messiah loved the worldly and religious ones enough to tell them The TRUTH concerning what and who they were, even though He knew they wanted to kill Him! (Matthew 23)

  • I’m not a Jew. The old Testament doesn’t apply to me. Maybe it does for you. Do you also stone your children to death if they come home drunk, as the OT says to do? thought so.

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much.

  • Ron McPherson

    I’m probably on the verge of it

  • RonnyTX

    Matthew to Al:
    ‘Who are we to judge”

    Al to Matthew:
    Tell that to the hundreds of fundie leaders who worshiped Trump last week. If you would like some judgmental quotes from Trump just ask. I can even give you video clips if you would like.

    Ronny to Al:
    Al, no matter what those fundie leaders are like, no matter what Trump is like, we need to keep in mind, that Jesus Christ loved them all so much, he was on the cross for them. And we also need to keep in mind, that he had need to be on the cross for us, as well. He was there for all of us, taking all of our sins upon himself. Now sure, we can disagree with some people. We can disagree with them a lot and even hate somethings they say and do. But the person? The person, we are to love. we are to follow Jesus Christ’s example to us and simply love them. Disagree with them on somethings? Sure; but love them just the same.

  • Al Cruise

    I do agree with the basis of your point. However statements like “Can we not see how we are destroying our brotherly and sisterly love witness with all this polarization and in-fighting?” are used to shut done criticism when one has no real answer and is faced with a truth. It is also used when acknowledging wrong doings of the past, is just to painful and impossible to defend.

  • Dean

    I thought you couldn’t pick and choose what you wanted to believe in the Bible? You must be one of those “liberal” Christians.

  • RonnyTX

    But then Matthew, when the end comes and time is no more, God/Jesus Christ, will have straightened us all out! :-)

  • Blerg

    Hopefully not Reformed Presbyterian- those folks are nuts, and their dogs are worse.

  • Bones

    He won’t win because the GOP don’t represent the US electorate and even then the GOP is divided.

    He will have to attract mainstream Americans which as we’ve seen by his massive dummy spit over the mexican judge (who wasn’t Mexican) won’t be any where near as sympathetic to his rhetoric.

    How he does that while offending minorities whom he he also needs to win is beyond me.

    The only way I can see him winning is if enough people couldn’t be bothered to vote.

  • Matthew

    You might be offering some very good news today Bones :-):-).

  • Matthew

    Something to look forward to RonnyTX :-).

  • RonnyTX

    Al to Ronny:
    I do agree with the basis of your point.

    Ronny to Al:
    Thank you. :-)

    Al to Ronny:
    However statements like “Can we not see how we are destroying our brotherly and sisterly love witness with all this polarization and in-fighting?” are used to shut done criticism when one has no real answer and is faced with a truth. It is also used when acknowledging wrong doings of the past, is just to painful and impossible to defend.

    Ronny to Al:
    I have no problem at all, with anyone bringing up wrong doings of the past or present. I have no problems with various Christians, saying why they disagree with each other, on this or that. But I have seen this done, in a very hateful way and that’s what I’m saying, we need to avoid/stop doing.

    And Al, I am a Christian who believes that before all is said and done, God will save everyone, by way of Jesus Christ and the cross. Plus, I’m also gay and I have no problem saying, that is one of God’s good gifts to me. :-) And I have a few family members, who I’m sure agree with these things; but I have many more, who completely disagree. Well, I and my brothers and sisters, we were all brought up in an ultra-fundamentalist church and as far as I can see, I am the only one who is not a member of such now. In fact, I know of no church close to me, who would have me, as a member. (ha) Well, I can sort of grin about things like this; but then the truth is, it’s not always easy to take or live with. So yes, I know how hateful and pigheaded some people can be on somethings and yet, we simply need to follow Jesus Christ. To do as he did, to love as he did and does. And in that, I don’t see any problem in speaking up and explaining why, when we disagree with a fellow Christian and or someone who says they are that. We can certainly do that and still love the other person, no matter where or how much, we disagree with them on whatever.

  • Al Cruise

    I hear you, I work with many of the least among us and have seen a lot. I see the damage caused by fundamentalist thought and teaching. I used to be silent about it for many years. The recent rising of the neo calvinist movement and the destruction they are causing in Churches to good people who were expressing the love of Jesus to the least among us, caused me speak out.

  • RonnyTX

    But Bones, how could Trump be wrong on this, when the way he talks and acts, he obviously knows he’s right, on everything! (ha)

    And I can well understand your surprise, at so many in the US, voting for Trump, as their presidential candidate. It surprises and shocks me as well. I mean on the Republican side, they had a lot of people to choose from this time and yet, they chose Trump. Doesn’t make any sense to me, except a lot of people must despise and think themself better than a lot of people, just as Trump, so obviously does. And here I thought a lot of the racism, was gone from the United States; but this election just shows me, that I was wrong on that! :-(

  • disqus_545xCQoqmE

    Reject greed, love your enemies, and care for the poor? Does anyone in the U.S. qualify? Certainly no Republican. This is insane. I guess you’re just being polite. How can you credit, even provisionally, anything either Donald Trump or James Dobson says about anything at all, full stop?

  • RonnyTX

    Al to Ronny:
    I hear you, I work with many of the least among us and have seen a lot. I see the damage caused by fundamentalist thought and teaching. I used to be silent about it for many years. The recent rising of the neo calvinist movement and the destruction they are causing in Churches to good people who were expressing the love of Jesus to the least among us, caused me speak out.

    Ronny to Al.
    Good for you! :-) And BTW, the church I grew up in was Calvinistic in teaching. And I still believed that way, till just 7 years ago. Not sure when even began to understand Calvinism? But I would guess somewhat, by the time I was 12 years old. And I believed everything I was taught on that, till I was 54 years old!

    Just talking a bit, to my oldest sister. She also grew up in the same church, just as I did; but now, she’s in an Arminian/free will type church and believes that way. But what I talked to her a bit about today and earlier too, when I was around 16 years old, I could never understand how some Calvinists, surely seemed to think, they were a lot better than other people! That simply made no sense to me. And my church also got a Calvinist paper, that came out of Lawton, Oklahoma. I remember reading it as a teen and like I say, I could never understand that I’m so much better than you mentality, that some of that papers article writers had. It simply makes no sense to think of yourself as better than and look down on others, if your Calvinist in belief! So I was shocked by some articles in that paper, when I saw such there.

    Now, I simply see and believe that the Calvinists are right about some things and wrong about others and the same true, for the Arminian/free will side. And I became a Christian universalist in belief, simply by doing what God had taught me to do, when I was 40 years old. That is, look at the reasons someone believes as they do and the scriptures they cite, to show their belief. And that’s how I went from Calvinism, to Christian universalism in belief. And just to be clear on this, I don’t believe all religions/roads lead to God. No, what I believe is that before all is said and done, everyone will be born of God, by way of Jesus Christ and the cross. :-) And just thinking here, about my other older sister, who is nearly 3 years older than me. My, did she ever get mad a few years ago, when I told her I no longer believed in a Jesus Christ created hell of eternal torment. I mean, she blew her top! :-( But as I told her, such was not mentioned in the bible, as it was first written in Hebrew and Greek. Well, it’s no fun; but the way I believe now, it makes a lot of people upset/mad and that so, be they Calvinist or Arminian/free will in belief. :-(

  • Is there any soul in and of this evil world and/or religion’s way that qualifies? (John 7:7, I John 2:15-17; 5:19, James 4:4: 1:27)

    “Come out of her(babel/con-fusion/babylonworldreligion), MY people”! (Revelations 18:4)

  • RonnyTX

    Matthew to Ronny:
    Something to look forward to RonnyTX :-).

    Ronny to Matthew:
    Amen to that Matthew! :-)

    And I can’t hear real well; but I have so longed loved the words on the following song! What A Day That Will Be! :-)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycz4s2xwDhc

  • Jeanne Fox

    My cats are Lutheran.

  • disqus_545xCQoqmE
  • Sadly, it may be the case. I actually feel like a minority because I do vote (in major elections, at least). Younger friends find voting a joke… Even talking to my elderly neighbor the other day – she said she got sick of all parties and people and stopped voting. (She may be justified more than most as she’s on oxygen frequently and has trouble getting around). I personally will agree to not liking anyone, but tend to go with “whom I think will screw up less.”

    As for Trump, I’ve not been shy about saying “I wish the time-travelers from the future would do their job!” – I mean, they failed with a certain other dangerous figure… You’ve got one more shot, time-travelers! Get it right!

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct

    Not “Christlike” of me, I know… but I tend to have an attitude of responding to threats in a more “animal” way than a “holy” way still… God’s still working on that with me.

  • RonnyTX

    Shadsie to Bones:
    Sadly, it may be the case. I actually feel like a minority because I do vote (in major elections, at least). Younger friends find voting a joke… Even talking to my elderly neighbor the other day – she said she got sick of all parties and people and stopped voting. (She may be justified more than most as she’s on oxygen frequently and has trouble getting around). I personally will agree to not liking anyone, but tend to go with “whom I think will screw up less.”

    Ronny to Shadsie:
    I can understand your elderly neighbor lady. I would have to check to be sure; but it was either 2000 or 2004, when I stopped voting. Why did I stop? Because of the wrongs, in both major parties. And too, I simply got sick, of voting for what I saw, as the lesser of two evils.

    Shadsie to Bones:
    As for Trump, I’ve not been shy about saying “I wish the time-travelers from the future would do their job!” – I mean, they failed with a certain other dangerous figure… You’ve got one more shot, time-travelers! Get it right!

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmw

    Not “Christlike” of me, I know… but I tend to have an attitude of responding to threats in a more “animal” way than a “holy” way still… God’s still working on that with me.

    Ronny to Shadsie:
    :-) You’ve just got me grinning some here, because the truth is, God/Jesus Christ, is still working on us all. :-) And the great thing is, before we are all finished, we will all be conformed to the image, of Jesus Christ! :-) Now we can’t do that for ourself; but what we can’t do, God/Jesus Christ, can and will do! :-) So in the end, all will turn out well and that for everyone, from Adam on down! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    What your family needs to see and understand, it that it is God and God alone, who will usher in the end time. God is the only one who has the power to do that and no person or persons, has that power And what a great day that will be and that for every last person, when the end of time does come! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Well Craig, such people can plan all they want to; but then God, God is still in full control and always will be! :-)

  • Bones

    “Ronny to Shadsie:
    I can understand your elderly neighbor lady. I would have to check to be sure; but it was either 2000 or 2004, when I stopped voting. Why did I stop? Because of the wrongs, in both major parties. And too, I simply got sick, of voting for what I saw, as the lesser of two evils.”

    Was there a ‘geater evil’ than George W?

    People who don’t vote can’t complain about who they get.

  • Craig

    Amen! And Satan is on a leash, but it’s far longer than most are willing to realize or admit.

  • Mr. Corey, your reference to the camel and the eye of the needle is miss-typed It should be Matthew 19:24. But what I wanted to say is that every one who quotes this verse as saying it is impossible for the wealthy to be saved seem to ignore the following two verses.

    “When the disciples heard, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?’ And looking at them, Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'”

    With God, even the rich can be saved..

  • Al Cruise

    “And just to be clear on this, I don’t believe all religions/roads lead to God. ” Just a thought on this, I believe there are some Christian roads that don’t lead to God. However, on all the roads that do lead to God regardless of the faith, when you peel back a thin layer of the walking surface you will always find this foundation , “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22″ . That you so rightfully pointed out in a previous comment. You and I call that foundation Jesus Christ.

  • Ryan Matzke

    You could switch “Donald Trump” for “Hillary Clinton” and it would be every bit as apropos. So what are we left with? She refers to herself as a “Methodist”, right?

  • Ryan Matzke

    Took the key strokes right out of my fingers! How does Christ define “rich”?

  • Ryan Matzke

    All of this is moot. Jesus also said, “render under Caesar’s what is Caesar’s” To me, this means that of course politicians say this crap. They (the government, Babylon, Politicians, Hillary, The Donald, etc.) have NOTHING to do with God. They all say whatever is necessary, whenever it is necessary. By playing this game of being “born again”, Trump shows how good at this he is. The more weasel-y the person, the better politician. I have this super cynical notion that precisely BECAUSE Trump is a D-Bag, he will make an excellent president in these days and times. It’s a shame, but I have this “well, it would be that way wouldn’t it?” kind of attitude about it. Forgive me.

  • Bones

    Imperial Rome.

  • Bones

    An interesting collection of unrelated verses there.

    What John refers to as ‘the world’ is not what you say it is.

    If Jesus had come to the Australian aborigines or native Americans they wouldn’t have killed him.

  • Matthew

    Breed LCMS right Jeanne :-) :-)?

  • Matthew

    As most of you know, I´m no supporter of Trump, but, if he does happen to become the next president, how are we to understand the following in light of that truth:

    “The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.”

    Daniel 4:17

  • Jeanne Fox

    Of course! ;)

  • Satan’s home base from which he rules his world!

  • Jeanne Fox

    He wants to go beyond water boarding .

  • Matthew

    What, in your opinion, did John mean by “the world”?

  • Sadly, the eye of your understanding has not yet been opened!

    Seems your own “prideful life, and/or lustful eyes, and/or lustful flesh”, in conjunction with your own vain “imag”inations have bound you in the “chains of strong delusion” that are of this evil world and/or religion’s way!

    Simply sad for you…….

  • otrotierra

    Somebody needs to tell Trump’s god about what Jesus actually said and did in history. Who will dare tell Trump and Dobson?

  • Bones

    Ummm no.

    Imperial Rome hasn’t existed for well over a thousand years.

  • Bones

    Judaism.

  • I believe we get the leaders we deserve. And if the Daniel verse above is true, then God has ordered every leader and ever president ever. So we really have nothing to complain about, even when he gives us leaders such as our presidents who supported slavery.

  • Bones

    You’re the sad one

    You don’t even understand the verses you’very cobbled together to make some kind of point.

    I’m not quite sure how picking apart your dishonest use of Scripture has to do with lust. And you are the one with pride because you refuse to listen to others over your own sad little interpretations.

    But no doubt you can throw some more verses out and abuse them as well.

    If anyone has delusions or vain imaginations it’s you.

  • Sadly, you live and believe the lies that are of the god of this world and/or religion’s way…….

  • Sadly, the eye of your understanding has not yet been opened!

    Seems your own “prideful life, and/or lustful eyes, and/or lustful flesh”, in conjunction with your own vain “imag”inations have bound you in the “chains of strong delusion” that are of this evil world and/or religion’s way!

    Simply sad for you…….

  • Most certainly your avatar bespeaks of what you are!

    The KJV translates Strongs G2889 “komos” in the following manner: world (186x), adorning (1x).

    Outline of Biblical Usage:

    an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government

    ornament, decoration, adornment, i.e. the arrangement of the stars, ‘the heavenly hosts’, as the ornament of the heavens. 1 Pet. 3:3

    the world, the universe

    the circle of the earth, the earth

    the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human family

    the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ
    world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly

    the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments riches, advantages, pleasures, etc, which although hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ

    any aggregate or general collection of particulars of any sort

    the Gentiles as contrasted to the Jews (Rom. 11:12 etc)

  • Questioning

    Francis, no idea what your point is as it relates to this blog or these comments. Do you have a point or are you just here to stir up argument, sow discord, post opinion you cannot support, disagree with people, and perhaps bear false witness?

  • Is there any soul in and of this evil world and/or religion’s way that qualifies? (John 7:7, I John 2:15-17; 5:19, James 4:4: 1:27)

    “Come out of her(babel/confusion/babylonworldreligion), MY people”! (Revelations 18:4)

  • Questioning

    Yeah, pretty much what I thought.

  • Simpy sad for you…….

  • SamHamilton

    If Donald Trump has made a decision to follow Jesus, well then praise God for that! He needs our prayers. But that doesn’t mean I want him in the White House.

  • SamHamilton

    Not to mention that if Mr. Corey’s interpretation of the verse is accurate than we’re all in trouble. Trump, Clinton, and us. Most all of us have more than we need.

  • SamHamilton

    “religious based fundamentalist conservative.”

    These sound like a bunch of negative-sounding buzzwords strung together in order to perpetuate the culture wars. Your statement is like the mirror-image of what a “conservative fundamentalist” would say. “You can’t be like my caricature of you and follow Jesus. And Jesus agrees with me!!”

  • SamHamilton

    I think Trump’s a charlatan and I find it very hard to believe Mr. Dobson’s story, but I don’t think there’s any reason why a recent convert to Christianity must proclaim it to the world. Or are you saying that public figures should proclaim their conversion to the world?

  • SamHamilton

    Heck, Hillary Clinton says she’s a life-long Methodist yet she’s one of the greediest people in politics (by the standards above). I don’t believe Mr. Dobson’s story is accurate, but if Trump is supposed to change overnight, what does that say about Ms. Clinton? She’s had a lifetime to change…

  • Questioning

    Clean up on aisle 1.

  • Matthew

    Don’t you get tired of all the fighting Al Cruise? It’s so not Christ-like.

    Also … no one, regardless of their brand of Christianity, is above criticism.

  • Hey, Francis, could you not copy and paste the same comments multiple times? By all means, participate in the discussion and disagree freely, but spamming the same comments isn’t a discussion.

  • Realist1234

    As a Brit looking on, I dont think you can necessarily assume that becoming president of a country is the same as a kingdom being ‘given’ to them. And Trump is not exactly the ‘lowliest of people’ – the opposite in fact. Nevertheless God truly is sovereign but presidents, kings and queens, and prime ministers should all learn from Nebuchadnezzar, who although allowed to reign for a limited time, was ultimately driven insane because he refused to humble himself before the Lord, as Daniel foretold in a dream. Trump (and Clinton) should learn from that. Of course, in a ‘democratic’ country such as America, those elected reflect the society that has elected them.

  • Realist1234

    true, though from the disciples’ point of view, they assumed a ‘rich ruler’ would automatically have a place in the kingdom, which is why they ask the question ‘who then can be saved?’, meaning if even the rich rulers do not find a place in the kingdom of God, how on earth can the poor who have little? But Jesus assured them things are different with God’s kingdom, where ‘the first will be last, and the last first’.

  • Realist1234

    This ‘rich young ruler’ was probably the equivalent of a multi-millionaire by today’s standards. But the point Jesus is making, and explains His answer to His disciples, is that you cannot come to God still refusing to give up your idols, in this case wealth – you cannot be saved on your own terms, or by your own resources. Very wealthy people often make the making of money their main goal in life. That is where their security comes from, rather than reliance on God.

  • Realist1234

    The Mosaic Law was given to Israel, a theocracy at the time. Im sure you would agree things are different now. But the basic morality, if not the punishments, continue – in being rebellious towards parents, you are breaking the 5th Commandment. It is still wrong today to act in that way. But even in Old Testament times, it would seem this punishment was the extreme – the very fact that it wasnt just the parents involved but the Israel elders, it would be the equivalent today of the state – police and judiciary – getting involved thus showing the seriousness of their behaviour.

    So dont dismiss the Old Testament as irrelevant today. We have much to learn from these Scriptures.

  • Please let me know the date and time of the copy and paste comments i made multiple times.

  • The one that begins “Is there any soul in and of…” was posted once yesterday, once today.

    The one that begins “TRUTH IS! “The WHOLE world(…” was posted once yesterday, once today.

    The one that begins “Sadly, the eye of your understanding has not yet been opened!” was posted twice today.

    I also deleted one that was just a stand-alone duplicate that you had already posted elsewhere.

    Judging from your comment history on Patheos, I feel as a moderator I should let you know that random post bombs are not welcome, here. If you want to discuss, please discuss and you are more than welcome to take dissenting views.

  • Al Cruise

    Matthew you just keep disrespecting yourself with statements like “It’s so not Christ-like.” I see right trough what you are doing. In my 40 years of street ministry, statements like that are routinely used to protect elders, pastors and leaders who committed sex abuses , money fraud among other things. No I will not stop fighting for justice for the least among us. When we point out wrong doing it HELPS the message of Jesus.

  • I’m not sure Nebuchadnezzar’s explanation for his insanity is a good theological basis for how we evaluate American presidential candidates.

  • Yes, but it literally requires a miracle.

  • Judging from the uses of plousion in the New Testament, “the rich” is a sociopolitical category of people who are at the top of the food chain because of their wealth. For instance, Rev. 6:15 parallels the plousion with kings, commanders, magnates, etc.

  • Bones, how dare you believe the lies of, you know, maps.

  • Bones

    So God appointed Stalin and Hitler to show how sovereign He is.

    There’s something wrong with that theology.

  • Bones

    No I don’t believe the lies that are in your head.

  • Bones

    You’re the sad one

    You don’t even understand the verses you’very cobbled together to make some kind of point.

    I’m not quite sure how picking apart your dishonest use of Scripture has to do with lust. And you are the one with pride because you refuse to listen to others over your own sad little interpretations.

    But no doubt you can throw some more verses out and abuse them as well.

    If anyone has delusions or vain imaginations it’s you.

  • Bones

    Metaphor is such a problem for the literal mind.

    Fact is if Jesus had’ve been active prior to 10CE, he would have been feted as a great Jewish Reformer under Rabbi Hillel.

  • Bones

    I must admit I was quite surprised to find out that Imperial Rome is still around.

    And Egypt is still building pyramids for Pharaohs…….

  • David Ish

    I live in Pittsburgh Pa. ALL of the “Born Agains” I met for 40 years met in any way of the 10 characteristic Mr Corey listed in any way

  • Watch out for those Prussians.

  • Bones

    And the Assyrians……

  • RonnyTX

    Susan:
    Mr. Corey, your reference to the camel and the eye of the needle is miss-typed It should be Matthew 19:24. But what I wanted to say is that every one who quotes this verse as saying it is impossible for the wealthy to be saved seem to ignore the following two verses.

    “When the disciples heard, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?’ And looking at them, Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'”

    With God, even the rich can be saved..

    Ronny to Susan:
    Amen Susan, amen! :-) For with God, all things are possible. For God saves both the rich and the poor and everyone inbetween! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Phil to Susan:
    Yes, but it literally requires a miracle.

    Ronny to Phil:
    True; but then the same is true, when God saves any of us. :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Sam to Susan:
    Not to mention that if Mr. Corey’s interpretation of the verse is accurate than we’re all in trouble. Trump, Clinton, and us. Most all of us have more than we need.

    Ronny to Sam:
    Sam, something interesting on this. By United States standards, I am poor. Not the poorest of the poor; but still poor. But then several years back, this thought hit me, by world wide standards, I am rich, compared to a lot of people!

  • RonnyTX

    Jeanne to Ronny:
    He wants to go beyond water boarding .

    Ronny to Jeanne:
    Jeanne, I sure don’t doubt that! :-(

  • RonnyTX

    Ronny to Al:
    “And just to be clear on this, I don’t believe all religions/roads lead to God. ”

    Al to Ronny:
    Just a thought on this, I believe there are some Christian roads that don’t lead to God.

    Ronny to Al:
    I completely agree with you here. But I would add, that the roads that don’t lead to God, they are Christian in name only. And oh so much in the various churches, that is not of God/ Jesus Christ. :-( And I know some of that, on a personal level, since I grew up in such a church. Somethings taught there were true;but then other things also taught, that were not of God/Jesus Christ at all.

    Al to Ronny:
    However, on all the roads that do lead to God regardless of the faith, when you peel back a thin layer of the walking surface you will always find this foundation , “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22″ . That you so rightfully pointed out in a previous comment. You and I call that foundation Jesus Christ.

    Ronny to Al:
    Amen Al! :-) For Jesus Christ, he is the foundation. And he is truly, the way, the truth and the life! :-) And it’s just so great to know, that one day all people will know that. :-) Ah, what a day that will be! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Al to Realist:
    By their fruits you will know them. God’s truth.

    Ronny to Al:
    Amen, to that! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Sam to Ronny:
    I think Trump’s a charlatan and I find it very hard to believe Mr. Dobson’s story, but I don’t think there’s any reason why a recent convert to Christianity must proclaim it to the world. Or are you saying that public figures should proclaim their conversion to the world?

    Ronny to Sam:
    No, what I’m going by, is how I did and had to do, right after I was saved/born of God. I had to tell everyone, that was within earshot of my voice, about what God/Jesus Christ had just done for me. :-) Indeed, I could do no other. And if Trump, has just recently been saved/born of God, then I don’t understand it, if he doesn’t come out publicly and tell people about, what God/Jesus Christ has just done for him. And well, with a person like Trump, he could certainly speak of that on TV. Not bragging on himself; but simply telling others, about the wonderful thing, that God/Jesus Christ has just done for him. :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Craig to Ronny:
    Amen! And Satan is on a leash, but it’s far longer than most are willing to realize or admit.

    Ronny to Craig:
    That’s true. I agree. But the leash is still there, so Satan can only go so far and no further. :-)

  • paganheart

    I regret that I have but one upvote to give this comment. Bravo.

  • Matthew

    Thanks Al Cruise.

    Certainly if there are clerical abuses they should be investigated and if something is proven then the proper steps should then be taken. I’m specifically talking about differences in theology and interpretation mainly. This is where the in-fighting should stop and this is the area I thought you were referring to in your initial post.

    All that said, like others have said, we still need to try and love those with whom we disagree. I´m not saying you don´t love them (I don´t know you at all nor your heart), I´m simply stating what I think Jesus would most likely want from us even though it´s not a very easy task.

    FYI — I too see the many problems with the conservatives, but I am trying to find a peaceful middle road if in fact there is one. I actually have a mental picture of Jesus standing in the middle of the conservatives and the progressives with his arms outstretched (left and right) attempting to pull boths sides to himself who is at the center of the picture.

    Peace

  • Richard Worden Wilson

    Oh yeah, Benjamin at his best, the take no theological prisoners Benjamin I love so much. You go Ben.

  • Bones

    That’s one mighty long leash there for Mr Hitler, Mr Stalin, Chairman Mao and Pol Pot.

  • Bones

    Dude, The DaVinci Code wasn’t a documentary

  • Matthew

    I was thinking the same thing Bones. How, in your opinion, should we understand the Daniel 4:17 verse?

  • Bones

    How should we understand the Book of Daniel?

    The same as Revelation.

    Daniel was the last book of the Old Testament written in the second century BCE.

    There is no way Daniel was with Nebuchadnezzar.

    Ironically the writer goes on to describe the reign of Antiochus Antiphenes (the little horn) in chapters 8 and 9.

    Interestingly the Tanakh does not have Daniel in the prophetic books but as one of the writings.

    The Jews themselves identified that Daniel was not prophetic but writing after the fact using crypto code.

    Edit:

    Ultimately both Revelation and Daniel have the same message. That God is with His people no matter what suffering they are enduring.

    That is the real message of the texts.

    Proof texting either book to justify theology will lead you on a wild goose chase as that is not the purpose of the texts.

  • Bones

    My next door neighbour’s dog is Reformed.

    It doesn’t like anyone.

  • Ha! Well done. Although, there is certainly a lot more for that miracle to overcome with the rich.

  • Matthew

    Thanks for this Bones. Although I don´t always agree with you I do appreciate your interpretive input.

  • SamHamilton

    Agreed.

  • SamHamilton

    Thanks for the clarification of Mr. Corey’s interpretation. This is helpful. So would it be accurate to say that the vast majority of our politicians, not just Trump, need to think about this?

  • SamHamilton

    I can understand that desire. But other people have different reactions to undergoing a life-altering experience or to a change in their worldview.

  • Shadowbelle

    Waiting to see evidence of the miracle in regards to Trump …

  • RonnyTX

    Matthew to Bones:
    I was thinking the same thing Bones. How, in your opinion, should we understand the Daniel 4:17 verse?

    Ronny to Matthew:
    Let’s look at it again and some other verses, in that same chapter.

    “17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.” Daniel 4:17

    The following verses, were after God had literally put king Nebuchadnezzar out to pasture with the animals and then God restored him.

    “34 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:

    35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

    36 At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.

    37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.”
    Daniel 4:34,37

    Earlier in this chapter, this king Nebuchadnezzar, he was really praising himself and what he said, he had done and accomplished. In other words, he got a really big and swelled head. Then God took him down and literally put him out to pasture, with cattle and beasts of the field. Then when God restored this king, he saw and understood who was in control of all things and he praised God. :-)

  • Mitch Rider

    First, I must say, that I am not a fan of any of the candidates running for president, and sad that it has come to point that people vote for the one the find less offensive, instead of the one we feel would be most qualified.
    Excuse me, Mr. Corey, but you left a few things out of our bio, and really need to add “religious, arrogant, judgmental, prick.”
    How dare you sit, and pass judgment on the spirit of a man, validate, or in validate a man’s encounter with God.
    By doing so, and by your own judgmental, Pharisaic attitude towards who is, or who is not, you bring that same judgment upon your self.
    My God, I am so glad that you are neither God, nor our savior Jesus Christ, because the only ones that would enter in, would be similar arrogant religious terrorists like yourself, and Mr. Wilson.

    You say, “Being born-again means one rejects the need for political power.”
    However, you over look the fact that in the Old Testament, as the favor of God moved upon the lives of men, it placed them in leadership positions.
    You also over look the fact that in Matthew 25, “The Parable Of The Talents,” it was the two that found favor with their master that were made “rulers over many things.” One translation even says “rulers over many cities.”
    In truth, political leadership is a ministry in it’s self, and a high calling. In 1 Timothy Paul reminds us to pray for those in authority.

    You mention these verses, “(Eph 2:9). He goes on to say we must be “completely humble and gentle” (Eph 4:3) and that our humility should be the kind where we view others as being greater and more important than ourselves (Phil 2:3). Furthermore, James argues that the mark of true wisdom is that one lives a life of good deeds, done in humility (James 3:13).” However, then you piss all over them, by doing what they say not to do.

    Now, about some of your terminology. There is a difference between salvation, and being “born again.” Being “saved” is a condition of the spirit, that was done an completed through the work of Christ on the cross. Which “It is finished.” God was in Christ, not counting their sins against them, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” That is a done deal, whether you like it or not. The resurrection of Christ was dependent upon Jesus paying the price for all sin. Had the debt of all sin not been paid through Christ, he would never have been resurrected. By claiming that Christ did not destroy the works of the devil, or conquer death, hell and the grave is to say Christ failed in his assignment and was not “made sin” and that we were not “made the righteousness of God.”
    That, sir, is a bigger anti-Christ than any of you idiots can dream up, rising from the middle east, with mermaids, sea monsters, and whores riding jungle cats.

    John 3, speaks to “being born again,” and it has nothing to do with salvation. In vs 2, Nicodemus is asking Jesus how he does the miracles that Jesus does, and Jesus answers “Unless a man is born again, he can not enter into the kingdom of God.”
    “Dynatai idein tēn basileian tou Theou” in the Greek translates to the way God does things, Not the place where God lives (the kingdom of heaven.”
    As a ruler of the synagogue, (another position of leadership) Nic was not concerned with salvation. He was good. He came to ask Jesus how he did the things he did, and Jesus answered, telling him that he “must be born again to enter into the Kingdom of God.” That he must change his way of thinking to do the things Jesus did. Heal the sick, raise the dead, and tell man that God is not pissed off at them, and does not hold sin against them.

    Your teaching an anti-Christ, hell and fear based doctrine, and you think you’ve cornered the market, being a broker of God’s love, grace and mercy. However, are you really are is a pharisee, a religious prick, with a gospel of hell, not the good news of Jesus Christ. Your one bomb away from being just like ISIS.

  • The ones who are claiming to be Christians, yes.

  • So, if you were to read some of the articles in this blog besides this one, it might moderate some of your response. For instance, Ben is a proto-universalist.

  • SamHamilton

    Thanks.

  • I should clarify, these are my opinions, not necessarily Ben’s. I assume Ben’s are similar, but I don’t know that.

  • Just what I was going to say.

  • plousion?

  • Jeanne Fox

    Trump said we will have to do things that are almost unthinkable. That doesn’t sound born again to me. :(

  • Greek for “the rich.”

  • Nick

    The greatest miracle is a sinner saved by God’s grace.

  • So, I have to ask, if Jesus wasn’t making a distinction about the rich, why did he say anything at all?

    Why not say, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for anyone to enter the kingdom of God?” Why even bother mentioning anything about the rich if there aren’t special challenges with riches?

  • I guess that depends on what you mean, but obviously Jesus thought it was harder for a rich person to enter the kingdom than other people. Why bother making a big illustration out of it if not?

    It’d be like if I said, “The amazing thing about the rich is that they have heads.” Well, that statement almost makes no sense because everyone has heads.

  • So how would Jesus’ illustration have any meaning? If the rich don’t face extra challenges, why bother mentioning them?

  • Nick

    Agreed. Ronny said it better below. I should have just read further.

  • Anonymous

    This is a good list. My Conservative Christian family supports Trump, but one of them posted these verses next to a pro-Trump post on Facebook the other day:

    2 Timothy 3 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—”

    Am I the only one who thinks the vast majority of these descriptions are perfect for Donald Trump?

  • Joshua S

    Wonderful piece. Trump only worships three things, money, power, and himself.

  • SamHamilton

    Of course.

  • Thank you. I am currently working on Biblical Hebrew (very very very slowly) but I’ll get around to the Greek.

  • Laurence Charles Ringo

    Wow,Mitch…Hate much,bro? To say that your language is intemperate and perjorative would be an understatement,to say the least.Dial it back a notch,my brother,and read Romans chapter 14—then mull and reflect.I disagree with some of Wilson’s interpretations as well,especially his claims put in Jesus’ and Paul’s mouths of the supposed impossibility of rich people entering the Kingdom of God.(i.e.,Heaven)—Since Jesus Himself said that…”nothing is impossible with God”…I’m not sure how Wilson reached his conclusions.Clarify,Bro.Wilson! Relax,Bro.Mitch!!

  • Laurence Charles Ringo

    It isn’t,Phil…such interpretations put on the wrong side of the Cross. PEACE

  • Jeanne Fox

    Gadzooks! Trump is fulfilling a Bible prophecy!

  • There are special challenges for the rich. They can so easily rely on themselves and their riches that it is so much harder for them to release that and trust in God for their salvation. It is harder, but not impossible because with God, ALL things are possible. It is still a miracle that anyone is saved as no one deserves it.

  • Bones

    ” Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”

    So what do the rich have? (Go back to the rich man….)

    It’s funny how we try to read the Bible with our capitalist eyes.

  • I was just talking with a friend of mine on Friday about how American sermons on passages that talk about the rich or money spend 90% of their time explaining why it’s ok to be rich and have money.

    “Now, this doesn’t mean…” is the most commonly heard phrase in sermons about the money passages.

  • saab93f

    Being “born-again” is a marketing ploy. It is nice if people live morally sustainable life but if one were truly moral, no faiths or religions were needed.
    Born-again is like a badge of honor for religious right – if one is to be accepted, one has to say magic words and live a pious-looking life that in all honesty is a travesty of anything humane or decent. Thus the Donald fits the bill perfectly.

  • What I just love is that in the announcement where Dobson made this claim and was photographed next to Trump, it’s in front of a wall covered with framed magazines bearing Trump’s face, including where Trump made an appearance in Playboy.

    Really take a minute to enjoy that irony. Squeeze it tight and let the ooze drip out.

  • Realist1234

    Yes but thats the problem – noone is ‘truly moral’. Or as Jesus said, “Noone is good but God alone’. That is why you ‘must be born again’. But yes anyone can claim this but their life betrays the truth.

  • Bones

    No.

    Evangelicals do not understand the whole context of being ‘born again’ in the Gospel of John. And hobbling it with an unrelated verse which has nothing to do with original sin/total depravity oesn’t help either.

  • RonnyTX

    Phil to Ronny:
    Ha! Well done. Although, there is certainly a lot more for that miracle to overcome with the rich.

    Ronny to Phil:
    I don’t doubt that, since it seems a really rich person, would be more prone to depend on their riches; but then God is God and God/Jesus Christ can and does overcome anything. :-) Which is just one reason I’m sure, that before all is said and done, everyone will be born of God. :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Jeanne to Ronny:
    Trump said we will have to do things that are almost unthinkable. That doesn’t sound born again to me. :(

    Ronny to Jeanne:
    You’re right, it surely doesn’t.

  • RednGreen

    I have found myself wondering if HE is actually the AntiChrist… I mean, I’m kinda kidding but kinda not…

  • Justin

    This is a powerful list that you must adhere to yourself in every possible situation of your life. If you’re going to call out Trump, be prepared to take this list seriously yourself. I don’t know you personally, so I’m not going to say you’re doing a good job or not, but you also don’t know Trump personally. Looking at this list, I’ve failed drastically at all of them at some point. It’s a good thing that grace comes from God and not from humans because we love to pick a choose. We are under God’s grace and His Kingdom, in light of eternity, presidential elections don’t matter.

  • Over the years, I’ve come to disagree more and more with conservative evangelicals, but I’ve rarely doubted the sincerity of their convictions – that is until quite recently. I’ve always rolled my eyes when liberals have insinuated that people are using religion to gain wealth and power, because many of them have no idea what it is like to actually believe some of these ideas (such as belief in the immorality of gay relationships).

    But it’s become clear that I overestimated a good portion of evangelicals – not just the laity but the leadership. And I’m less inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt anymore.

  • spirare

    that escalated quickly…yikes.

    …it’s almost like you can’t call out someone running for the highest office of the land.

  • Lynn

    I agree with your analysis for most of the “born-agains” I see but I have witnessed real born-again people. They do not shout I am born again they just behave born-again with a light in their eyes and a glow on their face that I envy. They go out of their way to help others that they see. They clean house for free for a rich person in need and give a homeless person the next day a place to stay. This is a composite of several people I know.
    One person never said I believe in Jesus but does as Jesus taught better than I could ever do.

  • Lynn

    In reverse order.

  • Lynn

    The Trump hate rubbed off on you? Or do you just feel free to let it all hang out.?

  • Lynn

    Either way we are to pray for him.
    “May the Lord bless and keep the Zar, Far away from us!”
    from Fiddler on the Roof.

  • Lynn

    Maybe we should consider it a punishment for the hate we have practiced and not repented for from Columbus on.

  • Lynn

    Right now all of Washington DC could use a little pasture.

  • Lynn

    If so many republicans did not want Donald Trump why did they not vote in the Caucuses and Primaries leaving it up to someone else.They did not sow so they shall not reap. The exact same thing goes for Hillary Clinton. Why can’t an independent or a Green Party etc. person make it In America. It is our fault for not voting or paying attention in the off Presidential season.
    What has your city council person voted for what has your county commissioner voted for etc. Do you know their names or is the person you vote for called incumbent? This comment is for all US people who can vote.

  • Lynn

    In the story of the widow’s mite the widow gave all she had which was 100%. Yet the wealthy gave exactly 10% as was required even of their expensive spices. The wealthy going by the letter of the law did not impress Jesus but the heartfelt gift of the widow did.

  • Lynn

    Easier to say then do. I guess that is why we are told to pray for our enemies. After a while it gets easier.

  • Lynn

    I see a responsibility to continue to state our disagreements with what others say. The only thing we should not do is cuss or call the ones we disagree with fools.

  • Lynn

    I am judging (even though I shouldn’t) based on what Trump continues to say. The only way to stop Trump is to get bored with him and stop talking about him.

  • Lynn

    That is why Americans are having a hard choice. We feel rightly or wrongly that we get to choose between two fakes. Ranked Choice voting anyone?

  • Lynn

    If your dog is anything like my dogs it will have a higher place in heaven then me.

  • Lynn

    Dobson’s horns are showing.

  • Lynn

    Or if enough voting machines and polling places are successfully rigged.

  • Lynn

    Bless you.

  • Lynn

    The sea will be boiling with no place to hide the end will not be pleasant. You are right humans keep trying to make God’s time. We need to live our lives and leave it up to God.
    When I hear Christians worry more about heaven than how we treat others on earth including plants and animals I keep thinking of a song title. “Too Much Heaven On Their Minds”

  • Matthew

    I think you are right. How we discuss disagreements with one another is just as important as the contents of our discussion.

  • Elganned

    “The last shall be first…”

  • np_2007

    Despite all Donald’s `courting’ of the far right, I really don’t believe him. I think many of the leading evangelicals could be quite dangerous and POSSIBLY – just possibly – Mr. Trump & his entourage know it. I have my doubts whether this will make a good, solid `marriage’.

  • np_2007

    Don’t look for this “antichrist” in one person – more of an entity. But that’s just my opinion.

  • Darreth

    This is a very good list. And it proves that born again Christianity in the US is nothing other than a charlatan’s game.

  • PedasiPaul

    This is a convincing essay about whether The Donald is actually born agian. Dr. Dobson is deluding himself.

  • Coming into this comment box as late as it is— it probably matters little what I post— but here goes:
    First off: Until I hear Mr. Trump himself say that he has been saved by believing the gospel [and the true gospel in I Cor. 15:3] I won’t be impressed by this article or what
    Dr. Dobson actually said/didn’t say!
    Second off: Benjamin Corey may have credentials I will never have; but he is so far off
    of rightly dividing the bible I don’t have any idea where he will land— to put it mildly as possible. His piece is a fine example of mixing Law and Grace, Israel and the Body of Christ and serving a stew of confusion.
    {Edited} And third: I won’t vote for the Dems but I supported Carson and strongly condemn the verbal tactics Mr. Trump used to denigrate his opponents in the campaign.

  • Bonnie N Harry Sanders

    I don’t agree with Mr. Corey’s assessment, a degree in theology sometimes makes a person an expert at his own opinions. One thing I know is
    God doesn’t always call the qualified, He often qualifies the called..He can use a willing vessel.

  • otrotierra

    And yet nothing that you wrote constitutes a valid counter-argument in response to Dr. Corey’s thoughtful commentary.

  • Olive

    I think a good follow-up question to this is, why do we care if he is born again? Not sarcastically, but as a real question. Why are we asking?

    If we’re asking so that we can know whether to support him in his walk with the Lord, then we need to be doing that already, regardless of how far he is on that walk. He has our love and our prayers.

    If we’re asking so that we know whether he is the proper “Christian candidate” to support, then there are two possibilities and either one should rule him out: Either he is not born again and just lying to secure the Christian vote, or he is a very high-profile new believer whose hateful rhetoric does nothing to lose *his* salvation through Christ, but risks tarnishing the image of all believers and preventing non-believers from ever receiving the gospel.

    Non-believers will see the distasteful traits that Benjamin has pointed out in this piece and expect that these are the fruits of the spirit.

    I will love Donald and pray for him. I will vote for Hillary.

  • Jeff

    Nice try taking the scriptures out of context. Especially about letting in immigrants and not protecting our borders. God also gave us a brain that somehow those voting for Hillary don’t use. Whether Trump is truly a Christian is irrelevant. At least he has the best interest for the country at heart. Yes, he is far from perfect. Whoever did this article doesn’t understand being born again either. By these standards we are all doomed.

  • The author said, “Of course, this demonstrates the amazing timing of the Holy Spirit and the wondrous ways in which God works. I mean, to become a born-again Christian right at the very moment when one needs the vote of the born-again Christian voting bloc? God certainly is mysterious!”. . . WOW. . For someone chastising another for not being “born again” and mentioning 8 years in seminary as bona fides, this quote is disturbing. For it is sarcastic and mocking. There is really no need to read any further, as this quote told me that Mr. Covey was not interested in seeing the Christ in Trump, but rather it was a way to mock and impugn the President. To me, this invalidates, or at least puts in to question, Mr. Covey’s faith. We are to be encouragers, lifting up the fallen. If Trump is a “baby Christian”, he needs prayer, and guidance. . .not mockery and simplistic statements which are meant only to show how unchristian he is. . . There is nothing edifying here. Peace

  • God qualifies the called. . .love that sentence. . .

  • You really have no idea, what the man is like in private.. . if he prays or not. . Try to see him as more than just the image that liberals see

  • Herm

    Do you see “the Christ in Trump“?

  • Bones

    We see what he’s like in public….a fascist.

    Who gives a f*ck if he prays.

  • I can. . He loves his family, and aside from his showmanship shtick, seems to be a real person. . (not a phony) That is a rare thing, especially in politics, where many are poseurs. . . It is sometimes hard–not just to see the Christ in Trump, but the Christ in everyone– but, isn’t that what we are called to do. I guess I am a bit of a universalist, in that I try to see the Imago Dei in all people. Sometimes I fail to do that. . . Peace

  • So, then it does not matter to you if he acts “born again” or not, for you are convinced that he is not.

  • Herm

    Scott, it is good that you bend over backward to see the best in all people. Jesus is not a narcissist and Donald J. Trump is. Jesus never said I alone can fix it and never will. Beware of those who appear to you in sheep’s clothing. Caiaphas was convincing, too.

  • Bones

    He’s as born again as Kim Il-Sung….

    Bush was born again too and look what a f*cked up disaster he turned into.

  • Hmm Bush also. . . I see a trend. . .Everyone who is on the right can not be “born again” or better, a sincere Christian. . . like I said, you have made your mind up. Facts, therefore, matter not. . .

  • You are the one comparing Jesus to Trump. Jesus was a lot of things that we aren’t. so what is your point. That Trump is human, and has foibles, like narcissism and self-aggrandizement. . . As to the implication that I need to be warned about wolves in sheep’s clothing. That is true, of everyone, right? Obama was quite the “wolf” too, with some of his policies. . . .We do not follow Trump as a spiritual leader. . . He is not a demigod. As a libertarian, I would prefer his presidency be quite small. focusing on security. . everything else is incidental. . . btw

  • Herm

    So, then, you don’t see Jesus in President Trump.

    Is this the security you wish, as a libertarian, focused upon and for whom?

    https://qz.com/898134/what-steve-bannon-really-wants/

  • Bones

    I see a trend…..

    People wanting their heroes to be born again…regardless of their policies…..oh loOK i’ll vote forr him because he”s born again.

    Complete idiocy.

    Who the hell votes for a leader because of their religion and not their policies.

    The facts are born again bush was a complete disaster.

    I’d prefer an atheist if they were a good president.

    Try that nonsense over here and you’ll find yourself turfed out real quick.

    We have no time for religious charlatans in office.

  • You wrote: “People wanting their heroes to be born again…regardless of their policies…..oh loOK i’ll vote forr him because he”s born again.” .
    I am not interested in finding a “hero”–neither are most who are on the “right”. That is one of the big differences between the right and the left. We do not place our power in the government, thus we need no hero. Hero worship is more prevalent on the left. . .
    The rest of your post made no sense–kinda sounded like a threat, which was odd. But, it does seem that you are not a fan of the religious. . .
    I hope you have a good life Peace

  • I see Christ in Trump. . . as he is in everyone. You seem to be trying to be obtuse. I am talking about the Imago Dei (image of God) that all are created in. That does not mean that he is like Jesus, just as Obama was not like Christ, but was also of Christ. . .
    No, that is not the security I wish. . . Read Calvin Coolidge, he is more in line with my philosophy. But then you are supposing that Trump is merely a puppet to Bannon and that Bannon is a racist. . These are merely conjecture. Those on the right felt that Valerie Jarrett was the real brains behind Obama. Before that people thought that Cheney was the real power, and that George W, was just a figurehead. . . it is facile thinking of someone who has no clue what is really going on. . . peace

  • Herm

    Scott, I am sorry I wasted your time. You and I are on two completely different wavelengths. Your politics are far more conspiracy based than mine. Your spiritual walk just isn’t this one:

    And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

    John 14:16-17 (NIV2011)

    Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

    Mark 1:10-11 (NIV2011)

    Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

    John 1:12-13 (NIV2011)

    Yes, go in peace!

  • Bones

    I’m sure it didn’t make any sense to someone who thinks a person has to be born again to hold public office.

    The fact that Trump prays or is born again is irrelevant to being a good president. And what we see at the moment shows he is a complete shambles.

    Look at the complete disaster that was Bush….

    The US is one of the few countries which selects its leaders based on religion….so most of them bullshit that they are born again so that you hear what you want.

  • It was not a waste of time. I enjoy discussions. My politics are not conspiratorial, they are quite realistic. I do not believe in the “hidden hand” nor in a gnostic view in which only a few enlightened ones know the truth.
    I do not get the point of the texts. I am familiar with them. They have nothing to do with politics. They seem as non sequitors. . . Perhaps, I am missing the connection between those verses and the theme of this thread. . . (namely, that I see the Christ in Trump)
    You are in not in a position to analyze my spiritual walk, nor am I, yours.
    I do not see Trump as a demi-god, or a hero. . neither do I see him as irredeemably flawed and an insult to the office. Some of what he will do will be right; some will not be. . .
    Hope that helps to clear things up.
    Peace