In early June, Sean Spicer, former White House press secretary for President Donald Trump, asked him, “have you grown in your faith?” The president answered, “So I think maybe I have, from the standpoint that I see so much that I can do. I’ve done so much for religion.”
Uh, Mr. President, I don’t think that’s what Mr. Spicer meant. He was talking about you personally.
In August, 2015, when Donald Trump first started his political campaign to run for the U.S. presidency, he was asked if he had any religious beliefs. He answered:
“People are so shocked when they find … out I am Protestant. I am Presbyterian. And I go to church and I love God and I love my church.”
Frank Luntz then asked Trump whether he has ever asked God for forgiveness.
Trump answered, “I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think so. I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.”
Trump then said that while he hasn’t asked God for forgiveness, he does participate in Holy Communion. He said of that, “When I drink my little wine — which is about the only wine I drink — and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed. I think in terms of ‘let’s go on and let’s make it right.’”
Mr. Trump, you still don’t get it even though you have all those professing evangelical Christians around you in the White House. Your answers to these questions by Sean Spicer and Frank Lutz indicate as much. Yes, Christianity is about God’s forgiveness. But you won’t receive it until you admit you are a sinner in need of God’s forgiveness, and then it makes in difference in your life by following the teachings of Jesus, thus being able to call him “Lord.” Going to church, taking communion, making some governing maneuvers as president that favor a certain segment of Christianity–these will not get you into the kingdom of God. As Jesus told Nicodemus, you must be “born again,” that is, “born from above” (John 3.3). That is a serious, inner experience that changes your life forever. I pray that happens to you, but so far I don’t believe it has. And until it does, you can’t grow in your faith if you don’t have any.