I’ve been an Evangelical Christian all of my adult life. I’ve had my Kermit Zarley Blog for seven years with patheos.com. It hosts the biggest conversation on faith in the world. My blog is a mixed bag, but mostly about issues regarding the Bible. However, since Donald Trump became president, I have increasingly blogged about his performance as president. The reason was that I was alarmed about what he was doing. I had to reconcile this decision to critique Trump and president with my belief that my blog should be mostly about Christian faith and the Bible. But I felt that our nation was in the midst of crisis with Donald Trump as our president.
Christians are called by Jesus to love God, love our neighbors as ourselves, and even love our enemies. But some Christians, especially Evangelicals, think this means not ever criticizing people, especially our political leaders. I think that is dead wrong.
Six months before Donald Trump was elected president, on May 20, 2016, I blogged, “I’m Worried if Trump Triumphs.” I laid out my reasons and then said, “I think Donald Trump is a big bag of hot air ready to blow up like the Hindenburg blimp if he becomes U.S. president.”
One week after Trump was inaugurated as president I blogged, “Do President Trump and Steve Bannon Believe in Our Democracy?” I answered “no.”
On June 29th that year, six months after Trump had been president, I blogged, “Trump Is a Disgrace to the U.S. Presidency.” My point was that he was defaming the office of the presidency and that he therefore needed to exit. I even speculated in my blog about how smart Trump was and if he was smart enough to foresee that he was not the man for this job and therefore needed to resign.
Since I specialize in the study and writing on Bible prophecy, I have a keen sense of the risk in making predictions that prove wrong. Thus, making predictions are not something that I’m given to do. Making interpretations of the Bible–yes. Yet I speculated that Trump would surely wise up and resign soon. Six months into his presidency, I predicted he would resign within a year. It turned out that Donald Trump did not resign the presidency because he’s not as smart as I thought he was.
So, I estimate that I have written perhaps 150 posts on my blog against Donald Trump as president. My constant refrain was that he was psychologically unfit to be president because he is a classic narcissist and a great big liar who cannot be trusted. I also believed he had charismatic abilities to deceive many people. With his populism, he had developed as personality cult that people had fallen into like falling into a big, deep hole.
I got a lot of criticism for this from comments on my blog. Friends and even some family members disagreed strongly with me. Some of the comments were very caustic. I sometimes had to warn commenters that I expected civil conversation and that I would delete them if they could not deliver. It was not any fun. I felt like quitting my blog. But even though I don’t have that much of a following, I believed I was doing the right thing that needed to be done. I was speaking up for democratic principles upon which I nation had been founded, and that’s what drove me to continue speaking out against what I thought was a very dangerous man running our country.
A lot of Christians criticized me for blogging against Trump. Although I still claim to be an Evangelical Christian, most Evangelicals do not accept me as a Christian due to what they have been taught. They deem me a heretic because of my book, The Restitution of Jesus Christ. In it I show from the Bible that Jesus was not God; yet I affirm everything else about Jesus’ identity that the church has proclaimed of him.
Many Christians alleged that my criticism of President Trump was a violation of the biblical teaching of the Apostles Paul and Peter, claiming it means we Christians are not to critique our political leaders. I believe that is a misunderstanding of Romans 13.1-5 (also here) and 1 Peter 2.13-17. Moreover, God called his prophets to speak to power in the days of ancient Israel. Many of these people have not been educated enough to understand the value of what is called “critical thinking.” But it’s also because they don’t understand the Bible aright.
To sum, I don’t rejoice in Donald Trump’s fall from grace. I’m mostly for redemption, for people being saved and rehabilitated for the glory of God. But Trump has not shown any evidence of the necessary penitence and humility that leads to illumination and real life as some Evangelicals though Trump was going to do. In fact, it’s been just the opposite. Yet recent events make me feel that my efforts in warning America about Donald Trump have been validated. And there are lots of Americans who have done the same as I have and more, and many were more articulate about it than I. I’m sure they feel validated as well.