The Trump Bible and the Heresy of Ballot Box Salvation

The Trump Bible and the Heresy of Ballot Box Salvation May 10, 2024

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Art4theGloryofGod

God speaks to everyone. We try to take ownership of God and confine Him to our denomination, our nation, our color, our sex … to ourselves.

We’re like jealous children fighting over which one of us daddy loves the best.

But the truth is, the only people who are outside the circle of God’s redemption are those who place themselves there by a free choice of their own will, and they can reverse their decision and turn to Him any time their selfish pride allows them to.

I’m going to link to a video today which contains part of a sermon preached by a conservative Evangelical preacher. I never heard of this man before I saw this video on You Tube. The form of worship his particular denomination uses does not resonate with me.

I am a Catholic by choice, not birth. The reason I made that choice, the reason I’ve found that I cannot leave this Church and kick the door shut behind me over its persistent and deeply sinful support of rape and rapists is Christ in the Eucharist.

Christ in the Eucharist called me to the Catholic Church, and He continues to call me, even when I despair of the Church ever regarding me or any other female human being as fully and completely made in the Image of God.

Having said that, I recognize the Holy Spirit, speaking through this Evangelical preacher. He is preaching something like an exorcism to his flock. The evil of ballot box salvation and fake christianity without Christ, without the Cross, without the Gospels, without morality is the great sin, the driving heresy, of American Christianity today.

It is the dominant voice and the only serious teaching that is being taught in the Catholic Church in America today. I believe that there are many American bishops who do not bow down to this false idol, but it’s a sad truth that, if they exist, they are not speaking out.

The bishops who are enthralled with extremist right wing money, power and politics are so completely dominating the conversation that they have become the voice of the Catholic Church in America.

If that is true of American Catholicism, it is even more true of American Evangelicalism. The sell-out of the Gospels to right wing politics in the Evangelical Church is so profound that it has become nearly absolute.

That’s why this pastor’s sermon is so startling. He’s a unicorn.

I’m linking to a small part of his almost 50-minute sermon. I watched the whole thing. In the course of it, he frequently says profoundly Christian things that are not said in our churches today. One of these is when he says that every person on this earth is beloved of God.

That single radical idea is the root cause of the rise to dominance of the political heresy in today’s American fake christianity. God Who loves everyone, Who died like a common criminal, Who said things like

You cannot serve both God and money.

Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and render unto God that which is God’s. 

The Sabbath was made for human beings, human beings weren’t made for the Sabbath.

My kingdom is not of this world.

The Lord Who said things like that is not the god of fake political christianity. That God, Jesus Christ, is the antidote for fake political christianity. A church that preaches ballot box salvation is not going to preach Christ and Him crucified for the simple reason that Christ and Him crucified is a direct contradiction to their fake teachings.

There is no place, absolutely none, in a right wing political church and its fake christianity for a Saviour Who says things like that. There is no place in such a church for the real God Who loves all of us. There is no place for Jesus in those churches because teaching hatred, division and exclusion is how they serve their false god, which is the power and money of right wing politics.

Your god is who you follow. Your god is who determines your notion of right and wrong. For a great deal of American “christianity” their god is the blasphemous, cruel, greed-driven American Baal of billionaire-owned right wing politics.

But as always, there are those who will not bow down to the Baals of money power. There is always the 7,000 that God told Elijah about; those who have not bent their knee before the false christ of fake ballot box salvation.

Sadly, those clergy who do not follow the Baal of ballot box salvation and right wing teaching are cowed and silent. The sheer emotional violence of the right wing movement has neutered them before they speak a word.

That’s why this pastor is such a surprise. It’s why his sermon has gone viral. Somehow, the Holy Spirit has gotten hold of him. And people are hungry for it.

He says repeatedly in his sermon that this sin of turning away from the Way the leads to eternal life to go running after the false teaching of ballot box salvation is due to a lack of prayer.

He’s right. But what he doesn’t say is that prayer that leads you to  a deeper folowership with Christ is and absolutely must be deeply honest. I know from personal experience that what God gives you in that kind of prayer is not always what you want.

There is nothing in this world quite like having God lay out your sins, the ones you have been hiding from yourself, right in front of you.

You don’t know remorse, grief and shame until you’ve faced your own sins in the presence of God. But you also don’t know love and mercy until you do that, either.

America and the world are in need of conversion. The Catholic Church in America and almost all of our bishops are also in need of conversion. Our political bishops need a profound and basic conversion to Christ. Our weak and silent bishops need spines. They need empowerment to speak and teach Christ.

You and I need conversion from this world every day, in every way.

Life is hard, fast-paced and confusing. Temptations are many. We are weak. We all need conversion on a daily basis.

I hope you get something from this part of Pastor Loran Livingstone’s sermon. And I don’t mean a gotcha for someone other than you. Look to your own heart. Consider you own walk with Christ. And remember:

No matter who you are or what you’ve done, Jesus Christ loves you with an eternal love. You don’t have to get all cleaned up and perfect to come to Him. He wants you and loves you just as you are.

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