Mark 10:42-45 AMP “Calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their powerful men exercise authority over them [tyrannizing them]. 43 But this is not how it is among you; instead, whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wishes to be first and most important among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Just meditate on those words, for a bit. Consider that the only perfect, sinless man in the history of humanity did not exalt himself. He came to be a servant, the ransom for many, because the serving is greater than being served.
Jesus had every reason to boast, but did not. For Christians, that should be the model, not only for our own lives, but in our leadership. Braggarts, profaners, adulterers, the proud and abusive are anathema to the example of Christ.
I told you about the Monday night White House dinner, where President Trump hosted about 100 evangelical “leaders.”
During that time, Trump boasted of things he has not done (like get rid of the Johnson Amendment), and attempted to whip up fears by claiming there would be violence and bloodshed in the streets, if these leaders did not get out and do their duty, to assure Republicans won the midterms.
“The level of hatred, the level of anger is unbelievable,” he said. “Part of it is because of some of the things I’ve done for you and for me and for my family, but I’ve done them. … This Nov. 6 election is very much a referendum on not only me, it’s a referendum on your religion, it’s a referendum on free speech and the First Amendment.”
If the GOP loses, he said, “they will overturn everything that we’ve done and they’ll do it quickly and violently, and violently. There’s violence. When you look at Antifa and you look at some of these groups — these are violent people.”
While recognizing that the Antifa movement is a movement of thugs and should be labeled domestic terrorism, what Trump is pushing here is ridiculous.
I wanted to revisit this issue and bring you more from Monday night, because I’m so convinced that those who are supposed to be leaders of Christianity in America are very much now turning a blind eye to their faith, in order to gain access to political power.
Luke 20:46-47 NLT “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. 47 Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be severely punished.”
Along with the president and Vice President Pence were well-known evangelical figures, such as Franklin Graham, James Dobson, Robert Jeffress, and Greg Laurie.
Some of the other lies pushed (and gobbled up without question by the attendees, grateful just to be included in this cult meeting):
The president went on about how his administration has taken several steps to protect religious liberty for conservatives who object to things like abortion or gay marriage, his administration’s pro-life victories and how the administration has spoken out about worldwide religious persecution.
If by “pro-life victories” he means continuing to funnel big tax bucks to Planned Parenthood, ok. Sure.
As for speaking out against “worldwide religious persecution,” that is easy. Anyone can say a word against it.
George W. Bush, as president, traveled to China and prayed with house church leaders, openly, and called on the government to stop their oppression of Christians and let them worship, without fear of persecution.
Trump has pushed the notion that his executive order that basically called for lawmakers to look the other way, should houses of worship in America choose to act as campaign headquarters for a specific candidate was the same as ending the Johnson Amendment. To him, that’s a win.
Meanwhile, let’s forget that politics is a divisive subject, and not at all Kingdom-focused. What happens when pastors start pushing their politics from the pulpit, rather than the Word of God, and then their witness and work for the community suffers, due to dwindling numbers?
It’s a risk they take to honor man over God.
And speaking of honoring man, that’s really all Monday night was about. It wasn’t to honor the evangelical leaders. It was to give them a chance to lay offerings of praise at the orange altar of Baal.
This is what Trump wants from everyone, and it is disgusting that so-called Christian leaders are the ones willing to give it to him.
“The support you have given me has been incredible but I really don’t feel guilty because I have given you a lot back — just about everything I promised,” Trump said. “As one of our great pastors just said, ‘Actually, you have given us much more than you have promised.’ And I think that is true.”
If you’re a Christian, or even if you’re not. That statement should shake you.
There is no grace or modesty in Trump, and these “leaders” took everything he said, unquestioning, because the meal was lavish and for the mere price of their witness, they get to say they had dinner with the president.
Before the dinner, Trump met privately with a small handful of evangelical leaders and their wives including Texas megachurch pastor Jack Graham, Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr. and the American Association of Christian Counselors’ Tim Clinton. Florida televangelist Paula White and her son also reportedly joined the small gathering.
Also at the event:
Other notable evangelicals who attended the meeting include Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, conservative radio host Eric Metaxas, televangelist Kenneth Copeland, megachurch Pastor Jentezen Franklin, Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Ralph Reed, Maryland Bishop Harry Jackson, San Diego megachurch Pastor Jim Garlow, former Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd and Hispanic evangelical leader the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez.
Take note of these names. They’ve rendered their good deeds to mere rags. Treat them, accordingly.
So I mentioned that this wasn’t so much to honor those evangelical leaders for their part in making an abusive, profane, hateful, adulterous, and unrepentant man an idol for the American Christian church. Jack Graham noted that the mic was open, so these pastors and evangelical icons could come lay their crowns at the feet of the king.
“They were getting up and saying what we appreciate and care about, expressing our faith and our love. It was very similar to a meeting that you would have at a church,” Graham said, adding that it was like a testimony meeting. “With that many preachers and Christian leaders in the room, we believe the spirit of God was very present. Scripture was shared, verses were given to the president. The truth was delivered and love was delivered.”
“We need to maintain our vigilance in the upcoming days. The concern is that this is a spiritual warfare, this is a battle and ultimately battle is won on our knees,” Graham said. “It is very clear, we voiced to the president that we need to pray, pray for him, pray for our country.”
I’m all about praying for our country and praying for our leaders, but to do it in this context, I have a hard time believing this was the spirit-filled event they would have us believe.
Focus on the Family big wheel, Dr. James Dobson, was also eager to give breathless praise for the mobster-in-chief.
“I have served five presidents in the past 38 years and this was perhaps the most exciting event in that time,” Dobson said. “The president spoke first and thanked us generously for the support we have given to him and his Administration since his inauguration. At least 15 ministers and leaders then rose to thank Mr. Trump for keeping his promises during the campaign and since his inauguration.”
“Great appreciation was expressed for defending the sanctity of human life, for preserving religious liberty, for the quality of judges appointed, for his defense of Israel, for his support of the military, for ending the Johnson Amendment that had denied the church freedom of speech, and many other issues for which we are grateful,” Dobson added.
So much bull. He didn’t end the Johnson Amendment and the Johnson Amendment was meant to keep politics out of the pulpit. Pastors shouldn’t have to be told that. The day the Sabbath is just another day to push worldly solutions over teaching the Word of God – the day we’re called to keep holy, in honor of God – that is the day you can surely proclaim that the Father’s face has turned away from this nation.
“Many in attendance pledged their intention to help get out the vote for the midterm elections. There were heartfelt prayers for the president and the first lady, and also for Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, who were also in attendance. It was a moving and encouraging gathering, I think for the invitees and also for our president.”
You’ve lost your mind, Dobson.
And no, whatever you do, don’t assume this meeting was to distract from the really awful week Trump had last week, as Graham pointed out.
“I know some are saying that given the events of last week, the president is just trying to get his boys together. This has been planned for a minimum of six weeks,” Graham said, admitting that the event was “timely” given the “very tough week last week.”
“In providence in the plan of God, this was planned weeks ago,” Graham said. “Tonight was the night and it was a very special night with a very special leader and his wife with some great people in that room who are working hard for our churches and our communities.”
No. It was a lot of leaders more concerned with power than their witness to the world.
The chaff is being separated from the wheat, and no one should question why there is so little ground being won by American evangelicals. The so-called leaders have forgotten that there is an eternal life after this one. Creating cults for the purpose of exalting a man is not a soul-winning strategy.