"It is jaw-dropping how oblivious many believers are about the moment they are living. Trump is a divine disruption–a merciful pause button to give the church a chance to keep America from going off a socialistic cliff. So far, most in the church have done little to act on this mercy, let alone appreciate it! But I thank God for my president! And what has the church done to repay Trump for his nameless, daily agony on our behalf? Many reward him with apathy, ingratitude and abandonment. My friend, we are about to pay an incalculable price if we don’t get a right view of this hour."
This is an excerpt from a column by white evangelical Mario Murillo, an unabashed Trumpite. The headline of this piece was, "Trump and his family go through hell for the church." It was sent to me by a friend of mine, an unabashed Trump supporter.
I received this article after having just finished reading "The Cross and the Lynching Tree" by black liberation theologian James H. Cone.
The dichotomy between the two views are stark and unsettling.
The following is my own personal impression about Trump. No matter what he does, or how many evangelical preachers attempt to convince me of his divine appointment to prevent the dismantling of the church in America--a noble bulwark against the socialistic takeover by the crazy, godless lefties, I remain unmoved and unconvinced.
Furthermore, the Bible tells us of the perilous last days, the time of tribulation, the period of Jacob's troubles that are coming no matter how hard we pray or ask God to prevent them. So whether Trump or Obama is in office, those days are coming. Something has to usher in that dark period in human history.
Hence, Jesus warns us,"let those who are faithful, remain faithful still." So instead about worrying about Mr. Trump and his troubles, this is my response, "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand."
I do not go to heaven based on my support or lack thereof of a thrice-married man who has boasted about assaulting women and grabbing them by the p@$$y.
Notwithstanding, Jesus, Paul, Peter, all the apostles, Jim Elliot, William Carey, Mother Teresa, there is peculiar ethos in western theology that focuses prominently on the blessed life. Suffering, discomfort and inconvenience are disregarded and ignored for the promise of material comfort and wealth, and anybody or anything that challenges that mindset or way of life is viewed as a menace to be destroyed with all dispatch.
That being said here is my admittedly visceral reaction to President Trump and reasons that I cannot support nor endorse this man.
He and I see the world from different vantage points. He has always been a white privileged New Yorker with little understanding or empathy for the black experience. His father did all in his power, with no objection from the son, to restrict black renters from accessing his New York apartments. In his mind, black people and other people of color lack intelligence, the sophistication, moral objectivity, the prerequisite qualifications, to criticize him, judge any case related to him, work for him or hold a particular political office. (See his comments about Don Lemon, Lebron James, Maxine Waters, Judge Gonzalo Curiel, Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillum and Barack Obama.)
They are only necessary disposable tools like Kanye West and Omarosa (referred to as a dog after her unceremonious White House departure) when they serve to promote his agenda and his standing in the eyes of the public.
Without sound, firm ethical moorings, this man does not understand loyalty and commitment to any particular individual or cause. (Just ask recently dismissed Jeff Sessions)
I was black before I became a Christian and I find it impossible to divorce myself from all the others mentioned above.
His M.A.G.A. message is so appealing because he is of a generation that believed that niggers ought to know their place. (This includes all those fervent white evangelical supporters who supported segregation in their churches.) That generations were taught that blacks should not aspire to anything more than subservient roles, remain keenly aware that they are not supposed to go to certain places since they are and were bereft of the intellectual or moral capacity to venture beyond the limited station of a chauffeur, butler or maid.
Moreover, the men, because of their bestial impulses and demonic, carnal desires to have sex with white women had to be severely restrained, confined or exterminated in order to protect the sanctity and purity of the white race. (See laws against miscegenation and Loving vs Virginia.)
In 1918, a white mob - unable to find one flimsily accused Negro - searched for another who was thought guilty of a similar infraction. Frustrated in that endeavor, the sheriff seized the man's wife and gave her to the blood thirsty mob. They, in turn, stripped the eight-month pregnant woman, hung her upside down, doused her with gasoline and roasted her to death. A white man took a hunting knife, opened up her swollen belly. The infant fell out and was summarily stomped to death. That is the kind of attitude displayed by Donald Trump when he refused to let the matter of the acquitted Central Park Five die.
Fantastic as it may sound, white Christian ministers would invoke God's blessing upon lynchers and these horrific gruesome events. No wonder Gandhi could not escape his Hindu stronghold, sadly exclaiming, "I would have known Christianity except for the Christians I have known."
People's attitude toward God in heaven depends on the behavior of His children here on earth. Indeed, many people curse God and Christianity because of the way His children act on earth.
How many churches you know that are dynamic, bursting at the seams with the overwhelming diverse flow of yuppies? When Christians are selfish, greedy and stingy, fewer people praise God. When God's children love, give, share, express kindness to all, people tend to look up and worship God.
M.A.G.A, despite its spiritual coverings, is a racist dog whistle, catnip and a clarion call back to those heady days when white men ruled everything, niggers and women knew their place.
So, the white ministers who condoned that type of behavior or remained silent during those bitter days of oppression are understandably alarmed at these harrowing turn of events. They have no qualms in using scripture and prophecies to undergird his boorish behavior and explain away his evil impulses. They are trying to stave off “that incalculable price” looming on the horizon.
Since they do not recognize this country, feel threatened by the ascendancy of other people groups, concerned about encroachment on their turf, lack the spiritual muscle, vigor or desire to confront evil in all its forms-- not only homosexuality or abortion-- they employ fear as a weapon of choice, disparage the foreigner, stoke division and sow discord.
Therefore, he and I do not have a common starting point to even consider engagement.
When a man questions my humanity, my reason for being, my capability to reason and discern, my ability to venture beyond my circumstances and upbringing, my aspirations to achieve more than with which I was born, we cannot do business together.
There is no mutual frame of reference and I have no desire to find one.
Based on his past and ongoing pronouncements, I am sure neither does he.
V. Knowles is a husband, father and prison minister with an interest in penning issues that serve to uplift mankind. He melds his love for Classic literature, The Bible and pop culture - as sordid as it may be - into highly relatable columns of truth, faith and justice. Hence the name: Just Thinking. If he's not buried in a book or penning his next column, you may find him pinned to his sectional watching a good old Country and Western flick. He is also the co-author of HOLA America: Guts, Grit, Grind and Further Traits