Home » Posts tagged 'evangelicals'
Tag Archives: evangelicals
After observing some recent tweets by both President Trump and evangelicals, I felt a strong pull to address what has changed with Christianity in this age of Trump. It is beyond me how some Christians blindly follow this man. It is also very scary as some of the things we are witnessing today are eerily similar to what happened in World War II. I recently read a book called “The Choice” which was written by Dr. Edith Eva Eger. Oprah recently interviewed Dr. Eger on her show, “Super Soul Sunday”. She is strongly opposed to what is happening at our southern border as she knows what it is like to be treated in that manner. In her book, she explained how she was sent to Auschwitz and forced to go on the death march. She was found barely alive on a top of dead bodies when the Americans came and saved her. She has vowed to fight against the issues at our southern border as much as she can even though she is 92 years old.
What really propelled me into writing this series of blogs was an article that I read on Facebook. A Jewish woman has proposed that a “Book of Trump” be added to the Bible. I just about fell out of my chair when I read this! That has to be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard…and in my opinion, it is sacrilege to even suggest something like that.
What I have decided to do is to compare actual tweets made by President Trump to actual quotes from Jesus that are in the Bible. I hope that by doing this, the reader can see the extremely clear differences in what Trump has said and what Jesus told us to do. Please know that this is just the icing on the cake when it comes to Trump. As you will see, for many of the questions, I quote things that Trump has said on Twitter over the past month ONLY. If I quote every lie or name that he has called someone, I would literally have a book. This blog just gives a very few examples of how Trump’s words and actions do NOT follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.
What Trump has said on Twitter since July 1, 2019 (actual quotes):
- “Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party. Weak, ineffective and stupid are not exactly the qualities that the Republicans…were looking for.”
- “Andy McCabe is a major sleazebag.”
- “Could you imagine having Sleepy Joe Biden, or Alfred E. Newman, or a very nervous and skinny version of Pocahontas as your President…”
- “I don’t know the Ambassador, but I have been told he is a pompous fool.”
- “Watching Fox News weekend anchors is worse than watching low ratings Fake News CNN, or Lyin’ Brian Williams…and the crew of degenerate Comcast (NBC/MSNBC) Trump haters, who do whatever Brian and Steve tell them to do.”
- “Great news for the Republican Party as one of the dumbest and most disloyal men in Congress is quitting the party…A total loser!” (He is talking about Justin Amash)
- “We all know that Alexandria Ocaso-Cortez and this crowd are a bunch of communists…”
- “I told Theresa May how to do that deal, but she went her own foolish way…”
- “The ‘Squad’ is a very racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart.”
What Jesus said:
- “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9
- “And if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council.; and if you say,’You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire.” Matthew 5:22
- “In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12
- “I tell you, on the day of judgment, you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” Matthew 12:36-37
What Trump has said since July 1, 2019 (actual quotes, and yes, he does refer to himself in the third person):
- “Our country is the envy of the world. Thank you, Mr. President!”
- “Tell him the USA now has the best economy and military anywhere in the world by far, and they are both only getting bigger, better and stronger…thank you, Mr. President!”
- “They don’t want people to shop at those great stores because he contributed to your favorite President, me!”
- “…rather than what you have now, so great looking and smart, a true stable genius.”
What Jesus said:
- “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5
- “Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:4
- “The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.” Matthew 23:11-12
- “So I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example that you also should do as I have done to you.” John 13:14-15
Love of money:
**Note: The point here is not to say that we shouldn’t be happy that the economy is doing well. The point is that Trump’s focus is on money, and he’s not ever happy that he has enough. He always wants more, and this is a problem.
What Trump has said on Twitter since July 1, 2019:
- “In the meantime, we are receiving billions of dollars in tariffs from China…”
- “We are doing great economically as a country, number one…”
- “When you are the big piggy bank that other countries have been ripping off for years…”
- “Dow just hit 27,000 for the first time ever!”
- “Ask the Times what they paid for the Boston Globe and what they sold it for (lost 1.5 billion dollars).”
- “Strong jobs report, low inflation, and other countries around the world doing anything possible to take advantage of the United States.”
- “It could have been even better – massive additional wealth would have been created…”
- “Today’s stock market is the highest in the history of our great country!”
- “We have the greatest economy anywhere in the world.”
- “The economy is the BEST IT HAS EVER BEEN!”
What Jesus said:
- “No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” Matthew 6:24
- “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:23-24
**Note: It is common knowledge that Trump has lied over 10,000 times since he took office. Several media outlets are currently tracking and documenting all of his lies.
What Trump has tweeted since July 1, 2019:
- “I don’t make money, but lose a fortune for the honor of serving and doing a great job as your President!”
Truth: There are many ways Trump has made money while he has been President. Here is one example: According to estimates by Dan Alexander and Matt Drange of Forbes, Trump pulls in AT LEAST 175 million annually from commercial tenants in his buildings.
- “So interesting to see Progressive Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe…”
Truth: Trump was talking about the 4 Congresswomen who have recently been in the news. Trump’s comments were viewed as racist, and the House passed a resolution saying that his remarks were racist. Three out of the four women were not born in other countries. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was born in the Bronx in New York. Ilhan Oman is a refugee from Somalia and became a U.S. citizen in 2000. Rashida Tlaib was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Ayanna Pressley was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- “[Joe Biden] added more debt than all other Presidents combined.”
Truth: According to Forbes, “Trump’s deficits as a percentage of GDP will exceed any other President’s during a time of economic expansion. Under Trump, debt has risen to a record $22 trillion.”
- “Democrats want open borders….”
Truth: At no time has a Democrat ever said that they want open borders. Democrats have said that they want sensible immigration reform. Since Democrats’ idea of immigration reform does not match Trump’s version, Trump immediately jumps to the conclusion that Democrats want open borders. This is false.
- “No collusion. No obstruction.”
Truth: Here is the quote from Mueller’s report which clearly states that Mueller did not make a decision on either collusion or obstruction: “Charging the president with a crime was an option we could not consider. If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”
- “As most people are aware, according to the polls, I won every debate…”
Truth: The following data is an average of five polls that were taken during the Clinton/Trump debates. The five polls came from ABC/Washington Post, CBS/New York Times, CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, Fox News, and NBC/Wall Street Journal:
Debate #1 – Clinton 43%/Trump 40.4%;
Debate #2 – Clinton 44.8%/Trump 40.8%;
Debate #3 – Clinton 45.8%/Trump 40.4%.
Now, I know that some Trump supporters will call this “fake news”, so I decided to include the numbers from Fox News ONLY:
Debate #1 – Clinton 41%/Trump 40%;
Debate #2 – Clinton 43%/Trump – 40%;
Debate #3 – Clinton 45%/Trump 38%.
So even the Fox News poll proves that Trump lied about this in his tweet!
- “We are building the wall now…”
Truth: As per multiple news sources (including Fox News and other right wing news sources) on July 21, 2019, Trump has not installed a single mile of new wall at the border. As per Fox News, “The Trump administration has not installed a single mile of new wall in a previously fenceless part of the U.S. – Mexico border in the 30 months since President Trump assumed office, despite his campaign promise…” According to Customs and Border Protection, all completed fencing was to replace existing fences in need of repair.
- “The Trump Foundation gave away 100% plus, with zero rent or expenses charged, and has been sued by Cuomo and New York State…”
Truth: The Trump Foundation has been shut down. They found that Trump and his children benefited personally and politically from it. Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump can never operate a New York charity again because of the corrupt activity that was found.
What Jesus said:
- “‘If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He said to him, ‘Which ones?’ And Jesus said, ‘You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness…'” Matthew 19:18-19
- “You are from your father the devil, and you choose to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44
What Trump has said:
- “I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it. I did try and f*** her. She was married.” (He was talking about his failed attempt to seduce Nancy O’Dell)
- “I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her…I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the p****. You can do anything.” (He was talking about Arianna Zucker)
- During an interview in 2005 with Howard Stern, Trump said, “I’ll go backstage before a show, and everyone’s getting dressed…You know, no men are anywhere. And I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant. And therefore, I’m inspecting it…is everyone OK? You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. And you see these incredible looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that.”
- At a 1992 party with Jeffrey Epstein, Trump grabbed a women by the waist, pulled her to him, and patted her on the butt. During that same party, he kissed Faith Daniels even though Daniels was married. He described the kiss as “so open and nice”. Recently a video has surfaced that shows this behavior, and NBC has shared it.
What Jesus said:
- “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife…or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17
Note: I know some Trump supporters will point out that this verse comes from the Old Testament, and some will claim “it doesn’t apply because all that changed when Jesus came.” But let me point out these verses from Jesus:
- “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28
- “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?” John 5:46-47
Immigration/Helping others who are less fortunate/Lack of compassion:
What Trump has tweeted since July 1, 2019:
- “Failing New York Times is writing phony and exaggerated accounts of the border detention centers…”
- “If illegal immigrants are unhappy with the conditions…just tell them not to come.”
- “Sorry, can’t let them into our country.”
- “Many of these illegal aliens are living far better now than where they came from.”
- “Tell migrants not to come into our country…”
- “Detention facilities are not concentration camps!”
- “If you are not happy here, you can leave.”
What Jesus said:
- “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”…” Matthew 22:37-40
- “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me…Truly I telll you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:34-40
- “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Luke 3:11
- “When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless…” Matthew 9:36
- “Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they regained their sight and followed him.” Matthew 20:34
- “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” Matthew 15:32
- “When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.'” Luke 7:13
What Trump has said since July 1, 2019:
- “The Democratic Congresswomen have been spewing some of the most file, hateful, and disgusting things ever said…”
Truth: Trump says hateful and disgusting things almost every day (see examples above).
- “If Democrats want to unite around the foul language and racist hatred spewed from the mouths and actions of these very unpopular and unrepresentative Congresswomen…”
Truth: Trump has made many racist statements such as:
- “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came…”
- “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here? We should have more people from places like Norway.”
- “These aren’t people, these are animals, and we’re taking them out of the country…”
- “But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides…” (speaking about the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville where Heather Heyer was killed.
- “When will the radical left Congresswomen apologize to our country…”
Truth: Trump attacks people constantly and never apologizes for anything.
- “Horrible anti-Israel, anti-USA, pro-terrorist and public shouting of the F… word…” (He was talking about the 4 Congresswomen)
Truth: The following are just a few examples of actual quotes where Trump has used the F word in public:
- “Listen, you motherf*****s, we’re gonna tax you 25 percent.”
- “We build a school, we build a road…in the meantime, we can’t get a f***ing school in Brooklyn.”
- “We have nobody in Washington that sits back and said, ‘You’re not going to raise that f***ing price.”
What Jesus said:
- “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith….you strain out a gnat but swallow a camel!” Matthew 23:23-24
- “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.” Matthew 23:25-26
- “So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Matthew 23:28
What Trump and his administration has done:
Refused to testify in front of Congress.
KellyAnne Conway has violated the Hatch Act multiple times.
Appears that Trump did obstruct justice regarding the Russia investigation.
What Jesus said:
“And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold.” Matthew 24:11-12
So if Trump’s behavior does not fall in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ, why do some evangelicals think he is doing God’s work? The following are just three examples of how evangelicals push this narrative, but there are many more:
- “Only God could deliver such a savior to our nation…” Brad Pascale, Trump campaign manager
- “I think that [God] wanted Donald Trump to become President.” Sarah Huckabee Sanders
- “Furthermore, when you consider everything that President Trump has done for people of faith since taking office, it’s easy to see why so many of them agree with Sanders that Donald Trump is doing God’s work.” Paula White, evangelical leader and adviser to Trump.
Jesus told us how we could distinguish between true Christians and those who just say they are Christian but really aren’t:
- “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:15-16
We know that God does not listen to sinners (remember that Trump has openly admitted that he doesn’t repent; therefore he is an unrepentant sinner):
- “We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will.” John 9:31
And we know that the light cannot mix with the darkness:
- “And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.” John 3:19-21
We also know that someone like Trump who is the antithesis of Christianity cannot do the will of God. Jesus explained this in Matthew 12:25:
- “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?” Matthew 12:25-26
In conclusion, I believe that it is safe to say that Donald Trump is NOT doing God’s work. His words and behavior are the exact opposite of how Jesus taught us to act. I believe far-right Christians and some evangelicals believe Trump is “doing God’s work” based purely on the fact that he says he is pro-life (he used to be pro-choice) and that he has assigned conservative judges to the Supreme Court. However, it is extremely important to realize that abortion is not the only issue. In fact, I believe Jesus warned us that hyper-focus on one issue, such as abortion, could lead us down the wrong path. Let’s revisit Matthew 23:23-24. Think about far-right Christians and their hyper-focus on abortion. Then think about all the anti-Christian things Trump has done as evidenced in this blog. Ready? Now read what Jesus said:
- “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith….you strain out a gnat but swallow a camel!” Matthew 23:23-24
The point here is that Christianity involves EVERYTHING that Jesus taught. It is not just about abortion. Yes, the abortion issue is important, but if we focus just on that one thing while ignoring justice and mercy and faith, we are hypocrites and are not doing the will of God.
More to come soon…
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
This is a verse that I hear many evangelicals repeat over and over again. Another popular one is Romans 10:9:
“…because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
These are wonderful passages. How comforting it is to know that if you truly believe in Jesus, your sins will be forgiven and you will be saved. In this Easter season, we should never forget that Jesus suffered tremendously and gave up His life in order to save us from our sins. How wonderful!! I am so incredibly thankful for the free gift that Jesus gave to us!!
But is that the end of the story? Is that all we have to do to be saved? Well, not exactly. Yes, the evangelicals are correct in saying that if we truly believe, we will be saved. However, the key word here is “truly”.
First, let me address several evangelical teachings that are correct. First of all, Paul does say that we are no longer under the law.
“But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we are slaves not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.” Romans 7:6
In addition, Paul does say that we are not justified through deeds:
“For no human being will be justified in his sight by deeds prescribed by the law; for through the law comes knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20
However, some evangelicals have a tendency to cherry pick scripture. They like to point out the passages they like but then they seem to ignore what else Paul said. The above scripture passages are beautiful; however, without reading the rest of Romans, you could be easily misled. Here are some statements by Paul in the book of Romans that counter evangelical beliefs:
“Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.” Romans 3:31
“What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it?” Romans 6:1-2
“Therefore do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies to make you obey their passions.” Romans 6:12
“What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one who you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” Romans 6:15
The point I am making in this blog is that you cannot cherry pick scripture. Yes, Paul says that a person is not justified through deeds, and he also said that those who truly believe in Jesus are no longer under the law. Like I said earlier, the key word here is “truly”. Remember what I pointed out in my previous blogs – just because a person says “Jesus is my Savior” does not mean that person TRULY believes. Remember that Jesus said that not everyone who says ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven. It is all about what is in a person’s heart and if a TRUE SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION has taken place. If you really take the time to read Romans….really read it slowly…you will see how Paul makes this exact point. If a person has TRULY accepted Jesus and is a TRUE Christian, his/her actions will automatically follow – he/she will do their best to avoid sin and to act in a Christ-like manner.
So how do we know if someone is a true Christian? Well, none of us really know because only God knows what is in a person’s heart. However, Jesus taught us how we, as human beings, can begin to distinguish between true and false Christians when he said, “By their fruits you will know them.” We are not to judge others; however, we are also not to condone sin. The only way for us to discern good from evil is by watching a person’s actions, and it is up to us, as true Christians, to rebuke sin when we witness it.
I think it is obvious that by cherry picking scripture, some evangelicals have gone off track. Some of these people support Donald Trump, and if you look at EVERYTHING that Paul says in Romans, not just select scripture passages, you will see that true Christians should be rebuking Trump for his immoral/unethical behavior. True Christians should never, ever support a person who says he never ask for forgiveness and who is waist-deep in sin. We should pray for Trump, but we should never condone his behavior.
Have a wonderful Easter! God bless!
I learned something after writing Part 5 of this Bible study.
I learned that the book of James is not accepted by all mainstream religions.
Why? Because James doesn’t talk as much about faith as in other books of the Bible. His focus is more on works. Remember that James said “faith without works is dead.”
Some people don’t like this. Some believe that faith alone will get us into heaven…that what we do here on earth doesn’t matter. I even read that some religious groups don’t accept the words of James because they contradict what Paul said in his letters.
But do they?
Since Christians in general accept the words of Paul, I decided to move to Romans in Part 6 of this Bible study. I wanted to see if Paul’s words contradict what James said. Let’s take a look.
“They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die – yet they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them.” Romans 1:29-32
Let’s apply those verses to Trump and evangelical leaders today.
Trump is guilty of covetousness. One perfect example are his multiple affairs. Especially compelling today is the Stormy Daniels story.
Trump is full of deceit. He lies on average of 5 times per day. A recent example of his deceit are the lies he told to Justin Trudeau about the “trade deficit” with Canada. He even ADMITTED his deceit, and even laughed about it.
Trump is a slanderer. He calls people names on almost a daily basis. Just take a look at his Twitter feed.
Trump is haughty and boastful. How many times have you heard him brag about how he is the best President ever, that he has the largest crowds ever, and that we should feel lucky that he decided to run for President?
Now, let’s read Romans 1:32 again: “They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die – yet they not only do them, but EVEN APPLAUD OTHERS WHO PRACTICE THEM.”
Who applauds Trump even though he practices these sinful behaviors? That’s right – some evangelicals and even the preachers. Tony Perkins gave Trump a “mulligan” over the Stormy Daniels affair. Franklin Graham, even when confronted with all of Trump’s sinful behavior, says that Trump is “a good person.”
“For [God] will repay according to each one’s deeds: to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; while for those who are self-seeking and who obey not the truth but wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be anguish and distress for everyone who does evil.” Romans 2:6-9
It is very clear from those verses that Paul is saying that actions DO matter. This is in agreement with what is written in the book of James.
Now let me stop here and make it very clear that faith is extremely important. Belief in Jesus is very important. Our sins will be forgiven if we turn from sin and repent. His death on the cross will cover those sins. But some evangelicals want to believe that faith is the ONLY thing that matters, and it doesn’t matter what we do here on earth. Both James and Paul have said that by doing evil, we are sinning and we will be held accountable if we don’t turn from that sinful life – we have to leave it behind, pick up the cross and follow Jesus. That means turning away from sin. That doesn’t mean that we will be perfect – no one is. But we can’t do just anything willy nilly and not even try. That’s not going to work either.
Paul clarifies this even further:
“For it is NOT the HEARERS of the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but the DOERS of the law who will be justified.” Romans 2:13
Again, Paul drives home the point that the ones who will be justified will be those who ACT.
The last thing I would like to address today is the specific action of accepting Jesus as our Savior. Clearly this is very important as the Bible teaches us. But sometimes, I hear far-right evangelicals go as far as to say that those who have never heard about Jesus and who were never given an opportunity to accept Him will not go to heaven. I have always had a problem with this. God is love. Why then would God punish someone who was never told about Jesus? That just never seemed right to me.
Well, I found a passage in the gospel that refutes this thinking and I will share that at a later date. But today, I found yet another passage in Paul that refutes this idea.
A long time ago, my mom asked a priest about the fate of someone’s soul if they were never baptized. That priest told her not to worry – that there is something called the “baptism of desire”. He explained that if the person had a good heart and acted in a Christlike manner here on earth, God will take that into account, and just because he/she wasn’t baptized does not necessarily mean that they are not going to heaven. Well, when I read the following verse, it sounded like the “baptism of desire” that the priest explained to my mom all those years ago.
“When Gentiles who do not possess the law, do INSTINCTIVELY what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves. They show that what the law requires is WRITTEN ON THEIR HEARTS, to which their own conscience also bears witness.” Romans 2:14-15
Paul goes on to make it even clearer:
“Then those who are physically uncircumcised but keep the law will condemn you that have the written code and circumcision but break the law.” Romans 2:27
Think about that for a moment, and then apply it to today. Paul is saying that those who have the Bible, know what it says, and goes to church but break the law will be condemned by those in who the law is “written on their hearts” but may not be able to go through all the rituals that people think need to be done in order to be fully Christian. Paul solidifies his point in Romans 2:29:
“Rather, a person is a Jew who is one INWARDLY, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart – it is spiritual and not literal.”
So what does this all mean? Well, it means first that we need to trust Jesus as our Savior. But it also means that when we accept Jesus, there will be an inward, spiritual transformation that will cause us to turn from our sinful ways. Our actions will change as a result. We will no longer go out and sin freely and then just ask for forgiveness that night. That is not the change that God wants or expects from us. He wants a spiritual transformation….one in which we turn from sin and try to live as Christ taught us to live according to the commandments.
Also, if people are not told about Jesus, that does not necessarily mean that they are doomed to hell. The law can be “written on the heart” even without the knowledge of Jesus. By saying that a person is going to hell just because they have never heard of Jesus is one of the reasons Jesus told us not to judge. We have to remember that we do not know what is in a person’s heart. The only one who has that information is God; therefore He is the ONLY ONE who can say whether or not someone is going to hell.
Have a great Saturday! God bless!
Today, I am going to take a little break from Matthew and jump to the book of James. It is only a few pages long but it is full of direction on how we must be “doers” and not just “hearers”. I think we need to take a good hard look at this little section of the Bible today.
Again, I hear many evangelicals say that actions don’t matter – all that matters is grace, and that if we confess “Jesus is our Savior” with our mouths, that is enough to get into heaven. Now let me make this very clear – we DO need to accept Jesus as our Savior. We DO need grace to get into heaven. By all means! But the point I am trying to make is that actions are also important, and that the teaching that we are to get into heaven by grace alone….without any work on our part….is incorrect.
In my search for answers, I found James to be quite enlightening. Many people focus on the gospels which are so important, but if you go further into the New Testament- into the letters of Paul, John, James, etc., it really clarifies things. This is where it clarified for me that actions do in fact matter.
“But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.” James 1:22
It doesn’t get any clearer than that. But let’s keep going:
“But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who ACT – they will be blessed in their doing.” James 1:25
These passages clearly refute the beliefs of some evangelicals who say that our works on this earth don’t matter, and all that matters is grace. These passages also directly apply to those evangelical preachers who turn a blind eye to Trump’s immoral behavior. They are not “doing”…they are not standing up and saying that Trump’s behavior is unacceptable.
“For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For the one who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said “You shall not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery but if you murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.” James 2:10-11
Let’s think about that for a moment. Some of the evangelicals and even other Christians constantly speak out against abortion. But these same people are quiet about Trump. Some even give Trump a “mulligan” for his adulterous affair with Stormy Daniels. Now, read the above passage again. Clearly James is telling us that this kind of behavior is wrong. We have to call out ALL sin, not just the sin that “fits” into our little box. You can’t pick and choose.
Going on, James clearly states that faith without works is dead:
“So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” James 2:17
Then James makes a statement that should make everyone think long and hard. He states that even the demons believe that God is real….and they shudder:
“Even the demons believe – and shudder.” James 2:20
Then he goes on to reiterate that works are a part of accepting Jesus fully:
“You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone…For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.” James 2:24-26
Now, as we read the next verse, let’s think about the evangelical preachers who are giving Trump a “mulligan” and who teach that we don’t have to act or to follow the Ten Commandments:
“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” James 3:1
Kind of scary, huh?
Now think about the obvious hypocrisy that we are witnessing in some evangelicals today. Remember, they jumped all over Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal, but now these same evangelicals are mysteriously quiet about Trump. Also, a recent poll showed that during the Clinton administration, the percentage of evangelicals that said that moral behavior of a President wasn’t important was in the 20s. Today, under Trump, that number is in the 70s. What happened? Is it hypocrisy, or do the rules change depending on whether you are a Republican or Democrat?
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of PARTIALITY or HYPOCRISY.” James 3:17
James is very clear. These teachings and behaviors of evangelicals who still support Trump are not in line with true Christianity. My hope is that they will read this, pray about it, and return to the only path that leads us to Jesus.
I implore preachers like Franklin Graham, Tony Perkins, Andrew Wommack and others to rethink what they are teaching and to call out Trump on his immoral behavior.
I will close with this:
“Anyone then who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it commits sin.” James 4:17
Have a wonderful weekend! God bless!
This weekend, I have been talking with some people on Franklin Graham’s Twitter feed. Graham’s support of Trump has been a big part of the discussion. So today, I want to once again look at Trump’s behavior and policies in relation to what Jesus tells us in the gospel of Matthew.
I will start with Matthew 15:
…”Listen and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.” Matthew 15:11
Think about Trump’s Twitter feed. In a previous blog, I listed some of the names that he has called people – Cryin’ Chuck Schumer, Liddle Bob Corker, Crooked Hillary. Someone on Graham’s Twitter feed says he just “tells it like it is”. Calling people names is “telling it like it is”? Jesus never said it was OK to call people names.
The New York Times published a comprehensive list of all the insults that Trump has lodged at people in the past year. It is pages long. In addition, it is known that Trump lies an average of five times per day. The New York Times also has a comprehensive list of all the lies Trump has told since taking office – over 2,000 proven untruths. Let’s also remember that Jesus tells us that Satan is the “father of lies.”
“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.” Matthew 15:18-20
Let’s remember what Trump said about women on that bus. Let’s also recall the multiple affairs that he had while he was married. Jesus has made it very clear what defiles a man, and Trump’s behavior falls into that category.
Now let’s remember that Trump admitted that he does not ask for forgiveness. This means he has not repented. You can’t be forgiven if you don’t repent. Therefore, Trump is not in good standing with God. He will never be in good standing with God until he repents.
Let’s look at Matthew 18:4:
“Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Is Trump humble? Absolutely not. He is the opposite of humility. How many times have we seen Trump boast himself up as “the greatest President ever” or “how lucky are you that I ran for the Presidency?” or “We had the largest crowd ever”, etc. This is truly the least humble man that I have seen/heard in my 52 years on this earth.
Next, let’s look at Matthew 19:21-26:
“If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come follow me.”
Instead of Trump giving up his possessions (billions), he gives a tax break to the upper 1% of the country. The middle class will eventually pay for this. He travels almost every weekend to Mar-a-Lago to play golf and spends millions on the tax-payers’ backs. He wants to throw poor people out of the country, he failed to help the poor people of Puerto Rico after the hurricane, and now they are looking at cutting Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. Those on these federal programs are generally those with the least money, and this administration is looking to make it even harder for them. In addition, we see some in his administration that are using tax-payer money for extravagant flights and vacations. This behavior is the exact opposite of what Jesus calls us to do in the above passage.
Matthew 13:22 says it nicely: “As for what was sown among the thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of WEALTH choke the word, and it yields nothing.”
Jesus tells us in the gospels that a person cannot serve both God and money. He goes further in the above passage saying that a person may hear the Word, but the Word is choked out of him because of the lure of wealth. Trump falls into this category. We see him pray in public, but the lure of his wealth causes him to ignore what Jesus says. Remember also the passage that I talked about in a previous blog – some who say “Lord, Lord” will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Again, this goes back to ACTION. We must ACT on God’s Word, not just say the words. Just because Trump prays in public does not mean he is a true Christian.
The final passage I would like to discuss is Matthew 12:25. This weekend, some evangelicals said to me (and this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this) that God uses imperfect people to do His will, and they give the example of King David. Yes, that is true. None of us are perfect. However, there is a difference, and that difference is repentance. King David repented. St. Paul repented. We KNOW that Trump has NOT repented because he said so. These evangelicals don’t seem to comprehend the difference. Keep this in mind as you read the following verse:
“Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?” Matthew 12:25-26
Jesus is basically saying here that He cannot use evil to advance the kingdom of God, and Satan cannot use a good person to promote evil. A kingdom divided against itself will fall. So, the idea that God will use Trump, a non-repentant, sinful man to do His will is nonsense. God only uses those who truly repent of their sins, accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and lives according to His Word by following the commandments and all that is taught in the Bible.
Hope everyone has a great week! God bless!
Well, today I was going to continue to examine evangelical beliefs and how they compare to the teachings of Jesus. But something happened. I heard Trump speak at CPAC, and one statement that he made stood out. I want to start with this since a majority of evangelicals support Trump.
The statement that he made goes against what Jesus taught us in the gospels. He said that if other nations are nice to us, we will be nice to them. If other nations are mean to us, we will return the favor. This is basically saying, “an eye for an eye”. Let’s remember that Jesus taught us otherwise:
“You have heard that is was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.” Matthew 5:38-41
So, basically, even though Trump wants to APPEAR as a good Christian, his own words don’t align with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
On that topic, I saw Mike Pence at the Olympics. I saw how he didn’t acknowledge the North Koreans. Yes, this regime has done some awful things. However, if you look at the above verse (Matthew 5:38-41), did Pence do the right thing according to the Bible? Not necessarily. Let me share this passage (spoken by Jesus), and think about how Pence ignored the North Koreans:
“And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” Matthew 5:47
That’s not an easy one to follow, but Jesus did say it. This is what He taught. I have also heard some evangelicals and even other Christians in other religions say that they want a “purer” church…one in which members are only people who believe exactly as they do. This thought process also goes against biblical teaching as evidenced in the above passage (Matthew 5:47).
Let’s look at how some of the evangelicals pray around Trump. Have you seen the pictures of the evangelicals as they lay their hands on Trump as they pray? Have you heard evangelicals say that this man is a wonderful Christian because he prays like this? Let’s look at what Jesus says in the gospel of Matthew:
“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them, for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”
Jesus is teaching us here that just because someone tries to APPEAR good and righteous doesn’t necessarily mean that they are good and righteous. Beware of appearances.
Next, let’s take a look at the tweets that Trump puts out on a daily basis. How many times have you seen Trump call people names? Let’s look at some specific examples:
- “Cryin Chuck Schumer”
- “Lyin Ted Cruz”
- “Crooked Hillary”
- “Little Rocket Man”
- “Crazy Bernie Sanders”
- “Dicky Durbin”
- “Liddle Bob Corker”
- “Psycho Joe” (Scarborough)
- “Sneaky Diane Feinstein”
- “Jeff Flake(y)”
- “Dumbest man on television” (Don Lemon)
- “Pocahontas” (Elizabeth Warren)
- “Sleepy Eyes” (Chuck Todd)
- “Mentally deranged author” (Michael Wolff)
Then there are the constant insults that he uses over and over again on many different issues: “fake news”, “obstructionists”, “incompetent”, “clueless”, “dummy”, “false”, “phony”, “horrible”, “disaster”, etc.
Many people who support Trump, including some evangelicals, say that they like this because Trump is just “telling it like it is.” But is this the right thing to do according to the Bible? Let’s take a look:
“…for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good things, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person brings good things out of a good treasure, and the evil person brings evil things out of an evil treasure. I tell you, on the day of judgement you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37
“…every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.” Matthew 7:17
I think it is very clear in these verses that Trump’s insults and “telling it like it is” is not the right thing to do.
Let me finish today by sharing the following passage. Again, this emphasizes the need to ACT in our attempt to become more Christ-like…not just say the words:
“For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:50
Have a great day and God bless!
I have decided to do an in-depth bible study of the New Testament regarding current Christian beliefs in the United States today. I think this is desperately needed these days. This series of blogs will probably end up in a book at some point. I really want to see exactly what Jesus taught us along with what the disciples said about following Christ.
The reason I decided to do this is because I am seeing a movement in this country, particularly among the evangelicals, where the belief is that you are saved purely through grace. I have heard evangelicals say many times in the past few years that “we are not saved through works”. They go on to say that it makes no difference what we do in this world. All that matters is that we believe that Jesus is our Savior. Some evangelicals, such as Andrew Wommack, go on to actually say that we are no longer under the law (the Ten Commandments). Today, as a result of these beliefs, we have a group of evangelical Christians that support Trump even though he has admitted that he never asks for forgiveness and leads a highly immoral life.
I have read the New Testament many times, and I believe these evangelicals are only partly right in their beliefs. Yes, we need grace to be able to enter into heaven because we are all sinners. That point is very clear in the Bible. But I think they have gone astray in their belief that our actions have no impact on are ability to get into heaven. From what I have read in the Bible, there are many, many passages that counter this belief. And I believe that this false belief system is why we are seeing the division and hypocrisy in the Christian faith today. I feel compelled to do this because I don’t want to see people led astray through these evangelical beliefs that aren’t quite correct. I am afraid that what I am seeing today will lead people to leave the church. So I want to delve deeply in what is actually said in the Bible as opposed to the erroneous teachings of some evangelical preachers. This is what I am going to focus on in this multi-part bible study.
Today, I am going to start in the gospel of Matthew.
Let’s look at Matthew 5:19.
“Therefore whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus is telling us here that He expects us to act…to work at being righteous. So let’s apply that to today. The idea that we don’t have to do anything – that actions don’t matter – is debunked in this passage. We have to work every single day to do what is right. Now, as far as the President who leads an immoral life, Jesus clearly says that if a person’s righteousness does not exceed that of the Pharisees, he/she will not enter heaven. Trump’s “righteousness” clearly does not exceed that of the Pharisees.
The next section in Matthew addresses the Ten Commandments. Instead of saying that we don’t need to follow them, Jesus actually made them stricter!! The following is just one example:
“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’…but I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgement.”Matthew 5: 21-22
So yes, we must follow the Ten Commandments. Andrew Wommack is clearly wrong in his teaching. In addition, as you can see, Jesus is once again calling us to action.
I encourage you to read Matthew 5 and pray about it. You will see how Jesus is telling us that we must follow the commandments with even stricter rules.
Moving on to Matthew 7 – Jesus never said that it would be easy to get into heaven as per the following passage:
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
Think about this. If being saved was as easy as saying “Jesus is my Savior” without any requirement to follow the law or to do good works or to work toward righteousness, it would be fairly easy to get into heaven. If that was the case, the above passage, which Jesus said himself, would be a lie. But we know it’s not a lie because Jesus said it; therefore, the belief that actions don’t matter is the lie.
The final passage today is Matthew 7:21. As I read this passage for the millionth time, something hit me. Something I had never seen before.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”
Read that again.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”
In order for someone to call Jesus ‘Lord, Lord’, they have obviously said that they have accepted him as Lord and Savior. Jesus is saying here that not everyone that says “Jesus is my Savior” will enter the kingdom of heaven! Think about that. It is only those who do the will of the Father. He is saying that those who will enter heaven will not be the ones who say the words but the ones who ACT on those words. This is where I think some evangelicals are missing the mark. They SEE someone who SAYS the words, and even if his/her actions don’t match up with his/her words (for example, Donald Trump), they still believe that person is saved. This passage refutes that belief. Jesus is clearly saying that it comes down to actions, not words. Anyone can say “Jesus is my Savior” but the real test of what they truly believe will show in their actions or their lack of actions. Jesus has more to say about this which I will address in a future blog.
Have a great day. God bless!
Well, my last blog, Judgement vs. Discernment, did quite well, so I thought I would continue with my examination of scripture and some of the beliefs of evangelicals regarding money.
Today, I have read so many posts on Twitter about how Trump is so great because the stock market is booming. Let’s delve into this a little deeper.
The first thing that came to my mind as I read these posts is what Jesus said: “You cannot serve both God and money.”
Yes, I agree that it is a good thing that the stock market is up and that a lot of people are making a lot of money. However, I also know a little bit about the stock market, and I know that there is no way it is going to stay up this high. It is way too high, and eventually it will drop. What is Trump going to say when it falls? Will he blame it on the Democrats? Of course he will because Trump never, ever takes responsibility for anything.
Now, let’s look at scripture:
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38