By KURT BEYERS
A while back I told a group of my Christian friends that God had told me Trump is a son of Satan. Trump voters all, most of them took exception. One asked if that meant he is going to hell because he voted for Trump. Naturally, he didn’t ask me this because he thought I knew the answer. He asked because he thought I was being a partisan jerk.
Which I was, but only a little, and only in style, not substance, because let’s be clear: Trump is a son of Satan. God did and continues to confirm me in that perception. Christian or non-Christian, people should know this about Trump.
Trump, God love him, does not know this about Trump. Things of the Spirit, other than certain words he needs to use with certain audiences as part of his con game, do not register with him. One of my prayers is that some day he will wake up and repent.
What started me thinking of Trump in spiritual terms was his almost exact resemblance to Simon the Magician in Acts 8:9-10a (NASB): “Now there was a man named Simon, who formerly was practicing magic in the city and astonishing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great; and they all, from smallest to greatest, were giving attention to him.”
Then I found a partial transcript of a meeting Trump had with about a thousand self-proclaimed leaders of a large part of American evangelical Christianity. The meeting was so that Trump could appeal for their votes and the votes of the millions of Christians they lead, who are mad and scared about the way the world looks. By far the large majority of the people at that meeting went out and implicitly if not explicitly pushed Trump as God’s choice for president.
I went wrong in thinking that was the day Trump officially became a son of Satan. But he didn’t. Trump and Simon came out of their respective meetings as exactly the same people they were going in.
The difference was that Simon met apostles – who knew Jesus’ name was not theirs to sell. When Simon offered cash money for a Jesus franchise, he came away with nothing but a rebuke.
Trump met with Jerry Falwell Jr., Franklin Graham, Mike Huckabee and those others like them.Trump offered judges. Trump offered his audience the freedom to endorse candidates and keep their tax-free status. Trump offered to make people say “Merry Christmas” again. He came away with everything he wanted.
You can find the transcript here: https://yhoo.it/28RorZ6.
If anybody officially became sons of Satan that day in June 2016, it was the people who agreed to use their status as disciples of Jesus to market Trump under a Jesus brand. I wonder whether they ever pray that someday Trump will see the light. A Christian would.
Is their regard for Trump the same as his for them – a straight-up deal? I wonder if that’s the real meaning of some Christians’ defense of their votes for Trump: “I don’t like him, but I like his policies.” It’s like this: Is a deal with the devil – or the son of the devil – really a deal with the devil if you get a Neil Gorsuch out of it?
The foundation of Trump’s appeal is indisputably fear and anger. “Indisputable” because nobody disputes it. His supporters love him for it. His opponents don’t.
Set aside the constant lies, the vicious slanders and personal attacks, the relentless self-glorification, and you are still left with the fact that no vision of the Christian God is holy if it is built on fear and anger based in the institutions, customs and manners of this world. Jesus, quoting Isaiah, in Mark 7:6-7: “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.”
This applies whether you’re talking 1st-century Pharisaic handwashing rituals or 21st-century American social customs and immigration laws.
Is my friend going to hell because he voted for Trump? I don’t think so, and I don’t even think he needs to ask forgiveness for being a Trump voter, at least not forgiveness from God.
Of course, I can’t say for sure. I know how grandiose it sounds to say something like “Donald Trump is a son of hell and James Dobson is too.” I know I am not God, and I know I am not a good Christian, so I end up asking God about a lot of things, which lately have included Donald Trump’s relation to hell: “Hey, Father. Here is what I’m thinking. Am I right or not? Please tell me.”
And He did, and He gave me this one thing to say: Donald Trump is a son of Satan. Period.
For myself, I say that I believe my friends, like so many others, have fallen for a monstrous con. In saying it I am only trying to apply lessons they have taught me. Most of the men in that group I was talking about at the beginning are among the people who introduced me to Jesus.
Their essential characters of charity, grace and mercy come from long-term, in some cases lifelong, association with Jesus. These men helped persuade me by many examples that the Son of God was – is – real. Therefore, seen in the spiritual light they helped turn on for me, their support for Trump and his “policies” is absolutely incomprehensible.
So my answer to the question I began with – Is a vote for Trump a ticket to hell? – is the same as it is for all spiritual questions: “Ask God.”
Kurt Beyers, a former journalist, works in public relations at Fort Hays State University.