It’s Not Trump’s Christianity We Should Be Questioning— It’s Our Own

 

 

 

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Nobody else is talking about this. And when I say nobody I mean, I have literally not seen a single individual point this out.

Months ago I started warning Christians not to sacrifice their dignity at the altar of politics. Unfortunately, this is exactly what has happened.

It started around the time that it was revealed Donald Trump had won the Evangelical vote in South Carolina.  Naturally, for any believer, we should be interested. And when it comes to a presidential candidate, and potential leader of the greatest nation in history, it’s understandable that many are concerned about whether or not he is a true Christian.

But somewhere along the line, our concern turned into something very dark, and very ugly.

The online world of Christendom began to froth up attacks toward Trump.

Then the attacks turned into half truths.

And half truths turned into complete lies.

Then came outrageous accusations and comparisons to Hitler.

With every victory Trump gained, Christian’s vitriol turned all the more toxic and desperate.

Finally it all seemed to climax into what we are seeing now: Essentially an ultimatum to our fellow believers that sounds something like, “either you disavow Trump, or we will bring into question your relationship with God . . . And maybe even sprinkle in doubts about your salvation as a whole.”

None of this is new.

The Body of Christ has never really dealt with this issue, or even addressed it. It stretches far beyond politics and is the same attitude I have seen in critics of Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, and others we disagree with. There’s always been  a wink and a nod that says, “If you think the person is evil, a false prophet/teacher, then it’s okay to lie and misrepresent them, because it’s for the greater good.” I have already had multiple Christians admit to me that they knowingly have said or passed on false information about Trump because they felt his defeat was more important than the truth. In fact, all the vile and fallacious memes you see in the image above were personally taken from Christian friends of mine who shared and endorsed them on Facebook.

And those are only from the past few days!

 

 

What’s Happening Here?

 

I’m going to say that all of this isn’t about Trump, Hillary, Cruz, or anyone else. It’s not about an election. This is about us. When this is all said and done, will we be able to look back and say we conducted ourselves respectably, honestly, and with dignity? Did we lead the way in a world of mud slinging and name calling? Did we defend the truth, even when it came to those we disagreed with? Or did we contribute to the problem?

I’m not going to dig into the rights and wrongs of any of the candidates. Instead, I’m hoping to appeal to our common sense. In our heart of hearts, we know that many of the accusations coming from believers are bogus, half truths, and unfair.

And you know what?

That means it’s our Christianity that needs examining.

Why Christians Are Voting For Trump (And It’s Not Because We Like Him)

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I didn’t want to write this. But unfortunately, the number of whining Christians appears to be at an all time high. The attempts to shame,  guilt,  and bully their fellow believers into voting for who they see fit is  . . . Well, not very Christian.

Is He A Christian?

So the accusation sounds something like this:

Trump isn’t a real Christian.

He can’t be trusted.

You’re compromising your values if you vote for him.

Okay. So being a Trump supporter myself, let’s see if I can shed some light on the issue.

First of all, I don’t really care if he is a Christian.

You heard me right. I don’t care.

Now, of course it’d be great if he were. And just like anyone else, you’d like to see him saved. But as far as the presidency, it isn’t a deal breaker.

Furthermore, there is no Scriptural basis to shame someone into voting for a politician who speaks Christianese. So let’s cut that crap out.

But the Bible says wicked rulers lead to a perverse nation.

Okay but the Bible also talks about God raising up kings and putting them down. So if we are going to quote the Old Testament, then it isn’t even up to you who gets elected.

In which case, no reason to claim Trump is the antichrist, or the nation is going to spontaneously combust if Christians vote for him. And guys like Matt Walsh can put on their big girl panties and go find someone else to complain about.

But . . .

Before we give ourselves a theological headache trying to figure out OT sovereignty, let’s put this puppy in reverse and go another direction.

Trump for President, not Pastor

We want godly leadership. We want a person who can hear the voice of God and yield to His purpose for the country, true. But the presidency is more than just  Bible quotes and specific mentions of Jesus Christ in your talking points.

Really, more than anything, it’s a job.

I’m a business owner. And I have hired Christians. But you know what? Any business owner will tell you, a lot of times Christians aren’t that smart. Sometimes they’re lazy. Sometimes they’re liars. Sometimes they know all the right things to say, but unfortunately . . . Sometimes they just don’t know how to get the job done.

I’ve never once doubted I was doing something wrong or, “unchristian” by hiring a person who wasn’t religious. Why? Because at the end of the day, you just need to get the job done.

Now, as I said before, the ultimate prize would be to have someone who loves Jesus and knows how to work hard and make things happen as president. But we all know that those people are usually either not running, or can’t get elected. So we end up having to choose.

Super Duper Christians would have you believe that you just vote for the guy who talks about Jesus the most and if not, you’re not being, “wise” or you’re, “deceived” and in need of their super spiritual prayers.

I submit that we’re neither. We’re looking at the field and we are evaluating who has the most potential to get things done. And based on prior elections and broken promises, we see Trump as the best man for the job.

Now, if you disagree, fine. And there should be discussion on who the best and most capable candidate is. But all too often Christians attempt to manipulate one another by playing the, “Jesus Card.” They do the same thing with the gun control debate, and more recently, the Syrian Refugee issue. Where people are expected to forsake common sense, in exchange for abstract ideas forcefully taken from Scriptures that have a loose association to the subject. And if they don’t, then they’re made to feel like God is frowning down upon them.

To be honest, not only is this getting old . . . It’s actually pretty disgusting.

It’s Time Christians Admitted the Truth About Tithing

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I used to be the poster boy for tithing. I preached it as a mandate from heaven. The, “anointing” that would, “break the yoke” of financial hardships. The key to rebuking the devil and opening the windows of heaven. There was no one I knew that believed in it more than I did. Once, I even told someone that the reason they weren’t healed was because they didn’t tithe consistently enough (sorry about that, dad).

Yup . . . I was one of those Christians.

Then I went into a new season in my walk with God and big changes started taking place.

I made the decision that moving forward, I would no longer consciously accept something as true unless I could read it for myself in the Bible. I was upending every doctrine I could think of, throwing it onto the biblical conveyor belt, and watching to see what was left at the other end. And for a while, the concept of tithing flew under the radar. Like so many ideas we accept and hold dear, I just never thought to question that one. It was so ingrained I unconsciously put it above scrutiny.

Until one day, like cleaning out the attic and grabbing stuff piece by piece to see if it’s time to throw it away, I grabbed hold of tithing.

I knew it couldn’t be avoided any longer. It was time to confront the subject head on:

 

Does the Bible Command the Christian to Tithe?

 

By this time I had read through the New Testament at least a dozen times. And it occurred to me . . . God hardly (and I mean, hardly) ever mentioned it.

Once, in Matthew 23:23, when Jesus was talking to the Pharisees, (who were, keep in mind, teachers, and examples of keeping the law) He told them they should be tithing. And I realized that under the Old Covenant, if Christ had told them anything less, He would have been advocating the breaking of God’s Law. He commanded Jews not only to tithe but to keep ALL of the teachings of the Pharisees which would have included animal sacrifice along with every other mandate in the Torah (Matt 23:2-3).

So I quickly realized that unless we were trying to prove that Christians should be practicing all the Jewish ordinances, then this particular event in the Gospels could not be used for the tithe discussion.

Then the only other passage I knew of was in Hebrews 7:1-9. And it was pretty vague. I also noticed it merely mentioned tithing. It did not command Christians to do it.

And we need to be careful, here. Just because something is mentioned in the Bible does not mean God is commanding you to do it. It sounds like common sense, but this is exactly what people do with the passage in Hebrews. They assume that because God said the word, “tithe” that this is proof He wants them to do it. Just think how weird things would get if we consistently made that assumption about every word we read in the New Testament.

So, I had to be honest with myself and admit that just because the word, “tithe” was mentioned, does not justify the creation of the doctrinal dynasty we see today..

It was just too big of a stretch.

And the issue with stretching things is that if you allow it in one area in order to let your pet doctrine get by, then you can’t turn around and suddenly become Mr. Super Duper Critical Bible Scholar towards others who want to do the same for their pet doctrines.

 

Tithing Before the Law

 

Now, some folks mention the fact that tithing took place before the Law. Abraham, for example, tithed.

True.

But Abraham also had multiple wives, including his sister, made animal sacrifices, and killed a bunch of people.

Again . . . Just because it is mentioned, does not mean God is commanding you to do it.

I understand the temptation to scramble and reach for something . . . . . . . . . . Anything—- to keep a dying idea afloat, but you have to look at the broader picture. A sloppy approach to the Bible such as this is only going to open the door for all kinds of weird ideas.

 

What Does the New Testament Say About Giving?

 

Whenever I talk about this, there is always at least one person who thinks I am against giving to the local church, or other ministries. I am not. I’m not even against tithing if that is what you want to do. I’m merely pointing out the absence of it being a command to Christians. God says we should be giving, but that it should be according to what we purpose in our hearts and not grudgingly (2Cor 6:7).

That is the New Testament instruction on the matter.

 

Good News For Those Who Love Tithing

 

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.”

(Romans 10:4-5) 

 

Notice how it says Moses writes about the righteousness of the Law. Another translation says, “Moses describes” the righteousness of the Law. When you can find a term that the Bible itself actually defines, it’s a good thing. So the righteousness of the Law is described here as a person who does the commandments and lives by them (ESV). Now, we know the Law, among other things, included a command to tithe. So keeping in mind that tithing is included, we could read it like this,

“Moses describes the righteousness of the Law as the person who practices the commandments, including tithing, shall live by them.”

Follow so far?

Now read this and watch for the same term, righteousness of the Law, to be used.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done

what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteousness of

the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

(Romans 8:1-4)

So you see . . . The righteousness of the Law  (the doing of all the commandments, including tithing)  has been fulfilled in those who are in Christ Jesus.

Fulfilled.

That’s past tense.

It does not say, “will be fulfilled if you try real hard.” It does not say, “You meet Jesus halfway with your efforts, and He takes care of the rest.” No, it says it already has been fulfilled. In who? Those who are in Christ Jesus.

So that’s you and me, right?

Remember what we’re talking about, here—-keeping the law, and in this case, tithing. That means the requirements of tithing have already been 100% fulfilled and completed in you by virtue of the fact that you’re in Christ Jesus.

Now, if you want to still try to tithe, that’s fine. But it’s important you know that it’s already been done for you.

So next time someone tells you there’s a Covenant Promise and the windows of heaven will open if you’ll just be faithful enough to give ten percent of your income, you can tell them, “I know! And I’ve already met the requirements!”

 

Why Hating Trump Means Hating Ourselves

 

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For years the American people have claimed to be fed up with the political system. We’ve complained about wanting a leader who wasn’t a politician.

Who wasn’t schooled in the art of deceptive communication by which they side step all the tough questions.

A president who isn’t politically correct. Who doesn’t care about saying what needs to be said even if it offends some, or even most.

Someone who could not be bought by outside special interest groups.

Someone who will call out and confront the media for their lies and hidden agendas.

Then, in the midst of this great outcry and discontentment, Donald Trump appears on the scene. Cocky and gruff, but a near embodiment of all of these things.

And what happens?

Do we welcome him with open arms?

No. We hate him.

I guess when we said we didn’t want someone schooled in the art of deceptive communication, we didn’t mean ill-mannered.

When we said we didn’t want someone who didn’t care about offending people, we meant other people. Certainly not ourselves.

When we said we didn’t want a person who could be bought by special interests, we didn’t mean our special interests.

When we said we wanted someone who would confront the bias in the media, we didn’t mean our favorite news network.

 

See, the introduction of Trump to the political scene isn’t really about Trump. It’s about us. It’s a revelation of the heart of this country, and really, our hypocrisy. It reveals to us that, like a snot nosed twerp in need of a nap, we don’t actually know what we want, or what is good for us. We think we do but then it materializes, and we are horrified.

. . . . The more I think about the guy, the more I see myself.

And suddenly politics as usual doesn’t sound so bad, I guess.

The Most Logical Advice You Will Probably Never Hear About Gun Violence

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It will always be with us. Because of the fact that we live in a country where the right to bear arms is built into our foundation, there will always be people who abuse this right.

You can pass all the laws you want.

Politicians can say all they want.

This is America.

People will still get them and still abuse them.

Why not just allow governmental authorities to have firearms?

This is America.

We don’t like governments. We don’t trust governments. It’s part of our origins, it’s who we are. Whether you personally agree with that or not, it will not change.

In a perfect world people wouldn’t need guns. In a slightly less than perfect world, only those in authority would need them.

Neither world exists.

Guns are needed.

Law enforcement response times prove that in nearly all violent scenarios, they will not be present to protect you. They can only respond, and assist, usually after a violent incident has taken place.

That’s the bad news.

The good news?

This is America.

You have the right to bear arms.

Instead of complaining and worrying about those who abuse this right, I suggest you take advantage of it and fulfill your God-given duty to protect your family.

7 Facts From the Gospels That Would Get Jesus Thrown out of Your Church

 

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Even after two thousand years of attempting to adjust to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the Church still finds the literal life and ministry of Jesus Christ too extreme to follow (or even teach).

Initially, none sound too radical—so long as they stay on the pages of the Bible (you know . . . where they belong). But strip your mind of the fairy tale-type mentalities that surround them. Imagine these literally happening today—-in your church on a Sunday morning. What I think you will realize is that when we remove centuries of caked on commentary, and religious jargon, it quickly becomes apparent that there is little place for the Jesus of the Gospels in our churches. In many ways, He was and is everything the modern Christian disdains.

 

Don’t believe me?

 

Have a look 🙂

 

 

1. He both taught, and demonstrated speaking to inanimate objects to make them obey you (Matt 21:20-21).

Theologians can explain it away all day (and they do). If there were any doubt about what Jesus was referring to when He told His disciples to talk to mountains, the preceeding verses remove it. When read in context, we see Jesus had just spoken to a real tree, and says “not only will you be able to do what was done to the tree but if you say to this mountain . . . ”

 

 

 

2. He taught 100% success in prayer (Matt 7:7, Matt 21:22, John 16:24).

This was before the days of, “sometimes God says yes, sometimes He says no, sometimes He says wait a while.

The idea of not receiving what you ask in prayer is completely foreign to the life and teachings of Jesus.

He also rejected weird religious idioms that still surround the concepts of prayer today. Such as the genie mentality that claims if you ask God for something, you can never truly be sure what to expect (Matt 7:8-11). He may give it to you . . .

. . . Or He may decide to kill you instead.

And if you think that is an exaggeration of what many mainstream churches are teaching—–I truly wish it were!

 

 

 

3. He made, “cruel and heartless” statements in times of tragedy that connected sin to physical calamity (Luke 13:4-5).

Jesus uses a recent accident in which 18 people were killed by a falling tower, and warned that unless there was repentance, more would perish. Young’s Literal Translation says they would perish in like manner.  He also told a man who had been crippled for 38 years to stop sinning otherwise a worse thing would happen to him.

 

 

 

 

4. He scolded His disciples for not being able to perform a miracle (Matt 17:15-20)

A man’s son is suffering from seizures. The disciples try, but are unable to help him. Upon seeing this, Jesus could have said something like, “It’s okay guys, you’re only human. I shouldn’t expect so much from you. The reason it didn’t work was because it was all part of God’s sovereign plan. He has decided to use the suffering of this child for His glory.“—Let’s be honest—- if it were 21st century jesus, that’s what it would have sounded like.

Instead of such comforting strokes that we so often hear in times of hopelessness and unanswered prayers, Jesus straight-up rebukes His followers. “You perverse and twisted generation! How long do I have to put up with you!?” (punctuation added).

 

 

 

5. He said the devil was behind disability (Lk 13:11-16, Mk 9:25).

In a world where God and Satan have apparently switched jobs (now a days God is blamed for sickness and disease) man, oh man would Christians get their panties in a bunch over such a claim. And it wouldn’t even need to happen on multiple occasions. Just once and someone would catch it on video or audio, and it would be thrown onto YouTube where it would then be devoured by ravenous Christians who confess to believe in the supernatural, so long as nobody actually takes it seriously.

 

 

 

6. He emphasized faith for miracles (Mark 11:23-24).

And no, it was not some general faith in God as sovereign, or that it’s, “all in His hands.”

No. It was purposeful, specific faith in the desired outcome. Contrary to popular opinion, Jesus very seldom (and one could argue—never) spoke about faith in God when it came to answered prayers. (We discussed this lie in a recent article.)

On another occasion He even said to a person, “your faith has healed you.”

Blasphemy! Faith doesn’t heal anyone. God does!

 

 

7. Most of His teachings on prayer were centered around how to get things (Mark 11:24 John 16:24)

He didn’t talk about how we are supposed to spend hours, “listening” for God’s voice in prayer (although I think we should). And He didn’t talk about how we should spend more time just thanking God in prayer (although I think we should.)

Now a days, all of us are trying to downplay asking God for things. Always coming up for reasons why prayers aren’t answered. How He isn’t a, “Cosmic Bellhop” etc etc. . . And yet—–When we actually read the accounts, we see that time and time again, Jesus is teaching us how to get what we need, and even what we desire by prayer. And He does it unabashedly and with great frankness.

 

 

 

Jesus

3 Reasons Being Born Gay Should Not be Compared to Being Born Black (or any other race)

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This article is neither for, nor against gay rights or the homosexual lifestyle. Instead, it’s simply  about removing misinformation and logical fallacies that lead people to conclusions they may not have arrived at otherwise. Dennis Prager, a man I greatly admire, often says, “I prefer clarity to agreement.” What that means is the point of the discussion is not to agree, but to clarify, bring to light, and to be honest. Whatever conclusion you come to after the misinformation has been identified, is up to you. The goal, therefore, is to frame the debate correctly— not decide the outcome.

Much like forcing a square peg into a round hole, the comparison of the homosexual community to a minority race has been repeatedly tried, but simply falls short of logic.

 

Why? Three reasons:

 

1. It’s Obvious a Person is Born Black

It is not, however, obvious, whether a person is born gay. While the debate of whether this can be proven continues to rage on, let’s assume it were true. This is still a far cry from proving that everyone who claims to be gay was born that way. As much as the media and extreme activists want to make this a black and white issue (no pun intended), there are other reasons a person lives the homosexual lifestyle. For example, no one wants to talk about the alarming number of homosexual men who were molested as boys by other men. The same with women who live their entire lives straight, have children, then, after a string of abusive relationships with men, begin getting involved with women.

This is a complex issue that we have attempted to simplify in order to make it more palatable to society at large. And many in this camp do not want a debate, discussion, or even questions about it. It’s much easier to paint the opposition as the same kind of racist bigots that resisted the Civil Rights Movement than to address some very legit concerns.

 

 

2. A Black Person Doesn’t Change Color

Many claim they lived a lie by getting married and even having children before they decided to come out as gay. Others say they didn’t, “realize it” until later on in life. Whatever sequence of events, or mental state it requires for such a shift to take place, one thing is certain: There is nothing in the realm of race that even resembles this phenomena.

 

 

3. Being Born Black is not a Way of Life

This is the biggest and most obvious difference. I once was talking to a proponent of the gay lifestyle (I say, “talking” they’d probably say, “arguing”) and I mentioned that gay people often wrongly associate with minority races and that it’s a fallacy to compare the two. They scoffed and laughed at me. I’d obviously shown how stupid I was for saying such a thing. But in order to make my point, I asked them two simple questions:

A person, who is born gay, unhindered by any influence from society, or religion, will most likely live what kind of lifestyle?

The obvious answer is the homosexual one, ie, they will pursue relationships with the same sex.

Alright.

Next question:

A person who is born black, unhindered by any influence from society or religion, will live what kind of lifestyle?

 

Uh . . . .

 

See the difference?

We are talking about a physical trait versus a way of life. That’s huge!  How can we possibly say that how a person physically looks is the same as how a person acts? Think about it. This is the very distinction Dr. Martin Luther King was attempting to make: A person should not be judged because of the color of their skin (how they look) but the content of their character (how they act).

This comparison is a fallacy that has gone unchecked for far too long.

Another person I asked these two questions to responded out of frustration and snarled, “The person born gay will live any kind of lifestyle they damn well please!”
To which I responded, “Agreed. Regardless of how we are born, we still choose the lifestyle we live.”