Mark 11:23, The Secret to Donald Trump’s Success

donald-trump

 

What I’m about to say isn’t hard to understand, yet I have no doubt it will be misunderstood by the majority of people who read it.

Why?

Because mainstream Christianity has strayed so far from the simple practice of reading the Bible and accepting it, that unless their pre-selected group of pastors or Bible teachers tell them something, no matter how clear it is in the Scriptures, they can’t accept it.

 

We have been told multiple times that this election season will go down as one of the greatest, and strangest upsets in American history.

While political talking heads struggle and scramble to explain the Trump phenomena, there is something all of them (and all of us, for that matter) have missed. And that is the fact that the universe is governed not only by physical laws, it’s also governed by spiritual laws. One of which Jesus tells us about in Mark 11:23

 

Whoever should say to this mountain, “be removed and be cast into the sea” and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says.

 

I’ve been watching Trump (who hasn’t, right?). But not for the same reasons most have. After a while of listening to what he was saying, I noticed the level of confidence he has is almost unprecedented in any other human being I’ve come across. So I told my wife six or seven months ago that I suspected there was more at work here than just a guy running for president.

As many of you may or may not know, as a child, Trump’s pastor was Norman Vincent Peale, author of the famous book, “The Power of Positive Thinking.” Mr. Trump has accredited his worldview, and accomplishments heavily to what he learned from this man.

While watching Donald this campaign season, time after time you have seen confessions of victory in the face of contradicting circumstances.

 

MEDIA: “Your numbers among hispanics are down, what are you going to do to get them up?”

TRUMP: “Hispanics love me.”

MEDIA:”Your numbers among women have never been lower.”

TRUMP: “No one respects women like I do. And I’m doing great with them. They love me.”

MEDIA: “You have the highest unfavorable ratings of any candidate.”

TRUMP: “I’m gonna win, and I’m gonna win big. And we’re going to make America Great Again.”

No matter the stat, or poll, The Donald has remained unmoved and has stood steadfast in confidence about what he will do. While it’s not uncommon for presidential candidates to say delusional things, there seems to be a difference, here. Trump really believes it, and circumstances over time seem to somehow align with what he has said.

 

New Age, and Christians Who Don’t Read the Bible

As previously mentioned, we unfortunately have a lot of Christians who don’t understand this, and never will because they have decided the Bible needs layers of theological commentaries in order to clarify it’s meaning. So when they come across Mark 11:23, they just can’t accept it. There’s gotta be some hat trick to it that will essentially convert it’s meaning to, “It’s not as incredible as it sounds. Relax, and go back to being normal.”

People can explain it any way they want, but in a nutshell, that is the outcome of both our interpretations of Mark 11:23, and the majority of other spectacular claims made in the Bible.

And when you don’t understand something, human nature is, and always has been, to fear it, and label it as evil. So people say it’s of the devil. It’s New Age. It’s demonic, etc. But regardless of what you think it is, God created the principle, and it still works. 

Others say, “It’s a man- centered false doctrine.”

Boloney.

Pardon my directness, but I will tell you what a man-centered false doctrine looks like: When you down play the words of Christ in order to retain a false sense of humility.

True humility accepts what God says, and practices it, instead of sweeping it under the rug for fear of what mainstream Christianity will think of you.

For Those Who Want to Understand It

The context of Jesus’ words about speaking, and having, was the cursing of a fig tree. As many of us are aware, Jesus walked up to a fig tree one day, found that it had no figs, and responded by saying to it, “let no man ever eat from you again.” When the disciples saw that the tree had withered, they were shocked. This is when Jesus said, “If you have faith, not only will you be able to do what was done to the fig tree, but . . . Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be removed and be cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart but shall believe that the things he says will come to pass he will have whatever he says.”

Many argue that this would never work for Donald Trump because he isn’t a Christian. Firstly, I don’t know if he is a Christian or not. In my opinion, he is certainly more honest than a lot of Christians I know (but I digress). Assuming he wasn’t, this principle is not just for Christians. Jesus did not say “Whichever Christian should say . . .” He said, “whoever.” —-That’s anybody.

It works for saved and unsaved, alike. Short, tall, skinny, fat. Arrogant. Bad hair. It’s whosoever.

Now, ready to be shocked?

Jesus never said faith in God was required for this to work.

He actually tells you what you have to believe in in order for it to work. And what he said was, “believe that those things which he says shall come to pass.” Belief that it will actually work. That what you say will really happen. This is the requirement Jesus put on this principle, and it is unfortunately why so many Christians can’t understand it. Because they want to turn everything into a generic faith in God. “Just trust God.” But Jesus corrected this type of thinking and told us we need a specific belief in a specific outcome. People don’t like that because it puts responsibility on them, but that’s what it says.

It can also work for good, or it can work for bad.  See, we have over-spiritualized many of these things. We understand, for instance, that God created and gave us our hands. And that our hands can be used for working, for loving, for helping, or for hurting. We live in a world of God-given gifts and principles that we operate in every day. Sometimes we use them for good, sometimes for bad, but they’re all gifts from God. In Mark 11:23 Jesus tells us another gift God has given to us, and He tells us how to use it. Christians get confused and think because it’s abstract that it must be some weird isolated concept from the rest of the physical world we live in. But it isn’t.

I’ve used this principle all my life and I know hundreds of people who have as well. I’m not perfect, of course, so there have been times I tried to use it and failed. But I could tell you story after story of miraculous outcomes from operating in Mark 11:23.

Will Trump Be President?

My guess is that he will.

He has spent his life practicing and developing the concepts of Mark 11:23 much like a musician does on an instrument. The end result is an uncommon level of success.

Even with all the odds against him, he has consistently risen above them.

Many are concerned that if he gets elected, he will ruin the country.

My opinion?

He has said all along that he will make America Great Again, and I think that he truly believes it.

Considering the Unthinkable: Do we Really Believe the Bible?

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When Bill Wiese released his book that recollected a vision he claimed to have had of hell, a wild  fire of criticism from the Christian community  erupted.

When the film, “Heaven is For Real” hit theaters last Easter it was met with much the same reaction.

These are only two recent examples of what has been a long standing tradition of the Church to be critical of supernatural experiences.

We could go back further naming some of the early charismatic leaders such as Kenneth E. Hagin, John G. Lake, or Smith lakeWigglesworth, who claimed to have witnessed many miracles and the onslaught of criticism they were met with.

When asked the reason for such critical attitudes, Christians will usually respond with something along the lines of, “well, the experiences were unbiblical. What these people claim to have witnessed can’t be found in the Bible.”

One person I talked to concerning Bill Wiese’s story said they doubted it because, though much of his description did seem to match the biblical hell, Mr. Wiese claimed to have seen demons torturing humans. And since the Bible does not say anything about this (at least we think it doesn’t), the experience was highly suspect.

Others said, “nowhere in the Bible does it say God would show people visions of hell.” And this, they felt,  justified them rejecting the claim.

When someone purports to have been supernaturally healed by prayer, there is a large portion of the Body of Christ that comes forward demanding documented, medical  proof. When proof is not forthcoming, they declare the whole thing to be a sham.

Two Noteworthy Observations

Having spent the greater part of my Christian life witnessing the Church do this time and again,  I have made two observations:

Firstly, the logic surrounding the rejection of these accounts seems, for lack of a better word, a bit odd.

For example, we start by saying the experience is unbiblical. When probed for why, the answer is, “The Bible does not ever record anyone getting sick, being taken to heaven, then coming back to tell about it.”

. . . Well, it doesn’t.

So  I guess, the rule here is that the experience has to be in the Bible?  I mean, it’s not enough that it says in the last days people would have dreams and visions. It has to be a specific kind of vision?

. . . Alllllllllright.

So what do we do with the other testimonies that are not found in the Bible? . . . You know, the every day kind like the bum who stumbles into a church service and finds Jesus. Shouldn’t we scrutinize that story just as much,  demanding evidence that it went down the way he says it did?

Or how about the person who tells us God completely delivered them from drug abuse? I don’t know of any Scripture that says God did that for someone.

I know people who say they got saved when they raised their hand in a church service and said a prayer. There is no Scripture that records this practice.

Where is the outcry from the Christian community over these kinds of testimonies? Why are we not demanding proof or additional evidence to support the claims being made? If it isn’t enough that the Bible mentions signs, wonders, and visions, in order for us to accept those other accounts, then should it be enough for the  Bible to mention people being saved, for us to accept these?

 . . . A little weird, right?

The other phenomena I’ve observed over the years is that no matter what the claim is, even if it sounds like it came right out of the Gospels or Book of Acts, the majority of the Body of Christ still seem to reject it. If it isn’t rejected, every aspect of it is meticulously critiqued, rigorously questioned and at best labeled,  “suspicious.” In addition, whoever makes the claim is subject to a thorough (and often unfair) investigation into their character, what kind of doctrines they believe, and if there is any sin in their life.

Because, . . . You know, . . . God only does supernatural things for good Christians with the right denominational beliefs . . . Like those folks in Corinth who were getting drunk at communion and boasting about the incest among them . . . wait . . . I meant Galatia where they were falling for a different gospel . . . or, uh . . . Peter who had to be rebuked by Paul—hold on, hold on . . .

 . . . eh, I got nothing.

Say It Ain’t So . . .

I’ve thought long and hard on this and when considering all the factors, there really is no explanation for the bizarre and seemingly contradicting behavior among Christians.

None of it makes sense.

Until we introduce the unthinkable.

Is it possible that even though we claim to believe in the supernatural, deep down, we kind of, sort of, in all actuality, don’t?

People may object insisting they believe in the creation account,  Jesus as the Son of God, the hope of heaven, and everything else in the Bible.

All of these have one thing in common–none are tangible in the here and now.  You know as well as I do that when it comes to things past, future, or unseen, they’re just easier to believe. Or at least easier to convince ourselves that we believe.

Intangible things don’t quite put the same stretch on our natural reasoning that an extraordinary, observable  claim does. When someone says, “Aren’t you glad you’re going to heaven when you die?” We can say, “Amen!” without skipping a beat. But if the same person says, “I just raised my grandma from the dead” All of a sudden things change, don’t they?

We go from church cliche’s to . . . .

(press play)

And so while no one seems to want to admit it, this is where I have found we have drawn the unspoken line.

The Test

If the extraordinary is to be believed  among the majority of Christians today, it must fall under one of these categories:

Either,

a. Something that happened in the distant past

b. Something that will happen at an unknown date in the future

Or

c. Something that is spiritual in nature, thus abstract and cannot be quantified.

In other words, if it can’t effect us in any measurable way, Christians are more prone to be accepting of it. If, on the other hand, it has sensational overtones and wreaks of something out of the Book of Acts, it’s suspicious.

Over the years I have quietly kept this criteria in mind and observed that I can actually make predictions with it as to whether an idea will be accepted or rejected by a majority of Christians.

The Conclusion?

This is by no means an open and shut case. In science, a phenomena is referred to as a theory if you can use it to make predictions. So that’s what I would call this—a theory for consideration.

It isn’t meant to condemn anyone. Lets not forget all of Jesus’ disciples were unwilling to believe He had been raised when they first heard it. It’s natural to be skeptical of things and I am not at all suggesting we should be gullible. That being said, I think we need to be willing to consider the possibility that we have, in some areas, allowed unbelief to creep in and become a driving force in our Christian lives.

Lets not forget, everything in Christianity from start to finish is amazing.

It’s supernatural.

It’s freaking extraordinary!

All I’m saying is maybe it’s time we start expecting a little something extra in our ordinary.