Thursday, November 3, 2016

Donald the "Christ"?

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many...At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time. Matt 24.5, 22-24, NIV

It has been said that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. There is sufficient evidence to support that statement, with all of the despots and tyrants who have ruled in antiquity. The Unites States, in contrast, has been immune from such influences due to the unique democratic process and governmental infrastructure we possess. So it's no wonder that a good number of Americans would be caught off-guard by someone, possibly under the same spirit of influence, who possibly could fall into that category. Enter Donald J. Trump.

This well-known businessman came onto the political scene, as he puts it, as a result of being a former insider who now sits on the outside, saw what was happening with our country, and was compelled to make a difference. It sounds very innocuous, but what we have seen are some disturbing patterns, declarations, and missteps...not to mention his historical exploits attempting to catch up with him.

One of the most disturbing and eyebrow-raising instances during his campaign occurred as he was accepting the Republican nomination for President. After running a laundry list of unresolved issues and national problems, he made this declaration:

I alone can fix it.

I. Alone. Can fix it.
  

The idea that he would say something that megalomaniacal is only mildly shocking. (For reference, see, "No one respects women more than I do.") But for throngs of people to actually cosign that statement is more telling. The belief factor in one who holds no experience or requisite skill in collaborating with lawmakers, former heads of state, world leaders, and military personnel would not typically be this elevated were it not for his experience and/or requisite skill in real estate, entertainment, and finance.

I wish I had a tally counter handy to track all of the times he has said, virtually as a passing qualifier, "Believe me". Despite offering a vacuum of credible evidence and resource documentation, he still affirms that he is credible and trustworthy to be the POTUS simply on the strength of his statements alone. It is as though his words will never fall to the ground. The only circumstantial shroud of proof submitted by him on which individuals could possibly build their hope is his successful business track record. No matter how many spots and speckles his track record may have, it is...in large part...using "natural" standards (1Cor 2.14)...successful. That is the concerning part, simply because of his assertion that he alone can fix America. And we are being encouraged by him, his surrogates, and supporters to believe that he can.

The trouble with anyone saying that the solution for America's ills rests within one man is this: it's not a one-man job. 43 Presidents have come and gone. The current President will soon be "retired". If this were a one-man job, the assumption would be that each prior President was arguably the best choice we could make as a country at that time to handle that task. Sadly, this was and is not the case. And past Presidents did not have a country operating at the level of difficulty in which it exists now.

So the suggestion by Trump that he has it all sewed up is very challenging to believe. But there is a deeper issue raised by The Donald's assertion. Is this a situation in which he is positioning himself as America's only and last hope, hence America's savior? Is Trump the new Messianic figure, his political entourage and followers the disciples, and Wikileaks the new "infallible" Scriptures?
  
Unless a person came from an autocratically-governed country, the average American born and raised here is not used to experiencing a person of power who is coming off as a potential demagogue. He/She wouldn't know how to insulate himself/herself against such a personality because our governmental system thrives on "checks and balances" to guard against that threat. But it doesn't mean that a person with this mental makeup could not gain a following that can create even more upheaval by operating within the holes of the zone defense. And this could be the case if Trump wins or loses the election.

Yes, America is not perfect and not without its faults. For example, the criminal justice/judicial system has been in need of a desperate makeover. Obama's commuting sentences of non-violent drug offenders - mostly African-Americans caught up in the "drug wars" - shone a spotlight on just how incongruent justice can be. But for one to assume that he has the magic touch is a dangerous road to traverse. It is the same thinking as what the rap group known as The LOX once stated: "Money, power, and respect...it's the key to life". And these things make the person in possession of a full tank of each of them to believe he is above the law and can consistently operate above the fray...no matter who challenges him.
   

So Jesus' warning rings loudly. Beware. If someone states that he has the answers to all of the societal tribulations in America, and clearly does not abide in the righteousness that God sets forth, beware that you may be the "elect" who is now being carried away by the deception of "another" Christ. If a person says to believe him when nothing has been shown to breed permanent fidelity in him, beware. Because a human being just like you and me can only offer a limited supply of trustworthiness...regardless of the successful track record. And depositing all of your faith, hope, and allegiance in any person - even a US President, or one that hopes to be, regardless of the political party - is never a wise move when your overall welfare, not to mention your very soul, is at stake (Psalm 118.8-9).

Just remember that you can't say that you haven't been told...by the real Christ.

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