When Mike Huckabee, the popular ex-Governor of Arkansas and former Presidential candidate, announced that he would not make another White House run, one of his potential competitors, Donald Trump, said:
“A lot of people are very happy that he will not be running, especially other candidates, so Mike enjoy the show. The ratings are terrific. Good luck.”
That’s about what you would expect from Donald Trump, the millionaire mogul known for owning casinos, starring in The Apprentice, cursing in public and, living out his heretofore unknown Christian values. I’m quite certain that Mike Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist pastor, has a more Biblical view of life, starting with God’s providential hand of blessing. Lady luck might be worshipped in Trump’s casinos, but it has precious little to do with the rise and fall of television ratings or Presidential candidacies.
Maybe it would be a good idea for Donald Trump’s newly formed elite Christian posse to inform him that life is not all about luck. However, if Paula White — Founder and Pastor of Without Walls International Church — is leading the posse, then luck, otherwise known in some Christian circles as the “health, wealth, and prosperity gospel,”–will be music to Trump’s ears. After all, we are in an age where so-called Christian pastors will tickle the ears of their hearers. Whether in a mega-church in Tampa or Lakeland or in Donald Trump’s office in New York City, some pastors will bend over backwards to tell people what they want to hear, not necessarily what they need to hear. And, there’s a big difference.
In this year’s Republican Presidential sweepstakes, if candidates talk a good conservative game, Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network appears more than willing to overlook the less than Christian walk of the prospective candidates. In at least his tenth “exclusive” with or about Donald Trump, David Brody, CBN News’ Chief Political Correspondent, reveals that a group of Chrisian pastors recently met with Trump for a “prayer meeting.” With this many exclusives, one might begin to think that the CHRISTIAN Broadcasting Network will support any candidates — even those who easily drop the F bomb in public — just as long as they are not Democrats. It’s good to know that CBN has such high Christian standards!
In a prayer meeting and Q & A session that took place on Thursday, May 12, the Donald met with a group of Christian pastors and some of their wives. Paula White, a friend of Trump’s, was the only pastor of this “elite” group whose name was publicly confirmed by Michael Cohen, Trump’s Executive Vice President and Special Counsel. I can’t wait to hear what other “elite” pastors met with Donald Trump last Thursday. That Mr. Cohen would use “elite” to describe Christian pastors belies such a profound misunderstanding of Jesus’ words, “I have come to serve, not to be served,” and “The first shall be last, and the last first.” I just hope that no Southern Baptist pastors, particularly those who are employed by the SBC, attended this meeting. If I had to guess, I would say that those in attendance were a veritable who’s who of the charismatic, “health, wealth, and prosperity gospel” crowd who are popular staples on TBN. It’s shocking that pastors like this would be investigated for alleged financial misconduct.
I suppose that some of these pastors, who may live lavish lifestyles more suited for Hollywood celebrities than servants of Christ, felt at home in the presence of Donald Trump. After all, when you think of Trump, you usually think money. When “name it and claim it” pastors like Paula White think of Trump, they usually think money. Heck, most of their teachings are predicated on sowing seeds (i.e., send us your money). Can you say co-opted? Bamboozled? Hoodwinked? Sold?
How else to explain what one pastor said about Mr. Trump’s potential White House bid:
“One pastor said that God has clearly put the desire in Trump’s heart to run for the presidency.”
Wow! Not only do we have an elite Christian posse meeting with Trump; at least one of these self-professed Christian pastors knows — KNOWS — that God has moved on the heart of a casino-owning, filth-spewing, self-loving (read “arrogant”) man who has never been known for his personal commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. I hope that the “Christian” pastor who made such an obviously foolish and inane comment will take credit for what he said.
If you were unconvinced that this group of Christian pastors have no clue as to the real needs of our country, then perhaps their encouragement to Mr. Trump about what ails America will convince you that the brand of Christianity they are selling is defective at best and fraudulent at worst:
“They told Trump that America needs to restore its brand of greatness and said the country is bleeding.”
Restore America’s brand of greatness? Are you kidding me? That’s the best these Christian pastors could come up with? In a nation which is bleeding because of spiritual poverty, you have preachers talking about the “American brand.” Woe unto those who say, “‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy, and need nothing,’ and you don’t know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked (Revelation 3:17).”
The blind leading the blind. It doesn’t matter how many Christian pastors meet with Donald Trump. Neither he nor anyone else in the White House is going to restore America to greatness. Mike Huckabee, who will not even be running for President, would most likely tell you that he could not restore America’s brand to greatness. Why? Because only God can do that. Only God can stop the bleeding. And the only way that will happen is when the Good News — the Gospel — of the Lord Jesus Christ is proclaimed throughout the land and America experiences the blessings of a nation whose God is the Lord (Psalm 33:12). Before any of this happens
“My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
For anyone, particularly conservative Christians, to think that Donald Trump and his elite Christian posse will lead us to greatness once again is placing their bet on a sure loser. I’m just surprised that certain pastors — known for their money-raising prowess — are so eager to put their money down on Trump. But, then again, you know what they say about fools and their money.