The sins of Donald Trump — Part 1

The sins of Donald Trump — Part 1

The prayer, the object lesson

Al Miller

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. — from A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

Leaders of nations are critical because what they and their governments do affect the welfare of the people. If adverse, it can destroy for decades and even a generation. This is why the injunction of scripture in 1 Timothy 2: 1-2 encourages that “prayers be made for those in authority that we may live a quite and peaceful life…”

As a result I pray for leaders, particularly over my nation before and after elections. Some I have prayed in, and some had to pray out. Having carried my nation in my heart I make it my responsibility to know the God-given assignment of the top leaders of my nation, to inform my prayer, assess their performance, and guide in counsel as required. The same is true for key nations that impact on us.

Consequently, every Prime Minister of the last 30 years I have written to them and shared my understanding of their God-given assignment in being given the privilege of serving their nation. It is my conviction that leaders allowed by God to serve have an assignment. Daniel 2:21: “It is He who changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and establishes kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.”

US President Donald Trump, like Prime Minister Andrew Holness, came to leadership in response to the cries of the people for change echoed in their prayers. Hence, both came to leadership against the odds. Neither knew how they got there. Both were selected as the best of a bad lot, but they were chosen because they made themselves available and committed to pursue a purpose. Both are to create a shift, unseat old paradigms, and establish a new order — if they stick to the mission in humility. Pride and arrogance will destroy and limit the mission of both.

However, Trump is the main focus here. It has been said, “In a democracy, the people get the leader they deserve.” (French lawyer, Joseph de Maistre (1753 –1821) I would add, God sometimes gives people the leader they need.

It is against the above background I wrote an article published in The Agenda of the Sunday Observer on November 8, 2020, titled 'I Pray Trump Gets a Second Term'. You would have thought I had sinned. The responses have been fast and furious, with a few understanding what I posited but many unable to understand because of the hot emotional outrage that Trump has stirred in many.

One writer in this very newspaper described my writing as unintelligible, uninformed, misinformed, or under the influence of “new wine”! He then went on to quote from my article and tried to contest or explain away the points made. Clearly, he was able to understand the “unintelligible”, even though he couldn't cross it! (Think Clifton “Clifftwang” Brown voice of 2011 fame: “Only those who understand it can cross it.”) He, like many brilliant minds are blinded by their fears and biases so they can't see the forest because of the trees.

Trump stirs serious emotions both with his 'deplorables' and his naysayers. But the negative comments and calls, though expected, as I stated in the article, were a bit surprising from some quarters; for they seem to have lost objectivity.

Object lesson ahead!

But now that I have your attention, allow me to stir your thinking or wrath a bit further. Ask yourself: Why is this one man so loved by many and so vilified by as many?

Trump is a chosen divine object lesson to the world, and the USA in particular. He is a summary on public display of America and mankind. Trump has been a revelation of America to itself. He either exposes or the cause of exposure. He has exposed the underlying hidden issues, nibbling away at its inside; which if left unchecked will be its downfall. He is causing America to face the fact of the corruption, prejudices, deep divisions, police brutality, election fraud in lust for power, deplorable black and Hispanic neighbourhoods, among the other ills that exist within as a cauldron waiting to erupt, if not treated.

It has exposed a church that must awake to see its present state of division and disengagement from the real issues of social injustices in its various manifestations. The church now has minimal influence on the school system, the mass media, and information systems that teach a nation. It has lost the governmental structures at all levels and has a weakened balance in the proclamation of the kingdom of God to transform lives.

Trump is a reflection of a flawed people with a chequered and messy past, yet filled with the potential and possibilities for great accomplishments if they make right choices when challenged. It looks like us!

Trump displays elements of pride, arrogance, fears, prejudices, wealth, sexual impurity, marital failure and brashness typical of many of his people. His sometimes erratic personal and national selfishness is a common American vice, even among Christians, though many try to hide it. He is a reflection of the American society and its leaders in many spheres, including the Church.

Donald Trump's contradictions are our contradictions. For example, Trump is president, so we expect him to be a dignified diplomatic leader. Instead, he's unrefined and in-your-face. Pastors are expected to be compassionate and ready always with the love of Christ. Yet we can be some of the smuggest and judgemental people you meet. Politicians should have a heart for the development of people and nation. Instead, most seem interested in self-aggrandisement and personal enrichment. Get it?

On the other hand, Trump has and reflects the courage, boldness, and tenacity of spirit necessary to press forward with a vision against the odds. No president in recent times has suffered more constant bombardment of negativity and opposition yet remained focused on his mission to accomplish much of what he set out to do in such a short time.

You may not like the man but you cannot, in honesty, deny his works. He reflects the good and the bad in all of us, and the amazing truth of what we can accomplish if we choose the good while ridding ourselves of the bad. For when Trump is good he's good! When he's bad he can be horrible in his public displays.

America is a great nation. At face value, it has all the desired elements — freedoms, wealth, modern technology, health, education, research, etc, etc, etc. Yet there are serious inconsistencies and contradictions not being addressed. There is great opulence and great poverty coexisting side by side in many of its major cities.

Great nations are often destroyed from within. America has to tackle these issues if she is to be great again. Trump came to office with a stated mission from the outset — to “drain the swamp”, as he called Washington, and to make America great again. It would cause a shift, as it would be no small feat. A mission that would incur the wrath of many, as most people resist change. No ordinary man would attempt such a challenge unless he was mad or a deep desire for change, despite his own imperfections.

In Part 2 we will look at Trump's personal and political/presidential sins.

Al Miller is senior pastor of Fellowship Tabernacle.

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