Donald Trump seems to have found “religion.”
That is to say, it is notable that he has been a public personality for such a very long time and it wasn’t until well into his campaign to be the Republican presidential candidate that we ever heard him talking about religion. Even at that, he didn’t do Christian-speak very well. I’m sure we all remember his “Two Corinthians” flub. It’s a mistake that almost no elementary aged church-goer would make, more or less a Christian of Trump’s age.
To make matters worse, at least in the eyes of this Presbyterian minister, Trump claims to be Presbyterian.
Egad! Maybe there really is no God.
Admittedly, there are all kinds of Presbyterian denominations and some of them are considerably conservative, but all of them have roots in the reformed tradition. One of the cornerstones of the reformed tradition? “Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda!” Or “the Church is reformed and always being reformed.”
Doesn’t sound very conservative, does it?
We Presbyterians hold scholarship and study dearly. It guides us in examining who we are and what changes need to be made – “always being reformed.” It also means that we study the Bible closely and are guided by its precepts.
Not so much.
Keeping it clean and simple, here are 10 quotes from Trump and 10 Bible verses that bring heavily into question the sincerity of Trump’s Christianity.
Trump: “An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud.”
Proverbs 6:16-19 (ESV):There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
Trump: “You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.”
Galatians 3:28 (ESV): There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Trump: “The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. Thank you. It’s true.”
Matthew 25:35-36 (ESV):For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.
Trump: “I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
Exodus 22:21 (ESV): “You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.
Trump: “The beauty of me is that I’m very rich.”
Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV): Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Trump: “The point is, you can never be too greedy.”
Matthew 6:24 (ESV): No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Trump: “I think apologizing’s a great thing, but you have to be wrong. I will absolutely apologize, sometime in the hopefully distant future, if I’m ever wrong.”
Matthew 23:12 (ESV): Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Trump: “I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.”
Proverbs 3:31 (ESV): Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways…
Trump: “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”
Exodus 20:7 (ESV): You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
(“In vain” meaning “for false pretenses.”)
Trump after a mass shooting in Oregon: “These things happen.”
Romans 12:15 (ESV): Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
It won’t take long for people to start commenting below with Bible verses they claim show the opposite of the ones here or to say that it’s surprising that I’m a minister since I clearly understand so little about the Bible and have misused the verses. It’s the kind of thing that conservative religious folk have been doing all the way back to before the ministry of Jesus (and very frequently during the ministry of Jesus). So, it’s to be expected.
I’ll simply respond to them once here.
When interpreting the Bible, filter it through the larger biblical theology of “God is love.” If where your interpretation ends up excludes, belittles, is violent, ignores those in need, or allows you to feel superior to others, it isn’t loving. It isn’t from love. It isn’t of God.