The Meaning of Donald Trump–from a Biblical Perspective
As I readied this article for publication, the news hit that Rush Limbaugh died today at the age of seventy. His wife Katharine made the announcement at the beginning of his three-hour program which contains the largest radio audience in history.
I’m thankful for Rush Limbaugh’s thirty-two years of truth-telling about many aspects of American life. He was brilliant in his political analysis, courageous against the forces arrayed against him, and passionate in his love for America and its people.
His battle with lung cancer deepened his faith. In the past few months, he talked openly about his closeness to God and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. His millions of followers prayed for him and certainly benefited from that testimony.
Rush will be missed–but we must carry on the fight for truth. Here is my latest contribution.
The Meaning of Donald Trump–from a Biblical Perspective
Dear Fellow Citizens Who Voted for Joe Biden,
I write this blog to the other side of the aisle who voted for Joe Biden. I’m an evangelical missionary, a professor of Leadership and Intercultural Studies at Faith International University, and an author of seven published books.
I wrote my first book on Jimmy Carter in 1976, met Ronald Reagan personally in the 80’s when I worked on Capitol Hill, and put together the first presidential scorecard showing where candidates for the White House stood on various issues.
I care deeply about our beloved nation as I assume you do also.
Now that he is a private citizen, I thought it might be helpful to you to know the meaning of Donald Trump from a Biblical perspective–and why seventy-five million people voted for him.
I will begin with some presuppositions–assumptions about life–that I bring to this analysis of Donald Trump.
In our doctoral program at FIU, candidates must prove their thesis/project by expounding three biblical rationales for their work along with three theoretical presuppositions (secular confirmations). In other words, they must explain the biblical truths behind their project and then confirm its validity in real life.
When they prove (analytically and statistically) that the Bible and corresponding secular studies bring demonstrable change to peoples’ lives then we reward them a doctoral degree. This is the gold standard from Harvard to FIU.
Here are the biblical presuppositions I bring to analyzing both history and leadership:
- There is a Creator God of the universe who is also its Savior–the Lord Jesus Christ. This is confirmed by 2.4 billion people worldwide–the largest world religion.
- Truth exists and is found most clearly in the Bible (special revelation), which is the world’s number one bestseller and soon to be translated into all 7,100 languages of the world.
- In God’s providential guidance of history, Asia stands out as the continent of origins, Europe, the continent of development, and America the continent of propagation. History is not random–but contains divine superintendence.
- The United States developed the strongest biblical heritage in history outside of ancient Israel (the basis of American exceptionalism). The fruits of our culture include faith, strong families, morality, free enterprise, human rights, economic prosperity, and being the leading nation in world evangelization for the past one hundred years.
- America began to turn away from those biblical foundations in the 20th century and the first two decades of the 21st.
- The best national leaders believe in God, His principles for living, and enact policies that protect life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, freedom around the world and the Great Commission.
Now back to why I and 75 million other Americans voted for Donald Trump.
Many of us share the presuppositions above–or at least a “memory” of them. Those without faith backed Trump for specific issues or traditional reasons. Despite America’s many faults (all nations have them), we believe American is worth renewing–not destroying.
Donald Trump was not my first choice for president in 2016. In the list of candidates (both Democrat and Republican) I placed him the lower third due to his brash personality and former playboy lifestyle.
Then he won the Republican nomination and I started to pay attention.
Here is another presupposition. I believe presidents (and all political leaders) make their greatest contribution to society via their policies, not their personalities or behavior. Both JKF and Bill Clinton cheated on their wives (while in the White House) but led the country with many good pieces of legislation. Government is the domain of law (policy), not virtue.
We don’t elect a National Pastor or Priest. Character is important, but public legislation guides the country, not personal behavior. (Think of Grant’s drinking problem or FDR’s trysts.)
Donald Trump was immoral in the past–but didn’t bring his sins into office. I didn’t like his tweets (especially name calling), and I believe he failed to grow in stature as president. He also made a mistake by scheduling a rally on the day of election certification–which contributed to the breech of the Capitol.
On the other hand, I believe a case can be made he won the 2020 election. Yes, Joe Biden carried the popular vote (as did Hillary Clinton in 2016) due the sheer number of progressive voters in America’s two most troubled states–California and New York.
But we now know that Joe Biden, after 155 million votes were cast, won the Electoral College by relatively small numbers in five battleground states. Many believe that a forensic examination of those returns would yield many illegitimate votes–possibly enough to give President Trump the victory. Maybe not.
But those analytics will never be done.
Just like JFK probably won the 1960 election with help from the Mob, we agree with TIME magazine that Big tech/media/political collusion brought down Donald Trump.
As an outsider who wanted to drain the bureaucratic swamp, yet (amazingly) a man with traditional God-honoring policies, the forces of hell and human evil fought Donald Trump mercilessly and dishonestly for four years.
Yet he accomplished great things (compiled by Alison Muesing):
- Trump is one of the most ardent supporters for protection of the life of the unborn.
- He moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, sending a message that the city is the true capital of Israel.
- He rebuilt our military to deter adversarial foreign states from advancing against America, Israel and other nations.
- He curtailed the advancement of ISIS.
- He implemented polices that created an economic boon in the stock market and sent unemployment rates for blacks and Hispanics to historic lows.
- He heartily supported the police and other law enforcement officers to protect the public.
- He restored energy independence to the nation after 70 years of dependency.
- He reversed the massive handout to the Iranian regime, a sworn enemy of Israel and the United States.
- He garnered respect and caution by other nations intent on weakening America. He strengthened national security. And he unapologetically stood up for religious liberty and the U.S. Constitution.
Dick Morris also lists both President Trump’s list of accomplishments and marks of greatness.
He did these things during the ugliest “civil war” since Lincoln–not of arms and succession from the Union, but of Marxist/Socialist agitation and desire to bring down the United States.
Trump won in 2016 because the silent majority in America realized our country was being destroyed by secular progressive policies. Only an unorthodox “strongman” would be able to resist that type of assault.
The best biblical analogy for Donald Trump is Samson – a strongman during the time of the Judges (chapters 13-16). God raised up this crude and compromised man for battle because he was needed to take on the Philistines (the destroyers of Israeli culture).
Samson failed initially but did the greatest amount of damage at the end of his life (Judges 16:30).
Maybe Trump will do the same.
The election of Donald Trump was a clarion wake-up call to the people of faith in America. We “let the lights go out” for decades in evangelism, family values, the sanctity of life, and other aspects of cultural renewal. We failed to be the “salt and light” of the nation that Jesus desires of His people.
So, God gave us “Samson” to awaken the Church and nation.
That’s the meaning of Donald Trump–from a biblical point of view.
I appreciate your clear insights Ron. Donald Trump was not my favorite candidate in the 2015-16 primary either. In fact I would say he was in the bottom 6th percentile (-: But I began to take a serious look at him after the convention. I came around. I voted for him both times in the general election and contributed to his and other worthy conservatives’ campaigns. I am thankful for his many positive achievements.
God is glorious. In his grace he chooses to use flawed individuals like all of us to achieve his purposes. While he was choosing to use President Trump, as I do believe he did, some of his character flaws were tougher to ignore than others: his lack of humility, his excessive self-promotion, and his unrestrained personal attacks on other politicians (including loyal supporters) who in any way criticized or differed on him on certain issues. He can be vengeful.
I, like many dedicated believers, have tolerated these character flaws, seeing him as a champion of the greater good. But sadly, my ability to turn a blind eye came to a breaking point in the chaotic aftermath of the election. I essentially agree with all of your principals above Ron, but in my mind, the importance of “policies” over “character” principal is not an absolute. And when character leads to erratic “behavior” that seems bent on holding onto power, whatever the cost, we drift into the danger zone.
Because I had to agree with the dozens of respected public servants–Republican governors, secretaries of state, the Attorney General, Trump’s head of cybersecurity, numerous judges (including Trump appointees), justices of the Supreme Court, and respected media outlets like the Wall Street Journal and National Review: that there was “no evidence of election fraud significant enough to change the outcome of the election.”
And in fact this election was by no means one of the “close ones” historically. So the former president’s narrative on election fraud was very troubling to me. His sole focus on that issue, to the point of neglecting his duties as president during a difficult period, finally crossed the character and credibility barrier for me. In fact I believe his actions after the election served to severely undermine the foundations of our democracy–free elections and rule of law. His actions were a factor in the assault on the Capitol January 6th.
“Character is destiny,” is a quote attributed to the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus. In this way, I believe Trump’s character flaws have come home to roost in a sad way in these last days. Perhaps he has fulfilled his role in God’s greater scheme of things. I think we have to accept hard, cold facts, no matter how contrary they are to our hopes for the country and trust that God’s will is yet to be done, in ways we cannot yet imagine.
That is my opinion. I respect and love my brothers and sisters who have a different perspective. I know there is vastly more that unites us than what divides us. Thanks for your excellent forum and the ability to share varying perspectives.
Christ is All,
Very thoughtful reply, most of which I totally agree.
Obviously, God desires both character and good principles in all people and leaders. But in the governmental realm, policies “trump” (pardon the pun) all else. You can be a jerk personally, but what you legislate will impact the lives of 330 million people.
I’ve always believed “character is destiny”–especially in fulfilling God’s plans for our lives. But I also know plenty of people (Steve Jobs comes to mind) that accomplished great things in business or life (use of principles) while having lousy personal character.
That was my point.
The “who won the election” question will probably never be known this side of eternity. Most recent analyses I’ve seen say that Joe Biden won the Electoral College by 42,000 votes across five battleground states. That’s really close when 155 MILLION people voted.
Because the mail-in ballots and voting machines in Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Las Vegas have never been forensically analyzed by a judge (all election cases were dismissed based on standing not evidence), we will never know. But even TIME magazine admits that Big Tech censorship, secular media puffing Joe Biden, and Democrat machine turnout of voters (all legal?) carried Mr. Biden over the top. That probably qualifies as “stealing an election” all by itself.
Thanks for your thoughts. Let’s continue to pray for the Great Revival that we need.
the fact is there is a mountain of proof that the election was rigged for Biden. In my state of GA alone there were votes from dead folks, out of state, under age, wrong district, late registration, etc. each category has been documented by officials but the secterary of state approved the results anyway. the number of votes that were illegally cast were many times the amount that elected Biden.
they just purged 177,000 from the voter rolls in Mich, interesting how they waited till after the election