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January 31, 2016

In His Own Words

“Trump’s position supporting a socialist healthcare scheme is about the only consistent position he has maintained.”

“As far as single payer, it works in Canada, it works incredibly well in Scotland.” “I would press for universal healthcare. … I would put forward a comprehensive health care program and fund it with an increase in corporate taxes.” “We must have universal healthcare.”

“I hate the concept of it, but on a humanitarian basis, you have to [take in Syrian refugees]”

“I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.” “I hate the concept of guns.” “The Republicans walk the NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions.” “I probably identify more as a Democrat.”

“Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing to say. I’m going to take care of everybody…. The government is going to pay for it.” “I believe the Republicans are just too crazy right.”

“I’ve very impressed by [Nancy Pelosi]. I like her a lot.” “Hillary is a great friend of mine. Her husband is a great friend of mine.”

“I’m a liberal on healthcare.” “As far as single payer, it works incredibly well in Canada.” “I am pro-choice in every respect.”

Those are Donald Trump’s words over the last number of years. Trump’s position supporting a socialist healthcare scheme is about the only consistent position he has maintained.

In 2010, Donald Trump funded Democrat efforts to stop Republicans from taking back Congress. In 2014, he switched teams and supported the Republican Establishment against conservatives. Now he has tilted all the way to the right to support the anti-establishment conservatives he so recently hated as “crazy right.”

Conservatives, particularly evangelicals, have lost their ability to discern wolves in sheep’s clothing. Donald Trump calls himself a Christian, but has never asked God for forgiveness and sees no need to repent. Point that out to many an evangelical Christian and they will be quick to accuse you of judging Donald Trump. And if you point out that 1 Corinthians 5 makes clear that Christians are to judge anyone who calls himself a Christian, Trump defenders will proclaim they are not electing a pastor. Paul wrote, “[do not] associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler.” The Bible also implores the faithful to seek out godly men for their leaders.

Pastors in the United States — including Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, an evangelical megachurch — have hitched their wagons to Trump. Jeffress and other evangelical ministers seem convinced that the flawed vessel of Donald Trump can make America great again when they, as pastors, are supposed to be saving souls, not nations. Jeffress and his cohorts are seeking earthly powers to fight spiritual battles.

That men who spend their time wrapped in scripture and preaching in pulpits are quick to embrace a man who is on his third wife gets me thinking. This man is on his third wife — after having cheated on his first wife with his second — and says he has never asked God for forgiveness, cannot name a favorite book of the Bible and has no favorite passage of scripture. This suggests to me that many Christian preachers in this country have unsure moorings and let their homesickness for this country as they think they once knew it supersede their homesickness for the land to which they have not yet been, but to which they supposedly long.

As Screwtape wrote to Wormwood, “we want a man hag-ridden by the Future — haunted by visions of an imminent heaven or hell upon earth — ready to break the Enemy’s commands in the present if by so doing we make him think he can attain the one or avert the other — dependent for his faith on the success or failure of schemes whose end he will not live to see. We want a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow’s end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy now, but always using as mere fuel wherewith to heap the altar of the future every real gift which is offered them in the Present.” Many a pastor and Christian for Trump seems hag-ridden by the Future and ready to pursue a rainbow.

Originally published Friday, Jan. 29.

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