According to Election Day exit polls, 81% of white evangelical Protestants and 60% of whites that identify as Roman Catholic voted for Donald Trump. This “Easter Sermon” quotes Scripture and addresses what I believe are inconsistencies between Christian values and the way many White Christians voted in the last election. People who follow my blog know I am not a believer, but I am a scholar familiar with the Bible. Read what I have to say and consider the message. No insult to believers is intended.
Matthew 4:1 tells us that after he was baptized Jesus went into the wilderness where he fasted for forty day and forty nights and was tempted by Satan. Matthew tells us that Jesus was strong and stood up to the devil’s challenges. But we are mere men and women, and the forty days and forty nights in the wilderness, forty days and forty nights of trials and tribulations, unemployment, bad employment, low wages, runaway jobs, hungry children, mortgage payments, and little hope for the future, weakened our bodies and souls, and we were tempted, and we listened to Satan. Satan promised things that never were and never can be, and too many of us, weakened, were willing to believe. And we were tricked. And Satan’s agents rose to the seat of power. And the forty days and the forty nights will expand and grow darker and there will be a pale over this land and every land.
In Galilee Jesus preached that blessed are the poor, the meek who shall inherit the earth; they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: the merciful; the pure in heart; the peacemakers; and they that have been persecuted for they are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The candidate many White Christians voted for does not express these values. Donald Trump does not live these values.
Donald Trump ignores the poor, scorns the meek, deports the hungry and thirsty, bans the persecuted, has never been pure in heart, and threatens war. He is an extremely wealthy man with a history of self-promotion and cheating and mistreating others – certainly not the salt of the earth or the light of the world.
According to Matthew, Jesus declared, “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.” How could so many White Christians vote for Donald Trump? Why do so many continue to follow his lead?
Matthew 21:12 tells us that Jesus entered into the “temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves; and he saith unto them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer: but ye make it a den of robbers.”
Evil in the Old and New Testaments comes in different forms and bears different names -- Satan, the serpent, Pharaoh, the Philistines, Pontius Pilate – but it is always evil and temptation be resisted by righteous men and women, especially when it promises the impossible or dangerous like reviving the coal industry or bringing back high paying union factory jobs, but of course, without unions, union wages, and union benefits.
In the Trump administration the money-changers rule the government and it is again a den of robbers. The Trump cabinet is super-rich. Trump is a billionaire as are the Secretaries of Commerce and Education and there are a dozen others millionaires that serve with them. Without Trump their combined wealth is over $5 billion and that does not include his other very wealthy appointees.
The Bible says “And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.” But the new Pontius Pilate and Satan’s agents want to end public support for health care.
The Secretary of Labor opposes the minimum wage. The Secretary of Education is an opponent of public education. The Environmental protector wants to rape a world Christian’s believe is God’s creation. Trump picked bankers to regulate the banks and stockbrokers to regulate the stock markets and is pushing for laws to make it easier for them to loot the public trust. Under Trump, the money-changers are running the temple.
White Christians ignore the irrationality of Trump pronouncements at great risk for all humanity.
In 1741, early American Christian theologian Jonathan Edwards warned that God’s Wrath was like “great Waters that are dammed for the present; they increase more and more, & rise higher and higher.” Trump’s call for increased coal production and the deregulation of the fossil fuel industry dismissing climate change and global warming as a hoax, despite a nearly unanimous scientific consensus that melting icecaps and rising oceans put hundreds of millions of people in danger.
But as Edwards preached, maybe with for knowledge of God’s anger at the defilement of his creation, “Judgment against your evil Works has not been executed hitherto; the Floods of God’s Vengeance have been with-held; but . . . the Waters are continually rising and . . . the fiery Floods of the Fierceness and Wrath of God would rush forth with inconceivable Fury, and would come upon you with omnipotent Power; and if your Strength were ten thousand Times greater than it is, yea ten thousand Times greater than the Strength of the stoutest, sturdiest, Devil in Hell, it would be nothing to withstand or endure it.”
In the Old Testament Book of Exodus, Pharaoh followed Satan and refused to obey the God of Moses. Plagues befell the land of Egypt. Blood, Frogs, Vermin, Wild Animals, Pestilence, Boils, Hail, Locust, Darkness, and Death of Egypt’s first-born sons. Today we face new plagues but they are equally terrifying. Climate change, raising oceans, powerful storms, drought, famine, nuclear war. The human race is at risk if righteous people follow Donald Trump.
Get behind me Satan, travel on down the line.
Righteous men and women, gonna leave you behind.
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