“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
While I don’t necessarily love to write about angry things like politics, there comes a time when exposure to the truth is necessary enough to risk polarizing people. I believe that we are living as Americans and as Christians in one of those times.
My jaw dropped open on Saturday as South Carolina handed a decent sized win to Donald Trump. A state smack in the middle of the “Bible Belt” saying that Trump is the best candidate to lead our country forward.
And it spurs me on to write because we are all the sitting frogs in the pot of boiling water and we just keep sitting here enjoying our “hot tub” oblivious to the danger that is about to make us dinner. I can’t sit in this pot any longer without screaming a warning.
Now I don’t suppose that I will convince any unbelievers that Trump is a dangerous man. My arguments are Biblical in nature and will likely be spurned by those who believe that building a wall and kicking out anyone who is a different color than us is going to solve our problems. No, I write rather to Christians. The ones who should know better. The ones who are playing with fire here. The ones who seem so blinded to Donald Trump’s biggest problem and most obvious sin.
God HATES it. It’s what got Lucifer kicked out of heaven. It’s what took Nebuchadnezzar from king to animal. It’s what destroyed Solomon’s legacy and divided the Kingdom of Israel. It is what caused the Pharisees to crucify Jesus.
Pride is NOT an “innocent” sin.
It is the root of ALL sin.
So why are evangelicals able to so easily overlook the seriously obvious Biblical issues of Donald Trump?
Not too long ago Republicans shamed Bill Clinton for sexual acts in the White House, how do they now justify a man who profits off of strip clubs, cheats on his wife openly, and poses on the cover of Playboy? If they condemn Al Sharpton for not paying his taxes, how do they now support a man who has bankrupted his companies 4 times, leaving millions of dollars of debt for someone else to clean up? If they call Hillary Clinton a liar, how in the world do they believe a man who just two years ago claimed to be pro-choice, pro-universal healthcare, pro-tax, pro-Pelosi, pro-immigration, etc. etc?
He is arrogant. He is condescending. He is disrespectful. He is power hungry. He loves money. And he makes his money by exploiting the addictions of other people. He is a cad, through and through.
Yet he is drawing the evangelical vote. It’s shameful. And I think in some sense separating sheep from goats. How Christians can so easily convince themselves that Donald Trump loves Jesus, I do not understand. Some of those “cameo” prayer moment things have made me more uncomfortable than he looked. Jesus is just another marketing tool to him. Donald Trump loves and worships Donald Trump.
And in that sense, he is a very dangerous man. He lacks character. He lacks foundational beliefs. And he is driven only by his own pride.
Pride is the only thing needed to come before a fall.
God is opposed to the proud. Do we really need more opposition from the Lord in this country?
Barack Obama has severely weakened American leadership in the world. That was his agenda. He believes that American exceptionalism is a problem. He would rather see us hanging out with the rest of the world than leading it. This would not be such a horrible thought IF good and evil did not exist, but good and evil DO exist and someone has got to stand up for the good. It just so happens that America has been that country in many cases, which is much of the reason that God has blessed America and made it great…a shining beacon of hope…the hope of freedom. Obama does not believe America should be greater than other countries. He believes it is unfair for America to be on a pedestal while the rest of the world looks at it as an example or hates it for its exceptionalism. And this is what his 8 years of service has worked to dismantle. In a sense, he has created a new foundation for America…one of “we’re just one of the guys”. The world is fairer that way(pay no mind to how safe it is)…so he believes. Yes. He believes. He has a foundational belief that is guiding his decisions and actions. A very wrong set of principles for sure and his core beliefs have damaged our country, but in that sense, he is predictable and he is fightable.
Donald Trump does not have beliefs. He does not have a foundation that will lead to an agenda or a strategy. He has a bunch of off color, straight talk, sometimes inappropriate words. He says what people want to hear because that is what wins elections and he is a reality star after all. Anything he has said this election in any of his speeches, you only have to go to YouTube to find something exactly opposite that he has said in the past…on camera…without apology. He is a master at leading fools (which is why he makes all of his money off of lust, gambling, leisure, and pleasure)…and unfortunately too many Americans…and more disappointing, Christians…have become foolish. He said in a speech recently that he could walk into the street and shoot someone point blank and his voters would still follow him without question. And sadly, he may be right. Where does this leave us when he gets elected? In serious danger. Because Donald Trump is not out to make America great…Donald Trump is out to make Donald Trump great.
And that is why I believe Mr. Trump is spending millions of his dollars running for President (pocket change when you are worth billions). Likely, the only thing he feels like he hasn’t been is President. He wants to brand the White House too…because in doing so, he brands America. Everything he has, he has named after himself… Trump Enterprises, Trump Towers, Trump Entertainment, Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza, Trump Marina. Trump Carousel (yes, it exists), I could go on, but you get the point. Where do you go from there? Trump’s America.
His unabashed pride should be enough disqualify him from the candidate list of every Christian who claims to believe the Word.
Speaking of the Word… I’m just gonna leave a few of them right here…
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.
Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.
One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches,
For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.
The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.
Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent.
He is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions,
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
There are those who are clean in their own eyes but are not washed of their filth.
It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, in your lofty dwelling, who say in your heart, “Who will bring me down to the ground?”
“Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride.
In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God.
Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.
Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.
Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure.
Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him:
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin.
Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.
And the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws. At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you.
Man is humbled, and each one is brought low, and the eyes of the haughty are brought low.
A scoffer does not like to be reproved; he will not go to the wise.
For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble bind on strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn.
Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.
He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.
Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.
It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud.
So Haman came in, and the king said to him, “What should be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?” And Haman said to himself, “Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?”
But if you will not listen, my soul will weep in secret for your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears, because the Lord‘s flock has been taken captive.
A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched.
Not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the Lord his God and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. But Azariah the priest went in after him, with eighty priests of the Lord who were men of valor, and they withstood King Uzziah and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Go out of the sanctuary, for you have done wrong, and it will bring you no honor from the LordGod.” Then Uzziah was angry. Now he had a censer in his hand to burn incense, and when he became angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead in the presence of the priests in the house of the Lord, by the altar of incense.
I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!
If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks? So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.
So that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.
Scoffers set a city aflame, but the wise turn away wrath.
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ …
Hear and give ear; be not proud, for the Lord has spoken.
Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Put them in fear, O Lord! Let the nations know that they are but men! Selah
Oh that you would keep silent, and it would be your wisdom!
If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.
Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?
He has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate;
I say to the boastful, ‘Do not boast,’ and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horn; do not lift up your horn on high, or speak with haughty neck.’” For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up,
We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.
Whoever loves transgression loves strife; he who makes his door high seeks destruction.
As she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning, since in her heart she says, ‘I sit as a queen, I am no widow, and mourning I shall never see.’
If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.
Better to be lowly and have a servant than to play the great man and lack bread.
Why are we counted as cattle? Why are we stupid in your sight?
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.
For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?
But let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
A rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
Treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
And I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze.
He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.
Slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
Therefore men fear him; he does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.”
Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.
I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you!
But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”
I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.
And they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.
And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces
It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,
You have indeed struck down Edom, and your heart has lifted you up. Be content with your glory, and stay at home, for why should you provoke trouble so that you fall, you and Judah with you?”
“When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him