Yeshua the Messiah embodied the character and mission of God. When Yeshua began his ministry, we see in Luke 4:18 that he read a passage from the Prophet Isaiah about himself:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
Yeshua’s lengthy message, known as the Sermon on the Mount, is the model of godly living. It emphasizes humility, forgiveness, reconciliation, sacrifice, honesty and integrity. Anyone who claims to be a follower of Yeshua is expected to be and act likewise. This is especially true of leaders of Yeshua’s flock. Yet, sometimes the opposite seems true.
For almost 1800 years the leaders of Christianity taught, provoked and led the persecution against the Jewish people, despite specific mandates in the New Testament to honor the Jewish people as the root of the Christian faith. Most church leaders in Germany supported the rise of Adolph Hitler. Numerous ministers in the US, particularly in the South, justified the enslavement and oppression of African Americans through the use of Scripture. Fortunately, today, in all of the above, most Christian leaders recognize these positions as an anathema to their faith and have taken actions to renounce their forefathers’ views. Tragically, many of these same leaders, particularly in the evangelical fold, are repeating history’s mistakes by openly supporting the most unfit, unqualified and ungodly Presidential candidate from a major political party, Donald Trump.
Even in the bleakest periods of the American experience, such as the Civil War and the Great Depression, politicians with fringe views were quickly sidelined, including Senator Huey Long and later, Senator Joe McCarthy. Rather, during these two events, America was led by two of its greatest Presidents, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, both of whom were unifiers, not dividers. Hear Abraham Lincoln’s healing words towards the close of the Civil War in his Second Inaugural Address:
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Now, hear Donald Trump’s words:
About a judge presiding over a case involving a law suit against him:
He is a member of a club or society, very strongly pro-Mexican, which is all fine. But I say he’s got bias. I want to build a wall. I’m going to build a wall.
About Senator John McCain, a Vietnam war hero:
He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured? I like people who weren’t captured.
From his nomination speech:
This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction and terrorism and weakness.
It is absolutely shocking that Donald Trump captured the Republican nomination. But what is more shocking and, frankly, reprehensible, is his support among many well-known Christian leaders and ministers. Whatever happened to the 1990’s slogan, WWJD – What Would Jesus Do? Can you imagine Yeshua openly supporting a person like Trump? Hear Yeshua’s words to the hypocritical leaders of his time: “You are like white washed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.” As I said in an earlier article, “Donald Trump is a misogynist. He has boasted of his numerous affairs. He has offended US war heroes, Muslims, immigrants, women, the disabled.” Yet, despite all this, many Evangelical leaders are publicly supporting him. What gives?
The modern involvement of the Evangelical movement in US politics originated with the formation of the Moral Majority, led by former pastor and Evangelical leader, Jerry Falwell. One of its founding principles was to support candidates with good moral character. What happened in this instance? In many of these leaders’ minds apparently it’s siding with the lesser of two evils. Instead, how about taking a prophetic stance and say we will not support any candidate who blatantly acts in ungodly, divisive and demeaning ways, despite his or her political positions?
Some of these leaders assuage their consciences by claiming Trump will be more supportive of Israel than Hilary Clinton. First, despite Trump’s claim in his nomination speech that he is a supporter of Israel, Trump’s position on every topic changes like the wind. There is absolutely no assurance that Trump will be a supporter of Israel, especially if an Israeli leader were to offend him, a distinct possibility. Second, Trump’s statements and positions on Muslims will and have inflamed the Muslim world. Currently, the US has good relations with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. Interestingly, so does Israel. However, if Trump becomes President, relations with these Muslim nations likely will deteriorate, further isolating Israel in an increasingly unstable Middle East. Trump consistently suggests that US allies in the world carry their own weight and not depend upon US military support. These statements should raise serious red flags for supporters of Israel.
Donald Trump is the most extreme candidate ever nominated by a major party in the US. One could also argue that Yeshua was an extremist and railed against the authorities of his day. But that is where the comparison ends. Yeshua argued for justice and mercy and condemned hypocrisy. Trump asserts his right to take extra-judicial actions against his opponents, while condemning those who are not like him. Reconsider support for Donald Trump. It does not mean you must support or vote for Hilary Clinton. There exist alternatives, such as not voting, voting for a third party candidate or writing in a new candidate. Let’s not repeat history and support someone who is the antithesis of Yeshua the Messiah.