It Must be Election Time: Christian Idolatry on Display

I am losing all sorts of Christian friends. I am getting heaps of believers really ticked off with me. I am seeing long-time Christian relationships smashed overnight. So what crucial test of fellowship did I break? What great evil did I commit? What gross heresy have I espoused?

Did I deny the deity of Jesus Christ? Did I repudiate the doctrine of the Trinity? Did I come out and say I no longer believe the Bible is God’s Word? Did I say all religions are the same and we will all be saved anyway? Did I embrace New Age mumbo-jumbo, or hop on the Chrislam bandwagon?

No, evidently I did something far, far worse. I committed a much more heinous sin than all that: I refused to join in the Trump cult. I refused to engage in Trumpite idolatry. I refused to bow down and worship Lord Trump. I refused to see him as the long-awaited messiah who will save America and the world.

And for that unpardonable sin, many “believers’ have declared me to be anathema and they want absolutely nothing to do with me. They have disowned me, repudiated me, slammed me, and turned their backs on me. Oh, so that is the ultimate test of Christian orthodoxy, and that is the real basis of Christian unity. I see.

idolsThis is about one thing: Christians engaging in idolatry. And I think my case is already made. If Christians turn on you like you are the anti-Christ simply because you do not share their wild enthusiasm and excitement about one man, then you know you have a bad case of idolatry on your hands.

As I have so often said already I fully get all the anger, the frustration, the impatience, the disillusionment. I have all that too. I too am sick of the Washington cartel, the lousy RINOS, the moribund Washington system, the lethargic Congress, etc.

I get all that and I share in the rage. But rage alone will solve nothing. All this anger and frustration was also characteristic of another people not long ago: the Germans in the 1930s were in much the same boat. So they looked for someone to make Germany great again. They looked for someone who spoke his mind. They looked for someone who challenged the reigning orthodoxy. They looked for someone who did not give a rip what others thought.

And they got exactly what they wanted. As I wrote earlier about such things, God gave them their desires, but sent leanness to their souls: billmuehlenberg.com/2016/03/06/america-beleivers-and-elections-so-god-gave-them-over/

Tragically, it really seems that we have learned absolutely nothing from history. And puh-leese, do not give me this foolishness about Trump not demanding gassing and concentration camps. Of course he is not, but that is completely beside the point.

He is a populist, charismatic leader with many hanging on to his every word, promising hope and change (where did we hear that before) in times of great moral and political crisis. A demagogue can cause plenty of harm without resorting to the sorts of things Hitler did. Now more than ever we need to be conversant with history.

The simple truth is this: Trump is not going to make America “great again”. No Christian could ever believe that. There is only one person who can make America great again, and he is not running for office, sorry. And only by masses of believers falling on their faces in heartfelt repentance can we expect to see any significant turnaround in America’s steady decline.

That is our only hope. Trump will not save America. He can’t. And by the way, Cruz (who I do support) will certainly not save America either. All he can do is buy America a bit more time. He can only hold back the floodgates, and perhaps keep the full outpouring of God’s wrath from falling just now.

But unless America – beginning with American Christians – repents massively, thoroughly and genuinely, I see no hope whatsoever for America. It is a goner just like Assyria is now history, the Roman Empire is now a goner, the Soviet Union is now a goner, etc. All these kingdoms have come and gone, and I guarantee you, the same will be true of America, as painful as it is for me to say that.

I love America, I love its founding, I love its greatness. But all that is now a thing of the past. America is no longer what it once was. Its condition may be terminal. It was Alexis de Tocqueville who said long ago, “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

That prescient diagnosis was and still is spot on. America is going down the tubes fast, and Obama’s reign of terror may well be the judgment of God on this once great nation. And someone like Trump sure is not going to turn the judgment away.

And Christians of all people should know better. We have so many examples in Scripture, warning us about this very thing. “We demand a king”. “We want Barabbas.” “We will not have this man to rule over us.” Looking to false messiahs is idolatry of the highest order and God cannot allow it to happen amongst his people.

Putting our trust in princes, in chariots, in the arms of men, when God alone should be our sole source of hope and deliverance is never going to end pretty. It has always resulted in the judgment of God in the past. Why do we expect it to be any different now?

And don’t get me wrong: anyone who knows me knows I am not some quietist, or pietist, or political pacifist. Of course we must engage in the political process; of course we must be good and responsible citizens; of course we must vote carefully and wisely.

But we dare not engage in the damnable sin of idolatry in which we delude ourselves into thinking that one man is somehow going to turn things around, save America, and restore the world to some Edenic condition. It ain’t gonna happen.

And it sure ain’t gonna happen with the most pagan, immoral, arrogant, narcissistic, megalomaniac we have running. Folks can debate the merits of the candidates all they like – nothing wrong with that. But I must share what is so heavy on my heart here: putting our trust in man and expecting him to deliver us is a fool’s dream.

Indeed, it’s the height of idolatry. God is the one we must look to for deliverance, not some candidate or political party. Sure, some parties are better than others, and some candidates are better than others. In a fallen world we seek to get the best of a bad bunch. But the rampant faith and trust I see being put in some men – especially Trump – scares me to death to be honest.

This is idolatry of the worst order, and all those Christians who have worshipped at the Trumpite altar need to repent and rethink. When Yahweh said ‘I will not share my glory with another’ he meant it. And that is just as true of putting our hopes in some political candidate as it is in bowing down before Baal.

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36 Replies to “It Must be Election Time: Christian Idolatry on Display”

  1. I agree with you, Bill, wholeheartedly. I will vote for Cruz, but I don’t think he can turn our country around. This country does not like Christians and I doubt if they are going to give up their sinful ways. I thought about that and I don’t think he can change that. It is, as you say, something only God can do because our problems are largely heart problems and only God can change that. So, I will vote for Cruz and if he wins, that’s great, but if not….well, this world is not my final home.

  2. Dear Bill,

    Thank you so much for warning your readers about Donald Trump — a foul-mouthed bully and narcissist, who by no stretch of imagination should be considered as a political saviour for Christians.

    I wouldn’t lose too much sleep about losing “friends” who admire Trump.

    Trump will use conservative voters only as stirrup-holders on his climb to power. But, once in the saddle, he’ll ride off into the blue yonder and do what he pleases. He’ll swiftly abandon his misguided fan-base and do deals with the Democrats. Deal-making, not conviction politics, is what the Donald does best.

    The people who have fallen under Trump’s spell are those for whom reality TV and the social media represent reality. Instead of studying the Bible and reading good books, they’ve committed intellectual suicide and outsourced their thinking to the Twittersphere.

    If I may update T.S. Eliot’s lines from “The Hollow Men” (1925): “This is the way the world ends — not with a bang but a Twitter.”

  3. Dear Bill

    I agree with John – don’t lose sleep about it. I have been reading Joel Rosenberg – Implosion. I have to say that it interesting looking at the cycle of sins that the US has been through and the 2 ‘awakenings’ whether it happens a 3rd time will tell. What is interesting in Australia at the moment is the surge of people wanting training to be prayer intercessors – God is doing something.

  4. Thanks, Bill. Intellectual suicide is a good phrase. But underpinning all this delusionary thinking – or rather, lack of thinking – is a five decade and more attack on the education system. Over here in New Zealand, its dumbing down and the prioritising of teaching our young what to think – not how to think – has ensured that most of them – (except those fortunate enough to have enlightened parents) – have now no defences whatever against today’s pernicious theorising – and the lies that have been told.

    The widespread lack of moral courage is also part of the problem. Thank you for your valuable work – particularly your courage.

  5. Dear Bill,

    I find the ‘progress’ of Donald Trump absolutely amazing. When he had the audacity to stand for the Republican Nomination, I thought he was just seeking publicity. I thought that any support he garnered would collapse within the first few weeks. Am I glad I am not a gambling man! I was so certain He would collapse in a heap. He seems to have tapped in to the desire of U.S Citizens to free themselves of political correctness, the underlying dislike of Muslims and the security of the border with Mexico.

    In my view, Mr Trump has a somewhat questionable history in his dealings with other individuals and organisations. Should he be elected to the Presidency of the U.S. I fear for the welfare of that country’s citizens and it’s allies.

    I cannot, for the life of me, understand how so many people can be ‘conned’ at the same time. Hopefully our Lord will lead him to make some outrageous statement or move that will enlighten the people about the probable consequences of electing him.

  6. Thanks Bill, I do like how you draw on history to illustrate the sad state of affairs in not only American but also European politics and elections. Soon we have all this fanfare going on
    here in Australia, if it has not already begun.
    Like someone wrote on FB this morning, this Trump guy reminds me of Clive Palmer. Only just a big oomph. These scenarios in our political world seem identical to Roman times just before it’s collapse.
    Wilhelmus Heggers

  7. Keep sounding the trumpet Bill. I totally agree with you and John Ballantyne. We need to be much in prayer!

  8. Thanks Bill, very sad but very true.
    I’m sorry that you are being treated badly by so called Christians for speaking out about Trump.

    This article reminded me about an article Matt Walsh wrote a while back about why he thinks America is no longer a great country. It is worth a read.
    If any of your readers are interested, it makes for a sobering read. Of course, Australia is on the same trajectory.
    http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/no-america-is-not-a-great-nation/

  9. The more truth spoken from the word, the happier that I am thanks.
    I wonder what ground your friends seed was spilt on – was it rocky or full of weeds?

  10. Trump, Clinton and Sanders is what a country gets to choose from when they celebrate corruption, disregard for the rule of law and throw all morals and ethics under the progressive bus.

    And God gave them over to their reprobate minds.

  11. “We constantly deal with non-Christians,be they Mormons,Hindus,Scientologists,Satan worshipers,Muslims,secular humanists,New Agers,child pornographers,or carnal Christians all the time. Everyday we do our banking with them, or buy life insurance from them,or join with them in the workplace,or shop with them,etc….Why is it OK to bank with these non-Christians,work for them, and have relationships with them everyday, yet not have one as President?” Your words, not mine.

  12. Thanks Marlin. But let me call your bluff. Context is always king, and since you ripped something I said out of context, you simply bear false witness, among other things. That line came from a post of four years ago:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2012/05/17/on-mormon-presidents/

    People can read it for themselves to see what I was saying. Then we had a choice between Romney and Obama. I was challenging the purists who refused to vote for Romney simply because of his Mormonism. While I differ greatly on Mormon theology, and while Romney was too much of a moderate for me, compared to Obama, he was light years ahead. His Mormon theology was not going to impact his decisions as President, but his prolife and pro-family views would have. Thus I targeted the unhelpful purists then, saying a boycott of Romney would mean more of Obama, which is just what we got.

    But that is apples and oranges to what we have today, if we end up with Trump versus Clinton. Here I see really very little difference at all between the two, and I think both will contribute further to the downfall of America. So my objection to Trump is not theological, or even based on if he is a Christian or not (and he is not). My objection is simple: he is NOT a conservative. That is why I do not support him. And he is not a man of character, integrity or decency – also good reasons to be wary of him.

  13. I[m not as pessimistic as Bill is on the prospect of a President Trump, but I certainly don’t have the same level of resignation that flows through this article. I don’t believe that any nation has to end, but only ends because it’s citizens just give up, which it seems from this article that Bill is doing that. What we need to do is what the Apostle told us to do and that is to pray for our leaders and pray for revival first from within ourselves and we need to allow this to spread to others. Giving up is not an option.

  14. Thanks Ian. But who said I have given up? Why in the world do you think I do what I do if I have given up? Why have I written 3600 articles and taken years of abuse if I have given up? I would be seeking to live the good life now if I had given up. So please don’t put words in my mouth. The only issue that matters is what God thinks about America and the West, not what you or I think. It is the American people who have given up on God, and there is only ever one answer to that. Whether judgment comes now or later, or by God’s grace, revival breaks out and temporarily spares the US, remains to be seen. And it goes without saying that of course we pray. Who suggested otherwise?

  15. “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes” (Psalm 118:9). If the prospects laid before us in this election drive us to our knees in supplication, so much the better. We must implore the Father to send forth the Spirit of his Son in a mighty work of revival and regeneration–only that can save us.

  16. Well you even said that even Ted Cruz can’t make America great again. I disagree with that. The Bible clearly states that righteousness exalts a nation and if American can bring in a righteous leader then the chance of things turning around back towards God is possible.

  17. Thanks Ian. But sadly you are still putting words in my mouth and misrepresenting me. If you had bothered to read my piece carefully, instead of just running with a knee-jerk reaction, you would have seen that I never said that of course. What I did say was this, and it happens to be 100% true:

    Trump will not save America. He can’t. And by the way, Cruz (who I do support) will certainly not save America either. All he can do is buy America a bit more time. He can only hold back the floodgates, and perhaps keep the full outpouring of God’s wrath from falling just now.

    Only Jesus Christ can save America, as any biblical Christian realises. Mere politicians can only slow down the rot and keep things from disintegrating too rapidly. My point of the article was clear for those who read it – America is due for divine judgment, based on everything we find in Scripture. We must pray and work like mad that God’s grace will remain for a while, and repentance and revival will break out, but God owes us nothing, and if he wiped out the nation today he would be fully justified in doing so – otherwise he owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.

    And of course anything is possible. God is God. But biblical realism must also be part of our understanding, not wishful thinking.

  18. I assume the story behind Mr Trump’s success includes several gigantic pots of gold at the beginning of his campaign “rainbow”. “No trumps” bid in card games is always a hard hand to play… Have US voters taken their cues from Kenny Rogers’ ballad, “The Gambler” … only they have forgotten when to “fold ’em” and toss in an obviously bad hand of cards from a suspect dealer!

    The emperors of ancient Rome were not above being hailed as “saviours of the world”. The Roman Principate rose out of the stinking rubbish heap of a Roman Republic, where crippling political debts to wealthy patrons, private armies and bread and circuses were par for the course in the political scene…

  19. Bill I heard from somewhere, that the Donald said recently, we must find out why ‘islam hates us’ . So far, is he the only candidate to trespass in this politically correct ‘forbidden area’?

  20. Bill, I never read your posts for fun. Plainly spoken truth can be uncomfortable. I am often confronted. The issues are real. They are in my face. But I relish the truth. I need it. You are good man. So consistent in your humility and worldview. Never stop writing.

  21. Thanks Gerard. No of course not. Cruz for example has often spoken about Islam and Islamic terrorism, and his border policies have been the most consistent thus far, while Trump as usual is all over the place on this, changing his tune like he changes his shirts (or wives).

  22. Hi Bill, I’m not much across the whole US political scene but here are a couple of things I will say..
    The people are desperate if they are seeing DT as a viable option for pres. That is what Obama has done to them.
    And this I have heard from a Christian commentator… that DT is Gods judgement on the US. Harsh I know.
    Just putting out there.

  23. I am amazed, Bill, that you are being spoken about so harshly for telling the truth as to me clearly all you say about Trump IS the truth. I was looking for a Christian as the Republican nominee and saw Ben Carson on Christian TV at a debate and he received a standing ovation for his views, but unfortunately he is out of the race, so Ted Cruz is the obvious choice. I do not see any Christian values in Trump, and it amazes me how he has such a big following. It is all about promoting himself in a crude and vulgar way with no tolerance for any one else’s views, including Christian views. I believe you have spoken God’s view of Trump, even though He loves him. All Christians in the USA should get behind Cruz to bring back a godly President. May the Lord continue to bless and strengthen you as you uphold and honour Him. His view of you is the most important!

  24. Last night as I was reading the Bible, a passage struck me as being highly significant to the US election: Hosea 8:1-4. While Israel is being specifically addressed here, I believe it also relates to the current situation in America.

    And on that note, I am appalled by the comments on ‘Breaking Israel News’ that show the extent to which so many in the US have been blinded to the truth. In their minds, Donald Trump is the one who will save them, whereas in reality Trump, if elected, will only complete the destruction of the US that the people have initiated by their own idolatry.

  25. Off topic but still on a biblical theme- the date of the Brexit referendum, June 23rd, is Thursday 12th week in Ordinary time. The set lectionary readings are: 2 Kings 24:8-17 – Surrender of Jerusalem to Babylon; Psalm 79 O Lord deliver us, the nations have invaded your land: and Matthew 7:21-29, building a house on rock not sand.

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