We must stop worshipping or demonising public figures:
Here is a truth you can count on: in this life we are all a mixed bag. You will find no purely good people and no purely evil people. We all do some good things and some bad things. We all have some good ideas and some bad ideas. We all have some impact for good, and some impact for evil.
That is because none of us are perfect. We are all flawed individuals. Because we are made in God’s image we have potential for great good. But because we are all sinners, we have potential for great evil. Even the redeemed sinner – the Christian – is always cautious, knowing that while God is at work in his life, he is still capable of sin – even great sin. So we believers need to be humble, and stay on our knees.
But here I want to look at this in terms of leaders, public figures, and those we tend to adore or detest. Sadly too many folks – including too many Christians – will look to some politician or public figure as the saviour of the world who can do no wrong. And others they will see them as the devil incarnate who can do no good.
The wise person however will know that no one is going to be 100 per cent good or 100 per cent evil. Everyone is a mixed bag. Sure, some folks seem to be a whole lot more evil than they are good. But again, the Christian knows the twin truths of Scripture must be affirmed: being made in God’s image makes us able to do good, but being fallen sinners makes us able to do evil.
Over the years I have seen too many believers latch onto a leader as if he is the messiah, or hate on some leader as if he is the Antichrist. Both extremes seem quite unhelpful. And reading through my social media feed today reminded me of all this.
There I saw posts on various folks, including Elon Musk and Donald Trump. Both men of course have been fully loved by some, and fully despised by others. Um, there is a middle path here. It IS possible to praise folks like this when they do good, while criticising them when they do evil. But for too many it seems to be an either-or instead of a both-and.
And I know all about this. I have had social media friends rip into me and unfriend me because I did not love Trump enough. And I have had social media friends rip into me and unfriend me because I did not hate Trump enough. Good grief – you just can’t win.
With all this in mind, I just recently posted this on the social media:
Believers who demonise and hate certain public figures can be just as delusional as those who lionise and worship them. Let me mention two, and compare the pair:
Is Elon Musk doing a great job of cleaning out Twitter?
Is Musk involved in frightening Neuralink work?
Is Musk seen in photos with folks like Ghislaine Maxwell?
Yes to all three.
Did Donald Trump do a good job of draining the swamp?
Did Trump just celebrate the new fake marriage bill in the US?
Did Trump appear at Davos with Schwab and the WEF?
Yes to all three.
Moral of the story:
Musk is not the Messiah nor is he the Antichrist. I have little time for those who think he is one or the other.
Trump is not the Messiah nor is he the Antichrist. I have little time for those who think he is one or the other.
So stop the intense hatred or the intense love of these folks.
They are public figures who are mere humans and who will always be a mixed bag. Kinda like you and me.
So I suppose now I need to offer a few more details, lest I again face the wrath of those who either love or hate Musk or love or hate Trump. As to the good and bad of Musk, I have already written articles discussing all this. See here for example: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2022/10/29/elon-musk-conservatism-and-christianity/
And by the way, much can be said about other major public figures such as Jordan Peterson. I have said similar things about him: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2022/07/18/jordan-peterson-and-common-grace/
But back to Musk: did he indeed appear in a pic with Maxwell? Yes he did. He of course says it was just a passing thing, and he had nothing to do with her. Well, that could be. And the truth is, how many folks ended up going to Jeffrey Epstein’s little pleasure island with all the evil that went on there? Plenty, including some who we quite like.
Those who flew on the ‘Lolita Express’ include not just folks like Bill Clinton and Bill Gates, but Donald Trump as well. See more on this here: https://www.newsweek.com/who-flew-jeffrey-epstein-lolita-express-plane-full-list-people-named-1654827
The same can be said about those who appeared at Davos, Switzerland to be part of a Klaus Schwab gabfest. If you hate on someone like Zelensky, you can just say: ‘See, he spoke there.’ Fine, but so did Putin. And so did Trump. Most big cheese leaders and politicians have been there over the years.
‘Oh no – Trump would never be a part of that diabolical mob’ his loyal supports might claim. Oh yeah? Explain this then for starters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2O3Z3IAkUc
The simple truth is, all sorts of folks go there. Anyone who is anybody, from Hollywood celebs (eg., Leonardo DiCaprio) to Presidents and Prime minister to rockstars (eg., Bono) to angry teenagers (eg. Greta Thunberg) have been there. See a partial listing here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/19/business/davos-world-economic-forum.html
And of course to attend or speak there does not necessarily mean one fully adheres to the Great Reset vision. Some certainly do – but not all. And that is just my point. Just because we have a pic of Trump at Davos or a pic of Musk with Maxwell does not in itself mean much of anything.
Some people are just too quick to jump to conclusions or too quick to attack others. Of course, some others are too quick to defend these folks or make excuses for them. Both are not very helpful. For example, Musk devotees will say the Maxwell pic is just a photo-shop job, while his haters will claim he is just another pedo and buddy of Epstein.
That is what happens when we like or dislike some public figure far too much. As I said, all human beings are a mix. They can do some good stuff now and then – as Trump and Musk have. But they can also do some lousy stuff – as Trump and Musk have.
And as mentioned, Trump has long been a mixed bag on some things, including homosexuality. And now with Congress passing this fake marriage legislation in the US, we see once again how unhelpful Trump can be on this issue. Several days ago he along with others attended a big celebration of this new law.
The Log Cabin [pro-homosexual] Republicans put on the Spirit of Lincoln gala, the group’s flagship pro-gay event. Trump was happy to be there. And he proudly said this at the event: “We are fighting for the gay community, and we are fighting and fighting hard.” https://www.politico.com/news/2022/12/16/celebration-same-sex-marriage-mar-a-lago-00074441
Again, how you understand all this depends on where you are coming from. If you are a true-blue Trump lover, you will live in denial about it or try to make excuses for it. If you are a true-blue Trump hater, you will say: “See, I told you so – he really is the Antichrist.’ The reality is this: he is neither God nor the Devil. I and others have been trying to tell you this for years now.
It is the same with so many other public figures. Um, wakey, wakey. They are ALL just human beings, which means they all tend to be a mixed bag. As I said, some can be much more evil than others. And some can be much better than others. But it is only Jesus that we should expect perfection from.
So we should not be greatly surprised when someone we quite like and respect does something quite wrong. By the same token, sometimes those we quite dislike and look down upon can do something that is quite good. Generally speaking, I will praise the good someone does while calling out the bad.
Sure, some folks are so utterly evil that it is hard to want to say anything good about them at all. And yes it is possible that one day some human will come along and end up being the Antichrist. However, two caveats are needed here: Scripture actually speaks of antichrists (plural), and for 2000 years folks have been trying to identify who it is – all wrongly thus far.
In sum, we must stop worshipping some people! And we must stop demonising some people! None can be said to be purely good, and hardly any can be said to be purely evil. If we recognise the truth that in a fallen world all leaders and public figures will be a mixed bag (just like all of us), that will spare us a lot of hurt and disappointment when a good guy does something bad. Or when a bad guy does something good.
Oh, and a necessary last word; instead of hating on these folks so much, or loving on these folks so much, why not do something much better? Why not pray a lot for these people? Just a thought.