[Trump visiting a church] can be dismissed as hypocrisy. He has not previously positioned himself as a defender of the faith. But, with respect to the Bible’s doctrine of civil rulers as ministers of God, he made the right decision. The Bible clearly teaches this doctrine. There is no way around it. The Bible mandates obedience to lawful authorities (plural). The Apostle Paul wrote this to the church at Rome:
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour” (Romans 13:1-7).Gary North, Trump Walks to Church for a Photo Op. Liberal Clerics Are Outraged. They Much Prefer Arsonists. Quotation marks added.
This is actually important: certainly from a Christian Reconstructionist perspective.
Sure, Trump has major, major failings.
But symbols matter. And there is no possibility that any Democratic President will ever place his authority below the throne of God. Publicly or privately.
Trump may want to exercise caution: there are real benefits to being a Minister of God… and real obligations, as well.
We’ll see if he gets re-elected in November.
“Things are easier to get into, than get out of.”
St. John’s church is across the street from the White House. It has long been known as the Presidents’ church. It has basked in that reflected glory.
If that congregation held forthrightly to the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the 39 Articles of the Episcopal Church, then it would not need any reflective glory. But, for at least two generations, the leadership of the Episcopal Church has denied all three of these confessional standards.Gary North, Trump Walks to Church for a Photo Op. Liberal Clerics Are Outraged. They Much Prefer Arsonists. Quotation marks added.
If you will not put God first, then you will put Powerful Men first.
It will be darkly amusing, if God pays attention to Trump, while the leadership of St. Johns is told to wait at the back of the line.
But God honours those who honours him. Even if that man is a distasteful sinner.
The next evening, Trump gave a brief presentation at about 7 PM on the White House lawn. He announced very clearly that if the rioting didn’t stop, he was going to send in the troops. He was not going to tolerate violence. He made it explicitly clear that he is the President of law and order.
Then he did something that was completely unexpected. He left the press conference and walked across the street to stand in front of the church. He held up a Bible. He brought senior members of his administration to stand beside him. The symbolism was unmistakable. He was acting in the name of God. He was acting on behalf of a society based on the Bible. As with every President, he had sworn allegiance to the Constitution by placing his hand on a Bible. Now, he was holding up the Bible for everybody to see.
The symbolism of this act was probably the most explicit public Christian symbolism that any President has offered over the last hundred years. I cannot think of any action taken by any President that was more self-consciously symbolic of the lawful authority of the President to act in the name of God. It could not have been clearer.
That Donald Trump would do this is mind-boggling. If he figured this out on his own, it is even more mind-boggling.Gary North, Trump Walks to Church for a Photo Op. Liberal Clerics Are Outraged. They Much Prefer Arsonists.
I am paying attention.
And I am not the only one.
He held up a Bible to make his point clear. The local Episcopal clerics don’t like Christian theology, but they like liturgy. They understood that what Trump did was a liturgical act. It was an act at their expense in the name of social order. Their theology undermines social order, and they deeply resented what Trump did. They were outraged. I hate to say it, but this is what he had done: he trumped them.
What matters is not Donald Trump’s confession of faith. What matters is his office. He is the President of the United States. He holds this office legitimately. He was elected according to the Constitution. He is a defender of the nation against lawlessness, and he holds this position by the decree of God. That is what the Bible teaches. I am not sure how much he understands of this, but I am sure of this: the Bishop of Washington DC doesn’t understand it, or if she does, she despises it.Gary North, Trump Walks to Church for a Photo Op. Liberal Clerics Are Outraged. They Much Prefer Arsonists.
I’m going to go with the corrupt sinner that knows and respects maybe 5% of the scripture…
…rather than the righteous liberal bishop who understands the Bible deeply. And with urbane, well-mannered contempt.
Trump in his White House speech on the evening of June 2 identified these acts as acts of terrorism. He promised to stop them by sending in the troops if the governors do not call up the National Guard to put down the terrorists. Then he walked across the street for a photo op in front of an Episcopal church associated with the presidency.
The country is divided down the middle on the issue of Democrats versus Republicans. But the country is not divided down the middle on what to do with black thugs who riot in our cities. They may not have heard of Napoleon’s phrase, “a whiff of grapeshot,” but if they had, they would agree with it.
The bishop can issue all of the press releases she wants. The deal is done. The President of the United States took advantage of a photo opportunity, and there is nothing that the bishop can do about it. She can insist that he didn’t have the right to do it, standing on a public sidewalk. He had to ask permission to do it. She doesn’t perceive how ludicrous she sounds.
He didn’t her ask permission to do it. He just did it. It’s over. The photos went out. There is nothing that the bishop can do to overcome their effects on the people who saw them. Only a handful of people are going to read her statements to the media. Millions of people have seen those photos.
All of this is to say that Donald Trump is better at producing media images than the media are. He knows they cannot resist his media events. Like moths drawn to a flame, they give him the audience he has targeted.
Trump has already won the symbolic battle. It was a brilliant display of media manipulation.
He has won the battle with the theological liberals who run the church across the street from the White House. His act was deeply religious. It was liturgical.
He is going to win the battle with the inner-city terrorists. That is the easy part.
He may even win in November. If he does, the Democratic Party will have been the victim of arsonists.Gary North, Trump Walks to Church for a Photo Op. Liberal Clerics Are Outraged. They Much Prefer Arsonists.
Too bad for the Democratic Party.