Trump Prayer Warriors and the Politicisation of the American Church

Have a look at this video which has been doing the rounds in some circles of American evangelicalism.  I was sent it by someone who meant well and I appreciate that.  I get sent so much that I don’t look at everything but I’m glad I looked at this.   I think its helpful because it helps us understand the perilous state of much of the church in the US (and to a lesser extent the UK) today.

There is a great deal here that will resonate with Bible believing Christians – because it sounds so right.  Which is what makes it such a dangerous prayer/video.  It is indicative of what’s wrong in so much of the evangelical church.

  1. Hypocrisy and Fake Humility

It’s a good thing to pray for the President.  We are commanded to pray for all those in political authority (1 Timothy 2:1).  It’s a good thing to recognise that President Trump is God’s servant –  but only in the sense of his office not because of who he is.   And that applies to all our political leaders (Romans 13:1-7).   But I very much doubt that Ruben Nika would be praying in the same way for President Obama or President Clinton.    There is a great hypocrisy in much of American evangelicalism.  Some Christian leaders were happy to publicly proclaim that President Clinton was unfit to be President because of his morality and sexual adultery.  Those same leaders are now prepared to argue that the President’s moral character does not matter. “we are choosing a political leader not a pastor”.

Using the ‘we’re all sinners’ card sounds humble, but when it is used to excuse the politicians we like whilst we condemn those we don’t,  it is hypocrisy.   Can you imagine John the Baptist praying for King Herod “Lord, He’s called to do your work.  He’s not a perfect man, none of us are, we are all sinners.”?!

2. Misusing the Bible to justify our politics rather than proclaim Christ.

Screenshot 2019-01-15 at 12.50.05It’s good to pray according to the will of God.  It’s wrong to claim that our will is the will of God.   To portray President Trump as a leader in the ‘armies of heaven’, as fighting on the side of the Gospel is just a straightforward lie.   I don’t doubt that God can use President Trump, just as he used Cyrus, Pilate and Nero.  But we are not to put our trust in ‘princes’ and we are certainly not to proclaim a man who shows no evidence of Christian faith or practice, as some kind of Christian warrior.    It is quite frankly blasphemous to cite Isaiah 54:17 “no weapon formed against you shall prosper”, which is a promise to ‘the servants of the Lord’ as though it is for a President who does not profess nor follow Christ.

It is just as blasphemous to cite Ephesians 6:11-12 and to call upon ‘love to return to the land’ whilst in the same breath asking the Lord to smite down your enemies (the globalists, socialists, communists and liberals he prays about – although one has to wonder why the Republicans and Godless capitalists were left out of this list!).    Ephesians 6 tells us that “our struggle is NOT against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”. 

3) Losing Grip on Reality and Rationality and Proclaiming a ‘Fake News Gospel

When I watch a video like this I wonder if much of the Church has lost its mind!  Who can take seriously the following statements?

America is the last beacon of hope in the world – No it isn’t.  Not remotely.  America is a great nation but our hope is in Christ not in America.  The substitution of Christ for America is one of the great heresies of the US church. In terms of the Christian Gospel I would expect (and I could be wrong) Africa and Asia to be far more significant in the proclamation of the Gospel in the 21st Century (much as this may hurt American and European pride – I hope the Lord will allow us a part and not let our own hubris destroy us) .

Donald J Trump is working to fulfill God’s plan.  Donald J Trump is working to fulfill Donald J Trump’s plan.  God is working to fulfill God’s plan.  And I know which one will prevail and which one I trust.

Our President is under the worst assault we have ever seen.   People are starting to believe the lies pushed by the media.   Yes – President Trump is under attack.  Yes much of that is hypocritical and often unfair.  But that happens to almost every President.  This is not the worst attack.  As for lies – the President seems to have a very post-modern, self-absorbed relationship with the truth.  Christians can be thankful that God can use a liar and adulterer, but we should not put him up as a representative of the Christian faith or a warrior for Christ – nor should be endorse either implicitly or explicitly;  lying, adultery, pride or greed.

4) Proclaiming ourselves and not Christ

“Send this to three people who you know will say this prayer with you…lets get a massive unbroken prayer chain going to fight this relentless assault.  This is the battle  We need all Trump prayer warriors to come to the aid of our President right now. Let’s get this thing up to a million views…I know we can do it…”

The above illustrates the curse currently afflicting much of the church.  It’s about us…about our publicity.  What kind of weak and pathetic God does Reuben think we worship?  A God who needs a million views before he will answer prayer?  Is this ‘social media God’, desperate for likes and views, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ? Or is Reuben just thinking about his own publicity/views/hits?  Look how effective my ministry is!

What is a Trump prayer warrior?  Did the first century church have Herod prayer warriors?  Nero prayer warriors?     The only type of prayer warrior that the New Testament knows are those who ‘pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…who pray for all the Lord’s people and who pray especially that the mysteries of the Gospel would be fearlessly made known – not that President Trump would enact our political policies.

A Sick Church

If the Church in the US is as this video portrays then it is a sick and dying church – shallow, superficial, ignorant, confused,  idolatrous and blasphemous.  Of course that is not the whole picture – there is much that is good in the US church – I benefit enormously from the ministry of people like Tim Keller, Matt Chandler, Ligon Duncan and many, many others.    But far too many Christians get caught up in this nonsense because they do not think ‘spiritually’ or biblically,  and instead allow politics to prevail over piety.

It’s not just theological liberalism that is a threat to the church;  biblical illiteracy and an irrational pre-occupation with contemporary culture wars are just as big a threat.  I loathe this type of Christianity – it makes me feel ill.  It’s like drinking from a cess pit.  Thankfully the purity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is still untainted and those who go to the Scriptures prayerfully will know what it is to drink from the clear and pure water from the Fountain of Life.  The Church needs to repent first…..

Is Donald Trump the Christian President?

(Note: In all the above I am not making a political point.  I am not saying whether Donald Trump should or should not be the President of the US.  Nor am I denying that God can use him, as he can anyone, or that the alternatives might be just as bad!  I am questioning the theology of a church culture which sees Mr Trump as a Christian warrior and thinks he deserves more ‘supportive’ prayer than Hilary Clinton!   The same applies to those ‘liberal’ Christians who think that the Gospel is equivalent to their politics – a plague on both your houses!  Nor am I making a nationalist point – the UK is no better than the US in this regard- our politicalisation of the faith often tends to be just as invidious, if a little more subtle!).

 

16 thoughts on “Trump Prayer Warriors and the Politicisation of the American Church

  1. Thank you for this. Politics is one sphere of our society where Christians are always needed and where the whole body of Christ can be engaged, whatever an individual’s political affiliation. We need to pray for our political leaders as Romans 13 exhorts us, and our church in Flanders makes sure it offers intercessions every week for those in authority, and it is good that God’s people are encouraged to discern is leading them to a career in politics. UCCF have a politics network (https://www.uccfleadershipnetwork.org/politics), and recently had an event with Jeremy Balfour MSP

    Tomorrow, a group of MEPs and staff will meet in Strasbourg before the opening of business for the regular prayer meeting, as they have been doing for since 1980. This time will be the last one with Catherine Stihler, who will be leading a bible study on John 8, and she will be missed when she leaves.

  2. The politicization of the gospel has grieved me since its unset. I have never understood why Christians have fallen for this. I wonder about their understanding of the gospel and the Word. I wrote a post, before the election, questioning Christians involvement in politics. I want you to know not all of us in America have fallen for this nonsense.

  3. Bravo, Sir. Given your conservative stance on most issues, when your views deviate from that party line with no less Biblical warrant, they emerge with all the more credibility and not a few Americans I know will find it utterly astonishing.
    The tendency of even Christians to regularly seek a new “hero sent by God”, whatever their politics, seems to be ineradicable. I can remember Thatcher, Blair and Obama being similarly hailed and defended beyond reason or experience – though obviously not by the same people in each case – and pointing out with regard to the second and third, that from my memory of the first such expectations could not but be disappointed, simply because they are impossible for any human to meet. Even Jesus ran foul of the phenomenon, when he declined to let Himself be “made a king” by the mob and they turned on Him in the same way they always do in the end.
    And a reified version of the same tendency is powering both “Deal at Any Cost” and “No Deal at Any Cost” today – too much faith is being placed in either solution as The Answer to all our woes. Add pride and the mindless, moral-less pursuit of power, and whatever or whoever (on May’s inevitable fall) we get, it may well be what we deserve rather than what we will be happy with.
    As to the “copy and paste to make God listen” prayer chain – this strikes me as an uneasy Protestant mirror of the sub-Catholic genre of “satisfaction guaranteed” Novenas. Yes, we are commanded to pray, and in obedience we do – often in response to online requests – but whether the Lord grants one weak prayer from a dying widow, or millions from a corrupt rich nation, we cannot expect to predict far less control by “managing” an ever-bigger “record” crowd to somehow badger Him into submission.
    May the Lord speak into all our hearts and minds to bring us to a better frame and spare us from deserving a worse Judgement than we already do.

    1. Thatcher did understand the Christian gospel, preached it in her younger days, expounded it in her politics and her lifestyle didn’t bring it into disrepute.

      There is fair evidence that she was dismayed by the way her policies led to unrestrained capitalism, she thought as people became wealthier they would automatically become more generous, in effect she didn’t have a strong enough grasp of mans greed. But I think of all of them she did have a coherent Christian worldview which she tried to implement albeit with uneven results.

      1. I largely agree, having come from a similar social background and seen my father, an old-fashioned small-town businessman and Councillor who never had to advertise because his honesty and reputation for fair trading travelled by word of mouth, similarly deluded that all others in his position, given power and money, would behave the same way. He honestly believed in “trickle down”: I have lived to see the experiment made, and what human evil has made of it. I no longer vote as he did.
        But my original point, that Thatcher could no more than any human meet the inordinate expectations placed on her (not least, as “the first woman” who would somehow do better than the men merely for being “different” and “first”) still stands. As does the equally personal and unreasonable hatred that always ensues when those expectations are inevitably not met – and all the examples I gave, including our Lord, have ended up that way.
        As long as we expect our kings (and queens) to be gods, we will get the sort the pagans did and pay for it accordingly.

      2. Lukewarm is spoken of in the Bible. Recall, certain things make our God want to vomit. Thanks be to Jesus our Savior for coming and His imminent return. The planet is heaving and groaning,and we must all renew our minds daily and conform to His likeness, so hand out a Bible tract today, gracefully. Btw, Mr.Trump is mankind’s appointed leader for this side of the planet, and certainly not LUKEWARM

  4. While I think it’s unfair to make a generalised claim that this is “indicative of what’s wrong in so much of the evangelical church”, I am equally certain that there’s too much of it. I also believe that condemning the action without exploring the reasons misses an opportunity, but just to make a hypocrite of myself, an examination of these isn’t really possible here.

    Yet it has been attempted, & in my mind quite well. The 2005 book by Jim Wallis, “God’s Politics: Why the American Right Gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It”. I recall meeting Wallis at a book launch in Sydney for his follow-up, “The Great Awakening: Seven Ways to Change the World”, where he asked the question about the kinds of hot-button issues on which the Right seemed to hold a mortgage, & I wished to ask him in the following Q & A (but missed the opportunity) why the Left has a mortgage on social issues like health care, homelessness & poverty.

    This is because, as a life long Conservative, I have always been convinced that it is the God-given responsibility of those who possess wealth & authority to make sure that those “with the least of these” under their authority, whether as subjects or employees, have the best chance to have the potential to live well, with full access & financial means to feed, clothe, house & transport their families, & by dint of talent & honest work to flourish & improve their lot.

    If this can be achieved, as it has to a large extent in the West, then a traditional Leftist political stance is actually made redundant. Of course I’m speaking from an Australian perspective, where many manual labour jobs pay higher than those for some professions requiring university degrees, health care is heavily subsidised, & unemployment is less than 5%.

    But I digress.

    Yes, there is so much wrong with this kind of us/them divisiveness in the US, & so much worse when it’s tied to the twin spectres of US exceptionalism & a narrow Right wing definition of Christianity. I recall seeing on a US prophetic website after Obama won his second term, a noted American figure of the Charismatic strand bewailing the fact that, “The enemy has won!!”, as though Satan had triumphed over the forces of Christ. Honestly, I didn’t know whether to laugh or weep!

  5. The belief that the ends justify the means, which in the case of the US currently mostly seems to mean nominations to the Supreme Court, is a very easy one to fall into. Indeed, if you primarily approach things in terms of the temporal order then it makes perfect sense. Christians, though, should approach things in terms both of time and ofeternity as befits followers of One who is fully Man and fully God. Of these two the lesser, time, should always be judged from the standpoint of the greater, eternity. But the more one becomes immersed in organised, day-to-day politics the larger the things of time appear and the smaller the things of eternity.

  6. There is a force working in the world that is apart from God that is in fact in rebellion to God. This force wants a world government he tried once before through Hitler. Hitler was not a nationalist he was an imperialist who wanted to take over the world. He wants a world government so that he can posses its leader, this is all in the scriptures “Daniel, Revelation and Noted by some of the Apostles. Personal I think God is more of a nationalist, and why do I say that! Well at babel we find all the people of the earth all in one place, they were one and of one accord and of one language and of one purpose to build a great city and make a name for themselves this would have been the first world government. God however had other plans he wanted nations of men and so he used supernatural power to separate the people and in doing so he formed the nations and He God set their borders. This was the end of the first attempt at a one world government. We will eventually have a one world government its called the beast in revelation that will devour the whole world “it will rule it”. Part of its rule will be to make war on the saints and overcome them, it will do this because at its very heart it is the world government of the anti-christ. America under Clinton and then Obama was heading that way, Obama wanted to take America deeper into the united nations he talked of a new world order regulatory, “this new order we have created” Obama wanted America to submit its sovereignty to this all governing world elite power, that is no surprise really because most of the liberal left especially the progressives are globalists. Remember a one world government is the anti-christs plan not Gods, God just warns us in his foreknowledge. Satan is using the liberal left to bring about his plan of that one world government and satan is inpatient for he knows his time is short he wants his three and a half years of worship on this earth. Trump being a nationalist is against globalism, whether he is a Christian or not is really irrelevant as you have said God can use who he wants. It was prophesied by certain Christian men that Trump would win his election campaign and become president years before Trump ever announced that he would run for president in fact he had always said that he wouldn’t want the job. Although he did say that if he ever did run that he would win, now that’s faith for you. It appears that the author of this article seems unaware that Trump was prophesied to be president, the people who prophesied this even admitted that when they got this they even questioned whether or not they were hearing God right. Some only told those that were close to them in the fear that they might have got it wrong others did proclaim it the late Kim Clement was one of them. It is noted that Trump is fervently against abortion and he and his administration are currently at war with planned parenthood to try change the abortion on demand laws that came as a result of the Roe vs Wade court case many years ago. Trump unlike Hitler is a fervent supporter of the Jewish state “which incidentally God brought back into existence in 1948 just like he said he would “will a nation be born in a day’ as he speaks of Israel in scripture and bringing them back into the land he gave to Abraham Isaac and Jacobs descendants for an “everlasting possession”. Obama specifically targeted Christian churches and ministries in America using the IRS to take money away from them. Trump is against illegal immigration and so is the God of the bible “you can study this in scripture” using Israel as Gods model and what you had to do to become a citizen of it, proselyte is the word you should be looking for in scripture. America’s economy is starting to boom its manufactures are moving back from abroad to set back up in the US due to Trumps deregulation programme. In the first six months of his presidency 7 Trillion dollars was taken of the US national debt. Black employment is now the highest its been for many decades. He is fighting a war against the globalists like Soros and others who want to see America destroyed every dark tactic is being used by the left in America to thwart his presidency and also from globalists around the world. I watch a tv documentary programme of all the satanists and witches that are currently Waring against him actively admitting that they were putting spells on him, that should reveal to you who’s side they think he is on. America was exceptional that’s what the pilgrim fathers wanted it to be as they travelled by ship fleeing religious persecution in Europe and other places. Freedom had reigned supreme in America until the liberal left that’s right the democrats you know the ones who formed the KKK and fought a war just to keep slavery and them over recent decades have indoctrinated the young into socialist Marxism across the American colleges and Universities campuses while they were in power turning American children against their own country teaching them to in fact hate it. Yes these are the ones who just want to open borders so that all the criminals, drug dealers and child traffickers can get in, its all cool man’. The white man is the new oppressor in an America that just had its first black president, you cannot make this stuff up. I welcome Donald Trump I support his policies I support his fight for law and order instead of lawlessness. He delivers, he does what he said he would, if he hasn’t its only because the democrat’s are doing everything they can to stop him, they are the ones who go out on the street and celebrate thats its legal to kill your own baby and if Hilary Clinton had, had here way that would have been “up till full term”. Personally I do pray for him because just like King David his enemies are very numerous. Even our liberal owned press in the UK do everything they can to make him look bad and them the celebs join in. Yes pray for him thank God for him as the Jewish nation did for king Cyrus. I though the we were told in New Testament scripture not to judge any man after the flesh? Remember Noah was a drunk and yet God saved mankind through him, David was an Adulterer and Murderer and yet look what God did through him, Moses was a murderer, Jacob was a con man, and so on I could go on. The bible says that government is of God he instigated government back in exodus and he holds government leader to account. Not praying for the opposition “how do you know that are not praying for the opposition” of course they are not going to pray for the oppositions policies that appear to be in direct contradiction to Gods revealed will. When Obama bathed the Whitehouse in the rainbow colours of the LBGT movement he was in fact making a statement “look in am more compassionate that God” I will allow same sex marriage in fact I endorse it. Can you pray that men like this stay in office or that they are removed? As for Trumps own life that is in Gods hands but I pray for him to stay in power as long as God allows and for strength for him as all his policies seem to be directly inline with scripture as far as i can see. Just because a few evangelicals may o over the top on him it doesnt change that what he is doing is righteous concerning the American people, remember if God is using him is it not right to totally support him. That does not mean that we think he cannot fail but we pray that he doesn’t fail while he is doing whats right and just. If you get your news from the mainstream media you are actually watching leftist globalist propaganda most of the time. The Spirit told me he was the best man for America at this time because the alternative was the practical planned destruction of America from within helped by globalist elites and the EU funded heavenly by Saudi Arabia. It really strange because God seems to be answering all my prayers concerning this man, my faith is in what God can do through this man for the world at this time. I thank God for using Trump to get the American embassy moved to Jerusalem something many other US presidents said they would do and yet failed. Remember when Jesus come back he comes back fighting against the nations that are attacking God people and have been dividing up her land that he “God gave them for an everlasting inheritance, standing on the mount of Olives and spitting it down the middle so that the Jews can escape to safety through the creates for them, of course unless you are of the opinion that the church has replaced Israel which of course it hasn’t Romans 11.

  7. Thank you for this. I am from the US, have ministered in different parts of the world (including the UK) and am now back in the US. I am so greatly disheartened by the number of American ‘Christians’ who think this way. I have spoken and taught in numerous US churches, explaining the distinction between the Gospel and kingdom of God and the ‘gospel’ of syncretism with politics and the furtherance of the American Dream. It has, for the most part, fallen on deaf ears. The Lord’s will and timing are perfect. However, it is definitely frustrating to seek to lead professing Christians who are more concerned about making America great again (as though it ever were) than pursuing first the kingdom and righteousness of God in Christ.

  8. I was somewhat shocked by the comparison to Herod and Nero, avowed evil men and outright enemies to God. Trump has kept his word to appoint conservative Christian leaning judges to the supreme court. This will affect the greatest nation on earth for a generation to come. He is for allowing states to legislate against gay marriage and is in favour of curbing the despicable crime of abortion.

    Your point about Clinton or Obama not having the same prayer for them at the White House is invalid as they wouldn’t allow it or want to be seen dead with a circle of evangelical pastors laying hands on them.

    Around 9 of the 12 cabinet members attend a weekly prayer meeting at the White House – something that has never happened before and something all of us who love the Lord should applaud.

    All this has generated an unprecedented degree of hatred from the liberal left in America.

    But far more important than all of this is Trump’s commitment to religious freedom and his desire to overturn the Johnson Amendment. Our ability to speak out against injustice and to openly share the gospel should be something that engenders unqualified support.

    1. Terence – we shall see whether Trumps political actions bring any real change….we pray so. But that does not make him a ‘friend’ of God. Both Clinton and Obama had prayer breakfasts with evangelical pastors – but thats not the point. We don’t need to meet with people in order to pray for them!

      You think that it is far more important than all of this (including abortion) is that Trump desires to overturn the Johnson amendment. I find this astonishing. The Johnson Amendment prevents churches and pastors from becoming political parties. It is an excellent thing. It has nothing to do with freedom of speech nor openly sharing the Gospel (unless you equate the Gospel with Republican politics)…as a Church you can openly share the Gospel and you can speak out against injustice….but you cannot campaign for a political party….as a Christian church you should not campaign for a political party anyway. That is one of the reasons that the church in the US is in so much trouble…stick to the Bible…proclaim the Gospel….

  9. I seem to be the lone wolf here (I’d much rather say the lone sheep), so it not being for the 1st time & hopefully, not the last time, I will state my sadness/dismay at your blog.

    It is one thing to try & teach others what you believe God’s word instructs, but it’s judgemental when you use the “teaching” against a fellow believer. In other words, it goes against God’s word & ceases to be teaching when aimed at a named person.

    I had never heard of of this person before (can’t even give his name without looking it up), but I’ve never heard of the Wee Flea either before & only came across your name when I tried to Google the author of prayer. My daughter sent me the prayer thru messaging.

    I did pray along with him & even added a few of my own requests to the Lord, while prayer was spoken. I did not tear it apart to see if it was theologically correct, but I don’t do that when a deacon at church prays either. I simply prayed along with a fellow believer.

    When the 2016 elections were upon us, I knew I was voting for President Trump out of default. At my age & so many elections later, I was in disbelief that the best person the Republicans could get was Donald Trump, however, I also knew America was in trouble, along with a very big debt, so perhaps this very successful business man might just be what America needed at this time.

    Of course there were disturbing incidents just prior to elections, such as the “locker room” talk which caused me to cringe. To my amazement, I knew I had to vote for him because there was no one else to vote for & the Lord didn’t lead me to write someone’s name in on the ballot.

    Yet, I had been taught and believed it, as a new Christian when Clinton won the 1st time, God always had the last vote. I also knew He had the power to give us any other “appropriate” candidate during the 2016 elections.

    Since President Trump has been in office, he has done any number of things that have been embarrassing, mostly his Tweets. Yet even then I had to remind myself that first, no other President has been in office when social media (Tweeting) had gained such momentum, not even Obama, as it did prior to the elections. Secondly, we’ve never had a president who has been a self-made successful, non-politician & yes, he lacked humility but has been gaining some diplomacy. He really had me worried with the initial stage of affairs with North Korea.

    Silently, I worried where he was going to take us as did what I believed to be, every minister that preaches on the Christian Satellite Network radio station. Yet, not one single pastor voiced their concerns, tho many said, as did my pastor, we need to pray for our President & our country. Regardless of anything, we had been reminded to do that as far back as I remember, as a new Christian.

    Silently is the key word in above paragraph. I have never heard a true, genuine Christian speak negatively about our President, nor ever have I heard of any minister speak out against a person by name, connected to a prayer.

    Anyone has the choice to dissect a prayer, but it becomes very disturbing when another professing Christian dissects the prayer with the person’s name attached to it. It almost starts sounding slanderous & perhaps a little too much of coveting when the blog is as long as yours & starts even putting down the Christians who accepted it in good faith.

    Finally & maybe most importantly, God taught me shortly after President Trump was elected, I knew whatever might come, that & only that, would matter as to Donald Trump’s behavior & if he was genuine toward a change in seeking out Conservatives & Christians, not just for their vote, but because he was humbled to have been elected into the highest office there is in our country. Definitely the only area he may be humble!

    Nothing in his past mattered as we are all forgiven. And just as God isn’t done with me, likewise, He isn’t done with our President or the person who offered the prayer.

    1. Deborah – thanks – but the Bible often uses named persons – so I don’t think that can be unblblical. And no – we are not all forgiven (I wonder if you used the same argument about Obama?)

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