While many Christians have made no secret of their support for Donald Trump, comparisons to the Messiah proved a step too far for several leaders this week.
They took objection when one conservative radio host notched up his admiration for the US President by comparing him to Jesus Christ Himself.
Wayne Allyn Root, who describes himself as a Jew turned evangelical Christian and who has garnered a reputation as a conspiracy theorist, showered Trump with praise as the “greatest President for Jews” who is loved “like he’s the King of Israel” and “the second coming of God”
Trump didn’t shy away from the comparison, retweeting Root’s commendation.
“Thank you to Wayne Allyn Root for the very nice words. ‘President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world…and the Jewish people in Israel love him,” the President tweeted on Wednesday.
“…like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God…But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense! But that’s OK, if he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’s good for … all Jews, Blacks, Gays, everyone. And importantly, he’s good for everyone in America who wants a job.’ Wow!”
On Thursday, Trump appeared to continue the biblical theme describing himself as the “chosen one” to sort out trade relations between the US and China.
Talking to reporters, he glanced momentarily at the sky before saying: “I am the chosen one. Somebody had to do it, so I’m taking on China. I’m taking on China on trade and you know what, we’re winning.”
Harvest Ministries founder Jay Lowder was among the Christian leaders to take issue with the idea that Trump was like Jesus, writing in the Washington Post that it was “dangerous” to compare anyone to the Messiah.
“In the evangelical community, we have come to incorrectly believe that any critique of Trump only serves to promote the party on the left. But embracing critiques proves we are objective, not blind to the flaws in political par-ties or our presidents,” Lowder wrote.
“Trump is neither the ‘Second Coming of God’ nor the ‘Messiah.’ In repeating the profane quote, he gave a narcissistic endorsement and even thanked Root, a well-known conspiracy theorist, for his words.”
He added: “Messianic claims are dangerous, because God does not share glory with anyone.”
Christian activist Shane Claiborne said such thinking needed to be rebuked.
“This is some straight up first-century-Emperor-worship happening. Rebuke it, in the name of Jesus! Jesus is Lord, Trump is not,” he wrote on Twitter.
Southern Baptist minister Alan Cross said it would be a “colossal sham” if US evangelicals allowed their support for Trump to get in the way of correcting him.
“If favoring a comparison [of] yourself to the Messiah isn’t enough to get evangelicals to correct this man, then they are already gone and it is so sad. Then there is no truth and all else you support is a colossal sham,” Cross tweeted.
“My point is, if you support him, then speak to this. Guide him. Tell him how this doesn’t work. Help him understand … If he is friendly to evangelicals, then let them speak to him and tell him why this isn’t appropriate. Use the influence rightly.”
“Thank you to Wayne Allyn Root for the very nice words. “President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world…and the Jewish people in Israel love him….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2019
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