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Thursday, January 26, 2017

President Trump’s Messianic Pretensions

I have recently composed a few blog posts concerning the apparent messianic pretensions of now President Donald J. Trump and his supporters. Hail Trump! and Blasphemy and the Donald . I wish this theme would go away, but it’s not.

There was the distressingly ambiguous holiday greeting from the Republican Party which seemed to conflate the birth of the ‘new king’ Jesus at Christmas with Trump. But perhaps that was only accidental, the result of poor writing and the fears and frustrations of those who are not overjoyed by the election of Trump to the office of President.

But there are Trump’s own words and tweets to consider. He seems to think of himself as bringing hope, and salvation, and peace to a benighted world:

He seems to believe that he is the “only one” who can protect and save us.

During his campaign he spoke of the “poverty and violence at home” and “war and destruction abroad,” and then told us, “I alone can fix it.”

And his supporters have begun (mis)appropriating the words and ideas of scripture in their praise of the Donald. In this video Omarosa has (mis)appropriated the biblical language of the worship of God (Romans 14:11, Philippians 2:10) and applied to “the Donald.” This is blasphemy or I don’t know what is.

And recently I’ve seen the following image being shared around social media. It seems to co-opt the ideas (if not the actual language) of Philippians 2: 6 -11 and apply them, not to Jesus but to Donald Trump - coming down from a place of glory and power, suffering humiliation in order to bring us salvation. 

Of course, it may be true that others had similar misapprehensions about President Obama – but I really don’t remember them being this blatantly messianic – and even if they were, “he did it first” is a poor argument. 

This should be cause for caution. This should give us (especially those of us who claim the name of Christ) pause. Messianic pretensions can be dangerous both spiritually and politically.

Updated February 2:

 President Donald Trump seems to have accepted the "worship and encouragement" of the American people at the National Prayer Breakfast. Maybe this was just another goofy Trumpspeak, but... the pattern holds.

"Your faith and prayers have sustained me and inspired me through some very, very tough times.  All around America, I have met amazing people whose words of worship and encouragement have been a constant source of strength." 

Updated February 14:

President Trump's senior policy adviser, Stephen Miller has attributed 100% accuracy to Donald Trump as well as unquestionable power. This is either messianic delusion or the propaganda of a dictator (and those are not mutually exclusive categories.)

Updated February 15:

Today on his 700 Club program Pat Robertson, quoting from Psalm 2:2, indicated that President Trump is the "Lord's Annointed," which in the Hebrew is quite literally, "the Lord's messiah."

Updated February 16:

Ann Coulter's worshiping at the church of the Messianic Trump:

Updated March 03:

Conservative activist, Mary Colbert, while appearing on the Jim Bakker Show described President Donald Trump as "the chosen one of God" and said that God will curse Trump's opponents and thier children and thier children's children.

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