Veritas Aflame: Why I Expectorate at the Thought of Trump Speaking at Liberty
Oprah Winfrey and the Dalai Lama are listed among those invited to grace Commencements this year. It’s a free country; and, most certainly, colleges and universities invite whomever they want to speak at their graduation ceremonies. To me, it would be just as absurd for Liberty University to have beaten out Smith College or UC San Diego for Winfrey or the Dalai Lama as to have settled on their preferred keynote, President Trump. He is no less antithetical a figure at the podium of a Jesus-following institution.
As the Liberty website touts, “Get a world-class education with the solid Christian foundation you’re looking for at Liberty University.”
Yet, where might we find a more exemplary spirit of anti-Christ than in President Trump?
Granted, if we look no further than one thing he tells us, he would appear an apt enough choice: “I have great relationship with God. I have great relationship with the Evangelicals…”
But, if we keep listening…
We know by now, the President “does not regret never asking God for forgiveness, partially because he says he doesn’t have much to apologize for” Not only does that seem oblivious to the difference between a faux pas and sin; but, it kind of flies in the face of the bumper sticker: Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.
Shall we try squaring Trump’s assertion with real Biblical pith like Luke 18: 13, 14? 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
In the words of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: “when we come to God, we must realize our own sin and our spiritual emptiness and poverty. We must not be self-satisfied or proud in our hearts, thinking we don’t really need God.
In the words of Miroslav Wolf “Forgiveness flounders because I exclude the enemy from the community of humans ….and myself from the community of sinners.”
And by now we know that “not much to apologize for” was not just an isolated moment of hubris. Trump has gone on to remind, comfort and disclose: “Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure; it’s not your fault.” “In truth I am dazzled as much by my own creations as are the tourists and glamour hounds that flock to Trump Tower … or any of my other properties.”
Jesus said, as recorded in Matthew 15:11, it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” In saying things like the following, our President qualifies himself as, plainly, apostate.
He warned in “Think Big.” “Even your friends are out to get you: They want your job, they want your house, they want your money, they want your wife, and they even want your dog.” And he has coached: “When people wrong you, go after those people, because it is a good feeling and because other people will see you doing it,” he writes. “I always get even.” “If you do not get even, you are just a schmuck!”
Again, this scarcely comports with Jesus’s sermon in Matthew 5: “And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.” And Jesus’s words from the same sermon, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor; and hate your enemy.’ But I (Jesus) tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
Speaking of God, the Father, Psalm 68:5 tells us, “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.” The Bible emphasizes God’s command of giving to the poor; in fact, there are at least 200 places in the Old Testament that are being summarized by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.
Old Testament passages like… “Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey!” Isaiah 10: 1, 2. Meanwhile, Trump may be living up to his bid to “bomb the sh– out of them”
Ez. 16:49 – Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.
The docent-for-a-day, President Trump, has implored his supporters to “lock their doors” to keep safe from Syrian refugees coming into the US.
Perhaps, in the context of their choice of speaker, Liberty might aptly alter their motto to “Veritas Aflame”