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Reminder: Anti-Trump Pastor John Pavlovitz Isn’t a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus

Sometimes I assume things that I shouldn’t assume. 

  • I assume that NFL fans know better than to think their team has any legitimate chance at winning the Super Bowl given that the deal between the New England Patriots and Satan is still binding.
  • I assume that people know that no matter how petulant, absurd, or outrageous President Trump’s latest tweet is, the mainstream media will so over-feverishly attack him for it that Trump will somehow end up looking like the sane one.
  • I assume that Christians know that self-proclaimed Christian author and pastor John Pavlovitz is a political activist who commandeers the Word of God for profit, not an actual minister of the Gospel of Jesus.

And it was this last false assumption that I was recently reminded of when several Christian readers reached out to me after Pavlovitz tweeted the “Lessons Trump Supporters are Teaching Their Children”:

“I don’t teach my children any of these things,” one of them wrote to me. Of course she doesn’t. Neither do countless other Christian parents like her. And they don’t condone the President when he does any of these things either.

I’ll admit that one of the most bizarre things to witness during the era of Trump has been the reversal of roles between partisans on both sides of the political spectrum. The Party of “character matters” has taken a pragmatic, “the president does things that I find off-putting, but he’s getting good things done” approach. Meanwhile, the Party of “separation of church and state” has suddenly become a Puritanized integrity police when it comes to presidents.

This is a particularly astounding reversal for public figures like Pavlovitz. Keep in mind, this is the same “Christian pastor” who counseled his flock,

“One of the greatest failings I see in my fellow Christians, is assuming that they can determine what is natural for someone else; what is their real, their truth, that they can decide for another person who they are.”

Ah yes, harkening back to that seminal moment when Jesus gave His disciples the pivotal instruction to, “Live your own truth, boys.”  You could certainly be excused if you see a bit of contradiction in Pavlovitz admonishing Christians not to determine what is right for someone else, while he himself judgmentally condemns Christians for supporting Trump because of all the “wrong things” it teaches their children.

Further, I think it’s important for Christians to turn to Scripture for their moral grounding, not the meanderings of an ear-tickling huckster who concludes that since man and woman were made in God’s image, “God is by nature transgender.” Seriously, he wrote that.

In this era, as every era, the instruction for Christians is clear:

“Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”

If we do so in what we teach our children, how we vote and engage the public square, and in what counsel and instruction we heed personally, we’ll be in good hands. Whether or not either John Pavlovitz or Donald Trump approve.

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