In 1979, Jimmy Carter was president, inflation was at 13.3%, Fed Chairman Paul Volcker raised the Fed Funds to over 19% to combat “stagflation,” American hostages were taken and held in Tehran, and “Born-Again” Christianity was no longer the novelty thing it was when Carter was running in 1976.
America was getting over an impeachment headache that resulted in Nixon’s resignation and subsequent pardon. The Vietnam War ended in humiliation and hurt. A Christian was in the White House, yet there was little Biblical joy or unity in America, at least in the political realm.
Enter Jerry Falwell (Sr.) and the Moral Majority. This was a political movement of Biblical Christians who pushed back against a society dead-set on minimizing Biblical mores. The result? Ronald Reagan won two terms in a landslide, followed by George H.W. Bush. Twelve years of genuine Christian men in the White House, the stabilization of our economic foundations, healing after the turbulent 70s, and the end of the Cold War. (These days it’s hard to recall that we won that war.)
Those who pushed the secular, socialist agenda went behind the curtains into academia, corporate board rooms and C-suites, newsrooms, and Wall Street. They surfaced again when Barack Obama rode his Hope and Change agenda into Washington, pledging a Christian morality but discarding its tenets once in power.
By the end of Obama’s two terms, Democrats became openly anti-Christian, even booing God in their convention. The news media is literally so Biblically ignorant that they get basic facts wrong that most Sunday School fourth graders learn by rote. It is into this environment that Donald Trump descended his golden escalator in 2015.
Trump ran his campaign not on the shoulders of the Moral Majority, but on the upraised arms of “the Angry Majority.” He tweeted it Sunday.
Instead of Christian leaders preaching Jesus and Biblical principles, those pastors and teachers who front for Trump preach Donald the Great. They supplicate before him, currying his favor and approval.
In no way does Trump display the fruits of a Christian. Galatians 5:22-23 lists these as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. President Trump displays or foments the opposite of these:
Instead of love, condemnation. Instead of joy, anger. Instead of peace, chaos. Instead of patience, impulsivity. Instead of kindness, mocking. Instead of goodness, depravity. Instead of faithfulness, abandonment. Instead of gentleness, coarseness. Instead of self-control, indulgence.
And among his Christian supporters, he encourages those character flaws, and causes pastors who have pledged to lead their flocks to Jesus, to engage in obscene apologies for himself. Jerry Falwell Sr. would not be pleased with his own son. This reply tweet by “Pursuing Jesus” is a perfect illustration.
Christians cannot “win” the cultural war with anger. Anger is certainly an emotion we experience as a result of frustration, but it in itself cannot lead anywhere but further away from God. Trump does not understand this because he is not immersed in the Kingdom of God or its precepts.
We who hold to the Bible would be well reminded of what the Bible says about anger.
Jonah was angry because he wanted the Godless Ninevites to be punished by the Lord, not called to repentance. And when they repented, God rebuked Jonah in his anger, which was so intense that Jonah said he wanted to die. The purpose of God’s anger is always repentance and correction. The purpose of man’s anger is always vengeance.
Cain was angry because his offering to God was not looked upon favorably, as his brother Abel’s offering was accepted. God asked Cain why he was angry and his face downcast. Genesis 4:6-7: “Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”” Then Cain killed Abel.
Man’s anger leads to death.
Jeremiah preached repentance to a secular and power-hungry Israel. They became angry and imprisoned him. The prodigal son returned home in Jesus’ parable, to his father’s love. His older brother, however, became angry, and refused to join in the feast. Man’s anger always leads to punishing those who preach the truth, and to missing the blessing of God’s provision.
Paul wrote to the Ephesians that for Christians to have an impact, there must be unity. Anger gives the devil a foothold.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work,doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.Ephesians 4:25-32
Anger leads to disunity and sin.
Finally, Jesus preached against anger in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5:22: “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”
Anger leads to hell.
Donald Trump is counting on your anger. If you are a Christian, and you wish to return America to Christian values, do not rely on anger. Rely on the truth, the power of the Gospel, the love of God, and the Bible. No other way will work.
The angry majority is exactly the wrong thing to Make America Great Again. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t vote for Trump. Voting is a political act, not an act of fealty. It does mean, however, that you should not count on President Trump to usher in, in any way, a Christian ethic. His reliance on an “angry majority” is proof of this.