Our friend Jerry, over at Grumpy’s Grumblings, has a new post. I’ve included a link at the end to continue reading at his site. Thanks Jerry!
I’ve had to chide myself, often, for succumbing to what many within the evangelical community refer to as an Elijah complex. In the Bible, the prophet Elijah lamented to God that he was alone, the last true prophet, and that all the others had succumbed to an idolatrous loyalty to their government’s leaders—wicked King Ahab and Queen Jezebel.
I’ve caught myself presuming I was the only evangelical who had not bowed my knee to white evangelicals’ new messiah, Donald Trump. I knew that was not true, but all the vociferous evangelical clamor about Trump’s greatness, liberals’ wickedness, and stolen elections often left me feeling isolated.
I Was Never Alone
To be sure, even among nationally known evangelical leaders, several, such as Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; bestselling author Max Lucado; author and commentator David French; and scores of others, openly opposed Trump and Trumpism—and typically came under ferocious fire for it. Even so, being among the 19 to 20 percent minority made me feel like a recluse within a constituency to which I’d long felt an intense loyalty.
I’m seeing a few hopeful signs that the new messiah’s manipulative control over the faithful might be loosening, just a bit.
We never-Trumpers are still a minority within white evangelicalism, but I’m seeing a few hopeful signs that the new messiah’s manipulative control over the faithful might be loosening, just a bit. Simultaneously, though, the fierce fealty of the devoted majority of evangelicals is revealing some disturbing signs about the character of far too many white evangelicals. Bottom Line: Trumpism is the newest, deepest schism between white evangelical factions. Among today’s white evangelicals, theological differences pale in comparison to political differences as long as Donald Trump still commands the absolute loyalty of the majority.
And that brings us back to my beginning point: I think that majority is thinning, at least a bit. One early sign of that thinning came on January 7, the day after Trump-loyalists stormed the Capitol in a rage-filled riot, aiming to kill Vice President Pence and Speaker Pelosi. They failed in those attempts, but their rampage did manage to leave five other human beings dead. The day after that riot, Jeremiah Johnson, a self-proclaimed “prophet” apologized for having prophesied—like so many of his peers—that Trump would be re-elected.
I refuse to blame the saints and say, “It didn’t come to pass because they did not pray enough.” Nor will I proclaim, “Donald Trump actually won, so I was right, but now it has been stolen from him. I believe the first statement seeks to alleviate the prophetic messenger from the responsibility of what he prophesied, and the second statement is filled with potential pride and an unwillingness to humble himself and admit he was wrong.”
To continue reading, please click here: Grumpy’s Grumblings
You recognize they are false prophets when you notice how much of it is about profits.
What Jerry is describing, is a cult. And that cult seems to be self-destructing, but will probably cause more damage along the way.
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Indeed it is Neil. And it’s not ending anytime soon.
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Jeff, Jerry, the former president has done more harm to Christianity than any atheist ever could. If he is the paragon of the evangelicals, then their messaging is in the toilet. When people ask WWJD, the answers would tend to be not what the former president does. Keith
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Dangerous times Keith. I hope this ends well but I think we’re entering a very troubling time at which I don’t know how we recover.
On looking back over the decades there seems to be a certain parallel between what has taken place on the Right of American politics and the music scene from 1950s…60s….70s and so on. That is a certain dissatisfaction with an established mode or growing trend brings a backlash.
Now bear in mind parallel lines only go in the same direction and the same distance apart, they are not the same, hence detailed similarity is impossible.
Now it is possible to parallel the rise of Rock and Roll as an expression with the Rise of the Extremes of Religious Personalities (The outrage they cause to others and the wealth they garner; although the creativity and freshness is lacking).
Similarity you can compare the rise of ‘Prog-Rock’ & Disco with the rise of Liberal Thinking (although it would be hard to attribute the same qualities) with the response of Metal, Punk and later Riot Grrrl. Grunge . In politics this appears as the loud dissatisfaction against the established and progress evolution of the Liberal Political wing. Again the political equivalent contains only the excesses of the nihilistic elements of these musical movements and not the creativity. At this stage you can see many similarities with a few of sub-genres of the other money making machine…Metal/Rock music
So we have by the 2000s the rise of Punk Politics. Load, chaotic, deliberately inarticulate and more cliché than creativity.
As you will know many is the time in the music scene there comes the bandwagon. And Trump was one to jump on this, and the crowd loved it. The more he howled, they more they howled back, and the more they howled the more he howled back. Something not unusual amongst the lesser talented but ‘knew what sold’ music outfits, or the jaded ones who need one new big hit.
Thus as was Altman concert so was the 6th January 2021. Of course the ‘concert goers’ and the fans who weren’t there make excuses. Meanwhile the stars of the show go on unrepentant.
However rather than the Doom and Division scenario I have been worried about perhaps the Music analogy and parallel has another familiar act to play out. The worn out, unfashionable, barely noticed, once stars playing to small re-union affairs where small clutches of equally worn out, unfashionable, barely noticed devotees gather to pretend they still matter.
Trump and those that went before him and trail in his wake are definitely in the show-biz category all ‘style’ but no substance.
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I love the analogy Roger. I especially love the reference to Trump playing to small re-union affairs. I’ve frequently thought of him as more of an old lounge singer. Or, maybe someone playing piano for tips? I certainly hope that’s where he ends up. In obscurity, and maybe even a jail cell.
However, there also exists the crazy lunatics who’ve been able to come out of the closet and spew their racist and bigoted rhetoric-spurred on by that same disgraced former president. There may be nothing to save these folks. And, we’ve seen what kind of violence they’re capable of on Jan 6. Maybe nothing much comes of it. Maybe something does. Time will tell Roger.
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Thanks Jeff, glad it worked.
What will annoy Trump is the overall condemnation he will face in the historical record and there is nothing he can do about that.
There always have been, and will be the crazies, regrettably there are those times when they crawl out of the sewers and pollute the daylight.
As you say ‘Time will tell’
Take care Jeff.
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