Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Is Donald Trump an instrument of Bible prophecy?

As Donald Trump transitions from Republican candidate to presumptive nominee, many Republicans are falling into line to support the insurgent candidate. Part of the reason that Trump has been successful is his support from the conservative Christians. Many have questioned whether Trump’s Christian supporters know what they are getting with Mr. Trump.

While critics have pointed out that Trump is a serial philanderer who acts like a bully and has trouble telling the truth – or telling anything consistently – and who owns casinos and strip clubs, many Christians, including such notable pastors as Jerry Falwell and Franklin Graham, seem more than willing to overlook Trump’s sins and board the Trump train. Some liken Trump, who claims to be a Christian but who says he has never asked for forgiveness, to the Biblical king Cyrus who allowed exiled Israelites to return to their homeland and rebuild the Jewish temple.

In contrast to Cyrus, who was a pagan and did not claim to know God, Trump claims to know God, but may be more accurately described as an apostate or heretic. When Trump asks “Why do I have to repent or ask for forgiveness, if I am not making mistakes?” he is in contradiction to the Bible, which says that “all have sinned.” Likewise, the Bible states that repentance and forgiveness is the only way to become a Christian. These are basic Christian beliefs.

Michael Brown of the Christian Post points out that God used the Persian king Cyrus to free the Israelites, not to rule over them. Brown notes that “rais[ing] up an idol-worshiping king to rule the nation of Israel… would have been a curse rather than a blessing.”

Trump may fit into the spiritual picture as an instrument of the Shemitah, an ancient Jewish sabbatical year that many believe figures into a pattern of judgment. Rabbi Jonathan Cahn first wrote about the Shemitah pattern in his book, “The Harbinger.” Cahn linked the seven year Shemitah cycle to financial crashes and recessions going back at least 50 years. The two largest financial crashes in U.S. history, the crashes of 2001 and 2008, were both on the last day of Shemitah years. Likewise, the oil bust of 2015 was part of a worldwide commodities crash that was linked to the Shemitah year.

In this book, “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” Cahn describes his belief that the Jubilee year, the “seventh Shemitah” would run from September 14, 2015 through October 2, 2016 and might bring dramatic change. Cahn writes that previous Jubilee years have brought momentous world changes such as the signing of the Balfour Declaration, which gave birth to the modern nation of Israel in 1918, and the capture of Jerusalem by Israeli forces in the Six Day War of 1967.

Cahn has not addressed Donald Trump, but it is possible that Trump’s rise to power in a Jubilee year signals a drastic change in direction for the United States. If Cahn is correct, God’s judgments on the rebellious United States began with the September 11 attacks. Cahn described in “The Harbinger” what he calls the “Isaiah 9:10 effect.” This is the principle that the “attempt of a nation to defy the course of its judgment, apart from repentance, will instead set in motion a chain of events to bring about the very calamity it sought to avert.”

It should be obvious to even the casual observer that America has not repented. During the Shemitah year of 2015, the nation rejected centuries of precedent and Biblical teachings to enact nationwide same-sex marriage. It is currently rejecting millennia of biology to claim that gender is changeable attitude. The federal government under Barack Obama is compelling hospitals to perform abortions and federal funds are being used to support groups like Planned Parenthood that perform abortions. Into this mix steps Donald Trump, a candidate who purports to fight lies with more lies.

Rejection of truth and mass delusions where people follow false prophets are foretold in the Bible. The Bible contains numerous warnings against lies as well as wicked rulers. Should we then believe that a confirmed liar like Donald Trump is sent by God to “make America great again?” If God punished Israel for its evil kings then how much more will America be punished if we choose our own evil leader?

It seems likely that the continual American rejection of God and failure to repent has brought us to a point where we must choose between two evils, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. America is literally in the position of being damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

So why do so many Christians support Trump? The answer may found in the Bible itself. Jesus himself foretold the day when “false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Perhaps that day is here.

Read it on Conservative Firing Line

Monday, May 2, 2016

How I changed my mind about Donald Trump

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia
Changing your mind is often viewed as a bad thing. People who change their minds are derided as flip-floppers or unprincipled. On the other hand, it isn’t always a good thing to dig in your heels and stick to your guns when you receive new information or the situation changes. As Winston Churchill said, “I’d rather be right than consistent.” Along these lines, I have recently changed my mind on Donald Trump.

I still don’t like Trump and have no intention of voting for him. Trump’s record and demeanor are both disturbing. As a conservative, it would be hard to vote for someone who supports higher taxes, universal government healthcare and is inconsistent on social issues like abortion and religious freedom. To an economic conservative and free trader, his desire for high tariffs is problematic. It was high tariffs like the ones proposed by Trump that turned a recession in 1929 into the Great Depression. As a lover of liberty, the threat of violence if Trump does not win should disqualify him from consideration for leadership of a country that prides itself on peaceful transfers of power.

On foreign policy, Trump’s much-touted erratic behavior and inconsistency could literally cause a war. On at least two occasions in US history, in Korea and Kuwait, failure to establish clear US policy led to shooting wars. Trump’s off-the-cuff foreign policy pronouncements could easily do the same in a world where Russia and China are already expanding their spheres of influence.

My change of mind regarding Trump involves his ability to win. For months, I have joined many others saying that “Trump can’t win.” I didn’t believe that Trump could win primaries. I didn’t believe that he could go above 50 percent. I didn’t believe that a liberal New Yorker could sweep the conservative Christian South and vanquish many more experienced and better candidates. I was wrong on those counts.

While I still believe that Trump would almost certainly lose to Hillary Clinton, I now feel compelled to add the qualifier, “almost.” It is not inconceivable that Donald Trump could beat Hillary Clinton.

The possibility of a Trump victory over Hillary is not a reflection of Donald Trump’s magnetic personality, his policy acumen or any positive quality that a prospective president might possess. It hinges entirely on two factors. The first is Hillary Clinton’s weakness as a candidate and the overwhelming aroma of scandal and corruption that permeates her campaign. The second is Donald Trump’s ability to destroy opponents.

Neither Trump nor Hillary is a likeable candidate. Hillary’s negatives are exceeded only those of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Likewise, neither candidate is trusted and both are believed to be corrupt. Even though Trump shares many of the same negative traits possessed by Hillary, he will still attack her in the same hypocritical manner in which he criticizes “Lying Ted” Cruz for his lack of honesty while at the same time Trump himself was recipient of the Lie of the Year award for his numerous truth-challenged pronouncements.

Furthermore, both parties are divided. The Never Trump movement makes up a large part of the Republican Party, but Bernie Sanders voters are also swearing off voting for Hillary. A recent Rasmussen poll found that almost a quarter of likely voters would not vote for either Trump or Hillary in a head to matchup. The race would likely have historically low turnout and historically high interest in third parties. This is where Trump’s long shot opportunity lies.

A Trump-Hillary campaign would be the dirtiest campaign that most of us have ever seen. Both candidates would viciously attack the other’s long list of weaknesses and character flaws. This is the kind of campaign where Donald Trump, the insult comic, excels.

While Trump stands little chance of winning voters with a positive vision for the future that, almost a year into his candidacy, he has yet to articulate, he does have a chance of destroying Hillary’s image to the point where many voters will just stay home and not vote for either of them. In an election with depressed turnout, the question becomes which fractured party can drive more of its remaining base to the polls. Donald Trump stands a much better chance in this sort of election than in a high turnout election where he has to compete for moderate and independent voters.

Trump would almost certainly still lose, but he has beaten the odds so far. Political betting sites now give him about a 30 percent chance of becoming president. It is possible, but far from likely.

In spite of his recent victories and his likely victory in Indiana tomorrow, Trump is not assured of winning the nomination. If Trump is the Republican nominee, he might conceivably win, but it is far from certain that President Trump would be good for the country.

Read it on Conservative Firing Line or Freedom Daily