Church talk alert.
Prophecy. And yes, I know.
In some circles of the Christian faith, the idea of prophecy has been an important part of the political scene. Going back to Mark Taylor’s “Trump Prophecy”, where Taylor was famously “told by God” that Trump would be president to Pat Robertson recently saying that God had told him that Trump would be re-elected, the idea of Trump-positive prophecy has played a significant role in this campaign, at least where a certain subset of Christians are concerned.
If you aren’t familiar with the wing of Christianity that buys into the idea of prophecy as a very real part of life and politics, it might surprise you to know that there have been many, many people prophesying (i.e., speaking for God) a Trump second term
Thinking about this has led to a pretty serious bought of reflection on my part. Reflection on how so many in the church often conflate their desires with their understanding of God’s desires, which is interesting from a Christian standpoint, because God’s desires are laid out pretty clearly in Scripture.
One of God’s desires in Scripture is that His children submit. “Not my will, but yours be done,” right? It’s not like Jesus prophesied that angels would take him down from the cross, and then had to tap dance excuses when they didn’t. He submitted to God’s will. Full stop.
So, what can we take away from the way so many in the church married the idea of Trump to the point that they would be willing to publicly conflate their desires with God’s desires?
I’ve got a few ideas.
1) If a person has a vested interest in the outcome of their prophecy, it is suspect. In this case, every prophesy I heard was given by die-hard Trump supporters who weren’t prophesying from a vacuum. They’d tasted power with their guy in the White House, and they’d liked it.
Their prophesies were moot.
2) If a “prophet” is not speaking truth to power, then their prophesy is suspect. Biblical prophets didn’t cozy up to the power structures, but confronted them with hopes that those in power would change their course.If any president desperately needed this, it was Trump.
The fact that they wouldn’t tell him what he really needed to hear rendered their prophesies moot.
3) If a “prophet” has money to gain from their prophesies, then their prophesy is suspect. Like this… the “prophet” does their thing, it goes online, gets shared all over, adds value to their brand, donations go up, books get sold, folks get booked on Jim Bakker’s show or the like.They’re getting wealthy off their prophesies? Their prophesies are suspect. These people know their audiences, and play to their audiences, and profit from their audiences.
4) If the prophesies tickled the listener’s ears, they were suspect. See #3. It always seems to be about money, inn’t it? Moot.
There are other things to be learned from these past four years, books upon books will be written, I’m sure. For the Church, we need to use this time to take some serious looks in the mirror. If he gave us anything, 45 gave us the valuable gift of the ability to see ourselves clearly. I hope that the white evangelical Christian church will take the opportunity to do spend some serious time in front of the mirror.
What we see may not be appealing, but recognizing the reflection might be the start of making things right.