Commentary
By Stephen Mattson 5-22-2018

Wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. (James 3:17) Fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Prov. 1:7)

Many Christians have aligned their religious convictions to a man who has consistently said and tweeted vitriolic, obscene, and abusive things.

Some people of faith support this “candor,” and others explain his behavior as that of a “baby Christian.” Others silently avoid the reality altogether.

God can work through anybody. But while many of the Bible’s characters had notable moral failings and shortcomings, these failings were never meant to be glorified or celebrated.

No matter our political opinions, we cannot ignore that the Bible pays significant attention to gaining wisdom and avoiding folly.

Scripture is full of verses encouraging leaders who:

Are impartial and sincere, that did nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than themselves;

Are above reproach, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money;

Can set an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. (Phil. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:12; 1 Tim. 3:1-7)

These virtues are contrasted with serious warnings about foolishness, many of which are exemplified by President Trump:

The Bible: A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. (Prov. 29:11)

President Trump: Why are we having all these people from s–thole countries come here?

The Bible: A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion (Prov. 18:12)
President Trump: When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. … They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists…
The Bible: The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. (Prov. 15:2)
 
President Trump: Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!
 
The Bible: Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. (Prov. 14:29)
 

President Trump: If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell – I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise. I promise.

The Bible: The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult. (Prov. 12:16)

President Trump: I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came...to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve…

The Bible: It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling. (Prov. 20:3)

President Trump: "In politics, and in life, ignorance is not a virtue." This is a primary reason that President Obama is the worst president in U.S. history!

The Bible: Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools. (Ecc. 7:9) 

President Trump: I would bring back waterboarding. And I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.

The Bible: But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart (Matt: 15:18)

President Trump, responding to violence at a White Supremacist and Neo-Nazi rally: Well, I do think there's blame -- yes, I think there's blame on both sides. You look at -- you look at both sides. I think there's blame on both sides.

The Bible: Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding. (Prov. 10:23)

President Trump: “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!”

The Bible: Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. (Prov. 27:2)

President Trump: Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. …I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star.....to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!

The Bible: When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom (Prov. 11:2)

President Trump: Show me someone without an ego, and I'll show you a loser.

The Bible: If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. (James 1:6)

President Trump: You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.

The Bible tells us of people who will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Tim. 3:1-5)

Avoid such people, says the Bible. I.e., don’t vote for them, or support them, or defend them.

Christian support for our present leader cannot be reconciled with verses that teach that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Gal. 5:22-23)

Whatever your opinions of President Trump, his actions and words directly contradict what we are told constitutes wisdom, and fulfill the Bible’s definitions of folly. He personifies the numerous passages that describe a fool. At the same time, he seems to be lacking joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control — every fruit of the Spirit.

These observations aren’t meant to be partisan rhetoric. This is an observation for Christians to heed. Because this is more than just spiritual musing. There are tangible consequences to being aligned with people like our current president.

Proverbs warns to “Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs rather than a fool in his folly.” (Prov. 17:2) and goes on to say, “Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge…the folly of fools is deceiving.” (Prov. 14:7-8), and suggests that “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Prov. 13:20).

In the Bible, a fool is one of the most unfavorable labels imaginable — the very opposite of being wise and Christ-like. All of which is to say that it’s not a good idea for Christians to participate in folly, or to follow fools.

This matters because Trump was, and is, and will be spiritualized as carrying out God’s will — even when he’s not. When we gauge a leader’s spiritual ability and character, their likeness to Jesus is the ultimate litmus test.

We should pray for President Trump because God commands us to. I sincerely hope he has a spiritual transformation, in which he experiences and exudes the powerful love of Christ. But Christians cannot turn a blind eye to the folly we are witnessing, especially when it is folly supported by Christians, that comes at the expense of the loving gospel of Jesus. To love God with all your heart, and love others as you would yourself, are the most important commands God gives to us (Mark 12:30-31).

It’s no wonder Satan tempted Jesus with political power and rule, because few can turn down such temptations. But in the end, What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36).

God help us.

Stephen Mattson is the author of The Great Reckoning: Surviving a Christianity That Looks Nothing Like Christ. You can follow him on Twitter (@mikta) or on Facebook.

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