I just got through reading Erick Erickson’s open response to the varying Christians’ declaration that Donald Trump is the chosen leader by God to make our country a nation great again. And like Erickson, I find their conviction disturbing at best. They often cite the biblical stories of David, Cyrus, and Saul of Tarsus who became Paul. I think the email that Erickson received put it best, “You, of all people, who are studying the Bible, KNOW about CYRUS, DAVID, SAUL OF TARSUS, etc. were used for God’s purposes! God can even use a donkey” (emphasis is the original authors).
Out of respect to all animal life, and to avoid the obvious joke about Trump being compared to a donkey, we will not discuss the donkey comparison. However I would like to talk about the other three and how the comparisons to Trump fail to convince me Trump is God’s chosen.
First Let’s look at Saul. He is a man that had great sins in his life. But through miraculous events was converted to Christ. He forsook his sins and turned to God. Then his business because the work of God. He became a missionary. His heart was changed. Trump, on the other hand, has admitted that he has nothing to repent of. Trump doesn’t give the appearance of wanting to change. So, for me, the analogy of Trump to Paul is problematic.
Some might think that Cyrus is a better analogy for Trump because Cyrus was never a Hebrew and yet he was used by God to perform God’s will. I have to admit, that I wasn’t as familiar with the Cyrus story as I was the other two. So my information about Cyrus comes from Enrichment J of the LDS Church Old Testament Teacher’s manual for Seminary. From this, I understand that God can use all men to help achieve his goals, he may even be using Trump as such. However, I would like to point two flaws in this analogy. First, Trump claims to be a Christian; he is not like a Zoroastrian or any other faith. Second, Cyrus has all appearances was a man who was seeking to do good, not so much a man seeking for power. This is evidenced in this quote from Enrichment J:
“[Cyrus] inaugurated a new policy in the treatment of conquered peoples. Instead of tyrannizing over them and holding them in subjection by brute force, he treated his subjects with consideration and won them as his friends. He was particularly considerate of the religions of conquered peoples. The effect of this policy was to weld his subjects to him in a loyalty which made his reign an era of peace.” (Elmer W. K. Mould, Essentials of Bible History, pp. 348–49.)
Compare this to Trump, who appears to be more for power than for the benefit of his fellow men.
Finally, the example of David is the worst comparison of the threeh. David wasn’t a failed man who became a prophet (like the story of Paul). Rather David was a righteous prophet who allowed power to change him. His rise in leadership caused him to be a fallen prophet. While I don’t know Trump’s whole life, I don’t see that he ever was much of a religious or righteous man. He has even gone so far as to brag about his unrighteousness. And for me that is the exact opposite of David, because David never bragged about his indiscretions.
So, the efforts to compare Trump to a few Biblical men that God used to accomplish his purposes don’t work for me. We need to remember that God allows men and women to make mistakes. God allows humanity to choose sin over good. I think that choosing Trump or Clinton is a mistake that will come with a prie. But I also believe that God has a plan for us, and we must act in faith so that we find ourselves on the right side of the plan when it is needed.