The verdict is in.
Jerry Falwell Jr. is a heretic who embraces a proven sinner — Donald Trump.
His heresy is driving more faithful Christians out of the shrinking evangelical movement.
Writing in The Washington Post, columnist Christine Emba notes:
Like many heretics, Falwell and his fellow evangelical Trump apologists are on their way to founding a new religion, one in direct conflict with the old. This new religion doesn’t have much to do with Christ at all. Instead, it centers Trump as savior above any other god.
A disconcerting number of self-professed Christians have transitioned from the traditionally “evangelical” ambitions of spreading the gospel and forming a personal relationship with Jesus to spreading the gospel of wealth creation and fighting the “radical left.” National identity is what ties this body of believers together, and “the wall” has become its icon of hope, pushing the cross to the side.
By now, we’re all familiar with the statistic that 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump in 2016, and we know that conservative evangelicals remain the bedrock of his now-crumbling support. Writers from this order have cooked up an entire “Spiritual Biography” of Trump, and every new failing is transmogrified into cause for celebration.
Falwell’s conversion to the religion of Trump isn’t new, nor is this new faith’s continued growth. But its ramifications are becoming more apparent over time.
Emba says Falwell’s “flawed exegesis is comically absurd, but it’s implications are profoundly unfunny…his statements are in total contradiction to Christian truth. This isn’t just benign confusion: This is heresy.”
Yet, notes Michael Gerson:
Headed into a possible impeachment battle, the most ethically challenged president of modern times — prone to cruelty, bigotry, vanity, adultery and serial deception — is depending on religiously conservative voters for his political survival.
In their battle with the Philistines, evangelicals have essentially hired their own Goliath — brutal, pagan, but on their side.
The employment of an unethical, racist, anti-immigrant, misogynist Giant is not likely to play well with women, minorities and young people, who are likely to equate conservative religion with prejudice for decades to come.
While American evangelicals are loud, they are far from being a majority of Christians in this nation. Many now reject being considered “evangelicals” and point to the Apostle Paul’s advice to admonish heretics “at least twice” and then have nothing to do with them.”
The best advice from true Christian theologians: “Reject divisive men.”
Donald Trump, first and foremost, is a callous divisive president, one who thrives on phony controversies as tools to enrich himself, not his fellow-man or any credible religion.
When Fallwell is asked if there is anything Trump can do to endanger his support by evangelicals, he answers: “No.”
That, Emba says, may be called faith “but it’s definitely not Christian.”
Which is what we should expect from a heretic like Jerry Falwell, Jr.
He’s a false prophet who espouses a fake faith called “Trumpism” and its failed leader — Donald John Trump.
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