This past Saturday afternoon, as I was browsing the (c)hristianity section at our local Barnes and Noble bookstore, a new offering on the shelf caught my eye; “God and Donald Trump” by Stephen E. Strang (Frontline, 2017, 238 pages). Readers of this blog know I don’t like to comment on politics very much because I believe that while Christians are to be responsible citizens in the nations we happen to be sojourning in, we are, first and foremost, ambassadors of our Father in Heaven. It’s my opinion that Christians in America made a tremendous mistake by intertwining faith with national patriotism over the past 240 years.
Well, with a title like “God and Donald Trump” and a forward by Mike Huckabee, I assumed this book represented the views of the “America for Jesus,” politically-focused evangelical crowd and as I browsed through the book it was clear that was the case. I didn’t want to waste the time (or funds) it would take to read this book from cover to cover, so the comments below stem from a twenty-minute perusal while I stood in the store aisle with pen and paper. Argh! All the comfy seats in the store were occupied.
Author Strang presents Trump as God’s instrument to “return America back to Him,” as if the United States was in a covenant relationship with the Lord, just like ancient Israel had been. This a favorite pet paradigm of politically-focused American Christians although it has zero Scriptural support. Strang is CEO and founder of Charisma Media, which publishes Charisma Magazine, so the book has a decidedly Pentecostal/charismatic bent. Positive remarks regarding Trump are presented from such dubious characters as Paula White, Sid Roth, Pat Robertson, Mike Bickle, Rick Joyner, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, and Strang’s good friend, charlatan Jim Bakker. From my perspective, this is an unadmirable “name it and claim it” rogues’ gallery. Strang offers several “prophetic words” from various continuationists meant to affirm Trump’s divine endorsement. There are also quotes from non-Charisma types, James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Jr., and Robert Jeffress. To be honest, I wouldn’t desire to read a book or hear a “sermon” from any of the above because of their heretical “prosperity gospel” theology and/or their strong desire for a church-state symbiosis. The author also includes several color photos of Trump visiting pope Francis at the Vatican in May 2017 as further evidence of the president’s divine approbation. Oy vey!
Strang saves his coup de gras for the very end of the book. It seems a mysterious Catholic “holy man,” Thomas Zimmer, had prophesied back in the 1980s that playboy and cutthroat casino builder, Donald Trump, would improbably “lead America back to God.” American expatriate Zimmer had lived in Rome, Italy for two decades before moving to Loreto, Italy, home of the famous Santa Casa (“holy house”), in the 1990s. Strang writes approvingly that Zimmer, the “hermit of Loreto,” was “very devout,” attended mass multiple times each day, and co-authored the popular (among Catholics) Pieta prayer book. Zimmer returned to America in 2008 and died in 2009. His prophecy regarding Trump was made known to Catholic priest, Giacomo Capoverdi, who publicized the startling prediction. Since when do “evangelicals” refer to Catholic mystics for validation? Oh, yeah, ALL THE TIME these days.
Yes, I know from Scripture that the Lord raises up political leaders and removes them.
“He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings.” – Daniel 2:21
I also know we are to pray for our political leaders so that we may live peaceful lives so that the Gospel may go out unhindered.
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-4
But none of Strang’s claims convince me that the Lord has anointed Donald Trump, of all people, as the man who is going to “lead America back to Him.” For me, the claims had the exact opposite effect. Given their sources, all of these claims regarding Trump appear to me to be of a misguided or even of a diabolical nature.
For more information on the bogus “holy house” of Loreto, see the postscript below and my post from a couple of years ago, here.
For more on Catholic priest, Giacomo Capoverdi’s claims regarding the “hermit of Loreto’s” premonition regarding Donald Trump, see here.
Postscript: Catholic tradition states that angels carried the Santa Casa (“holy house”), alleged home of Joseph, Mary and Jesus, from Nazareth to Tersatto, Croatia, then to Recanati, Italy, and finally to Loreto. Modern Catholic revisionists understood the need for a more conventional explanation and concocted the story of a mysterious aristocratic family, the “Angelos,” sponsoring the relocation of the house from Palestine to Europe, which gradually gave rise to the popular myth of “angels” flying the house over the Mediterranean.