Mr. Trump’s Damning Statements

Posted on April 27, 2016

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By David Ettinger

What He Said
trum 2On July 18, 2015, while speaking at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, presidential candidate Donald Trump was asked if he had ever sought God’s forgiveness. Mr. Trump replied, “I’m not sure I have ever asked God’s forgiveness. I don’t bring God into that picture.”

He added, “When I go to church and when I drink my little wine and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of forgiveness. I do that as often as I can because I feel cleansed. I say let’s go on and let’s make it right.”[1]

Six months later, during an interview with CNN, Mr. Trump was questioned about these remarks. His reply: “I like to be good. I don’t like to have to ask for forgiveness. And I am good. I don’t do a lot of things that are bad. I try to do nothing that is bad.”[2]

Politically, such statements have not hurt Mr. Trump’s quest for the White House. However, in the far more crucial realm of the soul and the life that follows this one, such statements are damning to the most tragic degree.

Where the Danger Lies
This post is neither political nor an indictment of Mr. Trump. Rather, my purpose is to examine his statements in light of God’s Word, and warn of the consequences if such deeply held beliefs are not repented of by not only Mr. Trump, but the multitudes who similarly hold to them.

prayingClearly, the most errant of Mr. Trump’s statements is, “I’m not sure I have ever asked God’s forgiveness.” The reason for this he says is that, “I like to be good. I don’t like to have to ask for forgiveness.” And this is where Mr. Trump and millions of others are missing the point. Theologically speaking, the word “forgiveness” has two connotations. The first is the practical act of apologizing to someone for a wrong action.

The second is acknowledging the spiritual condition of all human beings, as per Psalm 51:5: “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” There are no exceptions; Isaiah 53:6 teaches: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him [Jesus] the iniquity of us all” (italic added). Romans 3:23 declares, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Okay, you say, we are all sinners. What’s so bad about that? The answer is, “Plenty.” Romans 6:23 tells us that “the wages of sin is death.” Ezekiel 18:20 states: “The soul who sins shall die.” And Romans 5:12 asserts, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”

The term “death” in these instances does not refer to physical death, but to “spiritual death,” which is eternal separation from God in Hell (see Matthew 10:28; 25:46; Mark 9:43; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Jude 1:7; Revelation 21:8).

Another Deadly Misconception
communionMr. Trump doesn’t believe he needs to seek God’s forgiveness because of his own innate goodness: “And I am good. I don’t do a lot of things that are bad. I try to do nothing that is bad.” However, just in case Mr. Trump does slip up and do something bad, he – at least in his own mind – is covered: “When I go to church and when I drink my little wine and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of forgiveness. I do that as often as I can because I feel cleansed.”

What Mr. Trump is essentially advocating is self-justification through human works. In other words, Mr. Trump is saying: “Okay, God, I went a little bit too far and I need to say, ‘Oops, sorry.’ So, how about if I take communion? Will that do it? Is that be enough of an apology?”

Of course not. The Bible tells us that the works of man are insufficient for attaining God’s forgiveness for the soul. Ephesians 2:8-9 states: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast” (italics added). Mr. Trump can gorge himself on wine and crackers for the rest of his life, but it will move him not one iota closer to forgiveness, despite the fact, he says, that doing so helps him to feel “cleansed.”

bronze crossPerhaps the most damning of Mr. Trump’s beliefs is that he can make a deal with God as he does with other business mavens. This is reflected in his statement: “I say [to God] let’s go on and let’s make it right.” Sadly, Mr. Trump fails to realize that there is no bargaining with God; it is His way and no other. He will not yield to the dictates of puny humanity.

From Damnation to Salvation
And yet, there is good news, this being that Jesus Christ died on the cross for humanity’s sins and that anyone – Mr. Trump included – only need “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and [he or she] will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Mr. Trump is dynamic, charismatic, and of sound mind, but he is terribly mistaken, as his statements clearly indicate. Yet, wonderfully, Jesus stands near to Mr. Trump – and all who would hear His voice – and holds out the offer of salvation. Accepting the offer will turn Mr. Trump – and all others – from damnation to salvation. It’s not too late!   

 

[1] “Donald Trump: ‘I’m Not Sure If I Ever Asked God’s Forgiveness’”, by Ray Nothstine, The Christian Post, http://www.christianpost.com/news/donald-trump-im-not-sure-if-i-ever-asked-gods-forgiveness-141706/

[2] “Trump on God: ‘I Don’t Like to Have to Ask for Forgiveness’”, by Maxwell Tani, businessinser.com, http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-on-god-i-dont-like-to-have-to-ask-for-forgiveness-2016-1