Letter to the Editor
Australia's Christian Newspaper
responding to an article entitled:
"How Trump Divides Christians"
(It seems that in the on-line version of the article the title has mutated to "Apocalypse now: the rise of Trump." Yet the original title still remains on the hard copy and my unpublished letter is still relevant to the contents.)
How Katelyn Divides Christians
A Case Study in Trumpophobia
I was very sad to read the centerfold article in the March 2017 edition of Eternity (#78) by Katelyn Beaty entitled, “How Trump Divides Christians.”
It is Katelyn herself who seems to be unwittingly helping in dividing Christians, not the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.
In her first paragraph Katelyn writes, “…for much of America, November 9 started on an apocalyptic note… Trump…had won.” The adjective “apocalyptic” means, ‘predicting disaster; involving destruction.’
Yes, there were many who feel that way, including the rich Hollywood left elites (who can’t stick to what they are good at), the biased progressive news media (who have deserved the name ‘Fake News’), establishment globalist Republicans (who have earned the nickname RINOs - Republicans In Name Only), illegal aliens (euphemistically called ‘undocumented immigrants’) and of course a devastated party of Democrats and their supporters. Donald J. Trump’s election was “apocalyptic” to them and the Alinsky-ite socialist agenda.
Writing as she does, Katelyn conveniently ignores the great mass of middle-America - the working class, the ‘rust-belt,’ the sick and tired – all who voted for Trump, not to mention the many Democrats who changed sides. She ignores the fact that it was Hillary who was on course to continue Obama’s legacy of dividing America.
Kate’s article is not a well-thought out, even-handed, reasoned piece of writing which one would expect from a seasoned journalist. It’s more like a piece of visceral venting from someone stricken with a bad case of Trumpophobia.
Writing like this is divisive, worthy perhaps of a left-wing secular newspaper; but not worthy of a Christian publication. A Christian readership expects a higher standard than that.
Divisive & Misleading
Katelyn continues her bias in the second paragraph: “Hillary Clinton…had decades of political experience...”
Not so fast Katelyn. Hillary had experience in doing next to nothing as both a state senator for eight years and Secretary of State for another four.
Katelyn also fails to mention Hillary’s inveterate corruption, her litany of lies to the American people (as per the testimony of James Comey, Director of the F.B.I.), and her inability to take classified government documents seriously. She routinely had her housemaid Marina Santos, who had no security clearance, print out classified materials in her home. Unbelievable!
But all this goes without mention in Katelyn’s one-sided divisive article.
Uniter, Not a Divider
The Christian church today has been divided and fragmented for years. Even those who call themselves evangelicals are anything but monolithic in their opinions on a wide range of theological and social issues. To unite 81% of them on any issue is quite amazing – some would say, nothing short of miraculous.
‘Kate’ refers to ‘white evangelicals’ – why play the race card? If African-Americans had voted in the November election the way they voted in the election before, Hillary would have won the Electoral College vote and would be president now. But they didn’t; they voted for Trump, who also received much more of both the Hispanic and female demographic vote which put him in office.
President Trump is a uniter, not a divider. I think Katelyn is confusing Trump with Obama. It was eight years of Obama that left a weaker and more divided America, and Pew Research shows that 86% of Americans agree.
In contrast, the latest polls show that Trump is slowly uniting Americans as they see more of the man who unlike established politicians - and the left-wing media’s portrayal of him - is true to his word, is keeping his promises and is looking out for those whose voice couldn’t before be heard.
This unifying trend also pertains to the Christian demographic. As President Trump pivots and becomes more presidential Christians are slowly pivoting with him.
The Cure For Trumpophobia
So Katelyn is demonstrably wrong when she concludes her article with these misinformed words: “Trump is already dividing the United States, turning family member against family member citizen against citizen.”
I recommend Kate should take a good dose of Philippians 4:8 each morning and evening, not forgetting the wonderful Psalm 133. Also, read the first six chapters of Ezra, and here’s why.
Why Read Ezra 1-6?
Perhaps God has raised up President Trump like He did King Cyrus of Persia in 537 B.C. to release His people from 70 years of tyranny and oppression in Babylon.
Many Christians have long been praying for a similar paradigm shift in the way America is going.
Whatever you think of the President, no one could say he is worse than Cyrus who wasn’t a Believer - as far as we know - and certainly wasn’t in Covenant relationship with God.
But he said some really nice things about God, and was very kind to God’s people. Maybe the 81% you refer to see this new President as kind of like Cyrus. God certainly seems to be using him in a similar way.
I hope this helps Katelyn. And let’s remember that God is in total control of this world and is bringing His-story to its appointed end - for His people’s good and for His glory.
Out of the Mouths of Babes
“Do you hear what these children are saying?”
I have never forgotten a lesson I had many decades ago as a student at Newcastle Art School, training to become a fine arts high school teacher. My lecturer Peter Singleton gave a memorable painting lesson on the use of color theory.
“Look at this painting,” he demanded, as he held up a medium-sized acrylic before the class. “Look at the hues; this is a perfect use of complementary colour. It’s brilliant,” he exclaimed. I looked closely at the vibrant pink contrasting perfectly with the Phthalo Green in a pleasant semi-representational painting. “Yea, I see what he means,” I thought.
“This painting was done by a three-year old,” he continued addressing the class, “Why can’t you do that?” Without pausing for a reply, he added, “because you have lost that intuitive sense of colour that you had as a child. My job is to take you back to what you once knew and have since forgotten.”
Their Native Ability
A similar incident occurred a short time later when, as a member of a church music group, I thought I was in need of singing lessons. I rode my little Honda 50 Step-Through up from WoyWoy to Gosford for my first lesson. No sooner had I screeched out some sounds that the teacher stopped me and introduced me to my diaphragm. I had no idea I had one of those, let alone use it. Upon further investigation I found that the diaphragm is a muscle that separates the abdominal cavity from the thoracic cavity and is used for controlled breathing. “Oh!”
My singing teacher’s focus in my historic first lesson was upon this organ. He informed me that I used my diaphragm perfectly when I was an infant, but no more. I wondered how he knew all this, having never met me before.
He informed me that young children use their diaphragm perfectly without thinking about it, but as they get older, the forces of their environment corrupt their native ability. “Have you ever wondered why infants can cry their lungs out for hours on end and never go hoarse? He asked. “Mmmm! Rings true,” I thought.
Their Natural Intuition
Developmental science has discovered that infants and young children are not the irrational, self-centered creatures parents and scientists once thought them to be.
These days, psychologists tell us that children often have a natural intuition about many things that parents and teachers should try to keep. Catherine Crawford, an American registered family therapist, writes that if a child's intuition is ruined because of the fear of looking foolish or of the judgment of others it can cause this inner compass to break down.
Alison Gopnik, an American developmental psychologist, believes that children of very early ages are more conscious than we are as adults. She sites research that shows that four-year olds can unconsciously do complicated calculations to get to an hypothesis or view about the world that would seem unlikely even to adults.
Their Sense of the Divine
Another instance of a child’s natural intuition (that is, besides the colour theory example mentioned earlier) comes from secular science. Recent research informs us that children have a sense of a divine designer from an early age, and this pertains irrespective of whether they are raised as Christians or atheists.
Alison Gopnik, who is also a psychology professor at UC Berkley, documents this: “by elementary-school age, children start to invoke an ultimate God-like designer to explain the complexity of the world around them—even children brought up as atheists.”
Dr. Gopnik is no friend of Christian education or the thought that there is an intelligent Mind behind the universe, so she advocates the early introduction of children’s books teaching about Darwinian evolution to smother this dangerous intuitive idea of a divine Designer in their young minds. The natural consciousness of the divine must be opposed, suppressed, repressed, or beaten out of us by doses of Darwinism.
But the amazing thing I find in all this is that she shows there are studies in secular science that bear witness to a natural and universal intuition in young children to the existence of a designer-God.
Of course Christian theologians have known about this intuition all along – some have called it the sensus divinitatis (the sense of God), the imago dei (the image of God) in us, or simply ‘a point of contact.’ This is innate to humans, and we have every reason to believe that God put it there to help us seek him out, to capitalize on it and nurture it, and not have it beaten out of us by some Dawkinian pedagogue.
So secular science now agrees: children are hard wired to see life as reflecting intelligent design - bearing witness to the Creator.
I am on the side of the children rather than the professors of secular academia. Remember it was a child who was honest enough and spirited enough to admit, “the emperor has no clothes” to the shock and embarrassment of the adults ‘round abouts. It was the street urchins of Jerusalem, who recognized Jesus for who He really was and had the insight to exclaim as Jesus came by, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” to the consternation of the Chief Priests and Scribes, who asked in horror, “Do You hear what these children are saying?”
Do Not Hinder Them
And what was Jesus’ reply? He answered, “Yes; haven’t you read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise for Yourself’?” (Matthew 21:16). The children had insight into who Jesus was. Jesus points out that the words they proclaimed were in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesy from a Messianic Psalm (8:2).
Interestingly, the original reference is to Jehovah, yet Jesus allows the children to apply it to Himself. This is one of many instances in the New Testament where descriptions given only of Jehovah in the Old Testament are applied directly to Jesus in the New, and He accepts their praise without reservation as an attestation to His Deity and equality with the Father.
Jesus said in Mark 10:14, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
Let’s listen to our children, nurture the God-given intuitions they have of Him and encourage their awareness of the testimony that His creation bears to Him.
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