BY: Jonathan Asake.
I’ve been following with keen interest the on-going debates and apprehensions among Christians and non-Christians alike in and outside the social media, including this platform on the US Presidential candidature of the the Republican Party, Donald J. Trump and that of the Democrats, Hilary R. Clinton.
To these, there is a sharp dividing line. On the one hand, liberals, Hispanics, African-Americans and other minority groups are scared-stiff of a possible Trump Presidency. Painting him as a bully, racist and dictator who hates blacks, women, journalists, Muslims and other minorities, these opponents of Trump Presidential ambition also see him of grossly naive in the mechanism of governance and not sufficiently experienced politically. These are among several other factors which makes him, in their words ‘unfit’ to be President of the United States of America (POTUS).
Back here in Nigeria however, individuals and groups that claim support for either Trump or Clinton are sharply divide in fierce rivalry as if the the November 2016 American presidential elections will be conducted in Nigeria, or at worst, some Nigerian will be granted voting rights and ferried to the US to exercise the franchise on their preferred candidates.
As the contest hots up, those that have taken sides with either of the candidates have continued to debate, giving reasons for and against their support for the candidate of their choice..
One thing that is clear straight up is that one can easily discern the line of sentiments for the support by each side. For instance, those oposed to Trump are mostly Muslims, President Buhari’s followers and APC supporters. There of course a some non-muslims and non-APC/Buhari supporters who consider themselves as ‘liberal minded’, and will prefer to be seen and heard to be politically correct, are also opposed to Trump. The strong disapproval of Trump by this category of people may not be unconnected with his avowed stance against un-profiled admission of muslim migrants into the US by the Obama administration and his (Trump’s) resolve to halt their influx and deport illegal ones if ultimately elected POTUS.
On the other hand out there in the US, Most whites, conservatives and Evangelical Christians have thrown their weight behind Trump as they vehemently reject Hilary. They see him as a courageous leader who has no qualms speaking his mind out without pretence, fear or favour. This category of people see in Trump a fearless man who takes a sharp departure from the political correctness that has become the order of the day among most politicians in the US and around the world. There is a strong rejection of Obama’s administration and policies by this group who consider him as a stooge of the Arabs and the Islamic world, who’s policies and style of governance is interested only in the appeasement of of the Islamic world and in the promotion and protection of Islamism in America and the rest the world at large. This group’s rejection of Hilary’s Presidential ambition stems from the fact that she is seen as a lacky of President Obama, which implies that voting her in will mean simply an extention of the Obama administration and policies which they abhor totally.
The debate between the ‘Trumpers’ and ‘Clintoners’ is getting charged up by the day in Nigeria, rivalling the tempo in America. As a matter of fact, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and all other chat platforms and social media discussion, are saturated with TRUMP vs CLINTON debates. I know of not less tha four different Trump vs Clinton WhatsApp chat groups where supporters of both candidates slug it out. Many talented writers and public affairs commentators have also written articles public commentaries to make their preferences between the two candidates known. One of such is no other person than the cicero of our time, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, the former minister of Aviation and presidential sppokeman during the Olusegun Obasanjo presidency.
In one of his articles he revealed his preference for Trump when he quoted the following words by the Republican candidate thus: “The rise of ISIS is the direct result of policy decisions made by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. We cannot let this evil continue. We will defeat Islamic terrorism just like we’ve defeated every threat before”.
He ended his article by saying that ”How right he is. Let us hope that he wins because if he does the world will be a far safer and better place for believers”. This thinking is very popular among Nigerian Christians. Though most commentators are of the view that both Trump and Hilary are not known to be committed Christians and so the preference of Trump by Evangelical Christians is misplaced.
Chief FFK has raised a very crucial issue. The issue of the Christian faith of both candidates. I am a ‘Trumper’ (Trump supporter) too! Not because I think he is Christian or not, but because I find in him a man of courage who, in a politically correct world where nobody wants to speak against establishment, Trump will dare to speakit out. In a world where the persecution, dehumanisation and biased treatment against Christians is most rampant, Trump dare to call a spade by its stark name. At a time when in most countries of the world with a muslim majority continued to commit genocide against Christians and other minority, Trump dares to cry out for justice. In a America that was founded on acknowledgement of God and principles of Christianity, and morally bankrupt President Obama subtly implementing policies that seek to uproot Christianity and Ameraca’s cherishedbChristian heritage, it is only Donald J. Trump that dares to hit the nail, not only on the head but with his head by shouting foul!.
I can go on and on but let me turn to some of Trump’s critics. Many of them have continued to doubt his Christianity, haba! Whom among those is a better Christian? Who among those avowed critics and holier than thou incurables can ”cast the first stone’? Only God knows who his true followers are. Those criticising Trump’s.
To my mind even if Trump is not a church going christian, but openly talks about Christians and christianity in a world where many are either ashamed or afraid to do so, He deserves our prayers and support. After all, God can use anybody, Christian or not, born again or not to bring deliverance to his people. In fact there are Biblical passages replete with such stories of how God Used pagan rulers to save His people from destruction.
In the book of Isa’iah, God used a Persian King by the name of Cyrus for the good of the Jewish people, even though Cyrus was a “pagan” king. Just as Trump is being regarded as non-Christian by his detractors. How in the world could this possibly have happened?
From Biblical and ancient Near Eastern accounts, Cyrus (whose name was pronounced ko-resh in Hebrew) became king of Persia in 559 BC and conquered Babylon in 539 BC. He is mentioned in a majestic passage in Isaiah where the Lord says of Cyrus,
“‘He is my shepherd, and he shall fulfill all my purpose’; saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built,’ and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.'” (Isa 44:28).
By the foregoing passage, King Cyrus, a pagan king would be the one who would cause Jerusalem, the city of God’s people the Israelites, to be rebuilt after it had been destroyed decades earlier by the Babylonians.
But again, there’s more that Isaiah says about Cyrus as the prophecy continues into chapter 45:
“Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed: ‘I will go before you and level the exalted places, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may knowknow that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I name you, though you do not know me.'” (Isa 45:1-4)
Again, take a careful note of the beginning and the end of the passage above. First of all, Cyrus, a non-Israelite king, is referred to as God’s anointed, a term elsewhere only used for Israelite leaders. Second, Cyrus, although called by the God of Israel, doesn’t actually know the God of Israel just as. Instead, like the vast majority of people in the ancient world, he worshiped different deities in the form of idols. Replace Cyrus with Trump in the foregoing passages and you’ll no longer doubt the fact that God can use Trump just as he used Cyrus, to save Christians and other minority groups around the world from the ongoing persecutions and genocide by these barbaric Islamic Jihadists.
In fulfillment of this prophecy therefore, the Scriptures record how Cyrus made this decree to the Jewish people living in Babylon, where they had been taken in exile:
“Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The LORD [meaning Yahweh], the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the LORD [Yahweh] his God be with him. Let him go up.'” (2 Chr 36:23)
So, a pagan king Cyrus, encouraged the Jewish people to return to their homeland and rebuild their temple, also helping to finance the endeavor.
I wish to conclude by positing that yes, Donald Trump may not be the born again holy ghost filled, tongue speaking Christian that we so wish to have, he may just like king Cyrus not know the Lord in a real and personal way, but God can still use him to accomplish His purpose to restore the glory of christiandom. May God’s will be done.