Mother Jones misunderstands, smears Evangelical Christians and President Donald Trump.

Evangelicals reject idea that there is magic formula to prompt Christ’s return.

This article from Mother Jones is idiocy. It alleges that Donald Trump is recklessly trying to usher in the eschaton. It belittles traditional Christian belief and practice. Plus, it mocks the faith of millions of evangelicals—faith that Jesus will literally return to earth. It is a train wreck.

First, the lamest of all allegations is that Donald Trump’s move against Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was reckless and had no ultimate geopolitical benefit other than, possibly, pleasing his evangelical base. According to Mother Jones, “On many levels, President Donald Trump’s self-created crisis in Iran seems to have no relationship to any sort of coherent foreign policy or geopolitical plan for the future.”

The US policy since the Islamic Revolution is to prevent Iran from becoming a regional hegemon. This is why the US armed Iraq and Saudi Arabia—to balance the threat from Tehran. Trump’s move against Soleimani was designed to further this general policy—prevent Iran from increasing its control of Iraq and related regions at the expense of US influence in the region.

Will it work? Time will tell. However, the entire Soleimani situation must at present be judged a win for Donald Trump.

But the lies and total mischaracterization of Evangelical Christians by the Mother Jones article is stunning. For example,

“Lured by the promise of conservative Supreme Court justices, anti-abortion measures, and a commitment to Christian supremacy under the guise of religious freedom, white evangelicals voted for Trump in higher numbers than any other group—more than 80 percent.”

Guise of religious freedom?

That’s what liberals think of Christians. That the freedom to practice our faith—as it has been understood for 2,000 years—is a ruse.

In other words, failure to comply with the demands of the progressive establishment is an attempt at Christian supremacy. It is a total misunderstanding of freedom and Christianity.

This is why scholars talk about a “God Gap” in politics. We’ve talked about this before in our profile of Viktor Orbán.  George R. Middleton writing in Providence explained,  “The ‘God gap’ references the conceptual gulf that opens up between a person—or nation—and their actions when we fail to account for the role religious belief plays in motivating their behavior.”

Add to that, the gap when someone totally misunderstands Christianity in general and Evangelical Christianity in particular. This Mother Jones article is a prime example.

There is an odd conflation of all evangelicals. For example, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who believes in a rapture, and Pat Robertson, a pastor described in the article as an “apocalyptic preacher” who does not believe in a Left Behind-style rapture. Robertson believes the church will be called up to meet Christ at the conclusion of the Tribulation.

These differences might not seem important to Mother Jones, but it is a significant difference to evangelicals.

The whole point of the article is to portray evangelical Christians as unbalanced and unfit for high political office. For example,

“André Gagné, a theology professor at Concordia University in Montreal, says the apocalyptic worldview is concerning at such high levels of power, because believers may be rather sanguine about the possibility that assassinating an Iranian general might spur an even bigger war or nuclear confrontation in the Middle East. ‘If it brings the end of the world, it brings the end of the world,’ Gagné says. ‘They’re ready. They can’t wait for the Rapture to happen. For them it’s the ultimate reunion with God.’”

Evangelical Christians may believe Christ will return sooner rather than later; however, it is a smear to claim that Evangelicals would approach nuclear war or any conflict in such a reckless way.

Yes, Evangelicals desire the Parousia. We yearn for Christ’s physical return to earth. It will usher in peace, justice and the end of our separation from God.

However, there is no specific, magic formula that must pass to prompt the return. This is a misunderstanding of dispensational eschatology. Christ’s return is always imminent. It is known only to God, and unfolds according to His Providence.

As one dispensational theologian explains,

“The gospel is to be preached in all the world; but had it been commanded to convert all nations the case would have been different. Every new generation extends the evangelizing effort which, of itself, knows no end. It will be terminated whenever the Lord returns, and, since there is no revealed goal to be reached, the termination by His return could be at any time and is therefore impending. The conclusive feature of this particular argument is the truth that the very men to whom it was disclosed that there would be times and events related to this age are the ones who in their writings declare that the return of Christ is imminent.”[1]

But, progressives must attack Trump and Trump’s enablers. In their warped view, evangelicals are the most dangerous enablers. So, we see comments like this:

“When Iran gets into the news, especially with anything to do with war, it’s sort of a prophetic dog whistle to evangelicals. They will support anything that seems to edge the world towards this conflagration,” she says. ‘They don’t necessarily want violence, but they’re eager for Christ to return and they think that this war with Iran and Israel has to happen for their larger hope to pass.’”

Prophetic dog whistle.

Good grief.

This is disgusting.

It is modern progressivism. They want to marginalize and destroy Evangelical Christianity.


[1] Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1993), 368.