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cyrus

Trump as Cyrus? Really?

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I have been told by more than a few sincere Christian friends that the Lord has anointed Donald Trump to be the next president. And I have seen variations of it posted in cyberspace more times now than I can count. God, the gist of it goes, has chosen an admittedly very earthy, earthen vessel into which He has poured His grace. The result (see Isaiah 45:1,2) is a new Cyrus the Great, a man ordained in this hour to be a blessing to Israel, America and the Church while doubling as a “wrecking ball” to smash the “bronze gates” of the humanist/globalist/socialist juggernaut.

For some, it’s a genuine prophetic word—akin to Agabus’ message to Paul in Acts 21: 10,11—assembled together from multiple witnesses that range from Lance Wallnau’s nowmuch-known revelation on Isaiah 45 — to retired firefighter Mark Taylor’s vision in 2011.[1]

For others it’s more a product of piecing together information from a number of sources, including: American history; fiscal and cultural trends; presuppositions concerning end-time events and/or American exceptionalism; conspiracy theories; dislike for Hillary Clinton; appreciation of Trump’s non-PC persona and other aspects of his character and approach to trade, immigration, and foreign wars (among others); concerns about the direction of the Supreme Court for a generation to come; the lock the Democratic party will have on future elections as the third Clinton administration first grants illegal aliens worker status and then voting rights; increased susceptibility to Islamic terror…I can go on.

They see Trump as the best way to “make America great again”—or at least hold back the Orcs at Helm’s Deep—and therefore believe, or want to believe, He is God’s chosen vessel.

Anything else looks like a full-tilt boogie disaster and the potential end of America as we know it.

For me? Well, as a Christian with a “yuge” view of God, His power and sovereignty, I have no problem with the idea that the Lord can use any crooked stick He wants to strike a straight blow. The Bible is replete with examples of this, the aforementioned Cyrus being a prime example.

In fact, that is one of the characteristics I most admire and am awed by concerning God: that He can make even the wrath of man praise Him.(Psalm 76:10)

So any Christian who is certain that Trump’s many problems necessarily disqualify him from being the Lord’s instrument of blessing, does not know God’s ways or even history very well.[2]

I also have no problem theologically or experientially believing that God can give one of His children a dream, impression, vision or in some other way a inspired “word” that can address all manner of things, including future events.  It should be clear to a Biblically-literate person that these prophetic impressions can never be contrary to scripture and are never to be treated as inerrant—as a “Thus sayeth the Lord” utterance that is even remotely akin to the inspired words that make up the Bible. They need to be discerned, judged, and tested. But they certainly can be a prompting towards encouragement and direction and, as such, should not be despised. (1 Thess. 5:20).

I have experienced the blessing of these types of words first-hand. And have also been surprised by their power. My own salvation involved a person who received a supernatural glimpse into the hidden recesses of my soul. As another example, I remember a “prophecy” given by a little-known, now deceased, self-taught country teacher/preacher with a reputed gift for receiving prophetic impressions. I attended a conference in 1989 when after worship he got up and shared a bizarre word about some riots that were going to soon break out in Miami, Florida. It has nothing to do with anything about the conference, just a shot from deep right-field. I thought he was a bit of a loon at the time. And so did most everybody else…until it came true with startling specificity about a month later.

And history is replete with these types of divinely-inspired downloads that have inspired heroes of the faith esteemed even by Christians who are cessationists and don’t believe God can speak or direct apart from scripture.[3]

So as incredible as it will seem to most people, could Lance and Mark have a true word from God concerning Trump?

My answer is… I don’t know. I am open to it. While I’m far from a fan of Mr. Trump, a part of me would love for it to be true with Hillary Clinton waiting to step into the Oval Office if it’s not. (Literally, an involuntary shudder came over me as I typed those words.) And I find encouragement in that there are lots of other thoughtful, culturally engaged Christians that feel the same way.

But while I remain open, I’m also not going to lap water like a dog. (Judges 7:4-6) I’ve got my eyes up and on the horizon and am watching.

I hope you, Christian, are doing the same.

And there, on the horizon, I see a number of potential problems, or gut checks, that give me serious pause in regard to the “Trump as Cyrus” word.

  1. Modern prophetic words are often wrong. Because the anointing to channel scripture is gone and the canon is closed, there are no longer servants of God who are perfect amanuenses for the Holy Spirit. As a result, post-Apostolic-age, prophetic impressions are not inerrant. They can range from being right to varying degrees of wrong, including wildly so.

As someone who has been in and around the charismatic arm of the church for thirty-six years and has received his own fair-share of words, my impression is that only a small minority are spot on relative to the specificity that characterize Wallnau’s and Taylor’s revelations.  And, again from my experience, this susceptibility to be off is magnified when prophetic sensitivities enter the realm of politics.  If I had a nickel for every unfulfilled or flat-out wrong word I’ve heard about how so-and-so was called by God to be president, or governor or whatever—or how another so-and-so was going to spell the doom for America, or the GOP—or how this so-and-so was going to usher in, or even be, the Anti-Christ or would end up bringing in the New World Order—I could buy a Venti latte at Starbucks. Or two.

In addition, prophetic impressions are normally an amalgam of the Holy Spirit’s leading coupled with the conveyor’s personality, mood and presuppositions. A person, for example, who is dispensational and believes that the Great Tribulation is around the corner can take an authentic impression that God is doing a fresh work of converting and reviving souls and turn it into a “this is the last great outpouring before the Lord’s return to rapture His bride” type of word. I saw this happen repeatedly during the move of God in Pensacola, where I was living at the time. No one is exempt from this. And this is why prophetic words need to be carefully tested and why many of them, even when the impetus is the Holy Spirit, can be off.

From my cursory research, Wallnau, Taylor and many if not most of the people who are really in to the “Trump as Cyrus” word—or some permutation thereof—have been influenced by premillennial/apocalyptic as well as other eschatological and theological “flavors” that are not part of my particular worldview stew.

Now I’m not saying I’m right and they’re wrong about these things—though obviously that would be my leaning (otherwise I would believe the way they do, wouldn’t I?), only that it makes me question the precision of their supposed revelations.

These are things that reflective Christians should be aware of when discerning not just prophetic impressions but even Biblical teaching and preaching.

  1. Trump the man. God normally (I would say never, but it’s rarely good to say never when it comes to how God does things) doesn’t do a brain and personality transplant when He anoints someone for a task. He may resurrect them from the dead and turn the lights on (and it has been said that this may have recently happened to Trump. ) But if they were an introvert, or an extrovert, or right-brained, or an “N” on Myers & Briggs scale before they were met by and transformed by Jesus, they will pretty much retain the same wiring, albeit with a new mission, afterwards.

God, for example, used the Apostle Paul to do most of the theological heavy-lifting in the New Testament canon precisely because he was a very learned man in the scriptures even before He got zapped by the Lord on the road to Damascus. Paul may have never actually met Jesus before His death, resurrection and ascension. But a good number of other people did, including twelve disciples that essentially lived with, were discipled by, and listened to His teaching for three years. Yet the majority of them didn’t contribute a peep to the Bible. Why then Paul, who perhaps only met Jesus in a vision? (1 Cor. 15:3-10) Because He was anointed? Sure. But he also had the right stuff; the fissionable raw material that enabled him, with the Holy Spirit’s obvious help, to get his mind around the great truths to which the Old Testament was pointing.

Well, we don’t know a lot about Cyrus the Great. But from what we do know, toQuayleparaphrase Lloyd Bentsen’s response to Dan Quayle in the 1988 debate: “Mr. Trump, you’re no Cyrus.”

Consider:

Cyrus was already both a seasoned governor and a military leader, one who ruled Persia and conquered the Babylonian empire, before he became the deliverer (literally, “anointed one” or “messiah”) of the Jewish people.

Trump avoided the military and has had virtually no governmental experience.

Cyrus was a master of diplomacy and inclusion, able to gain respect and fealty from a diverse number of people groups with their disparate cultures and religions.

Donald Trump on the other hand…well not so much, to put it mildly.

From what we can tell, Cyrus was very wise in regards to his speech.

Trump has one of the worst cases of foot-in-mouth disease in American history.

Polls didn’t exist at the time, but if they did Cyrus would have a high approval rating across his vast empire.

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