By Dennis Nichols
There are times when you read an article, or listen to an announcement, and don’t know whether to respond to it with thoughtfulness, ridicule, or anger. Our local newspapers are filled with many such perplexing tidbits; similarly some ‘stories’ that come out of the media-crazy U.S.A. can range from the asinine to the apocalyptic, especially when sourced to self-proclaimed visionaries, or just plain wackos.
Here’s what I mean, and you can put whatever spin you want on it.
There are, in religious books, (especially in the Christian bible) numerous references to the sound of a trumpet, or trump. From Exodus to Revelation, the Bible speaks of the sound as a means of some kind of pronouncement or harbinger – from a call to assembly, to the imminent second coming of Jesus Christ. Now some people are finding cause for seeing, or hearing from God, that American presidential hopeful, Donald J. Trump is such a messenger, chosen by the Almighty to shake the American nation to its powerful, but contradictory core.
Now that Trump’s Republican nomination seems to be, for many, an almost foregone conclusion, a lightweight article I recently read has taken on added significance, although its author may be unknown to all but a few evangelical Christians. And the representation of the elephant as the Republican Party’s emblem, whose call is known as trumpeting, cannot be lost on those who consider symbolism and figurative language as part of the American political culture of satire and wit.
So, according to one Jeremiah Johnson, a church leader at the Heart of the Father Ministry in Florida, God spoke to him directly about The Donald, or maybe more appropriately, The Trump. This is what he said God told him. “Trump shall become my trumpet to the American people, for he possesses qualities that are even hard to find in My people these days … I am going to use him to expose darkness and perversion in America like never before, but you must understand that he is like a bull in a china closet.” (Like a bull … Would God use such a simile?)
“Many will want to throw him away because he will disturb their sense of peace and tranquility, but you must listen through the bantering to discover the truth that I will speak through him … You must listen to the trumpet very closely, for he will sound the alarm and many will be blessed because of his compassion and mercy. Though many see the outward pride and arrogance, I have given him the tender heart of a father that wants to lend a helping hand to the poor and the needy, to the foreigner and the stranger.”
Now as a relative unknown, his epiphany could be flippantly dismissed, but a number of internet websites and blogs suggest that Johnson is quite popular, and that some people actually consider there is merit in his prophecy, never mind that Trump’s ‘compassion and mercy’ and ‘tender heart of a father’ seem to have deserted him over the past few months.
In response to the article, and in endorsing its message, someone observed it was no coincidence that a man named Trump was running for office, implying again that he may have been God-chosen. Interestingly, and thought-provokingly, other American religious figures, from William Miller to Oral Roberts and Pat Robertson, have over the years made supposedly divinely-inspired, God-spoken revelations and predictions, few of which have come through.
Miller, a Baptist preacher, predicted the end of the world in 1843 and 1844. Its failure to materialize led to the ‘Great Disappointment’ of intense grief and weeping by his followers. Roberts’ vision was that a 900-foot Jesus told him, in 1977, to build a 60-story mega hospital that would merge medical technology with faith healing, and find a cure for cancer. Ten years later when the white elephant project had racked up a huge debt, he tearfully declared that the Lord told him that unless he raised $8,000,000 to pay it off, he would die. To avoid this tragedy, donors raised the cash, only to see the medical facility fold two years later.
For his part, media mogul/evangelist Pat Robertson has made numerous unfulfilled prophecies over the years including the end of the world in 1982, mass killings in the United States in 2007, and God’s revelation to him that Barack Obama would lose out in his 2012 re-election bid. He even expressly stated that God told him Mitt Romney would win and become a two-term president. Maybe Robertson was hoping to reinvent his own failed bid to become US president in 1988.
Now Mr. Johnson didn’t say God told him Trump was going to become president, although his vision may imply it; but neither does he deny the possibility. Maybe he just wants to protect himself from embarrassment in case the play doesn’t go according to the vision script. But the tone of his words appears genuine when he adds that some Christians will be ‘absolutely infuriated’ over the revelation, that the vision was given with fear and trembling, and that he would publicly repent to the body of Christ if what was prophesied does not come to pass.
During my childhood, and later during my journalism days at The Chronicle, I heard about, and interviewed, several local ‘prophets’ who predicted either a grand awakening or great doom for our country, and some are still at it today. I recall in the late nineteen-sixties a Jehovah’s Witness lady telling my sick mother that the world was going to end in 1973 or 1975. She was a very nice woman, and she would tell her of the beautiful new world that would soon be recreated. Whether my mother believed this or not, I couldn’t tell. She died in 1971.
Some prophesiers seem to be suffering from the psychological condition known as delusions of grandeur, including the belief that they have been divinely chosen as messengers of God, or that they themselves are God, Jesus, or some other deity. Three Americans, Jim Jones, David Koresh and Marshall Applewhite come to mind. And there are dozens more, including those who feel that this present generation (whatever that means) is witnessing the final days before Jesus’ return.
Jones, Koresh and Applewhite between them orchestrated the deaths of over one thousand of their followers in one-sided murder/suicide pacts after manipulating and exploiting their emotions and beliefs. This kind of ruse is also something politicians do this all the time. Right here in Guyana last year, and in the United States this year, the elections drama continues. The trumpeting of the Republican elephant and the braying of the Democratic donkey are both strident and persuasive, but the trumpeting has waxed louder, stronger and more threatening.
By the end of 2016 the United States could have its first female president or its first ‘wall- building’ leader. The world will be intently watching the result of the November 8th poll. Among those engaging in more apprehensive scrutiny would be the hundreds of thousands of Guyanese living in the United States, including of course, the so-called undocumented. Should ‘The Donald’ win, the sound of victory could become for them, the herald of doom; or at least the trumpet of deportation!
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