I’m no fan of Trump or his team of evangelical advisers. I’m no fan of Hillary Clinton, for that matter (which needs to be said since it seems her name still persists in the media as a Trump adversary for some reason). If you ask me, they’re all liars who don’t bear the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). I’m also no fan of Newsweek.
I praise the Lord any time an unbeliever quotes scripture. They usually mean harm by doing so, but God has a way of using the evil intentions of men and the devil for His greater good. We can learn much even when Satan himself quotes scripture, as in the following passage from the book of Matthew.
“And [Satan] saith unto [Jesus], If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone” (Mat 4:6).
Here, Satan quotes Psalm 91:11-12, challenging Jesus to prove His faith by jumping off the highest point of the temple, ignorant of how scripture also teaches believers not to challenge God and test His promises of protection.
“Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Mat 4:7).
Jesus used Deuteronomy 6:16 to point out the devil’s error, taking advantage of the opportunity unintentionally given by Satan to edify the believers who read of this account.
As in everything else Jesus did, here He provides a perfect example for His disciples to follow.
In this case, we have a Newsweek cover story quoting the latter part of John 8:44 in order to paint Trump as the Prince of Lies, which is an (unbiblical) epithet for Satan (he’s called the “father of lies” and the “prince of the power of the air,” but not the “prince of lies”). Anyway, here’s what Newsweek quotes:
“When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (Jhn 8:44b NIV).
It’s a bit goofy, first of all, to conflate the man Trump with Satan, who is not a man. It gets goofier at the end of the article when the author implies that Trump just may be the Antichrist, who is not Satan but a man who will exalt himself and pretend to be God, sitting in the temple of God. Which is it, Newsweek? Is Trump Satan (the father of lies), or the Antichrist (the man who will exalt himself as a false Christ), or just a big fat liar? Those are three distinct and mutually exclusive choices.
On the subject of lies, here’s an easy lie to point out from the article. Ralph Drollinger, the pastor who conducts Bible studies in the West Wing for Pence and friends, has written, “Jesus was only a role model to emulate.” Note the word “only.” In his defense, Drollinger says he wrote that statement not about his own beliefs but in criticizing theological liberals, and Newsweek deliberately took it out of context to make it sound as if Drollinger himself has a low view of Christ and discipleship. For Newsweek to mischaracterize the stated beliefs of a pastor constitutes libel. Who’s the liar now, Newsweek?
In another shameless effort to smear Christian believers in this article, Newsweek cites a study from the Center for Inquiry as if it were just an unbiased statistical research group and not a secular humanist organization opposed to Christianity. From their about page: “Our Mission: The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.” CFI merged with the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science in 2016, if you needed more evidence.
Then the article goes straight at attacking the Bible: “America’s white Protestant fundamentalist Christians are dwindling like the dinosaurs God put on Earth alongside humans 6,000 years ago before he mysteriously decided to take them away. (And who cut them out of Genesis?)”
This random disparaging remark doesn’t deserve a response, but I’ll give one anyway.
The word “dinosaur” was coined by a paleontologist in 1841 to describe the “terrible lizards” that used to roam the earth. To ask “who cut them out of Genesis” is to fundamentally misunderstand (or again deliberately mischaracterize) how the Bible and real science (read: not scientism) interact without conflict.
“And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so” (Gen 1:24).
If you demand that the Bible mentions dinosaurs by name, since they’ve become so important to the evolutionary narrative wholly adopted as truth by humanists today, then you’re beyond appeals to reason.
Let’s revisit the biblical passage about the “father of lies” that frames the Newsweek article, but this time, let’s quote it in its entirety (and from the KJV):
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (Jhn 8:44).
Jesus is rebuking unbelievers, who can’t understand the truth because they don’t believe in the truth – Jesus Christ – but instead believe the lies of their father the devil. The scope of these lies is wide-ranging, and the consequences are deadly.
I believe God is using liars like Trump and Newsweek both to bring the Bible front and center, to bring faith to those with ears to hear and hearts to understand, and to give believers correction and instruction in righteousness.