anne mikolay 2018This morning, I saw something on the internet that prompted me to question the reasoning of the American people, an image so utterly preposterous I turned to snopes.com for explanation. Snopes confirmed the offending image, which drew a parallel between Jesus Christ and Donald J. Trump, was real.

In November, 2018, social media reported that a billboard equating Donald J. Trump with Jesus Christ had been erected in St. Louis, Missouri. The billboard featured President Trump’s likeness, coupled with the words “Make the Gospel Great Again” and “The Word Became Flesh…” The implication here is hard to miss. It’s also blasphemous.

Thankfully, after much backlash, DDI Media, the owners of the billboard, removed the advertisement paid for by the facebook group, MGGA (Make the Gospel Great Again). MGGA had also used the image in question as their facebook cover. Prompted by protests from “liberals and atheists” who allegedly “drowned out the voices of Christians in this country”, MGGA closed their facebook page, but denied equating President Trump with Christ, stating “we prayed that the facebook page would be a community for fellow Christians to be encouraged at what God is doing in the world and to find out how they could, like our president, be a part of being God’s presence in making America great.” Additionally, MGGA described its mission as follows: “We believe God has given American Christians His earthly messenger - Donald J. Trump. We follow his words in faith each day!”

You’re kidding me, right? How misguided can Christians be?

Let’s break this down. Despite MGGA’s denial, the billboard glaringly and daringly drew a parallel between Donald J. Trump and Jesus Christ. If that was not the intention, MGGA’s marketing team needs to rethink their strategy going forward.The message they shared on Interstate 170 in St. Louis County, Missouri, and daily on facebook, smacked of idolatry. The proof is in the first commandment: “I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me.” The billboard effectively elevated Trump to a divine status no human is worthy of. No human being is like Jesus Christ, and no one should make such a sacrilegious claim. No human is to be worshipped or revered or followed “in faith each day”.

Additionally, in restricting their mission to “make the gospel great again” to “American Christians,” MGGA is diametrically opposed to the all-inclusive teachings of Christ. An estimated 2.2 billion Christians live throughout the world. If I recall my catechism correctly, Jesus intended “the good news” for all who would open their hearts and receive it. He didn’t specify living in America as a requirement. And while we’re discussing God’s messengers on earth, let us consider the character of those God allegedly chooses to work through, including politicians and clerics, and let us bear in mind the dangers of blind worship and disregarding the fruits of the spirit.

The offensive electronic billboard, you may correctly point out, was taken down in 2018, and is old news, so why talk about it now? Because its point was made and still circulates on social media; its message is alive and well and dangerous. One too many people believe Donald J. Trump is God’s perfect messenger on earth. Like MGGA, one too many people, blindly “follow his words in faith every day”. There is only one individual we should unquestionably follow, and it’s not Donald Trump.

It is, of course, our constitutionally protected prerogative to support the political candidate of our choice and to express that support any way we see fit. It is also our responsibility, as Christians, to temper our free will with reason and respect.

Food for thought:

Matthew 7:16-17 “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.”

1 John 2:3-4: “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”