Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller. He is the author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, and Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith.

10 Things Donald Trump Might Not Realize About Becoming “Born-Again”

Donald Trump is a born again Christian– or so they say. And by they, I mean Focus on the Family’s Dr. James Dobson, who recently claimed that he had first-hand knowledge that Trump recently accepted Christ and that he was now a “baby Christian” in need of our prayers.

Of course, this demonstrates the amazing timing of the Holy Spirit and the wondrous ways in which God works. I mean, to become a born-again Christian right at the very moment when one needs the vote of the born-again Christian voting bloc? God certainly is mysterious!

Since folks like James Dobson are exhorting Christians such as myself to come around to Trump and begin to help, guide, and shape this “baby Christian”, I’ll do just that– because I happen to know a thing or two about being born-again. In fact, as a kid I was so scared of going to hell that I got reborn around 800 times before my 16th birthday.

As an adult with 8 years of seminary study behind me, and many years of being a Christian, I now see the idea of being born-again with more complexity than Trump may see at the moment. So, I’d love to help him understand what he’s committing to. Here are 10 things that Donald Trump probably doesn’t know about being born-again:

10. Your life should demonstrate a “before” and “after” that contrast each other.

At the heart of it all, it’s really this basic: being born again means something big in your life has changed, and that you’ve turned toward God. It is completely impossible to experience this and not live differently. If Donald Trump is truly born-again, the Trump of today will stand in strong contrast to the Trump of yesterday, because the former will be a “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17).

9. Being born-again requires repentance and asking for forgiveness.

There’s certainly no way around this one that I’m aware: becoming born-again involves an element of being forgiven for our sins, and that means we have to be honest they exist and ask for forgiveness (1 John 1:9). However, Donald Trump has been rather forthright that he doesn’t believe he needs God’s forgiveness– so if he’s truly born-again now, we’ll see a far different stance on this than the old Donald had.

8. Becoming born-again is next to impossible if you’re rich, according to Jesus himself.

Honestly, I’m not sure how the Don got past this one, but Jesus said it was pretty much impossible for a rich person to become born-again. He famously said that it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 9:24).

Many errantly teach that by needle, Jesus meant a gate where camels really struggled to pass and had to get on their bellies to do so, but there is no historical evidence that any such gate existed in first century Jerusalem. This interpretation is repeated because we are taught it, not because it is true or warranted.

Instead, it is far more likely Jesus was using an exaggerated metaphor. It is not possible for a camel to go through an eye of a needle, and it seems quite likely that Jesus believed the same thing about rich people and becoming born-again.

7. Being born-again means you’re dedicated to modeling your life after the example of Jesus.

The Bible says the ultimate proof that one is born-again is that they begin doing the things that Jesus did, and begin using the life of Jesus as the ultimate model for how we should live and love others (1 John 2:6). If Trump is truly born-again, we should expect to see him begin acting like Jesus, saying things like Jesus said, and loving people the way Jesus did.

6. Being born-again means you welcome immigrants.

In Matthew 25 Jesus warns that there will be many Christians who will face God’s judgment on the last day, and that they will be surprised when this happens. The reason Jesus gives is that they did not welcome immigrants, or care for the poor, among other neglected actions (Matthew 25:43). Thus, according to Jesus, if one does not welcome immigrants and care for the other oppressed groups mentioned in this passage, one is not truly born-again.

So will Donald Trump radically change his immigration stance? Will he nix plans for the wall? That’ll be a test to see if he’s really born-again.

5. Being born-again means one actively uses his or her resources to serve the poor and hungry.

Caring for the poor was important to Jesus– so important that he said Christians who don’t do this will face God’s wrath on judgment day, a fate for some Christians that Jesus describes as “eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46). Thus, those who are truly born again-refrain from oppressing the poor and instead care for them, and advocate for them. In fact, later in the New Testament it’s argued that if one does not do this, the love of God is not in them (1 John 3:17).

Born-again? Great– we’ll soon see Trump busy caring and advocating for poor people.

4. Being born-again means you radically love your enemies.

In Matthew 5 Jesus says those who actually follow him are committed to nonviolent enemy love (v38-48). He even goes as far as to say that nonviolent enemy love is a requirement of being considered God’s children (v45) and that God’s Kingdom itself is nonviolent (John 18:36). He explains further in Luke that we are to live this way so as to mimic God, who Jesus claims is “kind to the wicked” (Luke 6:35). Thus, it is impossible to be born-again and not advocate that we love our enemies.

So, will Donald Trump reverse his positions on war, and torturing our enemies? Will he begin teaching Americans that we should find ways to love our enemies? Will he begin responding to his political enemies with love and kindness? If the answer is “no” than he wasn’t actually born again.

3. Being born-again means one rejects all forms of greed.

Greed is a desire for having more than one actually needs, and is one of the most frequently condemned sins throughout the Bible. In fact, Paul argues that it is impossible for greedy people (those who take more resources than what they actually need) to become born-again (1 Cor 6:10) or inherit God’s Kingdom. Thus, those who have been truly born-again carefully monitor themselves to refrain from hoarding wealth, or using/consuming more resources than what they actually need.

If Trump is born-again, we’ll expect to see him begin to give away much of his wealth to those who have less, and will see a Trump who lives far more simply and modestly.

2. Being born-again is evidenced by a deep humility that considers others more important than one’s self.

It is impossible to become born-again and not be humble. Paul says that salvation is not by works specifically so that no one can boast about it (Eph 2:9). He goes on to say we must be “completely humble and gentle” (Eph 4:3) and that our humility should be the kind where we view others as being greater and more important than ourselves (Phil 2:3). Furthermore, James argues that the mark of true wisdom is that one lives a life of good deeds, done in humility (James 3:13).

So is Donald Trump born again? If he is, you’ll see a drastic change in how he talks about himself in the coming days.

1. Being born-again means one rejects the need for political power.

Being born again is at the core, the beginning of a journey to be like Jesus. And what was the first test Jesus faced? The first test for Jesus was being tempted by Satan in the wilderness.

What did Satan offer him?

Political power, that’s what. (Matthew 4:8-8)

Turns out, the thing Donald Trump is trying to sell Christians in exchange for their vote, is the very thing Jesus rejected. This is an indictment against both the seller and the buyer– because the example of Christ is to reject this quest for the illusion of power.

So, did Donald Trump really become born-again, as James Dobson is claiming?

If he did, you’re going to see a radically different Donald Trump in the coming days; one that would be hardly recognizable, other than the hair of course.

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Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and earned his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller.

He is the author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, and Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus.

It's not the end of the world, but it's pretty #@&% close. Trump's America & Franklin Graham's Christianity must be resisted.

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It's not the end of the world, but it's pretty #@&% close. Trump's America & Franklin Graham's Christianity must be resisted.

Join the resistance: Subscribe for posts and updates from BLC!

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Post Comments:

  • Nice try taking the scriptures out of context. Especially about letting in immigrants and not protecting our borders. God also gave us a brain that somehow those voting for Hillary don’t use. Whether Trump is truly a Christian is irrelevant. At least he has the best interest for the country at heart. Yes, he is far from perfect. Whoever did this article doesn’t understand being born again either. By these standards we are all doomed.

  • I think a good follow-up question to this is, why do we care if he is born again? Not sarcastically, but as a real question. Why are we asking?

    If we’re asking so that we can know whether to support him in his walk with the Lord, then we need to be doing that already, regardless of how far he is on that walk. He has our love and our prayers.

    If we’re asking so that we know whether he is the proper “Christian candidate” to support, then there are two possibilities and either one should rule him out: Either he is not born again and just lying to secure the Christian vote, or he is a very high-profile new believer whose hateful rhetoric does nothing to lose *his* salvation through Christ, but risks tarnishing the image of all believers and preventing non-believers from ever receiving the gospel.

    Non-believers will see the distasteful traits that Benjamin has pointed out in this piece and expect that these are the fruits of the spirit.

    I will love Donald and pray for him. I will vote for Hillary.

  • I don’t agree with Mr. Corey’s assessment, a degree in theology sometimes makes a person an expert at his own opinions. One thing I know is
    God doesn’t always call the qualified, He often qualifies the called..He can use a willing vessel.

  • Coming into this comment box as late as it is— it probably matters little what I post— but here goes:
    First off: Until I hear Mr. Trump himself say that he has been saved by believing the gospel [and the true gospel in I Cor. 15:3] I won’t be impressed by this article or what
    Dr. Dobson actually said/didn’t say!
    Second off: Benjamin Corey may have credentials I will never have; but he is so far off
    of rightly dividing the bible I don’t have any idea where he will land— to put it mildly as possible. His piece is a fine example of mixing Law and Grace, Israel and the Body of Christ and serving a stew of confusion.
    {Edited} And third: I won’t vote for the Dems but I supported Carson and strongly condemn the verbal tactics Mr. Trump used to denigrate his opponents in the campaign.

  • This is a very good list. And it proves that born again Christianity in the US is nothing other than a charlatan’s game.

  • Despite all Donald’s `courting’ of the far right, I really don’t believe him. I think many of the leading evangelicals could be quite dangerous and POSSIBLY – just possibly – Mr. Trump & his entourage know it. I have my doubts whether this will make a good, solid `marriage’.

  • This is a good list. My Conservative Christian family supports Trump, but one of them posted these verses next to a pro-Trump post on Facebook the other day:

    2 Timothy 3 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—”

    Am I the only one who thinks the vast majority of these descriptions are perfect for Donald Trump?

  • First, I must say, that I am not a fan of any of the candidates running for president, and sad that it has come to point that people vote for the one the find less offensive, instead of the one we feel would be most qualified.
    Excuse me, Mr. Corey, but you left a few things out of our bio, and really need to add “religious, arrogant, judgmental, prick.”
    How dare you sit, and pass judgment on the spirit of a man, validate, or in validate a man’s encounter with God.
    By doing so, and by your own judgmental, Pharisaic attitude towards who is, or who is not, you bring that same judgment upon your self.
    My God, I am so glad that you are neither God, nor our savior Jesus Christ, because the only ones that would enter in, would be similar arrogant religious terrorists like yourself, and Mr. Wilson.

    You say, “Being born-again means one rejects the need for political power.”
    However, you over look the fact that in the Old Testament, as the favor of God moved upon the lives of men, it placed them in leadership positions.
    You also over look the fact that in Matthew 25, “The Parable Of The Talents,” it was the two that found favor with their master that were made “rulers over many things.” One translation even says “rulers over many cities.”
    In truth, political leadership is a ministry in it’s self, and a high calling. In 1 Timothy Paul reminds us to pray for those in authority.

    You mention these verses, “(Eph 2:9). He goes on to say we must be “completely humble and gentle” (Eph 4:3) and that our humility should be the kind where we view others as being greater and more important than ourselves (Phil 2:3). Furthermore, James argues that the mark of true wisdom is that one lives a life of good deeds, done in humility (James 3:13).” However, then you piss all over them, by doing what they say not to do.

    Now, about some of your terminology. There is a difference between salvation, and being “born again.” Being “saved” is a condition of the spirit, that was done an completed through the work of Christ on the cross. Which “It is finished.” God was in Christ, not counting their sins against them, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” That is a done deal, whether you like it or not. The resurrection of Christ was dependent upon Jesus paying the price for all sin. Had the debt of all sin not been paid through Christ, he would never have been resurrected. By claiming that Christ did not destroy the works of the devil, or conquer death, hell and the grave is to say Christ failed in his assignment and was not “made sin” and that we were not “made the righteousness of God.”
    That, sir, is a bigger anti-Christ than any of you idiots can dream up, rising from the middle east, with mermaids, sea monsters, and whores riding jungle cats.

    John 3, speaks to “being born again,” and it has nothing to do with salvation. In vs 2, Nicodemus is asking Jesus how he does the miracles that Jesus does, and Jesus answers “Unless a man is born again, he can not enter into the kingdom of God.”
    “Dynatai idein tēn basileian tou Theou” in the Greek translates to the way God does things, Not the place where God lives (the kingdom of heaven.”
    As a ruler of the synagogue, (another position of leadership) Nic was not concerned with salvation. He was good. He came to ask Jesus how he did the things he did, and Jesus answered, telling him that he “must be born again to enter into the Kingdom of God.” That he must change his way of thinking to do the things Jesus did. Heal the sick, raise the dead, and tell man that God is not pissed off at them, and does not hold sin against them.

    Your teaching an anti-Christ, hell and fear based doctrine, and you think you’ve cornered the market, being a broker of God’s love, grace and mercy. However, are you really are is a pharisee, a religious prick, with a gospel of hell, not the good news of Jesus Christ. Your one bomb away from being just like ISIS.

  • Oh yeah, Benjamin at his best, the take no theological prisoners Benjamin I love so much. You go Ben.

  • I live in Pittsburgh Pa. ALL of the “Born Agains” I met for 40 years met in any way of the 10 characteristic Mr Corey listed in any way

  • If Donald Trump has made a decision to follow Jesus, well then praise God for that! He needs our prayers. But that doesn’t mean I want him in the White House.

  • As most of you know, I´m no supporter of Trump, but, if he does happen to become the next president, how are we to understand the following in light of that truth:

    “The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.”

    Daniel 4:17

  • All of this is moot. Jesus also said, “render under Caesar’s what is Caesar’s” To me, this means that of course politicians say this crap. They (the government, Babylon, Politicians, Hillary, The Donald, etc.) have NOTHING to do with God. They all say whatever is necessary, whenever it is necessary. By playing this game of being “born again”, Trump shows how good at this he is. The more weasel-y the person, the better politician. I have this super cynical notion that precisely BECAUSE Trump is a D-Bag, he will make an excellent president in these days and times. It’s a shame, but I have this “well, it would be that way wouldn’t it?” kind of attitude about it. Forgive me.

  • You could switch “Donald Trump” for “Hillary Clinton” and it would be every bit as apropos. So what are we left with? She refers to herself as a “Methodist”, right?

  • Mr. Corey, your reference to the camel and the eye of the needle is miss-typed It should be Matthew 19:24. But what I wanted to say is that every one who quotes this verse as saying it is impossible for the wealthy to be saved seem to ignore the following two verses.

    “When the disciples heard, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?’ And looking at them, Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'”

    With God, even the rich can be saved..

  • Reject greed, love your enemies, and care for the poor? Does anyone in the U.S. qualify? Certainly no Republican. This is insane. I guess you’re just being polite. How can you credit, even provisionally, anything either Donald Trump or James Dobson says about anything at all, full stop?

    • Is there any soul in and of this evil world and/or religion’s way that qualifies? (John 7:7, I John 2:15-17; 5:19, James 4:4: 1:27)

      “Come out of her(babel/con-fusion/babylonworldreligion), MY people”! (Revelations 18:4)

  • The Messiah loved the worldly and religious ones enough to tell them The TRUTH concerning what and who they were, even though He knew they wanted to kill Him! (Matthew 23)

  • TRUTH IS! “The WHOLE world(not just a portion) IS under the control of the evil one”!(I John 5:19)

    And “whoever would be a friend of this world is the enemy of Our FATHER and GOD”! James 4:4)

    And there IS Only One “Pure Religion and Undefiled”! (James 1:27)

    “Come out of her(babel/con-fusion/babylonworldreligion), MY people”! (Rev 18:4)

  • Benjamin:
    4. Being born-again means you radically love your enemies.
    In Matthew 5 Jesus says those who actually follow him are committed to nonviolent enemy love (v38-48). He even goes as far as to say that nonviolent enemy love is a requirement of being considered God’s children (v45) and that God’s Kingdom itself is nonviolent (John 18:36). He explains further in Luke that we are to live this way so as to mimic God, who Jesus claims is “kind to the wicked” (Luke 6:35). Thus, it is impossible to be born-again and not advocate that we love our enemies.
    So, will Donald Trump reverse his positions on war, and torturing our enemies? Will he begin teaching Americans that we should find ways to love our enemies? Will he begin responding to his political enemies with love and kindness? If the answer is “no” than he wasn’t actually born again.

    Ronny to Benjamin:
    I just saw Trump this morning, talking on a news program. Seems he still thinks water boarding torture, is still a great thing and something to use, against an enemy.

  • Hard to believe Trump is a candidate for the presidency.

    Has anyone mentioned this to show how reactionary he is without regard for facts where he supported the death penalty for 5 children EVEN AFTER they had been exonerated.

    Central Park jogger case

    The Central Park jogger case concerned the assault, rape, and sodomy of Trisha Meili, a female jogger, and attacks on others in New York City’s Central Park, on April 19, 1989. The attack on the female jogger left her in a coma for 12 days. Meili was a 28-year-old investment banker at the time. The attacks were, according to The New York Times, “one of the most widely publicized crimes of the 1980s.”[1]

    Five juvenile males—four black and one of Hispanic descent—were tried, variously, for assault, robbery, riot, rape, sexual abuse, and attempted murder. They were convicted of most charges by juries in two separate trials in 1990, and received sentences ranging from five to 15 years. Four of the convictions were appealed; they were affirmed by appellate courts. The defendants spent between six and 13 years in prison.

    In 2002, Matias Reyes, a Hispanic male who had been a juvenile at the time of the attack, confessed to raping the jogger, and DNA evidence confirmed his involvement in Meili’s rape. He also said he committed the rape alone. Reyes at the time of his confession was a convicted serial rapist and murderer, serving a life sentence. He was not prosecuted for raping Meili, because the statute of limitations had passed by the time Reyes confessed. District Attorney Robert Morgenthau suggested to the court that their convictions related to the assault and rape of Meili and the attacks on others to which they had confessed be vacated (a legal position in which the parties are treated as though no trial has taken place) and withdrew the charges. Their convictions were vacated in 2002.

    The five who had been convicted sued New York City in 2003 for malicious prosecution, racial discrimination, and emotional distress. The city refused to settle the suits for a decade under then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, because the city’s lawyers felt they would win. However, after Bill de Blasio became mayor and supported the settlement, the city settled the case for $41 million in 2014. As of December 2014, the five men were pursuing an additional $52 million in damages from New York State in the New York Court of Claims.

    Advertisement from Donald Trump[edit]
    On May 1, 1989, Donald Trump took out full-page advertisements in all four major New York newspapers calling for the return of the death penalty. Trump said he wanted the criminals of every age who were accused of beating and raping a jogger in Central Park 12 days earlier to be afraid.[81] The advertisement, which cost an estimated $85,000[81] said, in part, “Mayor [Ed] Koch has stated that hate and rancor should be removed from our hearts. I do not think so. I want to hate these muggers and murderers. They should be forced to suffer … Yes, Mayor Koch, I want to hate these murderers and I always will. … How can our great society tolerate the continued brutalization of its citizens by crazed misfits? Criminals must be told that their CIVIL LIBERTIES END WHEN AN ATTACK ON OUR SAFETY BEGINS!” [82]

    Lawyers for the five defendants said the letter had inflamed public opinion. After Reyes confessed to the crime and said he acted alone, one of the defendants’ lawyers, Michael W. Warren, said, “I think Donald Trump at the very least owes a real apology to this community and to the young men and their families.”[81] Protests were held outside Trump Tower in October 2002 with protestors chanting, “Trump is a chump!”[81] Trump was unapologetic at the time, saying, “I don’t mind if they picket. I like pickets.”[81]

    In June 2014, after the City announced a settlement of more than $40 million in the civil suit brought by the five defendants, Trump penned an editorial for the New York Daily News in which he called the settlement “a disgrace” and insisted that the group’s guilt was still likely: “Settling doesn’t mean innocence. … Speak to the detectives on the case and try listening to the facts. These young men do not exactly have the pasts of angels.”[83]

    According to Yusef Salaam, Trump “was the fire starter”, as “common citizens were being manipulated and swayed into believing that we were guilty.” Salaam and his family received death threats after papers ran Trump’s full-page ad. Warren argued that Trump’s advertisements played a role in securing conviction, saying that “he poisoned the minds of many people who lived in New York and who, rightfully, had a natural affinity for the victim,” and that “notwithstanding the jurors’ assertions that they could be fair and impartial, some of them or their families, who naturally have influence, had to be affected by the inflammatory rhetoric in the ads.” According to The Guardian, the case and the media attention reflected the perceived racial dynamics at the time; a similar case involving a black woman, raped the same day in Brooklyn and thrown from the roof of a four-story building, received little media attention.[47]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Park_jogger_case

  • Wow, what a load of crap. Matthew 25:43 says to welcome immigrants???? WTF. You do realize some of us can actually go to our bibles and read right? When you post untruths, don’t expect to be taken seriously. Although I do agree with you on Dobson- that guy is a first class moron. And btw, the “source” for Dobson on Mr. Trump’s born again experience was Paula White- not exactly a credible person.

  • “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world! If any man loves the world The Love of Out FATHER is not in him”! (I John 2:15-17)

  • Being “Born Again” or Born from Above….
    “Blessed are they who, placing their trust in the cross, have gone down into the water….We indeed descend into the water full of sins and defilement. However, we come up, bearing fruit from our heart, having the fear of God and trust in Jesus in our spirit.” ( Epistle of Barnabas 70-100 AD)
    We are all familiar with the Christian fish symbol that some Christians put on the back of their cars. Some of us might have a Jesus fish on our car ( not me, I’ve got a German flag because I’m German but I have nothing against the Christian “born again” symbol. I wonder however, how many Christians realize that the fish symbol is a picture of Baptismal Regeneration in Christian Baptism. The fish symbol that we all recognize was a sign used by the Early Christians to identify church meeting places and themselves. The word “fish” in Greek ΙΧΘΥΣ (Ichthus) is an acronym which translates into English as “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior”.
    Tertullian, writing a bit more than a hundred years after the Apostles, said, ” We, little fishes, after the example of our fish, Jesus Christ, are born of water.” Jesus said, ” Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” ( John 3:5 RSV).

  • To sum it up, you cannot be born again and be a religious based fundamentalist conservative. Jesus would agree.

  • Just then Donald Drumpf came up to one child of God truly born in the Spirit and asked, “What good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

    “Why do you ask me about what is good?” the child of God replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

    “Which ones?” he inquired.

    The child of God replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

    The child of God answered, “Utilize all your possessions today to buy the Presidency of the United States of America, sell the remainder of your possessions and give all you have left to the poor before you serve in that office in the name of our Father in Heaven, live only on the salary your constituents pay you to represent them, expecting to live out your last days on Earth soley on your graced by Man and by God retirement, and then you will have treasure in Heaven. When you have chosen that path then come, follow our Lord God and the only Teacher of truth beginning with what is written in your beloved Christian Bible (the only book you tout greater than the “Art of the Deal/Con”) at Luke 14:26,27 and continuing eternally with Christ in you and you in Christ.”

    amen

  • TRUTH IS! The “american gospel” is “good news” for those who “love this evil world and their own self (“I”, ego, id, pride) life in and of it”, yet such is thankfully rejected and regarded as “bad news” by those “alien and pilgrims while on the earth”, those whose “citizenship(Life) IS !NOW! in Heaven”! (John 12:25, Hebrews 11:13, I Peter 2:11 , Philippians 3:20)

    And those who have been Truly “Born Again” of The Holy, Set Apart, SPIRIT that IS of Our FATHER and GOD have REALized that “whoever would be a friend of this evil world is the enemy of GOD”! (John 20:17, James 4:4, Hebrews 11:13, II Peter 2:11)

    And we have REALized that “religion was and is yet needful, for “disobedient and gainsaying (contradicting and opposing GOD) people”, those souls who are “stiff-necked and uncircumcised of heart and ears”! (Romans 10:21, Acts 7:51)

    “Needful for those worldly and/or religious ones who would rather have a man (Moses, Samuel, etc.) than Our FATHER and GOD speak to them, and those who would rather have a man(Saul, David, etc.) than Our FATHER and GOD rule over them”! (Exodus 20:19, l Samuel 8:4-21, John 20:17; 14:28)

    And “The Word of TRUTH (aka: the ‘bible’ of the worldly and religious ones)” bears witness unto The TRUTH that testifies, there IS Only One “Pure Religion And Undefiled before Our FATHER and GOD”! (James 1:18,27, John 20:17)

    And rightly Spiritually discerned, “Pure Religion and Undefiled before Our FATHER and GOD is this! To visit The FATHERless (those who have no relationship with The GOD and FATHER{Creator} of ALL), and widows (those whose “bridegroom aka: The Messiah” has not risen from among the dead) in their affliction and to keep oneself (soul) uncontaminated by the world!” (James 1:27)

    Not a system but The Active Faith of those who, in TRUTH, have been “Born Again” of The Holy, Set Apart, SPIRIT! Those “sons of Our FATHER and GOD” who have their portion !NOW! in HIS Family, of “WHOM the whole Family in Heaven and ON EARTH is named”……. (II Thessalonians 2:10-12, John 3:3,7, I Peter 1:23, I John 3:1-2, Philippians 2:15, Ephesians 3:15)

    “A Household of Faith” indeed and TRUTH! (Galatians 6:10, Ephesians 2:19)

    And NEW “Jerusalem which IS above IS free, and IS !NOW! the mother of us all (Spiritually “Born Again” sons {physically male or ‘fe’male} of Our FATHER and GOD)”! (Galatians 4:26, John 3:3,7, I Peter 1:23)

    Thankfully the “Mother” of the “Born Again” brethren (physically male or ‘fe’male) of The Messiah is no longer “mother earth”, earthly and of the flesh……. For “NEW Jerusalem” which IS Heavenly IS SPIRIT and of The TRUTH!

    Simply, ALL other religion IS “IMPURE and DEFILED”…….

    “Come out from among them and be separate”! (II Corinthians 6:17)

  • Donald’s born again story reminds me of the guy who say’s the “prayer” with the Pastor, so he can be “born again” to qualify to date the pastor’s daughter, then soon disappears into the “backslidden ” world as the Pastor (soon to be) grandfather tries to explain his daughter’s condition to an angry church board.

  • I think we need to admit that we’re past the point where “born again” and “evangelical” is more a descriptor of a political allegiance than a religious/spiritual one, at least in the U.S. (and probably here in Canada).

    To all the comments regarding sanctification, I don’t think Ben is suggesting that any new Christian would be perfect by the next day. He says that these are commitments. We should be able to see this direction in the life of new Christians. We should continue to look more and more like Jesus, including the things mentioned here. There might be some dramatic changes along the way or they might be slow and steady, but there will be a noticeable commitment to change.

  • Benjamin:
    Donald Trump is a born again Christian– or so they say. And by they, I mean Focus on the Family’s Dr. James Dobson, who recently claimed that he had first-hand knowledge that Trump recently accepted Christ and that he was now a “baby Christian” in need of our prayers.

    Ronny to Benjamin:
    I watch the news a bit and my oldest sister, she watches it a lot! I have not seen and she has not mentioned to me, that Trump has come out recently and said he has been saved/born of God. Now if that has recently happened in his life, then he would announce that to the world. Has he? If he hasn’t, then no, he has not recently been saved/born of God. For if he had of been, he could not keep such, to himself; but instead, he would have to announce such, to as many people as possible. And of course, with Trump, he could easily do that, on national television. Now why hasn’t he, if what Dobson says, is true?

  • Benjamin, if I were a new Christian and read this post, I’d probably toss my hands up in the air and say, “Well, if I have to go through all of this, then, I may as well give up right now”. This is a list of impossible standards. I’ve been a Christian for several years, and there’s really not much of a contrast in the “new” me vs. the “old” me. I was pretty sheltered growing up – a healthy kind of sheltered, but sheltered all the same. And true sanctification takes years, decades, forever, etc. Numbers 1-7, I can get behind, but 9 and 10 in particular are pretty questionable. Dangerously so, especially for those new to the fold. Other than that, I love your stuff! Keep it up.

  • I also heard that Trump is also now a foreign policy expert, but he’s really new at it so we have to circle around and give him a lot of support while he adjusts to his new status.

  • I call bullshit on his pandering nonsense. True. If he has become Born Again, then we’ll see the changes outlined above. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  • Obama wrote eloquently about his Christian conversion and conservatives smeared him as a fake, or a Muslim. Trump, meanwhile, has never said anything about a conversion, and his words and actions reveal all the hallmarks of a person lacking in faith and self-awareness, yet we’re supposed to believe the words of a partisan hack like Dobson who somehow has insight into Trump’s religious evolution. Screw that, and screw the people like Dobson and Franklin Graham who have dragged Obama’s faith through the mud for 7 years. These people play the faith card from the bottom of the deck.

  • Trump is no more a Christian than my dog is. But I am really starting to question how many Americans actually are Christians. A large number say they are; but their actions belie their words.

    I recently criticized a well-know Christian on his Facebook page, because he said “liberals are stupid” for wanting to help the poor. What followed was a stream of vitriol from his fans, saying that I was delusional, brainwashed, a Leftist, etc. I was reminded repeatedly that poor people are moochers, sucking off the government, and that they should get jobs, so that taxes can be lower.

    I suggested that if Christians truly did their job and cared for the poor, it would not be necessary for the government to do it. More name-calling.

    I am disgusted by the state of Christianity in America today. And I believe that it is “leaders” such as Dobson, Franklin Graham, Joel Osteen, etc who are to blame. Years of preaching prosperity gospel and hatred/fear for those not like us, has led this country as far away from Christ as we can get.

    • You make such good points, but frankly with each passing day I am becoming more and more tired of all the polarization in America. It is taking root in Europe as well.

      The ideologies are simply so far apart that we cannot even talk and reason with one another anymore.

      No wonder so many people are turned off to the carriers of the Gospel message. Lord have mercy.

  • Well, I agree with your points in general, to look at someone’s life and point to specifics and say, they’re not a Christian if they do not yet do this and that, makes me question whether you understand God’s sovereign will and what it means to grow as a Christian.

  • But how soon Benjamin? Before the election? Doesn´t sanctification typically take time?

    I too have my sincere doubts about Trump and his bid for the presidency, but if he has truly embraced Christ we should be joyful and should also offer him the grace (and patience) that we too have been offered.

  • Mr. Dobson’s statement tells me much more about Mr. Dobson than it does Mr. Trump. Trump does not need to be any kind of Christian to get most of the evangelical vote. Every single member of my immediate and extended family (save one blessed, liberal aunt) and who knows how many friends will vote for Trump this November, having fully admitted that they neither like him nor think he is any kind of Christian, because they believe that the other candidate (indeed, the other party) is trying to usher in a one-world government and bring on the end times. So Trump doesn’t need to be born again. It is Dobson and his fellow evangelical leaders who need to believe this about Trump so that they can justify endorsing him.

  • When I left the Baptist fold over two years ago and became an Anabaptist…I started asking questions about each of these points. When I couldn’t get answers and started getting push back from those who didn’t like their sacred goats being disturbed…I couldn’t keep attending an evangelical church which didn’t believe what was being preached/taught.

  • In light of #1 (the pursuit of political power), we can’t wholly be sure James Dobson has been born again either.

    The man hasn’t been advocating for his worldview so much as lobbied for it. His overt political statements on Focus on the Family letterhead were the reason I quit supporting that ministry years ago. Not that he leads it anymore; he resigned in 2010 because his board wouldn’t let him designate his son as his successor. (Seems Ryan Dobson’s “grievous sin” of divorce disqualified him from employment. But hey, when it’s family, it’s okay to hold ’em to a different standard.)

    That being said, Dobson’s in no position to correctly identify Trump. Well, identify him as anything more than a co-religionist in their devilish distortion of Christianity.

  • Okay first off? You don’t conveniently become “magically” born again when running for the presidency. And even then? The occult (who run this country behind the scenes) has ways of saying they’re also “born again”. Last I check? You can be “born again” of corruptible seed. So the words “born again” means zip! Second off? He’s pandered so dang much for the past year, to everybody he’s been in front of at any given time? That’s he’s flat-out disingenuous in my eyes and a borderline liar. Third off? His pride is sky high! Higher than any of his towers/buildings. Fourth off? He has gotten so unbelievably dirty/juvenile when it came to challenging others and/or blatantly making fun of them, especially in debates? That it just stuns me how many don’t care! Now, I don’t walk on water and I got planks to be sure! But I myself am not running for the highest office in the land either. (To which lest I need to remind you? Is where the powers and principalities dwell, The high places.) Both him and Hillary scare me and I’m not voting for the lesser of two evils. Not happening! Both political sides are going in the same direction. Only the paths and time it take with which to get there, are different.

  • Ben, my opinion for what its worth-

    10 – you have high expectations. Sanctification (the process of becoming more Christ-like) takes time. If someone was an ignorant git before being ‘born-again’, it is very likely they will continue to be an ignorant git for some time after. For some individuals, some things can change immediately but I would suggest for most everything takes time, particularly a person’s character.

    9 – it really does require repentence. God does not forgive without it. So if Trump truly believes he has nothing to repent of, then no he is not ‘born-again’ as the Holy Spirit has clearly not opened his eyes to the truth..

    8 – True, but not actually impossible as Jesus Himself said. This summary sheds some light on the issue – ‘Jesus’ message is clear—it is impossible for anyone to be saved on his own merits. Since wealth was seen as proof of God’s approval, it was commonly taught by the rabbis that rich people were blessed by God and were, therefore, the most likely candidates for heaven. Jesus destroyed that notion, and along with it, the idea that anyone can earn eternal life. The disciples had the appropriate response to that statement. They were utterly amazed and asked, “Who then can be saved?” in the next verse. If the wealthy among them, which included the super-spiritual Pharisees and scribes, were unworthy of heaven, what hope was there for anyone?’ It is clear the rich young ruler believed he could be saved if he did this, that or the other – Jesus negates this idea.

    7 – True, but again this takes time.

    6 – I think we’ve had this discussion before. Matt 25 relates to people’s attitudes to suffering followers of Jesus, thus showing their attitude towards Jesus (as he said to Saul, why do you persecute Me? when Saul was in fact persecuting His followers). But I know others disagree with that view. But Im not sure you can judge Trump as not being born-again because of his apparent attitude towards immigrants specifically. Rather than the Matthew passage, I would quote Isaiah 21 which specifically deals with refugees. But I doubt Trump is aware of it or if his evangelical advisers have pointed him to it, sadly.

    5 – I strongly disagree with the first part of your paragraph. “Christians…will face God’s wrath on judgement day, … “eternal punishment” . That sentence is an oxymoron. Nevertheless the caring of others is part and parcel of the Christian life, as it is the outworking of the fruit of the Spirit of love and kindness. But again as fruit it takes time to develop.

    4 – I agree, with the exception of the issue of war, which is state-sanctioned. But you know my view.

    3 – Agreed, but again will take time.

    2 – Agreed, but again will take time.

    1 – I disagree if you mean Christians should not be involved in political life. If you are in it for ‘power’ then yes you shouldnt be. But if you are in politics because you want to make a positive difference and have an influence in people’s lives, then I dont see anything wrong with it. But yes, it certainly appears many simply grasp for political power.

    I do not know whether Trump has become a follower of Jesus (though I suspect not), but we can only look at his words and actions and life in the months to come.

    And just a thought, if Trump and Boris Johnson become the US President and the UK Prime Minister respectively, we’ll have two key world leaders with major hair going on!

  • Benjamin – normally I cheer every word you write. I love your stuff and follow you, well, religiously. But I just can’t do it for this. I recognized that I needed a savior when I was 5. How much of a contrasted “before” and “after” can I expect? I was a preacher’s kid, btw, and pretty sheltered.

    The rest? Those look like the marks of a MATURE christian. Not a new one.

    Do I believe what Dobson has said about Trump? Absolutely not. That man lost his credibility a long time ago. Do I believe Trump is a “baby christian?” No more than I expect to be able to fly tomorrow. But this isn’t the way to get where you’re wanting to get. Every single real baby christian who really DID just accept Christ has read this impossible list and likely has despaired. I doubt that’s what you wanted.

  • The proof is in the pudding. Trump’s pudding is still nasty. However, if his pudding becomes clean and sweet, I’m still not sure he’s qualified to lead a country.

  • It struck me over the weekend that the Christian Right is doing exactly the opposite of what Jesus did when tempted by Satan. But your list won’t convince anyone who’s already on Trump’s side. As a Trump supporter recently told me, humans have an infinite ability to rationalize away the truth to get what they want (and he said it totally unaware of the irony). Trump reminds me much of the cult leader who says “You are special. Only you know the truth.” That never ends well.

  • Of course, we know these things to be indicative of a true follower of Christ. But, evangelicals and Trump supporters will only respond by saying, “But, he is just a baby Christian, give him time”. That seems to be the response to any celebrity who claims some new relationship with or acceptance of Jesus. Conveniently, his infancy will last throughout the remainder of his campaign to which evangelicals will blissfully continue to their support of Mr. Trump.

  • Books from BLC:

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