Donald Trump apparently has more Bibles than he knows what to do with. He keeps them “at a certain place. A very nice place.”
Last night he added to his collection.
100 evangelical leaders who were gathered at the White House for a dinner presented a Bible to the president. They all signed it. The presentation was made by court evangelical and prosperity preacher Paula White. Here is a transcript:
The inscription reads:
“First Lady and President, you are in our prayers always. Thank you for your courageous and bold stand for religious liberty, and for your timeless service to all Americans. We appreciate the price that you have paid to walk in the high calling. History will record the greatness that you have brought for generations.”
Following the reading of the inscription, the audience was asked to say “Amen!”
The standards the Bible sets for greatness are very different, and in most cases diametrically opposed, to the kind of “greatness” that the court evangelicals celebrate in their flattery of Trump.
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus said “…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mk 10:43-45). The Gospel of Matthew records a moment in the life of Jesus when his disciples came to him asking “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus called a child to come in their midst and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me.” (Mt 18:1-5).
The fact that 100 evangelical leaders affirmed the message about greatness inscribed in the Bible presented to Trump, and then gave that inscription a hearty “Amen,” speaks volumes about the current state of American evangelicalism.