Pericope: 1 John 4: 1 – 6
Sermon Text: 1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Sermon Title: The Spirit of Trump
Introduction: In our text this morning, John tells us to test the spirits to see if they are from God. John is alerting us to the fact that everyone who say they come in the name of the Lord does not come from God. John puts the church on notice then, and the church on notice now, that we live in a spiritual world and everyone has a spirit that must be regarded. Everyone has a spirit that must be tested. Given that everyone has a spirit, it makes sense to look at the spirit of everyone that can affect our lives. You should check out your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors spirit because that’s the essences of the person you are dealing with. Therefore, the spirit of Trump must be studied and tested. Why you say? What does he have to do with me? That's in part what this series is about.
This series is not about politics. You don’t, nor should you come to church to hear political speeches. You come to church to hear from God. However, politics is defined as the use of power - who has it how to get it and what do they do with it. All power and authority is delegated from God so we must look at the use of that power through a spiritual lens to see if it is being used biblically. When it is not, the church and Christ followers must stand up and speak up. Given that Trump has a spirit and the spirit of the leader of a nation matters, we must know his spirit. The spirit of a leader can permeate the nation; your neighborhood, your job, and your life. We know this through biblical history. Of the 42 Kings Israel had only 11 were good. Now you know why God was always trying to get Israel back on track because the King's spirit permeated the people. The people did evil in the sight of God in part because their leaders did evil in the sight of God. So, it is today. This morning we are going to look at how the spirit of Trump has permeated our nation and what we should do about it. His actions and words causes me to believe there is a spirit of racism emanating from him.
Point 1: Spirit of racism Gen 9:25 he said, “Cursed be Canaan!
The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.”
To understand racism, you have to understand its origin. You cannot start in 2018. You must go back in the annals of time. Racism was lifted out of the Scriptures in the 1400s and 1500s. When Europeans wanted to have free labor to develop the New World they had to dehumanize Africans. During the 1400s and 1500s the church was all powerful and it deliberately misinterpreted Genesis 9:25 to say people of African descent were cursed by God to be slaves and the color of their skin, wild, uncivilized and less than human. Atop the slave castles in Ghana in a church. Thi is where Africans were deported to America and the Caribbean, the church was spiritualizing and condoning the moment.
This same dehumanization is being done today when Trump calls black men SOBs and African nations S-holes it is a throw back to dehumanization. Whenever you get ready to mistreat someone your humanity requires you to dehumanize them. You cannot see them as human because your humanity won't allow you to mistreat there humanity. That's why you have to call them a name such as infesting the country… invading…illegals…Pocahontas…now I have the right to mistreat you.
Since Trump became president racial tension has risen. Currently, 40% of whites say race relations are generally good, compared with 28% of blacks and 33% of Hispanics who say this.
The racial gap in views of race relations was similar a year ago: At that time, 46% of whites said race relations were good, as did 34% of blacks and 37% of Hispanics. Anecdotally the paper is filled with people calling the police on Blacks for being black. Yale University student asleep in a common area of her own dorm; driving while black; a family in their own neighborhood preparing to barbeque while black. That is a spirit. And today just like during slavery some in the church have given this racist spirit cover. Urged on by their leaders, 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump—more than voted for George W. Bush, an actual evangelical. When those who call on Jesus defend this madness, that spiritualizes it.
Transition: Trumps actions and words whether wittingly or unwittingly have resurrected a racist spirit. His actions and words have created anus and them division.
Point 2: Spirit of division Luke 11:17 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.
Jesus tells a truth about what will happen to a divided house. It will not stand. The Pharisees were accusing Jesus of being Beelzebub. That is a slang term that means the father of lies or demons. Jesus said he was not because he would not cast out demons if he was their father. In other words, you act in your own self-interest not against it.
Today Trump actsin his own self-interest and not the interests of everyone. His self interest is dividing this country. Haves vs Have nots Rich vs Poor Business owners vs Workers Blacks vs Whites vs Hispanics Immigrants vs US citizens Us vs Them Rural vs Urban Red State vs Blue State Free Press vs Fake Press Allies vs Dictators He pits one group of Americans against the other. Divide and conquer is as old as the legendary Lynch letter
The Lynch letter was how one slave owner said that you keep control of the slaves by pitting them against one another. America has been so divided about our current state of affairs.
Transition: There is the spirit of division. The spirit of racism. Then there is the spirit of lies.
Point 3: Spirit of false prophesy vs. 1 John 4:1(b) because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
John says one of the ways you test the spirit is to see whether it tells the truth. According to the Washington Post In the 497 days since he took the oath of office, President Trump has made 3,251 false or misleading claims, according to The Fact Checker’s database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the president. That’s an average of more than 6.5 lies a day. Now you may say so what? How does his lying impact me?
1. When truth is a casualty then those in charge can do anything because truth speaks of right and wrong. Satan first attacked truth. “Did God really say?” Truth is the byproduct of the presence of God. God sets the order of life by the truth, veracity and reliability of his word. When someone comes along and changes truth, they replace God with themselves because they become the arbiter of right and wrong. When you are the most powerful man on earth you can dilute truth by constantly lying. He set himself up as the arbiter of right and wrong. It's cultic at its core. Republican Senator Bob Corker said as much.
2. When truth becomes a casualty authority is lost. Authority sets on top of truth and truth gives authority the power to carry out right and wrong. When you take away truth you can separate children from families and say it's right. You can even misquote Scripture. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions said “obey the laws” to satisfy your newly created truth…that’s a line straight out of the misinterpretation of the scriptures that enslaved African Americans
3. When truth is the casualty then we all become prisoners to the lies that replace it. Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free John 8:32 If truth set you free then a lie puts you in bondage. When you are in bondage by lies the one who tells the lie has the keys to the chains that hold you.
Transition: There is the spirit of racism, division, and false prophecy, you may say what can be done? What's the good news? What's the gospel? The spirit of love.
Point 4: Spirit of love vs. 18 - There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
John said then and it's true now love is the anecdote. Love is the inoculation against these spirits. Love is the most formidable weapon we have to battle in this spiritual warfare.
11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
That’s right, we cannot sink to the level of Trump or anyone who is racist, divisive or bearing false witness. If we do not love, then hate will fill our heart. How do you love? Pray for your enemy. I didn't say vote for them. I said pray for them. Martin Luther King Jr. changed a nation with the power of love. Jesus saved the world with the power of love. Surely Donald J. Trump cannot defeat the power of love in action. When we have LOVE we don't have to fear. God's got us. There is no need to worry, doubt or fear our future - GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE!
1. Walk…in the Spirit don’t be blind don’t be ignorant, don’t be put your head in the sand…stay woke
2. Live…a life of love
3. Let…God handle it in the mean-time register and vote
(Whitford D. , 2010)
(Whitford D. M., 2009)
(Pew Research Center U.S. Politics & Policy,
(Pew Research Center U.S. Politics & Policy,