Jim Bakker has gone way off the rails lately. In the last year, “Pastor Jim” has claimed that Christians are being persecuted like Jews in Nazi Germany, radical Islamists are embedded in our churches, and that Planned Parenthood is a front for Satanic sacrifices. If possible, he sounds even worse than he did in the 1980s. Considering that back then, he was breaking the law, that’s saying something.
So it should come as no surprise that Bakker is joining the growing number of religious right leaders who are preparing their flocks to support Donald Trump. In fact, according to one of Bakker’s buddies, God is using the Donald to shine the hot lights on this country’s political climate.
Lately, Bakker has turned into a full-on survivalist. The yeomen at People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch discovered that last week, Bakker invited one of his fellow survivalist pastors, Steve Quayle, to discuss “the world’s spiritual return to Noah’s day.” On Friday’s show, the discussion turned to Trump’s rise in the polls. Right Wing Watch got a clip.
Bakker wondered why Trump was getting so much support and stirring up “warfare in the political arena.” Quayle believed that God was using Trump to “trump-et the nature of what America believes–and an essence, we believe a lie.”
Pastor Jim ate it up, recalling a discussion he’d had with Rick Joyner in which Joyner mentioned that Trump may very well “the final trumpet” mentioned in the New Testament. Quayle agreed, recalling that the word “trumpet” was mentioned twice in the New Testament. Quayle believes God is using Trump as “a prosecuting attorney” to expose “the political sins of this country.” He then wrung his hands at how polarized this country has become.
As many of you know, I’m a charismatic Christian. I know that God uses people whom we don’t expect to be used. But we have to have some discernment. When I first heard this, I found it hard to believe that God would be in the habit of using people who mock the disabled, plaster a private cell phone number on social media, condone violence at his rallies, and degrade women, among other things.
But one of my close friends–who, like me, is a radical-lefty tongue-talker–had an alternative theory. She suspected that God may be delivering a sobering message to Bakker, Quayle, and other fundies–seeking power at any cost could not be further from his plan. The more I thought about it, it makes sense. After all, it’s clear that after they heard Trump declare that he wanted Roe v. Wade “unpassed” and decry the marriage equality decision, they started flocking to him like moths to a flame.
However, a significant sector of the country–including a number of born-agains, particularly from my generation on down–have figured out that wedge issues aren’t the be-all and end-all to everything. If they’re so determined to get their hands on this country that they’re willing to join forces with a guy who, by any definition, is morally unfit for office, they will deserve to get their heads handed to them in November.
I did some digging on Quayle, and he’s a real piece of work. He was one of the main promoters of Jade Helm hokum, and believes that the “giants” mentioned in Genesis 6 are responsible for turning people gay. It says a lot about Pastor Jim that he’s willing to give succor to a guy this loony.
So you’re probably wondering why I’m mentioning this. Well, a large sector of the religious right lives in a cocoon where snake oil salesmen like Bakker and Quayle are actually considered reliable sources. This crowd also believes anything their pastor tells them on the news of the day. It’s important to understand why an element that, as late as this past spring, were shying away from Trump now seem to be flocking to him.