What do you get when you mix politics with religion? Franklin Graham. Franklin Graham was chosen as one of many to lead in prayer at Donald Trump’s inauguration today. His prayer was embedded between Rabbi Marvin Hier’s and Bishop Wayne T. Jackson’s prayer. False teacher Paula White was chosen to open the inauguration in prayer who, after much backlash, made it a point to mention the Trinity in her prayer.
As Graham took the podium, he made an interesting comment.
Mr. President, in the bible rain is a sign of God’s blessing, and it started to rain, Mr. President, when you came to the platform. And it’s my prayer that God will bless you, your family, your administration, and may he bless America.
The passage of Scripture that he could be alluding to is found in Deuteronomy 11.
And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil. — Deuteronomy 11:13-14
There are other passages as well that speak of God’s blessings through rain. Matthew 5:45 speaks of God’s common grace, that He “sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” It’s possible he speaks of this. Either way, the implication he made is that God is endorsing Donald Trump and that he sent the rain as confirmation.
In the Latter Rain movement, a controversial sub-Christian movement that rose out of Pentecostalism that interprets the Bible in a highly symbolic way, the idea of “latter rain” is associated with a move of the Holy Spirit to bring about a revival of Christianity that manifests itself in the Apostolic gifts of the spirit, including tongues, prophecy, and divine healings. Typical of this movement is to apply a historical descriptive passage of Scripture to that which it does not belong–namely, America. Descriptive and even prescriptive texts that were written to the nation of Israel–and to God’s people throughout history, including the church–are taken out of context and universally applied.
America is not God’s chosen nation, and this text cannot rightfully be applied to America as such.
While thankfully, the reverend had the courage to at least proclaim the exclusivity of Jesus Christ in the midst of all of the other false teachers present, the influence of the charismatic/dominionist movement is clearly affecting his theological sound. Do these pastors and preachers so strongly believe that Donald Trump is God’s chosen man to restore God’s chosen nation that they are willing to compromise the gospel and stand in prayer with false teachers in artificial unity to do so?
Again, I applaud his courage to proclaim Jesus as the only way right after the Rabbi prayed to his god (“No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.” — 1 John 2:23) and rightfully so. But why do we need to take the Scriptures out of context? Jesus said, “an evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign (Matt 16:4).”
It’s raining today at the inauguration…and if it pleases God to do so, He may just wipe America off the map tomorrow.
[Contributed by Pulpit & Pen]