I Am Not Like Him

Ramon Arias | October 10, 2016

At this time, I was going to write about the recent VP debate due to its importance, and I still intend to do so after this, but, what changed my mind? The release of a recorded tape on Donald J. Trump from back in 2005, and the uproar coming from well-known Republicans who opposed Trump from the beginning of his candidacy.

In my lifetime, I have had my share of knowing celebrities in the world of entertainment, arts, sports, politics, media, science, some at the top of the Catholic hierarchy, and yes, even those in the powerful financial world from the perspective few people do.  Before the summer of 1973, they all left one impression on me: a lifestyle I didn’t want to be part of, not because I felt superior, but rather because they were just as empty as I was.  Money, power, and fame are meaningless until there is an encounter with the living Christ of the Bible, and that is what happened to me that summer.  Knowing God and Christ does bring the right perspective to life’s purpose. After 40 years since my encounter with Christ, my daily journey, with all its challenges, is one of excitement and of great hope knowing that men do not control human events and that the God of the Bible is still working out His perfect will.

I have known of Donald Trump for decades; he never came across to me as being any different than those famous people I met before or after the summer of ‘73.  What he said in that tape in 2005, eleven years ago, is nothing new with guys like him and not only at his social and economic level, it happens at all levels of the social spectrum.  Am I justifying his offensive comments?  By no means, but we should know that the wrong and immoral language used by many people who are not transformed by the renewal of the mind (Romans 12:1-2), is to be expected.  By the way, have you ever heard professing Christians use similar remarks such as those on the Trump tape eleven years ago?  Come on now, be honest, maybe not as raw, but they implied the same.  In the biblical language, it’s called the fruit of the sinful nature.

I saw Donald’s video of apology on Saturday morning, at 1:30 a.m., and most likely by now you have seen it too. For the sake of further clarifying why I'm writing this editorial on this subject, let me quote part of his statement:

"I have never said I am a perfect person, nor pretend to be someone that I'm not. I have said and done things I regret and the words released today on this more than a decade old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong and I apologize. I have traveled the country talking about change for America but my travels have also changed me… I have gotten to know the great people of our country and I have been humbled by the faith they have placed in me. I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never, ever let you down….”

You would think that intelligent, rational people, who believe they know Trump, would celebrate this difficult thing he did by humbling himself to acknowledge that those comments he said in the past were wrong.  But no, what did they do? Some are asking for his head, figuratively speaking I hope.

Four hours later, 5:30 a.m., after watching the Trump apology video, I was reading about the high level of indignation and condemnation against Trump made by ”Republican leaders” that were against him from day one when he threw his hat into the political ring.  Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who broke his pledge by the way to support the GOP nominee for president, lectured about morality.  Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee and a fierce opponent of Trump, did not waste time to denounce him.  House Speaker Paul Ryan jumped in quickly to distance himself from Trump before the midnight apology video.  Senator John McCain (R-AZ) withdrew his support of Trump, and of course, the Gov. of Ohio, Kasich, who is another one that broke his pledge, like Jeb Bush, to support the party’s nominee, got in the “pounce on Trump” wagon.  The parade of anti-Trump Republicans joined the farce of the left that could not be happier to find such support and are salivating with their media allies who are committed to destroying Trump’s chances for the presidency.  Among those withdrawing from Trump’s corner are also Utah’s Gov. Gary Herbert and Rep. Jason Chaffetz.  

After hearing the recriminating video by Senator Mike Lee demanding that Trump step down for something he said eleven years ago, I knew I had to address this subject immediately.  Sen. Lee is well respected among some conservatives and he comes across as very knowledgeable in constitutional matters. Mr. Lee is asking Trump to step down because he knows there is no Constitutional legality for removing him, and thinks Trump can be replaced with someone else on such short notice. Did he even suggest for Gov. Pence to be the one?  No, he didn’t; he may have somebody else in mind, but he will not say it.

I don’t know how much of a historian Senator Lee is, but he mentioned that America is the greatest civilization that has ever existed in the history of the world.  My questions to him are simple: has he ever studied in depth why all the civilizations in human history collapsed? Does he know some of the common denominators that made those civilizations fall? How many of the same symptoms can he identify in present-day America?  Does he know why those civilizations were never able to bounce back?  I have more questions that I could pose about the downfall of great civilizations, but the questions I have stated will be a good start if he can truly answer them with undeniable and accurate historical facts.

Does Sen. Lee, and all others who are like-minded, understand that there are for the next four years only two visions for the future of America?  The visions are Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine vs. Donald J. Trump and Gov. Mike Pence. Can all the anti-Trump crowd explain, with a straight face and no spin, why America finds herself in the present condition and exactly when did all this start? Have any of them read and studied George Washington’s Farewell Address in depth?  Who are the real culprits for America’s deterioration and this barbaric condition, (killing her unborn because seven Judges declared their deaths legal)?  What about the other social plagues: drug consumption, violence, crime, depravity, the redefinition of marriage and family, humanistic education geared to indoctrinate generations of socialists, the ever-increasing size of Government with all the ungodly laws that continue to drain the life and productivity of this nation?  Do he and everyone in the U.S. Congress know the significant role they have played in this America that the forefathers did not envision?  I am positive the Founding Fathers never thought this would be the outcome of all their sacrifice.  Do I know the answers to all of the questions I asked Sen. Lee? I am happy to announce that early next year the answers will be presented in a book that has taken me years to write and publish.  I am also very pleased to say that it will be available at no cost, not only here in America but in all the English-speaking countries.  

I wholeheartedly agree with those who are saying that Trump’s comments were offensive and disgusting, and there is no excuse for such degrading behavior and that all women deserve respect. Now, it is up to us to put his words into the perspective of time by asking a legitimate question, did he continue to say similar things since the beginning of the primary race?  I don’t know; we will have to wait and see if someone comes up with credible information on that. In the meantime, I repeat, let’s not forget that he said that eleven years ago, I keep bringing that point up because it is important.  In his apology video, Trump affirms that traveling the nation has changed him and he is humbled by the faith people place in him.  If anyone has evidence to the contrary, please come forward.  

Melania, Trump’s wife, said this:

“The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me,” she went on to say:  “This does not represent the man that I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world.”

She accepted Trump’s apology for his lewd remarks and asked the nation to do the same.  Well, Melania, there are those of us who understand the profound value of forgiveness, let’s hope and pray others will follow your example and that of the rest of the Trump family.   

On Saturday, vice-presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence released this statement:

“As a husband and father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the eleven-year-old video released yesterday. I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them. I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologized to the American people. We pray for his family and look forward to the opportunity he has to show what is in his heart when he goes before the nation tomorrow night.”

 I applauded Trump’s decision to have a running mate like Gov. Pence, who is not ashamed of the power of the Gospel and his acceptance of Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and Lord.  I will be writing an article about his debate with Kaine. When you read this, the second debate of Hillary vs. Trump will be history.

I have not heard one Christian anti-Trump Republican official call the nation to pray for Trump and his family.  Gov. Pence is right, the Republican presidential candidate’s heart was revealed and will continue to be revealed in the days ahead. The other side of the coin is that all the Christian politician's hearts will be revealed as well.

Christian America should be aware of Jesus’ condemnation against all self-righteousness. He told the following parable to the people as a contrast between the religious leader and the IRS employee of the Roman Empire:

“He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: ‘Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: «God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.»  But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, «God, be merciful to me, a sinner!»  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted’” (Luke 18:9-14). (Emphasis added)

Can you imagine what this nation could be if all of our public servants who claim to be Christians truly were?  Hillary professes to be a Methodist Christian. Kaine is of the Roman Catholic faith. Trump says he is a Christian. Almost all of the members of the U.S. Congress, U.S. Supreme Court, and those who have occupied the White House, and a large majority of the public servants in the entire nation have all said they are Christians. What would happen if they were all unconditionally committed to imitating Jesus and God the Father in character and moral actions? (1 Peter 2:21 and Ephesians 5:1)

Nothing short of a biblical reformation is going to save America, the burden of her future remains upon the shoulders of professing Christians. Every one of us has a choice to be a fool by trusting in our wisdom, thinking we are righteous while treating others with contempt by saying “I am not like him” and be condemned. The other choice is to appeal to our merciful God knowing we are sinners and receive His justification. To self-exalt is the downfall of man and society.

To the Christians who do not understand how God governs, yet they quote the Scriptures to indicate how and who should be elected, I would say to be reminded that first, we must find godly men and women because here is where the problem has been. Right now there are only a handful of them fighting against the behemoth.

How about working to elect those who can give us the opening to turn the nation around instead of letting others get into office that want to change Christianity into an arm of the State?