Jon McNaughton, who paints alt-right versions of “Where’s Waldo?,” has a new painting. I applaud the man’s free market ability to separate aesthetically challenged conservatives from their money, but there’s a line. For me, that line is depicting Donald Trump as the fulfillment of Genesis 3:15. In other words, with his latest painting, McNaughton is claiming that Trump is equal with Jesus.
I’m sure you’ve seen the painting. The same friends who believe that Infowars is a legitimate website have probably had it as their Facebook profile picture at some point in the last couple of months. Likewise, that uncle who forwards along every chemtrail conspiracy theory and proof that Obama is the secret son of bin Laden has most likely already purchased two framed copies; one that he has hanging in his house, the other hanging in the lobby of his church.
It’s a terrible painting.
I’ll leave the aesthetic criticism for another article, though. Besides, the painting’s poor artistic quality is the least offensive thing about it. Even its overwrought jingoism pales in comparison to McNaughton’s explicit blasphemy. How any professing Christian can look at the painting that depicts President Trump crushing the head of a serpent and not feel disgusted is beyond me.
Most of us know the story. For those who don’t, after God created everything and declared His creation good, the pinnacle of His creation rebelled and sinned. The first humans, Adam and Eve, allied with the Serpent-Satan in an attempted coup on the throne of God. Believing that God’s words don’t really matter and that they get to be the arbiters of right and wrong, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit.
Shortly after the rebellion began, God comes to meet with Adam and Eve in the garden-temple called Eden. This time, instead of full fellowship with their Creator, Adam and Eve find themselves being judged and sentenced by a holy and just God. Separation from God and eternal death are the two main punishments. Thankfully, because God loves His people and wants them to enjoy fellowship with Him and eternal life, He provides the solution.
In Genesis 3:15 God promises, “I will put enmity between you (Serpent-Satan) and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he (Jesus) shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
With his incarnation — his life of perfect obedience to the will of the Father, substitutionary death on the cross for the sins of those who place their faith in him, and his resurrection from the dead — Jesus fulfilled God’s promise found in Genesis 3:15, and crushed the head of the serpent. The gospel of Jesus Christ flows out of Genesis 3:15, which is why it’s my favorite verse in the Bible.
Now go back and look at Jon McNaughton’s painting. It’s undeniable. With his painting, McNaughton is claiming that Donald Trump is the fulfillment of Genesis 3:15. McNaughton and those who love the painting are guilty of elevating a man who claims that he doesn’t need God’s forgiveness to the glorious position of God’s Son who saves His people from their sins. For McNaughton, Trump is either equal to Jesus, or Trump replaces Jesus. Either way, McNaughton and the fans of the painting are guilty of a terrible blasphemy against God.
Lest you think that I’m reading into the painting, scroll up and watch the video. Starting at 1:33, McNaughton quotes Genesis 3:15 in reference to Donald Trump. Utter and vile blasphemy from the mouth of the painter.
Looking to Donald Trump as their Savior, as the Serpent-crusher promised by God, many conservatives worship a false god. What’s worse, they lie to their neighbors and claim that they’re worshipping the one true God. They’re not. And unless they repent of their sin and place their faith in the true Serpent-Crusher, Jesus Christ, they are at risk of suffering God’s eternal judgment in the fires of hell.