In a chilling interview with CBN News on Tuesday, former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann — now a Trump advisor — said that God’s sovereignty is revealed in Donald Trump, as the Most High elevated the one candidate who could win in November to be the Republican nominee. No, I am not making this up.
“At the end of the day God raised up, I believe, Donald Trump who was going to be the nominee in this election,” Bachmann declared. “I don’t think God sits things out. He’s a sovereign God. Donald Trump became our nominee.”
The former congresswoman added, “I think it’s very likely that in the day that we live in, that Donald Trump is the only individual who could win in a general election of the 17 who ran.” If any polling is reliable, this is flatly false. Throughout the primary, Trump polled worse against Clinton than any other candidate, especially in the last few months, when both Ted Cruz and John Kasich polled closer to (and indeed, higher than) Clinton, compared to Trump’s dismal numbers.
(I have linked to the RealClearPolitics averages for each candidate against Clinton — it is important to note that polling stopped for Cruz and Kasich, so you have to compare these averages against the Trump average for the time in question, not the present. Trump’s best numbers against Clinton came at times when both Cruz and Kasich did even better.)
Bachmann grounded her belief in Donald Trump’s electoral superiority on the sovereignty of God. “This is one thing I know from the Book of Daniel: the bottom line of the Book of Daniel is this: it teaches us that the Most High God lifts up who He will and takes down who He will,” Bachmann said. “Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know, but I do know that the Bible is true and that Daniel teaches the Most High God, which is one of God’s names, is the one who lifts up who He will and takes down who He will.”
Yes, Ms. Bachmann, God does elevate those He will and take down those He will. But that doesn’t mean everyone who seizes political power is blessed by God. The Most High might have allowed Hitler to take over Germany, or Caligula to rule the Roman Empire, but that doesn’t mean Hitler or Caligula were God’s chosen rulers. Trump is neither Hitler nor Caligula, but his success does not prove God’s blessing.
Indeed, the book of Daniel does describe God as deposing kings and rising up others (Daniel 2:21), and it also prophesies four kingdoms which will rule and be deposed (Daniel 7). Each of those kingdoms is prideful and horrible, but at the end of their reign comes “one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and people of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”
Next Page: Does Bachmann think this passage prophesied Donald Trump? If so, she’ll be sorely disappointed.
Jesus himself quotes this passage (Daniel 7:13-14) to reveal why he called himself “the Son of Man.” (Mark 14:62) The Pharisees interpreted this as blasphemy — Jesus was equating himself with Yahweh — and ordered him crucified because of it.
Bachmann, by proclaiming Trump God’s chosen, seems in danger of equating a worldly ruler (whom God raises up and deposes but who does not represent God’s ultimate blessed rule over the world) with the coming of a political messiah. I once wrote that Trump — being the twice-divorced, proud philanderer who tried to take an elderly widow’s home using eminent domain — would save Christians from political idolatry, but evidently I was wrong.
Let me be clear: Scripture does not promise that Trump will win the general election, no matter how many Christian advisors he has. God is indeed sovereign over all things, but that in no way implies that He will grant victory to the Christian Right’s chosen candidate. Trump may win (despite the evidence of the polls), and he may indeed be a good president (despite what many consider evidence to the contrary), but Christians should not place their faith and ultimate hope in him.
God’s sovereignty is real, but that doesn’t mean anything for earthly politics at the present. It means that Jesus Christ will come again, and His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom. All earthly kingdoms and empires will rise and fall, but the heavenly rulership of God and His Son Jesus Christ will ultimately supplant them, and that is all for the good.
In 1952, the political philosopher Eric Voegelin coined the phrase, “don’t immanentize the eschaton.” This means that we should not try to force the final, perfect state of affairs promised in heaven at the End of Days (Revelation 21:1-5) through earthly political efforts.
I do not think Bachmann consciously aimed to do this, but by equating Trump with God’s chosen ruler, she came dangerously close to this basic human temptation. No earthly politician will be as good a ruler as Jesus Christ, and we should not interpret scripture to say that God will elevate our chosen candidate to victory in November.
God is sovereign, but we should place our faith and hope in His sovereignty as He defines it, not according to our political agenda.
Check out Bachmann’s video on the next page.
Here’s Michelle Bachmann immanentizing the eschaton.