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Recognizing God's Hand in Donald Trump's Election

AN UNLIKELY CANDIDATE
Donald Trump stunned the nation and world when he won the 2016 presidential election and became the 45th president of the United States.  News reports revealed that evangelical Christians backed Trump more than any Republican candidate in the history of America.  “What is remarkable is that few evangelicals supported him in the beginning.  For Bible-believing Christians, Trump would be the most unlikely candidate anyone could imagine,” says Steve.  “At some point, to everyone’s surprise, Trump managed to win the confidence of enough voters to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds.”  The faith factor was brought up throughout Trump’s campaign, often at the amusement of his critics.  Not only did Trump make the faith factor an issue, but he created a faith advisory board of pastors, evangelists and ministry leaders before he entered the race. “Trump obviously believed that religion was an issue,” says Steve. “And he understood that the evangelical community of 65 million to 80 million potential voters was an audience he needed to know more about.”  As he gathered advisers and strategists together, Trump found out that these people were profoundly angry with Washington. Several times, he travelled to Virginia Beach to speak with CBN founder, Pat Robertson and made nine appearances over a two-year period on The 700 Club.  Steve believes in the process Trump was able to earn Pat’s endorsement.  Early Christian Trump supporters included Paula White Cain, Darrell Scott, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Robert Jeffress, Jerry Falwell, Jr., Ralph Reed and others.  Then in June 2016, Dr. James Dobson, James Robison and others joined what is now the Faith Advisory Board.  Trump met with them regularly to assure them he was listening to them.  

Two days before the election, Franklin Graham asked believers in every state and town to pray for this nation.  He said he wasn’t telling anyone who to vote for, but believed that the media wanted Americans to believe this election was based on personality.  “The biggest impact this election will have on our nation will involve who the next president appoints to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court,” said Franklin.  On the night of the election, Franklin held a Facebook live prayer event shared by 1.3 million people.  Other evangelicals let believers know that it absolutely mattered who our next president would be.

Steve admits that he only supported Trump the day Ted Cruz dropped out of the race in May 2016 and publicly supported him on a podcast.  Then on August 11, 2016, Steve interviewed Trump.  “We devoted the entire October issue of Charisma magazine to what I considered to be the most important election of my lifetime,” says Steve.  Though he knows Trump has made unwise public statements, he is reminded by his friend Archbishop Russell McClanahan of Tennessee, “Trump’s strength is that he is not a politician.  Trump’s weakness is that he’s not a politician.”  For most of the American people, they were willing to overlook the negatives and accentuate the positives to give him the victory.  “Since the election, I think those who had their doubts are coming to believe they did the right thing,” he says.  By the time he flew to New York to attend the election eve party on November 8, 2016, Steve says he already believed Trump would win.  “If I didn’t believe that, I would have stayed home,” he says.  

AN ANSWER TO PRAYER
Trump grew up in a middle-class neighborhood in Queens during the 1950s.  He attended Sunday school and church with his parents at First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens.  He was awarded a Bible at his confirmation in 1959.  After the Trumps transferred membership to Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan, Trump was strongly attracted to the preaching of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, who served as pastor for more than 50 years.  Peale’s message of faith in God and a positive attitude are the keys to success in every area of life.  Trump has been taught, counseled, witnessed to and prayed for since then.  He is also a believer in the American dream -- something he has managed to achieve himself.  At an early age, Trump decided to follow in his father’s footsteps as a successful builder and real estate entrepreneur and eventually exceeded his father’s accomplishments.  

Michele Bachman, former Tea Party presidential candidate in 2012, assured supporters that Trump was the best man for the nomination.  Michele was not a Trump supporter at first but eventually decided he was the only electable candidate.  She told CBN News’ David Brody, “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.”  She believes Trump was the only individual who could have won in a general election of the 17 who ran.  Some people interpret Trump’s win as a political revolution; many Christians saw it as a cultural counter-revolution and an answer to prayer.  So many journalists were out of touch about the extent of Trump’s growing support and didn’t realize ther huge Christian prayer movement that was undergirding the Trump campaign.  For conservative voters, issues like moral decay and the downward spiritual spiral in which the country was headed were front and center.  Legalizing abortion and same sex marriages were some of the specific reasons conservatives believed they were under attack.  As it got closer to election day, America was faced with a good possibility of a Clinton win with polls showing her in the lead.  Networks were reporting that polling data showed Clinton’s chances of winning were between 70 and 99 percent. Had Clinton won, retired and respected Time magazine journalist David Aikman says Clinton’s administration would have continued America’s lurch to the left and would have been a “doorway to a new era of corruption like nothing we had ever seen.”  Evangelist James Robison, who now serves on Trump’s advisory board and initially supported Ted Cruz, believes that Trump represents a supernatural answer to prayer, but says “he didn’t come in the package people wanted.”  Robison admits, “He would have been my last choice.”  He told Steve, “Many conservatives said that we don’t know where Donald Trump is going to end up taking us, but we know exactly where Hillary Clinton would take us.” Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee was the first to tell Robison to get behind Trump after Huckabee dropped out of the race.  

Cindy Jacobs is known as a prophet and teacher among charismatic circles.  She mobilized ten thousand intercessors to join in prayer walks in seven of the critical states that helped Trump win in November. She told Steve, “It was an urgent, Pentecostal type of prayer,” she said.  They knew this was a battle in the heavenlies for the soul of America.  Soon Cindy got calls from believers around the world saying that they were praying for Trump’s election.  The night before the election, the president of the National Religious Broadcasters, Jerry Johnson, attended a prayer meeting in DC and told friends he believed Trump would win.  “I had been praying, too,” says Steve. “That’s why I accepted the invitation from Darrell Scott, pastor of New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights, OH, to fly to New York to watch the election returns.”  (Scott, an African American pastor was one of Trump’s strongest supporters.)  Steve stood near Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas who told Steve what a miracle he thought it would be if Trump actually won.  As Steve stood in the ballroom, his friends were shouting and some were crying as results showed a Trump win.  Judge Jeanine Pirro of FoxNews was standing on one of the chairs behind Steve in the ballroom, “whooping like a cowgirl.”  “It was as if God had answered our prayers and the impossible had happened,” he says.  “We had a new president: one we believed God had raised up for such a time as this.”

Steve has interviewed a number of presidential candidates and other politicians in his 45-year career.  “But interviewing Trump in the midst of his unlikely campaign was markedly different,” he says.  “With Trump, what you see on television is not what you get behind the scenes.”  Steve says there is a humility about him not seen on the liberal media.  “He was still a straight shooter, but his sincerity was far more striking than I would have expected.”  After that interview, Steve saw that Trump was a passionate, outspoken, dynamic achiever.  “He’s also smart, sincere and a man of faith,” he says.  “But he’s not perfect.” Whether Trump leads America back to God is not known.  “But he has awakened the national conversation about faith, religious liberties and the dangers of moral decline,” Steve says.  “That’s something to be thankful for.”  Steve hopes people, including those who don’t like Trump, would be open to the possibility that the Trump was raised up suddenly to make a way for our nation to return to God.

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Guest Info

Guests
Credits

CEO/Founder, Charisma Media, Inc. which publishes Charisma, Ministry Today, etc

Publishes books under Charisma House and the Modern English Version of the Bible

Author, his latest: God and Donald Trump, Charisma/Front Line 2017

Former reporter for The Orlando Sentinel

Honorary doctorate, Lee University 1995

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