Some of my Trump-supporting friends concede that President Trump is a narcissist. Just about all of my anti-Trump friends argue that he is a dangerous narcissist. And that is the issue of issues for them. This presses me to Scripture for how to approach those in power and government and the biblical teaching on how to deal with those in government power. But first, there are real problems in this claim. It also shows an arrogance that can bring us into disfavor with God.
1. If one is to claim this on the grounds of professional psychology, then one should know that it is not ethical to make a diagnosis from afar, without a clinical evaluation in a clinical setting.
2. There are too many people close to Trump that remain friends after many years for this to be true. Some behavior indeed may be like such a person, but how do I account for his wife, what his x wife says, his children and friends. These friends of decades and include the great black football player Herschel Walker and the social justice warrior Geraldo Rivera. And so many more can be named. It includes men and women.
So it seems to me that the issue is that humans have amazing ability to compartmentalize in mind and behavior One part can be good and compassionate and another part may be immediately violent and vengeful. One part may be generous and the other part so defensive when criticized. As a pastor, I have seen this so much fo so many years in people. We have to address the whole person and see every thought come into conformity to Yeshua. We are to pray for our President to come into all that God would desire. I so prayed for Obama and do also for Trump, and regularly.
However, according to the standard of the New Covenant, we are warned consistently to not vilify and rail against leaders. Unless a leader is fostering genocide or terrible crimes, we are to pray and be humble in speaking correction. I think it is valid in to raise character questions, and to raise policy and voting records and even conclude that policies are radial. But cursing the personhood of the leader or vilifying can bring judgment to the person who does this. Here are the texts that should guide us.
I Tim. 2:1 “First of all, I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made on behalf of all people–for kings and all who are in authority–so that we may live a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and respectfulness. This is good and pleasing to God our Savior.”
Acts 23:5 “Paul said, I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest for it has been written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a rule of your people.”
Judah (Jude) “But when Michael the archangel, disputing with the devil, was arguing about the body of Moses, he did not dare to render a judgment against him for slander, but said, “May the LORD rebuke you.” But these people slander whatever they do not understand.”
How does this apply? We can strongly disagree with policy and should try to represent the policies we criticize fairly. We can point to behavior that shows character issues. However, we should not curse the identity of the person. We must avoid arrogance and cursing the person, “He is a narcissist, he is an evil predator, She is a Jezebel, etc. etc. ” There has been way too much arrogance in the debates and way too much lack of understanding the positions of the other, way too little engaging. Do we understand the position of the other to their satisfaction?
And finally, for those on this page who follow Yeshua, do we really believe that the future depends on this election, or do we believe that repentance and revival are the only things that can turn things around, yielding the spirit of love and compassion as the motive for seeking justice? As the U. S. spins out of control in our cities, I still am looking from Israel and waiting for that great contingent of spiritual leaders of all colors and ethnicities to stand together with thousands and thousands calling for love and reconciliation, who will preach the Good News of reconciliation.