“I’m a very good Christian… and I’m proud of it.”
So declared Donald Trump to Pope Francis.
Mr. Trump, I wish to address you not as the presumptive Republican nominee for POTUS, but as the brother in Christ that you claim to be. As someone who tries to follow Jesus with the right heart, I have difficulty imagining how I could possibly boast about being a very good Christian myself. I am not in a position to build a wall that will divide one group of flawed human beings from another; nor am I wealthy enough to announce it as my main qualification for a public service job; nor have I ever divorced, not even once.
However, it is not my place to judge another. Mr. Trump, perhaps you are indeed a very good Christian. If so, you will surely agree with C. S. Lewis when he writes in Mere Christianity about the great sin, pride: “There is one vice… of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves.”
In other words, you as a Christian should recognize when pride is causing you to stumble.
Jesus once appeared to another self-righteous man who was on the road to Damascus. When that man discovered what it meant to be a real Christian, he did not go around belligerently insulting the people who questioned his faith. He instead extended compassion and love to those who disagreed with him, even the enemies who would put him into prison. Paul was too busy pouring himself out for others, Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, people of all ethnicities, to care about his earthly reputation. He was the kind of Christian leader we need in this country today; someone who can put their own pride to death.
Mr. Trump, I pray that you will someday realize that in your own walk with Christ, there is much room for error, but no place for pride.
Jong Park is a medical student at Duke University.
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