“Beware of false profits, which come in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves,” Matthew 7:15-16

Growing up, I watched the iconic Popeye The Sailor Man cartoons. After being beat down and so disrespected by his arch enemy Bluto, he would often say, “That’s all I can stand. I can’t stand no more.” Popeye would reach down into his shirt, pull out a can of spinach, giving him unparalleled power to right the wrongs committed at the hands of Bluto.

Well, it is now time for all people who believe in truth, respect, love, and God, to reach down into their very beings to get some spinach. As a minister of the Gospel (Good News), it is important to speak truth to power. This is not a partisan issue for either Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. We need everyone in this battle. The real issue before us today is good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, and truth vs. falsity. Will America allow an ungodly would-be dictator to take us down the path of division, retribution, and ultimate destruction or will we like Popeye say, “That’s all I can stand. I can’t stand no more?”

This proclamation, which attempts to hijack the bible for political purposes invoking the God Bless the USA Bible featuring the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, Pledge of Allegiance, and Declaration of Independence, makes mockery of the faith. It mocks the very spirit and content of scripture. The purpose of the Word is to bring people together. It is not to keep them apart. “For God has made from one blood every nation of people to dwell on all the face of the earth,” Acts 17:26.

This Elmer Gantry/Jim Jones evangelistic approach to harness political power by using a religious rope disrespects every person of faith. It gives the fraudulent “snake oil salesman” a bad name. This idolatrous/blasphemous troll is a stench in the nostrils of all people who believe in the goodness of humanity. “By their fruit you shall know them,” Matthew 7:16.

Former President Donald Trump has said, “All Americans need a bible in their home, and I have many. It’s my favorite book.” For those who have the bible in their homes, it is good every now and then to open it up and read what is on the pages. Jesus Christ never called refugees vermin, rapists, murderers, or accused them of poisoning the blood of Israel.

He never said I can just grab women by their private parts because they like it. He didn’t stand in front of the temple and hold the Torah upside down to impress the people for a news story. He didn’t have 88 felony counts charged against him in four different cases. He didn’t attack the Judges of the Sanhedrin, the high priest Caiaphas, his clerk, his daughter, or any of the false witnesses who testified against him. Jesus never called for a violent revolution to overthrow the Roman Administration of Caesar. He opened the scriptures and read from Isaiah 61:1-2, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, recovery of sight to the blind, to set the oppressed free, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord’s favor.”

When the scripture is read, one can discover why Jesus Christ came here. He then began to produce fruit modeled after the proclamation of his word. His policies were to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give sight to the blind, and release the oppressed. All of these are policies for health care, a fair justice system, and economic support for poor folks and those in need. He didn’t just give a handout. The man laying by the pool of Bethesda for 38 years demonstrates that Christ believed in self-determination, “A certain man had been laying by a pool for 38 years. As Jesus came by, he knew his condition and asked him ‘Sir, do you want to be healed?’ The man complained nobody was there to put him in the water. Jesus said, ‘take up your bed and walk’”, John 5:7-9. It is about faith and work.

America is much better than some would describe her. Jesus did not use gimmicks or fancy marketing strategies to win the support of the people. He didn’t sell gold sandals with red bottoms to young men in the community to help pay his legal bills. He didn’t have his picture emblazoned on a robe standing behind prison bars to sell to young Brown and Black men, suggesting they could relate to criminal activity as he awaited the crucifixion. Unfortunately, too many evangelicals and some Christian folks, according to Tim Alberta as he writes in his new book The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelism in an Age of Extremism, “Many Christians to some extent have been seduced by the cult of Trumpism, convinced of the false choices that accompany his rise, drained of certain convictions in the name of others, infected with a relativism that rendered once firm standards suddenly quite malleable.” America don’t go for the okey-doke.

Don’t be bamboozled. Don’t be hoodwinked. Don’t be guilty of what is often attributed to P.T. Barnum but later we find was likely from a banker named David Hannum from New York who said, “a sucker is born every minute.”

This fruit our nation is being offered in 2024 does not taste good. It seems to be rotten to the core. People, please know the word is, “These three remain faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love,” I Corinthians 13:13. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Love is the greatest force in the universe. It is the heartbeat of the moral cosmos. He who loves is a participant in the being of God.” In the words of Popeye, “I am strong to the finish, cause I eat my spinach. I’m Popeye the sailor man.” America, it is time to eat your spinach. That spinach is love. Love is not hate. Love is not fear. Love is not retribution. Love is not division.

“There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out fear. Because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love,” I John 4:18. Beware Of Wolves Dressed Up In Sheep’s Clothing.