President Donald Trump is not Jesus Christ.
He's not the savior of the world who came to Earth to atone for the human race's wrongs. He was not crucified. Bankruptcies aside, he has never come back from the dead. Trump is a man, nothing more.
Or is he? It seemed like that was the question residents of St. Louis County, Missouri, were supposed to ask when they looked up at a large billboard featuring a picture of Trump along with the phrases: "The Word Became Flesh…" and "Make the Gospel Great Again:"
From a friend—a billboard spotted outside of St Louis. I don't like using the word "heresy," but I think I'll make an exception in this case. pic.twitter.com/FqaPnBXGHT
— Diana Butler Bass (@dianabutlerbass) November 4, 2018
The ad, which has been taken down, appeared on an electronic billboard owned by DDI Media. The company wouldn't say who had paid for it, but an organization called "Make the Gospel Great again" has claimed credit.
"The Word became flesh" is a reference to the Book of John. Chapter 1, Verse 14 says that the Word (Jesus) took human form and "dwelt among us" on Earth.
So was the ad claiming that Trump and Jesus are one in the same? Some people weren't sure. "I didn't know what to make of it," local resident Sherri Chisholim told KMOV. "I didn't know what message it was trying to send but I felt like it was somewhat offensive, I didn't know if they were trying to equate Donald Trump to Jesus."
In a Facebook post today, Make the Gospel Great Again clarified that the "billboard IS NOT equating Jesus with" Trump. But the group does consider Trump to be a messenger sent from God:
[J]ust as King David liberated the faithful in his day, President Trump is doing this today through his protection of the unborn, defense of our land against foreign invaders and standing up for Israel. He surrounds himself with champions for Christian Rights –Mike Pence, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh. Compared to the disaster of a president we had in Obama, how is this not the "word become flesh" for Americans? As Christians we must not stand against God's will despite the persecution we face for doing so.
It's safe to say they probably could have been a bit clearer.