We’ve seen poll after poll showing significant segments of Republicans believe that Donald Trump is still the legitimate president. How is this possible? Well, as seems to be the case nearly every time you look at the otherworldly support for Trump among the Republican base, a good argument can be made that the religious right is to blame. According to a February poll from the Survey Center on American Life—an affiliate of the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute—a whopping 74% of white evangelicals believe the 2020 election was tainted by fraud, and 75% do not consider Joe Biden to be the legitimate winner.
This is driven in large part by a cabal of rabidly pro-Trump “prophets” who declared Trump would win a second term—and not only refuse to admit that they’re wrong, but actually believe Trump will return to the White House. On Friday, one of the most obnoxious of these “men of God,” Johnny Enlow, warned his followers that they must maintain their support for Trump—and explained that doing so is a litmus test for how loyal you are to God.
Enlow has long been in a class by himself among this cabal of “prophets” who insist that God knows Trump really won and is willing to pull out the stops to undo the wrong done by the radical socialist Democrat mob that stole victory from him. He believes that with much of the government in on the “steal,” there were only three forces that could set things right—“the Supreme Court, the Military, and We the People.” When the Supreme Court refused to go along with a raft of 11th-hour challenges in the five swing states that likely put Biden in office, Enlow openly called for a military coup. He believes Trump has every right to send in the tanks because Biden is an usurper, while Trump is still president—and therefore, they’re actually working to stop a coup.
Despite Enlow’s willingness to spew this seditious garbage, as well as his open and unashamed belief in QAnon, he is a frequent fixture on the Elijah List, a media ministry that distributes “prophetic ‘manna’” from some of the more prominent “prophets” in the charismatic Christian world. On Friday, Enlow sat down with Elijah List founder Steve Shultz to deliver some of this supposed “manna.” What he actually delivered was a demand that Christians must embrace the Big Lie if they truly follow God. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch got a clip.
Enlow claims that it’s not enough for a Christian to be “all about Jesus and all about God.” As he sees it, throughout history Christians are also required to “figure out who to be aligned and connected with.” He claims that prophets are tasked with showing us the people with whom he’s working. Those who don’t recognize or accept “God’s person that he’s using, his instrument” risk losing a lot, “even if you have 100 percent devotion to God.” He calls it “the Trump Test”—and doesn’t think it’s a coincidence that ministries “who didn’t back off Trump” are seeing a heavy-duty blessing.
The whole thing is viewable on YouTube, as well as at the main Elijah List Facebook page and Elijah List’s video streaming page, Elijah Streams. Enlow begins his spiel at around the 45:40 mark. Through it all, Shultz just sits there impassively—as he does whenever any of his buddies go into their seditious and conspiracy-laden tirades. When Enlow finishes, Shultz delivers a message to those accusing them of worshiping Trump—they’re simply “obeying his prophets.”
Well, Steve, if that’s the case, you and Enlow are several miles out to lunch from both a secular and a Christian perspective. From a secular perspective, you’re continuing to feed the mentality that resulted in an actual mob storming the Capitol. And you are doing so without one iota of extraordinary evidence, and without regard for the lawmakers and police officers who had to endure that horror.
From a Christian perspective, you’re all but admitting that you have made Trump into a golden calf—or rather, an orange calf. Indeed, when I first saw this crawl across my Facebook feed, I thought back to a parody I did a few years back, set to the music of a popular praise chorus from my college days, “Bow Down (Before the Lord).”
From where I’m sitting, Enlow—with Shultz’s tacit endorsement—is saying the quiet part out loud. In their view, if you don’t bow and pray to the orange god they helped make, God is likely to tell you, “Go away, I never knew you!” This comes as no surprise to those of us who have recoiled at these seditious words being written on the Facebook and Twitter walls. At least they’re being honest about it.