Written by Don Byrd

It takes a special amount of hubris to believe and proclaim that God is on your side of political disputes, let alone that your political party or candidate enjoys God’s endorsement. But President Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale took that to a new level this week, when he tweeted this about his boss:

“There has never been and probably never will be a movement like this again. Only God could deliver such a savior to our nation, and only God could allow me to help. God bless America!”

Savior? Yikes.

But as Politico’s Andrew Restuccia reported today, he’s not the only person close to the President making that kind of statement. Here is an excerpt that includes a response from the Baptist Joint Committee’s Amanda Tyler:

Parscale’s tweet, the latest example of a Trump adviser casting the president as a savior, comes as the White House is preparing to host religious leaders on Wednesday and Thursday for the National Day of Prayer, an annual event in which people of all faiths are encouraged to pray for the nation.

“Christians should beware of a political use of the word ‘savior,’ which goes to the very heart of our faith. This particular statement is a gross expression of Christian nationalism, which I define as equating Christian and American identities,” said Amanda Tyler, executive director of the Washington-based Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. “People of faith know that God is much larger than any one candidate, party, election or country.”

Defining or limiting God as a candidate or a political movement is dubious theology at best. But it also undermines the spirit of religious liberty at the heart of our God-given soul freedom, the freedom to follow our conscience in matters of both faith and politics.