By now, most everyone is familiar with President Trump’s recent statement “I am the chosen one,” uttered with a gesture toward the sky during one of his impromptu press conferences. To be accurate, he was describing how someone had to take on China’s unfair trade practices.
However, in the 48-hour news explosion that followed, context — in many re-posts and re-airings — was dropped, making the president’s latest “Trumpism” an instant classic that will be mocked and replayed in Democratic Party attack ads during the 2020 presidential election.
But even within that context, “I am the chosen one” uttered by a mere mortal (even if he is the president) was offensive to my ears and millions of others who are familiar with the biblical meaning of the words.
No matter whether you support President Trump or not, it is important to understand why his uttering the vainglorious phrase even in context — and days later saying, “It was sarcasm” — is a sin for which he should seek forgiveness.
What follows is a brief Bible study encompassing both the Old and New Testaments to explain why I believe the president has sinned against God.
Written hundreds of times in the Bible, the holy moniker “I Am” is who God says He is — later followed by Jesus, who often references Himself in this way: “I Am.”
Case in point: Jesus throughout the Gospel of John declares, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”; “I am the light of the world”; “I am the bread of life”; “I am the resurrection.” These are among His most familiar and beloved passages.
For the record, “I Am” first appears in Genesis, the first book of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) as part of “The Lord’s Covenant with Abram” (who was later re-named Abraham).
After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield your very great reward.” Genesis (15:1)
The last reference is in Revelation, the final book of the New Testament when Jesus says:
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” Revelation (22:16)
Among the approximately 300 times that “I Am” passages appear between the first and last books of the Bible, I have selected two of the most significant (which also happen to be my personal favorites). The first is from the Old Testament.
While Moses is on the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments, he and God have what I consider the most famous question-and-answer session known to mankind:
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites:
‘I am has sent me to you.’ ” Exodus (3:13-14)
We can only imagine the look on Moses’ face because nothing tops that answer.
Except, maybe, my next favorite “I Am” passage, which is in the New Testament.
Here is the context:
The Pharisees were influential Jewish leaders in the time of Christ, teaching that all Jews should strictly observe the hundreds of laws as written in the Torah. As a group, the Pharisees were highly suspicious of Jesus — an itinerant Jewish rabbi teaching in the temple court, where this Q&A exchange takes place, according to the Gospel of John:
“Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
“You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”
“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. John (8:53-57)
Note that every Pharisee and Jewish worshiper in the temple court who heard Jesus say “Before Abraham was born, I am!” knew exactly what He meant since God’s name was well established in the Old Testament. (And remember that during the time of Jesus, only the Hebrew Bible had been written.)
Therefore, with these passages in mind, let’s circle back to President Trump’s statement: “I am the chosen one.” Yes, he was referring to his role in China trade negotiations. Yes, he now says, “It was joking” and “sarcasm.” But it is NOT a joke given its biblical meaning while also linking words that are nonsensical and offensive for the following reason:
Combining “I Am” (God/Jesus) with “the chosen one” is illogical because God/Jesus are NOT chosen, but eternal and omnipresent.
My recommendation — both as a loyal longtime Republican who voted for President Trump and as a Jew who believes Jesus is Lord — is for the president to ask forgiveness from The Lord God Jesus Christ, promising never again to describe himself using those words.
And that is no joke.
Myra Adams is a media producer and conservative writer who served on the McCain Ad Council during the GOP nominee’s 2008 campaign and on the 2004 Bush campaign creative team. She is Executive Director of SignFromGod.org a ministry that evangelizes the Shroud of Turin and currently acting as principle advisers to the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. for their groundbreaking Shroud exhibit scheduled for January 2021.