Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently stated that he hopes he won’t have to seek forgiveness for much from God when it was again noted that despite his claims to be a Christian, he admits he doesn’t think about the need for personal forgiveness and repentance.
He was interviewed by conservative talk show host and author Cal Thomas about a variety of issues, from Trump’s opinion on entitlement programs, to education, to his first executive orders if elected as president. He was also asked about his failure to admit that he needs forgiveness.
“Every president has called upon God at some point. Lincoln spoke of not being able to hold the office of the presidency without spending time on his knees. You have confessed that you are a Christian,” Thomas told the presumptive Republican nominee.
“And I have also won much evangelical support,” Trump replied.
“Yes, I know that,” Thomas stated, but added, “You have said you never felt the need to ask for God’s forgiveness, and yet repentance for one’s sins is a precondition to salvation.”
“I ask you the question Jesus asked of Peter: Who do you say He is?” he inquired.
“I will be asking for forgiveness, but hopefully I won’t have to be asking for much forgiveness,” Trump responded.
“As you know, I am Presbyterian and Protestant. I’ve had great relationships and developed even greater relationships with ministers. We have tremendous support from the clergy,” he continued. “I think I will be doing very well during the election with evangelicals and with Christians.”
Trump then began to discuss the plight of Christians in the Middle East.
“In the Middle East—and this is prior to the migration—you had almost no chance of coming into the United States. Christians from Syria, of which there were many, many of their heads [were] chopped off. If you were a Muslim from Syria, it was one of the easiest places to come in (to the U.S.). I thought that was deplorable,” he said. “I’m going to treat my religion, which is Christian, with great respect and care.”
Thomas repeated his question to Trump, which had still been unanswered: “Who do you say Jesus is?”
“Jesus to me is somebody I can think about for security and confidence,” Trump replied. “Somebody I can revere in terms of bravery and in terms of courage and, because I consider the Christian religion so important, somebody I can totally rely on in my own mind.”
As previously reported, last July, Trump was asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper if repentance and forgiveness are personally important, and he replied by asserting that he believes he is a good person who tries not to need forgiveness.
“I think repenting is terrific. I mean, it’s great,” Trump said.
“But do you feel the need to?” Cooper inquired.
“If I make a mistake, yeah, I think it’s great. But I try not to make mistakes,” Trump replied. “Why do I have to repent, why do I have to ask for forgiveness, if you are not making mistakes? I work hard. I’m an honorable person. I have thousands of people who work for me. I have employed tens of thousands of people over the years.”
“You give millions to charity,” Cooper chimed in.
“I built the Vietnam memorial in lower Manhattan with a small group of people,” Trump exclaimed.
Isaiah 64:6 says that “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” Jesus also outlined in John 3:3, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”