During the past few years, some evangelical Christians have compared President Donald Trump to King Cyrus, founder of the first Persian empire. Now a $45 coin featuring Trump and Cyrus is available for supporters who want a “point of contact” with God during the lead-up to the 2020 election.
On The Jim Bakker Show, author and speaker Lance Wallnau is promoting a coin with the leaders’ faces and the phrases “The 70 Year Decree” and “Cyrus-Trump Proclamation.” Similar coins have been minted since Trump moved the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
“You have a role in this”
Right Wing Watch, which “monitors and exposes” right-wing political organizations, posted a clip of Wallnau’s pitch. The 24-karat gold-plated coin is a daily “point of contact,” Wallnau says. “Your faith is being released with a million other believers to pray protection and peace and wisdom and counsel over the president of the United States and over his family.”
For $45, Lance Wallnau and Jim Bakker will sell you a Trump/Cyrus coin that you can use as a “point of contact” between you and God as you pray for Trump’s re-election in 2020. pic.twitter.com/EwKgGL7sNp
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) May 14, 2019
The coin serves as a reminder that “God put something in your hand that you have a role in,” Wallnau says. Prayer is key, he adds, “because they think we’re crazy, but we’re actually the sane ones.” Referring to the 2020 election, Wallnau says, “This battle for the future of America has already started… God’s begun a miracle; let’s keep that miracle going.”
The Trump-Cyrus Connection
Wallnau gained notoriety for saying God told him Trump would be president number 45, and King Cyrus happens to be mentioned in Isaiah 45. The pagan ruler defeated Babylon in the sixth century BCE, ending the Israelites’ captivity so they could return home and build a temple in Jerusalem. Wallnau calls Trump a “modern-day Cyrus” who is helping America “navigate through the storm.”
While thanking Trump for relocating the American embassy, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared him to Cyrus, saying Trump’s actions would be “remembered by our people throughout the ages.”
Trump, like Cyrus, is an unlikely “vessel” for restoring a Christian America, according to some evangelicals. Michael Evans, who established the Jerusalem Prayer Team, says Trump has a similar role in fulfilling biblical prophecy. “God has used this imperfect vessel, this flawed human being like you or I…in an incredible, amazing way to fulfill his plans and purposes,” Evans says of the president.
An Expedient Comparison?
Some people say the biblical comparison allows Christians to justify supporting a president of questionable character. “This is a kind of baptism of Donald Trump,” says John Fea, author of Believe Me. “It’s the theopolitical version of money laundering, taking Scripture to…clean [up] your candidate.”
Anointing Trump with divine legitimacy removes any expectations that he live out faith principles, critics say. In fact, “Trump’s supposedly anti-Christian attributes and anti-democratic attributes are a vital part of his attraction,” says Katherine Stewart, author of The Good News Club. While researching Christian nationalism, she says she’s discovering that Trump is viewed as “a miracle sent straight from heaven” and that “resistance to Trump is tantamount to resistance to God.”