2 August 2018 | Liberty University plans to release The Trump Prophecy, a film about Mark Taylor, a firefighter who claims God told him in 2011 that Donald Trump would be president. The large evangelical university is teaming up with an independent Christian film maker who has raised $1 million to create the film. Liberty University’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr., claims that Trump is a “dream” president for evangelicals.

Adventists have long been concerned about connections between religion and politics, especially among American Christians who believe that the seventh-day Sabbath is no longer a divine expectation and might advocate respect for Sunday instead. Adventists have also had repeated experiences with individuals who claim that God has spoken to them about current events.

The Washington Post reported that over 1,900 people have signed a petition asking for the film project to be cancelled. Some of the signatories claim to be Liberty students or graduates. The petition rejects the idea that the firefighter who made the prediction is a modern-day prophet. It also is critical of what it claims is a pro-Trump bias in the film produced by Rick Eldridge and his Charlotte-based Reel Works Studios.

The film’s director, Stephan Schultze, is the head of Liberty’s Cinematic Arts program. He rejects the accusation that the film aims to raise up Trump, saying that his main goal is to make great filmmakers of his students. He says viewers can decide whether  Taylor was a prophet. Schultze himself refused to say whether he felt Taylor’s prediction was a prophecy, saying instead that he felt called to his work.

Some critics of the movie are upset by the idea that God would have a preference for one candidate. “It’s putting politics over the Gospel. It’s putting political ideology over faith,” said the Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners, a progressive evangelical group. Wallis called the film “heretical” for attempting to tie God to a certain electoral result.

The Trump Prophecy will be showing in select theaters nationwide on Oct. 2 and 4.

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