The numbers are staggering. No, blatantly bewildering. And I almost couldn’t believe the high-profile names in the body of Christ who are supporting Donald Trump for President of the United States.
As Christians, the church, evangelicals – whatever your label for followers of Jesus Christ and the Bible – we are called to be children of light. We follow the Light of the world, in all of His majesty and marvelousness. Our position on darkness? It’s one of gratitude – grateful that God delivered us out of our dark places, and into the light.
So, why are many Christians, including 78% of our white evangelical brothers and sisters, supporting the campaign of Donald Trump?
Actions So Dark, We Can Never Wear Shades
While we’re not here to demonize anyone, Trump makes it all too easy to both recognize and scrutinize his fruit. What does/has Donald Trump produced, and how does/did he go about it?
The young and old alike can see almost daily, dark examples of his behavior. From his disrespect for citizens of color, women, the disabled, Gold Star families, to his vocal positions that benefit some (not all) “law-abiding, hard working Americans”, America and the world can see that this candidate does not have the empathy, temperament, or character expected of an American president.
Why do some Christians rock their shades, and turn a blind eye to the obvious madness that a Trump administration will bring? Let’s see.
Christian Justifications for Voting Trump
We are anti-abortion/Planned Parenthood.
The go-to “trump” card for most pro-Trump Christians is – “A vote for Hillary kills babies.” Can a person be pro-life and not vote for Donald Trump? I believe so, and I’ll tell you why:
First, when we stand before the judgment and give an account for our actions and words, God is not going to run the reel on someone else’s life and hold us accountable. You and I will not be blamed for the actions of those who abort babies or support abortion legislation. Our duty is to share the Word of God, speak the truth – the hearer must accept it, repent, and work out their own salvation.
Abortion is not a Hillary problem – it’s an America problem. Under a Trump presidency, will 1, 10, 100 babies still be aborted? Sadly, yes. If Roe vs. Wade is overturned and abortion legislation addressed at the state level, will there be states who still legalize abortion? Yes, there will.
Second, isn’t the hate and bias shown by Donald Trump and the GOP just as murderous as abortion? The Bible states that “anyone who hates his brother or sister is a murderer at heart.” Now, even if we apply this statement to believers only, is it a stretch that God counts hateful unbelievers just as murderous? Not a stretch at all.
I have not witnessed a loving character from Donald Trump. To the contrary, his actions display a self-absorbed, unapologetic, vindictive antagonist who will proudly tell you who he can’t stand, or who he wants to assault any day of the week.
Third, I don’t buy into levels of sin. At any other point in time, you’ll hear most Christians say, “there are no big and little sins.” Interesting how this position changes in the world of politics. Now the killings of babies are a bigger sin than hateful hearts, and even the senseless murders of African-American men by the police.
Why is the outcry for sin not equal across the board? I say “cry loud and spare not” for all, not just some.
We are for the family and marriage.
With the Supreme Court passing of Obergefell, which legalized same-sex marriage in all states, many Christians rely on Trump’s promise to appoint judges who will overturn this decision. Really?
I find it striking that in his RNC speech, Trump didn’t mention pro-life (#1) or pro-marriage (as God designed), but made a strategic appeal to the LGBTQ community. Let’s face it, not even Trump can serve two masters.
There will be a winner and a loser in this area. Given Trump’s personal life experience regarding the sanctity of marriage, and his ability to change positions depending on the political benefits, Christians dare not hold their breath in dependence on Trump and “him alone.”
Trump will give us free speech and protect our tax-exempt status.
Ohhh, I got it. It all makes sense now. With the repeal of the Johnson amendment, churches will have “political free speech” and become the newest super PACs – with deep arsenals of the mighty dollar.
Given the over-emphasis on “positive thinking”, and misuse of the “prosperity message” by some churches, would this freedom drive some churches into the bondage of corruption? Just as doctors and teachers don’t have to use their places of work (hospitals, classrooms) to share their views on politics, couldn’t pastors, as American citizens, effectively share their views outside the pulpit?
Like #2, don’t hold your breath on Congress repealing the Johnson amendment. There’s a precedent in our country today that is more anti-Christian than support for Christian views and standards.
A Non-Spiritual, Common Sense View
Let’s set aside our Christian ideals and Bible quotes for a second. What I find interesting is this: Citizens of America (and the world), who stake no claim to Jesus or the leading of the Holy Spirit, have more discernment than many Christians on Trump’s character.
While being a decent, moral person is not the key to eternal life, citizens with honest, unbiased common sense can see that the character of Donald Trump does not align with the character of the “leader of the free world”.
Why would America elect a person whose words would incriminate him in a workplace discrimination lawsuit, but the same words are “funny” on the presidential campaign trail?
America, are you saying you aren’t great enough to hold your president to a higher standard than the citizens he or she leads?
And what about his mouth? Trump claims that being politically correct “takes too much time”. If political correctness is synonymous to “thinking before you speak” or diplomacy, I tend to think that these tenets actually help get things done, and prevent your words from derailing progress.
“I didn’t mean it” or “I mis-spoke” will only go so far, people. How effective will a President Trump “clean-up crew” be on the international stage? Words can incite violence against Americans. Will there be enough time for President Trump’s interpreters to explain “what he really meant”?
Can America truly remain effective and relevant in a world where countries ponder banning the president from entering the country? While some Americans may think diplomacy and discretion are passé to Trump’s off-the-cuff, say-what-I-want style, common sense tells us otherwise.
Isn’t this what we teach our children?
Is This Thing On? Listen Up, Team!
Let’s face it, though dark and crude, Trump’s influence on America and Christians is undeniable. It’ll take another article or two to dive into the exposed heart of Americans, the pressure white men feel as their perceived supremacy is threatened by other racial groups, and the spirit of hypocrisy plaguing some in the church. All of these factors have a connection with the Trump campaign.
But let there be no doubt: The Light of Christ in us must and will shine brighter than any dark days ahead. That goes for a Trump or a Clinton presidency.
The darkness of tribulation for the church will survive long after this presidential season. So, it behooves us all to keep our eyes and hearts fixed on Christ, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and stay dressed in the full armor of God.
So, what’s the play call?
Let’s be wise with our votes this and all election seasons. Be careful not to focus on poll numbers, which are often used to convince voters that “your vote doesn’t matter; XYZ is going to win.” Let nothing keep you from exercising your right and privilege to vote!
If you’re not registered to vote, visit our campaign at Watch. Pray. Vote! and register before the end of September. Most state deadlines are between October 1-11th.
And if you’re already registered to vote, sign the pledge to take your light and your faith to the polls!
Remember, those in darkness don’t know where to go. Walk in God’s lit path for you, and you will never be lost – nor will you fall.