Hypocrisy, Inconsistency, Evangelicals, and Donald Trump
I am an evangelical. That is a common term for Christians who believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and that he is the only way to God. That way is through believing that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, period. Okay now that it is settled that I am born again, saved, Bible believing Christian, we come to an issue that many of us in our tribe don’t agree on.
What is this issue? It is approving of Donald Trump’s behavior as somehow being “acceptable to God” because he is pro life (which I am), appoints conservative judges and justices (which I support), and wants to see religious freedom expanded (which I applaud). So what is the problem if we evangelical Christians get what we want political? The problem is at what cost to our values and convictions.
You see the world looks at us and wonders how we justify someone who is vulgar and crude to everyone who disagrees with him; has very questionable morals sexually; most likely is racist; and probably broke the law in the infamous telephone call to the president of the Ukraine.
20 years ago when President Clinton was impeached, evangelicals at that time said they couldn’t support someone in the White House who had questionable morals and openly admitted to dalliances that occurred with a White House intern. When you read those written comments from 20 years ago, and now see what those same evangelical leaders are saying today, it shows a clear inconsistency and dare I say hypocrisy in their current view of President Trump.
Again, the issue is not that evangelicals voted for him to be President. If someone took the position that only Trump or Hillary Clinton had any chance of being elected, and felt that between the two Trump held better positions politically, then it made sense to vote for him. What I find totally inconsistent and hypocritical is to somehow now say he is a godly man and that his behavior doesn’t matter because of the political positions he holds. No politician does everything correctly, but there has to be a line in the sand where we believers say no elected official should cross. THAT IS THE ISSUE.
Let me illustrate with a non political example. Let’s say there is a business man who is married with children and claims to be a Christian. This man is faithful to his wife, supports his family financially, is active in church, gives back to the community, donates to pro-life and other worthy causes, but you discover beats his wife. Would we say because he does so many wonderful and worthy endeavors that we excuse his behavior and that in this case he gets a pass? Dear God, I hope not. This abuse has gone over the line, and this business man must be held accountable, regardless of all the other good he does.
About two weeks ago I read a brand new book called, The Immoral Majority: Why Evangelicals Chose Political Power over Christian Values by Ben Howe. Ben Howe is a strong evangelical and conservative politically. He is a blogger who has been vilified by the left and other liberals. His parents got saved at First Baptist Church in Dallas Texas, and later attended Thomas Road Baptist Church. Both of these churches lead pastors are radical Trump supporters.
Here is where things get interesting and why this book is a must read. Howe, while supportive of some of Trump’s policies politically, has come to the conclusion that we evangelicals have sold our souls in the way we justify his behavior. He gives overwhelming evidence of the inconsistency from statements to statistics to back up his point.
While Howe cannot vote for most Democrats because of positions such as being supportive of abortion, he also cannot vote for Trump because of the message it sends. So if only a Republican or a Democrat can win the presidency, who do you vote for if neither one is acceptable? According to Howe you vote for no one, or find some obscure candidate whose values line up more with your beliefs.
At the same time I was reading this book, Mark Galli, the retiring editor of Christianity Today, wrote a brilliant on line editorial of why he believes President Trump should no longer be President. I encourage you to read the entire piece at
I have been reading Christianity Today for 45 years and the magazine is a bastion of evangelical critical thinking, helpful teaching, and amazing testimonials of people coming to Christ. Don’t believe the vilification of this publication, because the people there are rock solid believers.
So my conclusion is if Trump survives his trial in the Senate, and you believe that in the 2020 election he still holds the best political views, then vote for him if you want. But please don’t justify his standing as being like the second coming of Christ. That is flat out dangerous spiritually.
But my appeal to my fellow believers is there are things more important than elections. These are eternal things and ultimately in God’s kingdom that is the only thing that really matters, isn’t it?