Let me make it clear that this piece is my opinion only and does not necessarily reflect the views of Christian Rights Ministries.
For my friends on Facebook, and for other Christians who are struggling over Donald Trump, I offer my latest reflections. Let me know your thoughts, and may God give us all wisdom during this election cycle.
In the aftermath of the release of a shocking audio in which Donald Trump speaks in a manner highly offensive to women, evangelical Christians, and morally-decent people my initial reaction was to write him off completely. I joined with others in calling for someone else more qualified to replace him. What he said was highly offensive and most inappropriate for anyone running for public office.
As I reflected a bit more on this, however, I came to an awareness of my own hypocrisy. I could only think back on the number of times I thought things, did things, or said things in private settings, that if they were made public, I would be horrified and ashamed. I would not want to have my entire life and career judged by those few moments of indiscretion. But Mr. Trump had the misfortune of being caught. .
As Christians our duty is to forgive Mr. Trump. The Lord commands us to do so, as He has forgiven us. That does not mean we condone any of his behavior or words on that recording. But it does mean we accept his apology and forgive him. To do otherwise is to be disobedient to the Lord himself.
Then I thought of some of the greatest men in the Bible with deep flaws: Moses murdered an Egyptian. David committed adultery, lied, and then arranged to have a loyal warrior killed. Peter denied the Lord, even calling cursings upon himself in the process. Solomon was an idolater. Samson was a rascal. Jacob, a deceiver. On and on the list goes. The amazing thing is that the Lord still used them and even blessed them!!
Let me add one more notable example. In Isaiah 45:1-6, Isaiah mentions prophetically a pagan king, Cyrus, whom the Lord would raise up for the benefit of the people of Israel. The Lord says, "You do not know me, but I will be glorified through you." This prophecy was fulfilled in 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 and Ezra 1:1.
If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit we are sinners, just as Trump is. We are depraved, morally corrupt, steeped in sin, infected with wicked hearts and prone to rebellion against God. We are no better than he is, and if we think we are, then we have another problem (self-righteous moralism). Only by God's grace are we other than what we were.
It is sheer hypocrisy for me to distance myself from Mr. Trump for fear that supporting him will make me look bad. Look, perhaps I should think the same thing about every single person who supports Hillary when we consider her character.
I remember recent history: Bill Clinton was elected president when his prior dalliances were very well known. Our country paid the price for it, to be sure, but it is highly arbitrary and inconsistent to write off Mr. Trump for behavior that does not approximate Mr. Clinton's.
Finally, we need to avoid falling into fallacious thinking. Mr. Trump has some very solid ideas, far superior, in my opinion, to Mrs. Clinton. The man's crudeness, brashness, and arrogance are quite irrelevant to the positions he holds on the vital issues facing this country. And if he is able to surround himself with good people, people the caliber of Mike Pence, I think he could have a successful presidency, and that is why I am still voting for him.
How many truly Christian voters are there who have a solid grasp of the Bible's teachings on the critical issues of the day, can apply the Bible's teachings on those issues, and vote in accordance with them? How many Christians are really Values Voters?
Is it possible to be a Christian and not have a thoroughly biblical worldview? The answer is yes, unfortunately. Many Christians have disengaged their minds and have succumbed to the attractions and deceptions of mind-numbing media--movies, television, video games, music, biased and one-sided news reporting--such that the ability to grapple with the critical issues of the day has been profoundly hampered, leading to a lack of spiritual discernment.
I am thoroughly befuddled when I hear Christians saying they are going to vote for a candidate whose stance is antithetical to the Bible's teachings.
1. The Bible addresses the sanctify of human life
2. The Bible speaks to God’s design for marriage and family
3. The Bible demands truthfulness and honesty
4. The Bible expects government to protect its citizens
5. The Bible requires sound economic policy
6. The Bible locates the family as the center of a child’s education
7. The Bible condemns false religion
8. The Bible says that the nation who honors God is blessed
And so what is the profile of a discerning voter?
1. A discerning voter believes in absolute truth
2. A discerning voter believes in moral absolutes
3. A discerning voter takes the constitution seriously and does not believe it should be tampered with
4. A discerning voter respects this country’s spiritual heritage and freedom of religion
5. A discerning voter respects the divine blueprint for marriage and family
6. A discerning voter respects the sanctity of life
7. A discerning voter believes in a strong national defense
8. A discerning voter believes in Israel's right to exist as a sovereign nation
The importance of voting in keeping with a biblical worldview is the most vital issue for evangelical Christians facing this year's election. There are far too many nominal Christians, Christians quite literally "in name only," who do not vote in keeping with what the Bible has to say about the issues, especially the moral issues.
This year we are faced with two largely unpopular presidential candidates. And so what are we to do? Some say, "If we vote the lesser of two evils, we are still voting for evil." Here is the answer: take a look at the platforms upon which their candidacy is based.
Here is the platform of the Republican Party this year
Here is the platform of the Democratic Party this year.
Let me give you just a few excerpts from both platforms that are of special relevance for the evangelical Christian.
"We pledge to defend the religious beliefs and rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard religious institutions against government control."
" . . . we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed."
"We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life."
"The Republican path to fiscal sanity and economic expansion begins with a constitutional requirement for a federal balanced budget."
". . . the presence of millions of unidentified individuals in this country poses grave risks to the safety and sovereignty of the United States. Our highest priority, therefore, must be to secure our borders and all ports of entry and to enforce our immigration laws."
"[The American Family] is the foundation of civil society, and the cornerstone of the family is natural marriage, the union of one man and one woman."
"We reaffirm America’s commitment to Israel’s security and will ensure that Israel maintains a qualitative military edge over any and all adversaries."
"Democrats applaud last year’s decision by the Supreme Court that recognized that LGBT people—like other Americans—have the right to marry the person they love." (this demands a complete gutting of the meaning of the term "marriage")
"We support a progressive vision of religious freedom that respects pluralism and rejects the misuse of religion to discriminate." (don't be fooled by this rhetoric, it basically means that Christian business owners must give up their Christian convictions and conscience if they want to do business in the "pluralistic society" advocated by Democrats).
"We will appoint judges who defend the constitutional principles of liberty and equality for all, and will protect a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion . . . " (this means to interpret the constitution tendentiously and not in accordance with its original intent)
"We will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers" (you may recall, Planned Parenthood traffics in baby parts and engages in crude and barbaric medical procedures to kill unborn children)
"We will continue to oppose—and seek to overturn—federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment." (the Hyde amendment bans the direct use of Federal tax dollars for abortion--taxes you and I pay to the Federal Government--if repealed we will be forced to contribute to something that violate our consciences)
Although both platforms have some good ideas in them, this latter platform stands for issues that stand in hostile rebellion against the Bible's teaching on the critical issues of marriage and family.
For more information please see https://www.frcaction.org/2016
If you are a Bible-believing Christian, the choice is very, very clear. Please vote, and please vote wisely!!!
See The Chart Below for a Convenient Summary
(from the Family Research Council)