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.