President Donald Trump’s behavior should mortify evangelical leaders enough to call him out, but they don’t, and that’s why Christian Post reporter Napp Nazworth shamed them in a scathing editorial this week.
For two years, Trump has held on to his evangelical support despite his various scandals, including the fact that he had an extramarital affair with a porn star and committed campaign finance felonies in an effort to cover it up. It also doesn’t matter to evangelicals that Trump is tearing families apart at the border by putting children in cages. Nor does it bother them when he persecutes Muslims or makes crude statements about black people and women.
Trump is the opposite of someone the church should support as a leader, especially the leader of a nation with a tradition of moral leadership.
But rather than speak up, evangelical leaders such as Robert Jeffress, Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, and many others are defending him instead even though the whole lot of them called for crucifying former President Bill Clinton for adultery in the 1990s.
In fact, Graham even went so far as to say that Trump never lies, a claim that shredded whatever was left of evangelical credibility.
In an editorial for the Christian Post, Nazworth slammed the hypocrisy Trump’s evangelical supporters and blasted them for doing damage to Christianity.
“Many of us are supporting a misogynist who bragged about assaulting women, and paid hush money to a porn star and a Playboy bunny. Why should anyone trust us?” Nazworth asked before pointing out that supporting Trump won’t stop abortion.
“Backing Trump won’t end abortion. Just the opposite,” he wrote. “In aligning with Trump, pro-lifers are only extending the time that will ultimately be required to end abortion because they’re losing their moral authority to speak on this issue. If you use double standards, you are harming your ability to convince others. The reasoning of hypocrites isn’t trusted.”
Nazworth even pointed out that Trump has betrayed Christian refugees.
Trump drastically cut back on the number of refugees able to seek asylum in the U.S. We should try to help all refugees, but notably, many of those for whom Trump is denying aid are our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Evangelicals urged Trump not to do this, but he did it anyway. So, what have evangelical Trump supporters gained with their access to the president? Have they been swindled by a con artist?
He then quoted former Nixon associate Chuck Colson, who once explained how evangelicals are easily duped to back the president despite his sins.
“Ironically, none were more compliant than the religious leaders,” Colson once wrote. “Of all people, they should have been the most aware of the sinful nature of man and the least overwhelmed by pomp and protocol. But theological knowledge sometimes wilts in the face of worldly power.”
Evangelical leaders have done more than merely wilt. They are now complicit, and Nazworth concluded by calling upon them to save their souls before it’s too late.
Evangelical Trump supporters will continue to face a choice between God’s values and Trump’s values. Will they face the fiery furnace? Are they prepared to be thrown to the lions? Unlike Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, they wouldn’t face the death penalty for opposing their political leader, but they do face a loss of moral authority for supporting him. Will they have the courage to publicly oppose Trump when he offends God’s values? All evangelicals, not just those close to Trump, must ask themselves this question in the age of Trump.
Frankly, it’s wishful thinking on Nazworth’s part. Evangelical leaders are drunk with power and they intend to continue using it to force their will upon the American people and that will spectacularly backfire one day as more and more Americans realize that evangelicals are hypocrites who should be tossed back to the fringe of society where they belong.
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