President Donald Trump’s unwavering support by conservative evangelicals has damaged Christianity in such a way that some Christian leaders are worried about the future of religion in America.
Despite all of Trump’s terrible behavior from his extramarital affairs to his coddling of murderous dictators and his treatment of migrant children like animals and his bullying and foul language, he still has majority support among evangelicals even though that support has waned in recent months.
Evangelicals treat Trump as if he is the Second Coming of Christ or was sent by God to be president. Keep in mind, only 20 years ago conservative evangelicals were demanding former President Bill Clinton be impeached for “moral failings”. But because Trump is seemingly on board with the anti-LGBT anti-women and racist agenda supported by evangelicals, they love him and they don’t care that he’s a terrible person who they would condemn to hell if he were a Democrat.
Evangelical leaders like Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr., and Robert Jeffress have repeatedly kissed Trump’s a** in the name of God all while rejecting the teachings of Jesus that have been adopted by the Democratic platform such as healing the sick and taking care of the poor.
But this hypocrisy, and Trump’s weaponization of religion, has had a negative impact on the future of Christianity in the United States. And Christian leaders fear evangelicals are causing Christianity’s demise.
Fuller Theological Seminary president Mark Labberton spoke with The Atlantic this week and observed that the Church is “in crisis”.
“The Church is in one of its deepest moments of crisis—not because of some election result or not, but because of what has been exposed to be the poverty of the American Church in its capacity to be able to see and love and serve and engage in ways in which we simply fail to do,” Labberton said. “And that vocation is the vocation that must be recovered and must be made real in tangible action.”
And that’s going to be hard to recover since more and more young people are rejecting Christianity precisely because evangelicals have poisoned the well.
“We’re losing an entire generation,” Christian leader Karel Coppock said. “They’re just gone. It’s one of the worst things to happen to the Church.”
Perhaps worst of all, evangelicals are violating the Golden Rule as laid out by the Bible, all but guaranteeing that a future Democratic president could treat them the way they’ve been treating liberals during Trump’s presidency. In other words, with ruthless disregard and illegitimacy.
Religious conservatives will rue the day they chose hate and hypocrisy in order to gain political power. It can only backfire on them. So, they better enjoy the power they have now because the majority of Americans will likely crush them in elections to come and will send them back to the fringes and the shadows where they belong. Only then will real Christians have an opportunity to repair the damage done.
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