Posted Jul 03, 2018 by Michael L. Brown

We hear this on a daily, if not hourly basis. Evangelicals have hurt their witness by voting for Trump. Evangelicals have lost their credibility by supporting Trump. Evangelicals can no longer be taken seriously because they’re in bed with Trump. And on and on it goes.

It doesn’t matter who he appoints to the Supreme Court. It doesn’t matter if he improves the economy. Or strengthens the military. Or helps stabilize the Middle East.

Not at all. Trump is a heartless, misogynistic, immoral, narcissistic, xenophobic monster, and whoever voted for him (or continues to support him) is not worthy of the name “Christian.”

This has almost become the new orthodoxy: Prove your allegiance to Jesus by denouncing Trump. Failure to denounce him is proof positive that you have compromised your witness.

Sorry, but I’m not playing this game. In fact, I refuse the premise of this game.

First, the very ones driving this narrative are the ones who didn’t take our faith seriously before. They branded us bigots and homophobes. They criticized us as Bible-bashers and rightwing extremists. And they’re the ones now saying, “We would take you more seriously if you denounced Trump.”

I don’t think so. They didn’t take us seriously before. Why should they suddenly say, “Now that you’ve put a distance between yourselves and that crazy man in the White House, we’d love to hear your views on abortion and homosexuality. Yes, please tell us why abortion is murder and why same-sex marriage is illegitimate in God’s sight. You have so much to offer us.”

Not quite!

This reminds me of some criticism I got for our video “Can You Be Gay and Christian?” A lot of hateful viewers vilified me as an “old man” (and much worse, of course). This prompted me to ask, “So, if I was a cool-looking young guy, would you like what I had to say?” I think not.

It’s the position we take that primarily brings us rejection, not our age or appearance.

Second, there are plenty of evangelicals and conservatives who didn’t vote for Trump (some were Never Trumpers), yet they still get hated and ridiculed by the left for their conservative views. Did journalists like Ben Shapiro and David French earn the respect of the liberal world by not voting for Trump? Have they become less hated? Are liberal campuses opening their doors saying, “Please speak to us, now that you’ve proved your credibility by not voting for Trump”?

Third, many of us who did vote for Trump said from the start that we had grave concerns about his character. That we thought he could be very divisive. That some of his rhetoric could be dangerous. And plenty of us have expressed our disagreement with the president since he was elected.

How, then, does our vote for him impinge on our faith?

I’ve said repeatedly that Donald Trump didn’t die for my sins and that he’s not my savior. And I will not sell my soul in support of him.

But you better believe I’d vote for him against Hillary Clinton any day of the week. I’d far rather have him picking Supreme Court nominees than Hillary. Or standing against LGBT extremism. Or protecting our religious freedoms. Or standing with Israel. Or facing down Iran.

Please tell me, then, how a vote (with hesitation) for a man who would stand for the life of the unborn and resist LGBT activism in our schools and push back against the assault on our liberties and challenge radical Islam and support Israel is somehow a compromise of my faith.

Yes, when I was a Cruz supporter and a Trump opposer, I was personally sick of the line, “We’re not voting for a pastor. We’re voting for a Commander in Chief.”

Yet it’s true. That’s who we voted for, with the hopes of him getting certain things done. Some of us loved him from the start and others held their noses as they voted. But to make this a test of our faith is nonsense.

Fourth, the media is framing the narrative and deciding when outrage is called for. “If you don’t speak out against the separation of children at the borders you’re a hypocrite!”

Frankly, I don’t know anyone who likes this, whether the policy goes back to George W. Bush or Barack Obama, or whether Trump is the main cause of it. Of course we want better solutions.But why are we required to join some leftwing, Trump-hating rally to prove we’re not evil people?

The fact is, an incredible amount of social good is done every day by evangelicals around the country, from feeding the poor to housing the homeless to fighting human trafficking to adopting rejected children to helping addicts get free to sponsoring refugees. (This is just the tip of a giant iceberg of evangelical good works.)

We don’t have to prove our morality by giving our “Amen” to the left’s latest cause. (And to repeat: I don’t know anyone who was pleased with kids being separated from their parents, and many of my colleagues raised their voices too. But we don’t have to dance to the media’s tune.)

Of course, there are evangelicals who seem to idolize Trump, who will never differ with him, let alone criticize him, who seem to have double standards when it comes to this president.  I concur with those who believe that those types of actions can hurt our witness and make us seem hypocritical. Absolutely.

But to make the denouncing of Trump a litmus test of Christian orthodoxy is utterly ridiculous. I urge my colleagues and friends not to be lured into this game.


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Hibbee posted a comment · Jul 12, 2018
Not much to say, but aren't we told not to judge others.God is the judge not man
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Happy2ride posted a comment · Jul 07, 2018
Thank you for your rationale and stance. It's the empathy and confusion of Christians that led to this state. We allowed the efforts of the Left to overwhelm our schools, communities and now our faith. We mostly stood by with zero comment, let alone resistance. Christians need to register & vote their conscience. We can change our country & the world. "One of the penalties of not being politically involved (informed) is, you are then governed by your adversaries." Plato . . . and remain void of understanding why things are so bad.
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[email protected] posted a comment · Jul 06, 2018
@Hebrewhelena. It's a dude. Yes I read the Bible and understand it. Do you? Do you understand what it means when the Bible says Christians are immigrants in this world? Please support your arguments from the Bible and I will support mine and let's do so in a civilized about it. Matthew 25:43 "I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not." PS. The word stranger there means immigrant.
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Hebrewhelena posted a comment · Jul 06, 2018
To the dude or woman who said that “Heaven has no borders”??? Are you crazy??? Do you even read the Bible? Ugh. Dr Brown is spot on as usual!!
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[email protected] posted a comment · Jul 06, 2018
@DrBrown, be careful of what you align yourself to. A real Christian is measured by his actions not his rhetoric. The charge of hypocrisy is to shut up Christians for trying to impose values which we ourselves fail to adhere to. First I would like to give you 2 verses to ponder on: 1. Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." 2. Hosea 8:4 "They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off." I am afraid you missed the point. The charge of hypocrisy is not just coming from the left. It is also coming from fellow Christians who are directly affected by Trump's policies. You think you benefiting are but you will soon find out you are not. 1. Trump's anti-immigrant policies are not just affecting the so-called illegal immigrants, they are affecting all immigrants. Right now any immigrant who need sponsorship of any kind is finding it hard to get a job. And, for a people who claim to be a "Christian" country should there be such a thing as an illegal immigrant. The charge for hypocrisy come in because you are willing to quickly pull out the Bible to impose Christian values on others when you do not impose those values on yourself. What does the Torah and the Gospel have to say about immigration. If God Kingdom was of this world, it would have no borders just as His real Kingdom has no borders. Hypocrisy comes in when you support a man whose policies are not simply misaligned to the values you claim to hold high but are against those value. 2. On the economy, I feel sorry not just for the US but for the world. You have to understand that government spending takes 2 forms. Tax and spend or borrow and spend. Both are bad but borrow and spend is even worse as it accumulates interest. Trump's so called tax cuts are not real tax cuts because they were not matched by a corresponding reduction in government spending but an increase in government spending. It's a classic Borrow and Spend. Do you know who is going to pay for that? The very poor we are supposed to advocate for. America will not borrow forever. The next government will increase taxes and given loops in all tax regulations the rich will not be affected in any way. That burden will fall on the poor whose social security benefits are going to be cut and the middle class whose taxes are going to be increased. All this from a party which claims fiscal responsibility. I could go on forever but from the 2 examples do you see how the charge of hypocrisy is coming from. Personally I despise all politicians as they are all lairs. They are all probably in bed with Trump and just using him as a scapegoat. He is still in the wrong though and so are you. What I know is that God is fair and hence life is fair since HE sustains it. You reap what you sow. Those who voted for Trump and continue supporting him despite the pain he is causing others will reap what they sowed. God will hear the cries of the crying mothers and the poor.
jlingle posted a comment · Jul 04, 2018
To ALL the NEVER Trump people, who claim to be conservative or evangelical, close your eyes and imagine a President Hillary Clinton. NO Judge Gorsuch, or another pick, maybe 2. That alone should set your feet to dancing if you care about the future of America. Get over yourself, and start praying for President Trump.