Tag Archives: evangelical
For the first time in several election cycles, and certainly in my lifetime, there is no clear choice for evangelical voters in the upcoming presidential election.
I’m going to lay all my cards on the table and say what I think has been going on, and what will happen in November if Trump and Clinton are the nominees.
To this point I think there has been a deliberate effort to prop Trump up as the presumptive nominee for Republicans. The media has done a fantastic job of propping Trump up by giving him far more coverage than any other candidate; when there were more candidates in the race. When you look at some of the outlandish things Trump has said it is hard to believe he is still in the race. That is, unless that was the plan all along.
What is this was the goal: to make Trump the nominee over all the other serious candidates. Standing next to Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, Trump is a caricature that is hard to take seriously. And somehow, he ended up as the last man standing. And while some would have us believe that Trump can beat Clinton, I think that is a serious error in judgment.
Why would the media pay so much attention to a caricature like Trump?
If you didn’t know better, you would be convinced that a vast majority of evangelical Christians support Donald Trump for president. If you didn’t know better.
There is no doubt that the mainstream media is propping Donald Trump up in his bid to be elected president. No one says the crazy things Trump has said on the campaign trail and survives unless the media is helping. Liberal outlets even seem joyful in their reporting that “evangelical Christians” are lining up to support Trump. But is it true that evangelicals en masse are prepared to vote for Trump in this year’s election?
I don’t think so.
Yes, it’s true that Trump has secured (for now) a large part of the Christian vote. We could have a discussion on the difference between “self-identified Christian” and those that are truly Christ-followers, but I’ll save that for another time. For now let’s just agree that many church-going people intend to vote for Trump in November and that reality is causing a stir.
Never in my years of presidential elections have I witnessed so many prominent evangelicals vocally oppose a republican candidate. For the most part church leaders and other prominent evangelicals remain silent. Not because they don’t have opinions and prefer one candidate over another; but because they prefer to focus on the Gospel instead of politics. (That’s also another conversation.)
Donald Trump seems to be eliciting a reaction from nearly everyone with his presidential campaign. Some are energized by the un-politician and his blunt remarks. Others are angry over what they believe are racist, bigoted, xenophobic statements. And still others, like Pastor Max Lucado and well-known Christian media outlet The Christian Post are so incensed that they have broken political silence to denounce Trump.
Max Lucado has been a fixture of Christian culture for decades. I grew up reading his books and being inspired by his ability to paint word pictures from the biblical text. And though Lucado has written millions of words in his books, he has remained silent during presidential campaigns; refusing to endorse or condemn any candidate. Until now.
Likewise, The Christian Post has been a go-to resource for many people of faith for many years on all things religious. The Christian Post has never taken a position on a presidential candidate; even though many criticized their silence. All that has changed as The Christian Post makes it clear who they will not be supporting in this year’s election.
So why would two icons of Christian culture break their long-standing tradition of not endorsing or condemning a presidential candidate now? After all, President Obama ran for re-election; isn’t that enough to warrant an op-ed? What is it about Trump that has caused even the most reserved and controlled of Christian media outlets to break their silence?
I believe it is the mass support by self-identified “evangelical Christians” for Trump that has both Lucado and The Christian Post concerned. Specifically it is the concern that people outside of faith in Jesus Christ will conclude that all Christians are like Trump. This is particularly troubling given many of Trump’s claims. The Christian Post says:
I’ve been having this conversation more with people who are curious about this particular group. It’s becoming noticeable that the “dones” are rapidly growing into an easily recognizable group. Whereas at one time a few people knew someone who was once solidly committed to their faith but has since walked away. Now, many people such a person. In fact, you might talk to that person often and not even know it.
The “dones” exist because the church is broken. Now, we’ve all known the church is broken for a long time. And no one of any kind of theological depth would expect it to be anything but broken. The church is filled with sinful humans that, despite the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, continue to sin. But the church is also broken because it has morphed into something it was never meant to be.
As my church prepares to begin walking through the book of Ecclesiastes on Sunday mornings, I am already reminded of Solomon’s oft-repeated phrase: “There’s nothing new under the sun.”
That phrase comes to mind as I read the results of a recent survey conducted by LifeWay Research for Ligonier Ministries concerning the theological beliefs of evangelical Christians. These views, heretical at best, show the lack of theological training and how it has caused a host of ancient heresies to resurface today.
Here is a list of some of the troubling statistics: