Like many people, I felt grief at hearing the latest revelation of what Donald Trump said eleven years ago. I did not listen to the statement, but heard enough about it to know it was shameful.
Later, I listened to his apology a couple times and believed he was sincere. I felt relief as I listened to his expression of regret for his words.
My relief, however, turned to sadness as I read the reaction of many Christian leaders to Trump’s apology, many of whom refused to accept his apology as genuine or forgive Trump for what he said.
The reason most give for not supporting Trump is that such backing would compromise our witness as believers to our neighbors and keep them away from the Savior. Some even say a Trump victory will kill the church. That’s absurd at best!
I believe these often repeated assertions are based on several misleading assumptions.
1. They Assume Hillary Supporters Will Be Most Open to the Gospel
The reasoning that supporting Trump will cause many to reject Christ has at its heart the assumption Hillary supporters will be more open to the gospel than those voting for Trump. Why else would they fear such a negative response toward the gospel from those around them?
Those voting for Trump are not likely to reject the Savior because we as believers support him. Why would they? If those who do not vote had strong anti-Trump feelings, they would vote for Hillary.
As for Hillary supporters, why would those voting for someone who proclaims that we as believers are deplorable and phobia-ridden for holding to biblical values be more open to our faith than Trump supporters?
2. They Assume We Need a Perfect Candidate
Many Christians scrutinize Trump as though he was in the running to head up the women’s ministry at their local church. If that were the case then yes, Trump might not be an ideal candidate.
He is running to be president; he does not need to perfect or have a spotless way of life. Who does? The condemning audio happened eleven years ago and he has apologized. Does God still hold us accountable for our words eleven years ago? No! He forgives our sins! Why do so many deny Trump the forgiveness they themselves enjoy for sins just as bad (if not worse) as that of Trump?
Some of the world’s greatest leaders have not been perfect; below are James Dobson’s words regarding Winston Churchill:
I have always admired Winston Churchill. He is seen as one of the greatest national leaders in the 20th century. . . . He was not always celebrated as a great leader. He was a bombastic, cigar smoking, at times crude, even misogynistic leader.
It is alleged that he told off color stories to his children before bedtime! A woman once told him he was disgustingly drunk. His response was “My dear, you are disgustingly ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly!”
Along that same theme, Dobson said this about Trump,
So…is Donald Trump good for America? I honestly believe that he has been already. He has shaken the political system. Do his comments offend me? At times! Do I agree with all he says? Not at all! But could he be a “Cyrus” being raised up by God to preserve America?
Our presidents do not have to be perfect to accomplish great things.
3. They Assume Only Believers will Suffer if Hillary Become President
Many Christian leaders assert it would be good for the church to suffer the consequences of a Hillary presidency. They believe such suffering may spark revival. While this may certainly be the case if God in His sovereignty allows Hillary to win, it overlooks one key reality.
Christians will not be the only ones to suffer under a Hillary presidency!
The union of border patrollers recently voted overwhelmingly to support Trump. In their statement of support, they asserted that the immigration policies of Hillary would result in the deaths of thousands of Americans in the coming years.
She promises to raise taxes on everyone who pays them, has no answers to skyrocketing healthcare costs, and thinks food stamps are the answer to our economic ills.
In light of all this, do we really think our neighbors will be thrilled to discover we stayed home rather than vote for a flawed candidate?
Do we really think our unwillingness to vote will make others more open to the gospel once they experience the dire consequences of a Clinton victory? I don’t think so!
4. They Assume Our Unwillingness to Forgive Trump Will Make Others More Receptive to the Gospel
Somewhere buried in the thinking of these Christian leaders is the assumption that our unwillingness to forgive Trump will make others more receptive to the gospel.
How does our adoption of the world’s unforgiving attitude make others more open to the gospel? Hasn’t our message of forgiveness and mercy always been much more appealing? Have we gotten so far away from the message of grace that we think our unwillingness to forgive Trump will make us more winsome to others? Did not Jesus condemn the Pharisees for this exact attitude?
5. Since When Does Allowing Evil to Prosper Further God’s Purposes?
Perhaps you may think it extreme that I consider a Clinton presidency to be evil, but when you look at all we know about her a compelling case can be made in this regard. But consider the evidence:
The e-mails just released show her to be vile, foulmouthed, and disgustingly antagonistic of blacks, Muslims, Catholics, and everyone else.
She supports abortion up until birth and publically proclaims that Christianity must be changed to accept abortion as well.
She supports everything that the LGBTQ community stands for and likely will support any other letter added to the group.
She destroyed 33,000 e-mails after Congress had subpoenaed them as evidence; she also physically destroyed cell phones with a hammer to hide the same evidence.
She lied to the families of the Benghazi survivors and then later accused them of lying.
She believes in a one world government and if elected will continue the push for a socialistic world order that will as Obama said at the UN, mean that we will need to surrender “some of our rights and freedoms.”
My question is this: Since when does allowing evil to succeed further God’s purposes? Yes, I totally recognize God’s sovereignty; He may allow Hillary to become president and use that for His purposes. Perhaps her election would trigger events leading to the Rapture and Great Tribulation. But at this point all we know is that we have an opportunity to stop the evil Hillary represent.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the famous Lutheran pastor put to death by the Nazis said this, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
I believe this may very well be the Dietrich Bonhoeffer moment for our country.
We will not have another opportunity to turn back the growing tide of evil spreading across our nation. If elected, Hillary will hasten the setting up of the coming satanic and demonic world order.
Not to vote, or voting third party, equals a vote for Hillary. Not to speak up against the evil she represents through our voting is to speak in favor of that evil. There is no third option in this election!
This election most certainly is not a matter of refusing to vote for the lessor of two evils. This analysis does not match reality!
Hillary, based on the sample of items I listed above, is evil. In fact, I do not know of any Christian leader who denies that she is desperately evil.
Trump, while not the most perfect of candidates, is certainly not evil. If that were the case, do you think godly men who know him such as James Dobson, Ben Carson, Mike Pence, and Mike Huckabee would all so highly endorse him? There is no way on earth these highly respected men of God would endorse someone who is evil.
This is NOT a matter of voting for the lessor of two evils!
It’s matter of taking stand against the evil that Hillary represents by voting for Trump.
There is no third option in this election!
We either vote for Trump, who I believe is becoming a better candidate with each passing day, or we allow evil to gain an even greater foothold in our nation.
Jonathan C. Brentner
North Liberty, Iowa