Skip to comments.Unmasking The Error Of The Never-Trump Evangelicals
Posted on 05/19/2018 1:26:53 PM PDT by Liberty7732
When did we who are Christians decide that we could not support a politician who was not holy enough? When did we arrive at the point where we would not support an apparent unrepentant sinner perhaps, say, a non-Christian even if his policies are overtly and measurably returning us at least in small part to our Judeo-Christian heritage and improving the state of the nation?
The answer? Apparently at the election of Donald Trump. This is not a hard case to make.
There are two bookends to the case.
First, evangelicals who voted for Trump in November and support Trump now are charged with being idolaters, heretics and unfaithful by prominent never-Trump evangelicals. Because we support him and his policies as president, that means we are OK with the morals in his life, including sex outside marriage with a prostitute, or his incautious language at times, including on Twitter.
But this is a fallacious position, as shown when it is flipped. If they did not vote for Trump, then by their conflation they are OK with tacitly supporting abortion and funding Planned Parenthood. If evangelical Trump voters are not allowed to separate the man from his policies, then why should they be allowed to separate not voting for Trump with the concomitant immoral policies that follow.
Second, is the standard which they hold evangelicals to with Trump the same as they hold themselves to with all of the rest of elected officials? Is this requirement of Biblical purity being applied at every level of office? Are the people they support at the city, county, state and Congressional level meeting this standard? If they are not, do these people similarly disdain and attack supporters of those people?
The answer is self-evident. Too many of my evangelical Christian brethren, who are conservatives as I am, have moved the goal posts or flat out changed the rules of the game to accommodate their personal dislike of and opposition to Trump, and to ground their attacks on those of us who do support him because of his solidly conservative policies and appointments.
Those two applications of their philosophy bookend the middle problem, which is the use of straw men in their attacks. So lets take a match to the most absurd straw man that is constantly used and undergird both bookends: By supporting Trumps policies, Christians are turning a blind eye to his moral failures, or worse, accepting them as not a big deal.
This is false to the point of being injurious libel. Yet this is the ground that has been staked out by some prominent and angry-sounding evangelicals.
New York Times columnist and anti-Trumper Ross Douthat sums up two of these straw men approaches:
on the influential Gospel Coalition site, Jared Wilson described younger evangelicals as basically a bunch of theological orphans, betrayed by older pastors who insisted on the importance of moral character and then abandoned these preachments for the sake of partisanship revealing their own commitments as essentially idolatrous, and leaving the next generation no choice but to invent evangelicalism anew.
Wilson like the rest seems to conflate any support of Trump due to Trump policies and appointments as abandoning our beliefs. But would he apply the same straw man logic to himself?
If Wilson did not vote for Trump, then that means he has abandoned his morals with regard to abortion and maybe 72 genders. Because if Wilson, Douthat and the others philosophically do not allow me to separate Trump policies from Trump, then I why should I let them separate not supporting Trump from non-Trump policies that is, Hillary Clinton?
Ill tell you why: Because I dont believe that of them. I dont think they have abandoned their social morals because they did not vote for Trump. They weighed and chose one way and I have always granted conservatives that space. But they will not grant me that space, because apparently, they know I have abandoned my faith and principles which of course, they cannot know.
Further, what they propose in their pronounced judgement of fellow Christians is a terrible and divisive philosophy that digs the foundations of purity tests as requirements for candidate support and Wilson and Team Anti-Trump will clearly be the arbiters of what those requirements are and when they are met.
Heres another example from Douthats column:
In a somewhat different vein, the Baylor professor Alan Jacobs responded to a question (from me) about where younger evangelical intellectual life is going by saying that as far as I can tell, where young evangelicals are headed is simply out of evangelicalism. Meaning that they will either go along with the drift of their elders and become church-of-American-greatness heretics, or else they will return to older liturgical traditions, Catholic and Orthodox and Anglican, and cease to identify with evangelicalism entirely.
Wilson knew I had abandoned my principles because I disagree with him politically on this president. But Jacobs knows even more; that I am now a heretic. But see above why he would have to be also, if judged by the same test.
David French, one of the most prominent and loudest evangelical never-Trumpers, recently castigated in the harshest terms evangelical support for Trump:
Its sin, and its sin that is collapsing the Evangelical moral witness all too many fellow believers have torched their credibility and exposed immense hypocrisy through fear, faithlessness, and ambition. Soon enough, the need to defend Trump will pass. Hell be gone from the American scene. Then, youll stand in the wreckage of your own reputation and ask yourself, Was it worth it? The answer will be as clear then as it should be clear now. Its not, and it never was.
Or maybe a major threat to evangelical Christianity will be seeing prominents such as French, Douthat, Wilson, Jacobs and others viciously attack the very being of the faith of evangelicals who disagree with them politically. That is a uniquely ugly presentation of Christian unity and charity.
I will not attack these people on the logic of their horrible straw men depictions of Christian Trump supporters. Nor will I attack them on the grounds of knowing their hearts as they clearly do with me. Dozens of Bible verses compel me otherwise. Lets take one:
Every mans way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts. Proverbs 21:2
The Lord weighs our hearts. Not anti-Trumpers. Not pro-Trumpers. They take that upon themselves at great peril.
It is soundly unChristian to denounce the hearts of other believers over political choices. Did they do that over the Christians who supported Obama and Clinton, despite the deeply anti-Christian policies of those two? I sure dont remember it. I did not and will not. Vigorous disagreement on the substance of issues is warranted. Condemnation is well outside the Christian pale.
These are passionate times and we all make mistakes. We are all fallen. We all sin. Pundits to presidents.
And heres something I think they err on greatly. The emphasis on morals is right. Its right for us before God and to teach our children. But its not the first thing because it is a distinctly Christian doctrine that we cannot be saved by our own works, but only through the grace offered by God. So before being moral is the need for salvation through Christ for the evangelical Christian, particularly. While my fellow Christians surely believe this, they do not sound it. They want to judge Trump and Trump policy supporters on morals in a way they would not allow to be turned back on them.
But what if Trump is not a Christian? Then all of their protestations are out of order, and their libel against brothers and sisters is more than unwarranted, its unloving.
I understand the dislike. But the opposition is wrong in my opinion, although I accept we can disagree without me condemning their hearts. Their attacks on evangelicals such as myself are unbecoming and create this internecine battle among people who agree on virtually all the major political issues, and presumably on the core of the most important issue: the centrality of Christ.
I will always have an olive branch out for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are so determined to tell me I am a disgraceful idolator ruining the witness of Christ. I am also open to debating and discussing this in any civil environment. It seems as though civility should not be a prerequisite, but the anger and bitterness in some of these words suggest it needs to be.
That’s 5 minutes of my life I won’t get back.
“Thats 5 minutes of my life I wont get back.”
At my senior age, my bs timer activated itself after a few seconds and shut down the reading.
Are there evangelical Never-Trumpers?
Got a new tag line.
If a reasonable person cannot differentiate between Trump and Clinton and by virtue of rejecting Trump they support Clinton, they have no idea what a “lesser evil” is (for a lack of a better term). All of these mentally deficient NeverTrumpers refusing to acknowledge the pure evil of Clinton are sickening. The attacks upon the Presidency and Donald Trump and his family personally is pure evil and unprecedented. The NeverTrumps started this and gave Clinton and Obama the energy to keep trying to pull a coup off and impeach the President.
Didnt appreciate his assumption that Trump had been with a prostitute!
I stopped reading.
Anyone who supports the ideals of liberty is a friend of religious people be he an atheist or agnostic or a Moonie. Dedication to the principles of liberty allow religions to flourish. Those who try to use the govt to suppress a particular religion are exceedingly shortsighted as well.
There are plenty of “Christians” who would gladly set up the worst totalitarian state ever conceived if given the opportunity.
there wasn’t any viable better choice, so all this angst about Trump is a great big waste of time
HilLIARy was a terrible candidate and her taking a reported $200 million from enemy Muslim dictatorships meant she could never ever be trusted in office (even forgetting that, her miserable performance as Sec of State did that for sure)
if the D’s somehow break free from their SorozNazi/Commie/IslamoNazi Puppetmeisters... and nominate a respectable, decent candidate in 2000, THEN and only then I may read such articles about DJT
if the D’s continue nominating krap....then DJT is the one and only clear choice for 2020, for sure!
period. end of file
who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
The entire purpose of the socialist-communist-atheist party’s attacks on Trump through their endless propaganda of this prostitute-porn actress charges is their assumption of this very collumn: That Trump’s “evangelical base” will be split (can be split) from him by this type of endless repition.
The original author IS PLAYING THEIR Never-Trump GAME! Probably deliberately. He is deliberately aligninghimself with Hillary-Obola-Comey-McCabe-Rice-Tapper-McCabe criminal network to get evangelicals to hate and despise Trump for immoral conduct BEFORE he was married to his present wife.
All the while (deliberately) ignoring the Hillary-Bill Clinton threats and intimidation of the women raped by Bill Clinton during their sham marriage.
it was obvious that DJT was not a perfect human being when we elected him
but he was, and definitely still is, a thousand times better than HilLIARy
sometimes even if we classify a candidate as have some clear evil or questionable attributes, we still vote for him.. and even campaign for him...because he is SO VERY MUCH better than his rival
voting for the lesser evil, if you will, is less evil
Yes, I am related to a few. One is young, not exactly a nevertrumper, but had issues with the language hoopla early on. First time voter. The other was my Pharisaical brother-in-law. Language again, but he knew better and is full of himself. As if Hillary was a better choice.
Trump has been clean as a whistle since taking office. That is the only criteria we should be judging him on.
Yes. And I dont even expect our presidents to be perfect in office. Just trump being a loyal American citizen is a big improvement over his predecessor or HilLIARy
A little research will reveal that in the past God has chosen humans that modern-day “Evangelicals” would not find acceptable. (Moses, Sampson, Jonah, Paul, Peter, Mary Magdalene ...) (He himself hung out with a people that Evangelicals would find offensive.
Second, I find it offensive that title and first sentence imply that Christians = Evangelicals, or conversely Evangelicals = Christians. (I am Christian, I am not Evangelical.)
Trump is a hired gun. We did not hire him because he is as pure ass the driven snow. We hired him because we need a killer to save this nation from terrorists, progressives, globalists, and sundry swamp creatures. So far he is doing pretty well.
Then there are those who refused to vote for Trump (or other republicans on the ballot who weren’t true conservatives) as a protest. But, of course, anyone who does THAT, is giving a vote edge to the democrat, by default. So if enough people refuse to vote for the republican party’s candidates, it’s partially THEIR fault if the democrat gets elected. Hard heads will deny that, but it’s true. I’ve had to hold my nose to vote in every election except Trump’s and Ronald Reagan’s, but I’ll be darned if I’m going to be part of the reason we get stuck with the likes of Barack Obama! As bad as ANY of the republican candidates have been or will be, ANY republican is better than ANY democrat!
I know quite a few of them in my Blue state. Not that their vote for CIA operative McMullin would have changed the outcome, Hillary won my state with a wide margin. Still, I would tell you their attitude has not shifted... they are still as smug as any liberal.
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