It’s a question thrown about frequently in social media debates: “How can anyone who claims to be a Christian vote for Donald Trump?”
The questioner usually recites examples of Trump’s obviously sinful behavior: adultery, vulgarity and profanity, sleazy business practices, gratuitous mocking of his foes and critics, and his statement that he doesn’t need forgiveness.
His defenders say that Trump has to be “like that” to stand up to relentless, unfair attacks by the biased liberal media and Democrat politicians. They cite scripture that says God sometimes uses ungodly people to accomplish His will or that all governing authorities are established by God. Others suggest that Trump has had a genuine “come to Jesus” experience and is “growing in his faith.”
Jesus was pretty effective and he wasn’t “like that,” although he did get righteously indignant with money-changers in the temple.
If all governing authorities are established by God (Romans 13:1), then that means all governing authorities, not just those you voted for and not only those in the United States. Romans was written to Christians in Rome during the reign of Nero who infamously burned them at the stake. Perhaps God allowed Donald Trump (and Barack Obama) to become President because Americans have become so self-centered and godless that He’s ready for us to reap the fruits of our discontent.
As for Trump’s relationship with God, only those closest to him can know what is in his heart. But if we believe that “what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart,” then evidence of a salvation experience is meager.
But consider the stark choice facing Christians who are increasingly under attack by progressives in the Democratic Party. Today’s Democrats make no attempt to welcome bible-believing Christians, as my parents’ Democratic Party once did. Their professed tolerance and diversity extends only to people who are just like them.
Conversely, Trump fights the progressives with a ferocity unlike most other Republicans, and as president, he’s been solid on the right to life and religious freedom.
For many, the equation is simple: “Democrats hate us. Trump fights against them and for us. We’re with Trump!” It’s the old adage, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
Despite Trump’s personal shortcomings, he doesn’t want to punish churches or Christian business owners that don’t wish to participate in gay marriages. He doesn’t tell us that our wives and daughters must share bathrooms with men who think they are women. He doesn’t tell us that our schools must teach students – starting in kindergarten – about transgenderism or to experiment with their sexuality.
On the other hand, leading Democrats say that taking the bible seriously is incompatible with their progressive vision of America. No prominent Democrat will stand up for the right of others to disagree without being targeted for persecution or prosecution.
Barack Obama ordered schools to let boys who dress like girls use the girls’ bathroom. Presidential wannabes Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker say churches cannot be allowed to decline to perform gay marriages. Bernie Sanders told a bible-believing Trump appointee that people with Christian beliefs are “not really who this country is supposed to be about.”
Not a single Democrat candidate for president is willing to say that Christians should be able to live according to their beliefs, gays can go to churches and business that embrace their marriages, and we can all give each other enough space to get along.
Instead, they want public schools to teach that Christian beliefs are bigoted. Yet these same Democrats never criticize Muslims whose beliefs about sexuality are far less forgiving.
Under a Democrat president, Christians may have to choose between conforming to the law or adhering to their biblical beliefs. The choice is rather stark. No viable candidate offers a more pluralistic option.
How can Christians vote for Donald Trump? Because despite his often shameful behavior, he’s not a threat to our liberty, but his Democrat opponents certainly are.