A man sat in
a park playing checkers with a monkey. A crowd assembled to watch as the two
played game after game. People stared, dumbfounded at this remarkable monkey that played checkers. When they finally stopped playing, the exasperated man
exclaimed, “I don’t know what the big deal is. I beat him seven out of ten
Sometimes we miss the big picture when focusing on the obvious details.
was my last choice during the Republican primary. I groaned and grieved
when the Donald received the nomination.
However, voting for Hillary would have continued Obama’s disastrous
economic and foreign policies. She would continue his dismissal of the
Constitution and rule of law and extend his massive overreach of
government. Eric Metaxsas illustrated at the time (see his excellent article,"Should Christians Vote for Trump?"), Hillary as President would push America over the cliff to disaster and ruin. Trump would not be the country's messiah, but he could pull America five feet back from the cliff's edge.
In 2016, I
wrote a blog article entitled Why
a Southern Baptist Pastor Will Vote for the Unvirtuous Donald Trump. People quickly shared the post, and during
the first week the article received over 17,000 hits. Not an eye-raiser for the
big leagues, but for my small-scale blogging, it made waves. What mattered more
to me than the numbers were the Christians who stopped me the next several
weeks and shared I was
really struggling as a Christian whether or not I could support Trump. Your
article helped me see that voting for him did not mean sacrificing my
interviewer asked former Secretary of Education William Bennett, well-known for his books on virtue, how the “virtue man” could
support the unvirtuous Trump. Bennett answered, “I
understand how you feel about some of the things he said, but it may be better
to lower your standards on things the guy says temporarily than to lose your
Evangelicals and President Trump
Christians represented a large portion of Trump’s support in 2016. After
enduring eight years of a President who not only was not one of us but did not
even appear to be a friend of evangelical Christianity, how relieved and
excited were many Christians to have a friend of Bible-believers – even if he
did not seem like “one of us.”
evangelical leaders like Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Franklin Graham embraced
President Trump, eventually considering him the greatest friend to fighting for
legislation that reflects a biblical worldview than any President in recent
history. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council,
New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas, and James Dobson of
Family Talk exhorted Christians to vote for Donald Trump because the platform
adopted by the Republican Party consistently reflected values in keeping with
The Democratic Party, on the other hand, consistently adopts a platform inconsistent with biblical Christianity.
French’s argument goes something like this: It is wrong to enthusiastically support as a leader
someone with an immoral past. Evangelical leaders like Graham play too much to
partisan politics. These leaders have “seared the consciences of the
culture and the church, and granted their secular opponents all the ammunition
necessary to question our sincerity as believers.” Resultingly, evangelical Christianity is experiencing
what French calls losing “the collapsing Evangelical public witness.”
French's main example seems to be that while Franklin spoke against Bill Clinton's sexual sins, he has not done so about Trump's. Yes, without question, both men were wrong for their sinful behavior. However, there is a huge difference. Clinton's sinned sexually while President of the United States, his sexual sins occurred in the Oval Office, and he lied under oath to cover his sexual sins. President's Trumps sexual sins occurred in the past before he became President. That is a significant difference that French overlooks.
I would fully expect, if Trump were caught having sex with an intern in the Oval Office, Franklin Graham and other preachers would put on their prophetic pants and call out those sins. However, it is not Graham's nor any other preacher's job to begin rebuking every sitting President for all of their past sins.
Graham's ministry Samaritan's Purse continues to do incredible humanitarian work, and he continues preaching the gospel of Christ around the world, like his father did. It excites me that some Christian leaders like Graham have added to that mix another prophetic role - speaking into the political and moral climate.
I think in reality, it's the Never-Trumpers who have lost faith in the pro-Trump evangelical leaders.
His warnings are not new. He has been writing these warnings for four
years, ever since it appeared Trump would win the Republican nomination.
Like many Christians, during the last Presidential election cycle, I
experienced a frustrating time of getting behind a candidate. With sixteen
potential Republican choices, I hoped to see Mike Huckabee or Ted Cruz win the
nomination. With the success of Donald Trump, I had to majorly reevaluate the
game. The ideal was not going to happen.
Like many evangelicals, I had to think of the big picture, realize the
greater good, and make voting choices in the real world vs. the ideal one. I
had to see there was a monkey winning games of checkers – even only 3
out of 10.
Christian Leaders Sound their
At the time
our choice was Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said, "She would be horrifyingly corrupt as President. And she would be a disaster in
public policy. Remember, this is not about politics. The cost of Hillary's
dishonesty could be the loss of America as we know it."
Pastor Dutch Sheets correctly states,"The damage [under the Obama
administration] has been so great that America is now one president away from a
complete transformation to secularism, a loss of our Judeo-Christian foundation,
the loss of our position as the stabilizing force for good in the earth, and
the leading voice of the gospel to all the world. If elected, Hillary Clinton
will be the president who finishes the job. She stands almost entirely against
everything we, the church, are for, and for everything we are against. Hillary
is pro-abortion, including partial-birth abortion, the most insidious evil of
the last century; will raise taxes while continuing out-of-control spending;
will further weaken our military; is for completely open borders; is pro-gay
marriage; supports Obamacare; has no respect for our Judeo-Christian heritage;
sells influence; and is a proven liar. Do not be fooled—she will completely
finish what Obama started."
Governor Mike Huckabee said, "If Hillary is elected, we have a real good
shot at losing religious liberty, the Second Amendment, the Fourth and the
Fifth, having open borders . . . . This country is going to take a very,
very negative direction."
Dennis Prager writes,"The left is successfully undoing every one of those
founding principles [of our nation]. . . . [W]e are at the most perilous tipping point of American history."
Grudem, my favorite modern theologian for twenty years, penned an excellent
article, which can be googled, entitled Why Voting for Donald Trump is a
Morally Good Choice. Grudem shared the angst of a Christ-following, Bible-believer
choosing to vote for Donald Trump – a very flawed candidate.
House on Fire
When the house is on fire, it would be nice for the firemen who come
to be God-fearing, Bible-believing Christians. But I will take the most
qualified firefighter who gets to my house.
If I suffer
a heart attack and the EMS carries me to the ER, my wife does not walk in the
door and exclaim, “If you are not an upstanding, morally pure, God-fearing,
born again believer, you can’t work on my husband. If you have had a
sordid past, then just leave him alone. I’d rather stick to my principles
and not having anyone touch him than let someone beneath my
standards help him. Just leave him alone if you don’t match my
If my child
falls of the monkey bars and suffers a head injury, it would be great if the
ambulance driver can quote Scripture and listens to Charles Stanley, but I’ll
take a cultist who worships crystal angels if she can drive my son safely and quickly
to the hospital.
Ronnie Floyd, former President of the Southern Baptist Convention,
wrote, "The problem with this election is that we have lost sight of what’s really on
the ballot. We
don’t vote for personality but for policy. Vote not for a man or a woman, but
for the future of our children."
Churchills and Chamberlains
these men were conventional Christians, and they had many detractors in the
clergy, yet each played a pivotal role in history. They stood strong against
the enemies of freedom and helped safeguard our way of life and our Christian
Patton was no choirboy, but he was a strong-willed and powerful man who trusted
in the authority and compassion of a powerful God. Donald Trump, with his
swagger, cocky self-assurance, and ruthless determination, may well be the
George Patton of our age and the one man who could stand up to the leftist
insurgents who have done so much damage to the republic over the last fifty
years. His language and behavior may be disagreeable, but he possesses an
undeniable passion to make America great again, and the people have responded
to his message.
Old Testament Samson is recorded in Hebrews 11, The Hall of Faith, asa
faith-hero. It seems the grace of God has a way of covering
our past failures and
As Dennis Prager said,
"I’m not defending Trump. I’m voting for him. I’m
defending America from Hillary Clinton who will fundamentally do much more
damage to our beloved country."
And later he writes, "There is no defense for Donald Trump’s comments
or alleged sexual misbehavior. But in terms of damage to America, there is no comparison between what he has said and
allegedly done and what she has done and advocates for the future."
victory was stunning.
the vitriol vomited from the Left and the. Democratic Party toward Donald Trump and conservatives
motivate me all the more to throw my support behind him. Last fall in Decision
Graham aptly wrote,
Today, the direction of the Supreme
Court is still the single most crucial issue facing our nation . . . .
The spectacle surrounding the Supreme
Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh is just a foreshadowing of what we
can expect if progressive-liberal socialists rule our country. And believe me,
they are doing whatever they can—no matter how devious and disgusting—to see
their own godless agenda forced upon us.
The entire rationale behind the
controversy in these hearings, seen around the world, wasn’t about what Judge
Kavanaugh did or didn’t do
as a teenager. It was really about the ideological advance of progressive
socialists who were intent on stopping a judicial conservative from being
appointed to the Supreme Court.
For several decades, the highest
court in the land has grown decidedly liberal. Worse, the court has rendered
ruling after ruling that rejected the Biblical foundation for our laws,
allowing hostility toward Christians to grow. . . .
When the American electorate put Donald
Trump in our nation’s highest office, he did exactly what he promised to do in
his campaign, and exactly what our nation needed. He appointed a conservative
judge to the Supreme Court to fill the seat vacated by the death of Justice
Antonin Scalia. Already, Justice Neil Gorsuch has proven to be a friend of
religious liberty, and no doubt will be for many decades to come!
It’s no surprise, then, that the
nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace the retired Anthony Kennedy was
marked by vitriol from progressive leftists who were scared to death the
confirmation will constrain the court to rulings that faithfully reflect the
wise underpinnings of our founders. Socialist progressives know what is at
stake—including the possible overturn of Roe v. Wade—and they have been willing to employ any scheme
The further our nation moves away
from God, the quicker our descent into greater moral depravity and chaos. I
fear for what is in store for our children and grandchildren.
I am afraid that what we saw during
the recent televised hearings has embarrassed our nation before the world.
We’ve sunken civility and reasonable dialogue in the political arena to
stunning new depths. As Judge Kavanaugh remarked during the hearing, we have
“sown the wind” and will “reap the whirlwind,” a familiar Biblical phrase from
the Book of Hosea.
Since President Trump was elected, he
has appointed more than 120 judges—virtually all judicial conservatives with
respect for the Constitution as originally written, including the First
Amendment right of free exercise of religion.
Kavanaugh’s eventual confirmation by
the Senate on a 50-48 vote will certainly be advantageous in a host of key
upcoming decisions coming before the Supreme Court. But make no mistake, the
progressive left is not giving up.
In just this
year, we are witnessing social madness as the left continues its socialist
march across America, uprooting
our values and trying to change the very fabric of our society. George
Orwell’s 1984 seems more and more at home among us as progressives try to purge us of anything they deem offensive.
Brown writes, “Our moral framework is collapsing, and our kids and grandkids
and great-grandkids will pay dearly. How can I hold my tongue from speaking or
restrain my pen from writing? . . . Wherever we turn, there is confusion.
In just two years, his administration
has accomplished more than any other president in decades to defend religious
freedom, turn the tide of the Supreme Court and protect ordinary Americans who
have been under siege for practicing our Christian beliefs.
When you think about what has
happened over the past two years, it’s incredible how the entire federal
landscape has changed from a previous administration that was openly hostile to
people of faith, to the one today that not only welcomes evangelicals but
aggressively fights to protect our religious liberty.
“In recent years, the government
tried to undermine religious freedom,” the president told us. “But the attacks
on communities of faith are over. We’ve ended it.”
for leaders like Jerry Falwell, Jr., James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Franklin
Graham, and others who are able to see the big picture.
Never-Trump conservative been told, say in the summer of 2015, that a
Republican would win the 2016 election and, within his first few months in
office, appoint a conservative to the Supreme Court; begin the process of
replacing Obamacare; bomb Russia’s ally, Assad, after he again used chemical
weapons; appoint the most conservative cabinet in modern American history;
begin undoing hysteria-based, economy-choking EPA regulations; label the
Iranian regime “evil” in front of 50 Muslim heads of state; wear a yarmulke at
the Western Wall; appoint a U.N. ambassador who regularly condemns the U.N. for
its moral hypocrisy; restore the military budget; and work on lowering
corporate tax rates, among other conservative achievements — that
Never-Trump conservative would have been jumping for joy.
aren’t anti-Trump conservatives jumping for joy?
I have come
to believe that many conservatives possess what I once thought was a left-wing
monopoly — a utopian streak. Trump is too far from their ideal leader
to be able to support him.
also a cultural divide. Anti-Trump conservatives are a very refined group
of people. Trump doesn’t talk like them. Moreover, the cultural
milieu in which the vast majority of anti-Trump conservatives live and/or
work means that to support Trump is to render oneself contemptible at
all elite dinner parties.
addition, anti-Trump conservatives see themselves as highly moral people
(which they often are) who are duty-bound not to compromise themselves by
strongly supporting Trump, whom they largely view as morally defective.
these people are only human: After investing so much energy in
opposing Trump’s election, and after predicting his nomination would lead
to electoral disaster, it’s hard to for them to admit they were wrong. To see
him fulfill many of his conservative election promises, again in defiance of
predictions, is a bitter pill. But if they hang on to their Never-Trumpism and
the president falls on his face, they can say they were right all along.
that only if he fails can their reputations be redeemed. And they, of course,
is another way.
join the fight. They can accept an imperfect reality and acknowledge that we are
in a civil war, and that Trump, with all his flaws, is our general. If
this general is going to win, he needs the best fighters. But too many of them,
some of the best minds of the conservative movement, are AWOL.
I beg them:
Please report for duty.
cannot always make ideal choices. Sometimes rugged realism is
At times we can't say, "What is the pure
choice?" Instead, we have to ask, "What choice will
likely do the most good, or, what choice will likely do the least
amount of damage?" That is part of living in the real world. Maturity involves embracing some ambiguity.
At the end of the game, let’s be excited that a monkey won 3 games!
See these excellent articles about the greatest threat to America, freedom, and religion: The Left . . .
Pictures used by permission from Pixabay.