It’s taken thousands of years, but the penetrating theological minds at Christianity Today have uncovered a new verse in the Bible. Found in Exodus 20 they discovered an eleventh commandment Moses must have left out:
Thou shalt never vote Trump (Ex. 20: 17b CTV).
Surely it was there all the time, and those of you who voted for, supported, or have given money to this vilest of men have committed an egregious sin. Thus, Christianity Today’s dictum:
Go forth and repent.
In a diatribe that began with former editor in chief Mark Galli and fervently continues with author Scott McKnight, evangelicals are warned to “consider how your justification of Trump influences your witness.” McKnight’s smug, self-righteous pseudo-intellectual argument, which begins with quotations from John Locke, ends in this condemnation: “Wholesale evangelical support for the administration has made toxic the reputation of the Bride of Christ … [Trump] is a symptom of a sickness …”
This breath-taking assertion by our betters at Christianity Today is so offensive, so reprehensible it makes Hillary Clinton’s statement that the Trump faithful are irredeemable deplorables seem like a minor slap on the cheek when compared to Galli’s – and now McKnight’s – stiletto to the heart.
As if anticipating the coming backlash, McKnight chides those with enough temerity to mount a contrary opinion to this holy decree as nothing more than rank “statists” who are too busy rendering to Caesar and not paying attention to the words and deeds of their Lord Jesus Christ.
To which we offer the following rejoinder in the words of one of their own, the young Miss Greta Thunberg:
How dare you!
How is it that support for this man, this president, has ruined the evangelical Christian witness as if it were a collective decision and not an organic movement? Moreover, where was McKnight’s indignation when Americans were forced to choose between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to lead the nation?
God Installs Leaders
Perhaps McKnight would be wise to consult the Bible before unleashing a condemnation of millions who – shocker here – do not think like him. “He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings,” begins Daniel 2:21. And then at the end of Romans 13:1, the apostle Paul proffers, “ … for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been appointed by God.” Thus, the people of God are led by him to install those whom he desires to lead a nation. This was true for Nebuchadnezzar (r.604-652BCE), as it is true of Donald J. Trump.
This is not to infer that Mr. Trump is a modern-day Nebuchadnezzar but rather to note that those who believe Trump is the right man at the right time to lead this nation do so because they trust it will advance the Christian cause.
And so, it has.
Name one president who has attended the March for Life. Name one who has taken the bold step of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Name one who Israeli leaders have called, “The best friend Israel has ever had in the White House.” In three years, under a mountain of opposition and scrutiny, Mr. Trump has remained steadfast in fulfilling his wish list to advance the cause of, protect, and defend Christians and their faith.
Even the left-leaning AP newswire was forced to quote a legal advocacy organization leader who said, “He [Trump] has been the most pro-religious freedom and pro-life president in modern history.”
How so? Here are but a few of the president’s accomplishments, direct from the White House:
“On May 4, 2017, the president signed an executive order to greatly enhance religious freedom and freedom of speech:
- taking action to ensure that religious institutions may freely exercise their First Amendment right to support and advocate for candidates and causes in line with their values; and
- ensuring that religious Americans and their organizations, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, would not be forced to choose between violating their religious beliefs by complying with Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate or shutting their doors.
- announcing a reversal of the Obama administration’s policy denying disaster aid to houses of worship, allowing houses of worship to receive crucial aid in times of crisis.
The Trump administration has taken a stand on behalf of religious liberty in the courts:
- supported students declared ineligible for a scholarship because they attended a religious school;
- supported the Archdiocese of Washington in its effort to buy ads for the holidays on public transportation; and
- supported baker Jack Phillips’s right to operate his bakery in accordance with his religious beliefs.”
A final point worth noting. If Christianity Today got right down to it and skipped all the intellectual mumbo-jumbo against people who support the president, their objection might come to nothing more than they are offended by the person of Donald Trump.
Could it be that their view (much like the opinion of most on the left) is that he is a crude, lewd philistine that must be barred at the gate?
Then what, pray tell, would be Christianity Today’s judgment upon a man who systematically killed and persecuted people of the faith? How might they react to a leader who had an adulterous affair and then sent the woman’s husband, also his friend, to the front lines purposefully to be killed? What about someone who posed as his brother to gain his father’s blessing?
Even cursory readers of the Bible will recognize Paul, David, and Jacob in these brief descriptions. One wonders what Christianity Today would have labeled these men, whose lives, flaws, and actions are central to the biblical message of redemption? Just another bunch of toxic statists?
McKnight’s doubling down on his former editor’s argument against evangelicals who support Donald Trump is not just specious but insulting. It reveals a clear political bias – ironically proving that they are the real statists without so much as a modicum of grace, which God freely offers to them, to the president’s supporters and yes, even to Mr. Trump himself.
Christians know that a central message of Jesus Christ is freedom – a genuine liberty of the soul that only comes from knowing Him. We need not abide the Pharisees at Christianity Today to tell us how to think and vote. We would do well to listen again to the powerful, passionate words of the apostle Paul, who said in Gal. 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.