February 29, 2016|12:37 pm

Donald Trump (Photo: REUTERS/Randall Hill)

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Sumter Civic Center in Sumter, South Carolina, February 17, 2016.

Editors' Note: The Christian Post has not taken a position on a political candidate before today. We are making an exception because Trump is exceptionally bad and claims to speak for and represent the interests of evangelicals.

We the senior editors of The Christian Post encourage our readers to back away from Donald Trump.

As the most popular evangelical news website in the United States and the world, we feel compelled by our moral responsibility to our readers to make clear that Donald Trump does not represent the interests of evangelicals and would be a dangerous leader for our country.

Trump claims to be a Christian, yet says he has never asked for forgiveness.

While God, in His wondrous creativity, has drawn people to Himself through the saving grace of Jesus Christ in many different ways, there are certain non-negotiable actions needed to become a Christian: One must repent of their sins and follow Christ as Lord and Savior. Trump doesn't talk this way, even when urged to.

Further, his words and actions do not demonstrate the "fruit of the spirit."

Trump is a misogynist and philanderer. He demeans women and minorities. His preferred forms of communication are insults, obscenities and untruths. While Christians have been guilty of all of these, we, unlike Trump, acknowledge our sins, ask for forgiveness and seek restitution with the aid of the Holy Spirit and our community of believers.

On Sunday, Trump's apparent reluctance to disavow David Duke until late in the day was extremely distasteful. The Ku Klux Klan is an evil, unholy movement representing the worst of America. Anyone who will not immediately denounce their support is unfit to be president.

Trump claims he will "protect Christians." We already have a Protector, and He is not Trump.

The grievances of Trump's supporters are legitimate. Politicians for too long have promised to represent the best interests of all Americans before an election, only to represent the interest of their cronies after the election. But Trump's followers are being fooled into believing that he can help them.

Trump is promising many things that he cannot possibly deliver, but the most frightening part is Trump's stated willingness to ignore the authority of the Supreme Court, Congress and the U.S. Constitution if he were to become president.

Trump has been surrounded by controversy for decades because of his untruthfulness, questionable business practices, reported association with organized crime, and abrupt changes in fundamental positions. Many of these controversies involve defrauding the working class and decisions that compromised American workers. He has taken a political position both pro and con on virtually every subject and major political party. This should give evangelicals great pause and concern about supporting such a mercurial and chameleon-like candidate. Past performance is the best predictor of future behavior.

Trump said he wants to make it easier to sue newspapers that criticize him. When it was pointed out to him Sunday that he would have to amend the Constitution's freedom of speech and freedom of press clauses, Trump was unmoved, simply noting that England has weaker protections for the press.

Many evangelicals, including our friends, have criticized Trump on our own opinion page and elsewhere, such as Matt Barber, Dr. Michael Brown, Kristi Burton Brown, Susan Stamper Brown, Rev. Mark Creech, Wallace Henley, E.W. Jackson, Max Lucado, Dr. Russell Moore and Rep. Reid Ribble. If Trump were to become president we fear he would use the levers of government power to silence them and others.

We are already concerned about the expansion of executive power to dangerous and unconstitutional extremes in the current and previous administrations. Plus, in just the past year we have seen Christians put out of business and jailed for living according to the dictates of their faith.

Trump, an admirer of Vladimir Putin and other dictatorial leaders, may claim to be your friend and protector now, but as his history indicates, without your full support he will turn on you, and use whatever power is within his means to punish you.

This is a critical time in American history and we call on all Christians to pray for personal repentance, divine forgiveness and spiritual awakening for our nation. It is not the time for Donald Trump.