The Evangelical community's values include repentance, forbearance, uprightness, and the value of a hard day's work. With that in mind, I am dismayed by the excitement I have seen from parts of the Evangelical community over Donald Trump's campaign for president. In his personal life, his often-changing political beliefs, and especially his language, he totally disregards the values that we hold dear.
The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. Prov.16:5 (NIV)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Eph 4:29 (NIV)
Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. Mark 10:9 (NIV)
….for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,… Romans 3:23. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness. John 1:9 (NIV)
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. James 1:26 (NIV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Gal. 5:22-26 (NIV)
While I know that only a part of the community is supportive of his campaign, recently two prominent Evangelical leaders, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. and Southern Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress announced their support for Mr. Trump for president. I believe that they were shallow in their assessment, mistaken in their endorsement, and now risk leading the faithful towards a candidate that exploits their religious faith for political gain.
Regarding Mr. Falwell Jr., his position has assuredly put his father's legacy at the Moral Majority movement at risk of being rendered mute. His argument is that Liberty University once had financial problems and decided to get help by hiring consultants to navigate the financial hurdles. He believes Mr. Trump would bring the same business acumen to our national finance crisis that Liberty University discovered with its consultants. However, he willfully ignores Mr. Trump's failed business ventures and bankruptcies. He even lauded Mr. Trump's use of bankruptcy law to achieve his goals. I wonder if Mr. Falwell views the stunning success of Trump The Board Game, Trump Airlines or Trump Vodka as an example of what we might expect of a Trump-led government?
Aside from Mr. Trump's checkered past and "evolving" views, his language concerns me the most. For some reason, people seem to gravitate to Mr. Trumps challenge to political correctness. I agree that the constraints of political correctness have gone too far, but Mr. Trump is often simply hateful. Calling women "fat pigs," "dogs," "bimbos," "disgusting animals," and "slobs" is just one example of Mr. Trump's lack of control over his tongue. His mocking of a disabled reporter and his relentless name-calling have revealed a flaw that, in my opinion, ought to disqualify him for the highest office of the land. I hope we are better than this.
With all this in mind, I am extremely troubled by Mr. Trump's relatively high polling results with Evangelical voters. On January 26, 2016, Politico Magazine reported that Donald Trump had 37 percent support among Evangelical voters. It's time for Christian voters to pause. Take a minute and read the texts of scripture at the beginning of this article. Then ask yourself a question. Does Donald Trump exemplify the teachings of the Christian Church, not in how he may lead the country but in how he has lived his life and managed his campaign for president?
I want to be clear — I am not seeking a national pastor nor spiritual leader for the White House. But I am seeking someone who represents and lives out the values of a predominantly Judeo-Christian nation. I am seeking someone who brings out the best in who we are and challenges us to grow — together, not in suspicion of each other — as a nation. So before racing to the polls to support any candidate, I am suggesting that every American ask some probing questions to determine a candidate's moral character.
Is the candidate honest or is the candidate given to embellishment, dishonesty or deceitfulness?
Is the candidate conceited? Remembering, this is something God detests.
Do the candidate's words align themselves with the teachings of scripture and does he or she have control over their tongue?
Has the candidate been faithful to his or her spouse?
Do the candidate's behavior and history lead you to believe that the fruit of the Spirit as outlined in Galatians chapter 5 is exemplified in their life? If not, why isn't that important to you as a Christian?