The Christian Post's top news story of 2016 was "Trump and evangelicals." Our readers showed much interest in the topic and CP provided plenty of coverage throughout the year. This presidential election was also the most popular topic on CP's opinion page in 2016, our "Top 10 Op-Eds" list shows.
CP showed the diversity of evangelical views on the presidential election on our opinion page throughout the year. We included Donald Trump supporters, never-Trump-ers, Hillary Clinton supporters, an Evan McMullin supporter and a Gary Johnson supporter. We didn't include an evangelical Jill Stein supporter op-ed, but only because we received no submissions.
Clinton's abortion position also generated much interest among CP readers. CP offered several point-counterpoint articles in the months leading up to the election. You will find one of those op-eds in our top 10 list.
Unlike previous elections, the editors of CP penned two of their own editorials on the election as well, one of which you'll find in the top 10.
For the top 10 op-eds of 2015, see here.
The ranking is based upon total internet traffic in 2016. As you click through the pages, you can read the first few paragraphs of each op-ed. A link is provided if you want to read the rest of the article.
10. To Evangelicals Who Think Hillary Is Deplorable, Deb Fikes
Sixteen years ago, I was living in Midland, Texas, where members of evangelical churches were praying for the 2000 Election Day matchup between Al Gore and George W. Bush. This was no ordinary election for our city because George W. and his wife, Laura, had grown up in Midland and they were greatly loved and admired for their Christian faith.
That election's contentious outcome resulted in vote recounts and court battles but ultimately declared George W. as the winner of a divided nation. Polarization between left and right continued during the next eight years and it was frustrating and painful to supporters and friends of President Bush to see his words and actions being misrepresented, taken out of context and even at times completely fabricated to malign his character. It was sad to see this hateful mindset from people who had never met him or researched the accuracy of the misinformation and slander that they were spreading.
Because of my role as the director for Religious Freedom and Human Rights Advocacy for Midland's evangelical churches, I spent much of the next eight years in Washington, D.C. where I worked with elected officials and their constituents from both the Republican and Democratic parties along with church leaders from around our nation. I wish that I could say that the unfair harshness and hate that President Bush endured was only seen in the liberal left but I can't because I have observed a similar, if not worse, obsession of harshness and hatred towards Hillary Clinton from the conservative political right including from many American evangelicals.
9. Is Donald Trump Like Cyrus From the Bible? by Michael Brown
Ever since Donald Trump began to surge as a candidate last year, Christians have been pointing to the book of Isaiah and comparing Trump with the ancient Persian king Cyrus. Some have even claimed that God has revealed to them that He will use Trump for the good of America just as He used Cyrus for the good of the Jewish people, even though Cyrus was a "pagan" king.
Could this be true?
Let's first look at the biblical and ancient Near Eastern evidence.
Cyrus (whose name was pronounced ko-resh in Hebrew) became king of Persia in 559 BC and conquered Babylon in 539 BC. He is mentioned in a majestic passage in Isaiah where the Lord says of Cyrus, "'He is my shepherd, and he shall fulfill all my purpose'; saying of Jerusalem, 'She shall be built,' and of the temple, 'Your foundation shall be laid.'" (Isa 44:28)
In other words, Cyrus would be the one who would cause Jerusalem to be rebuilt after it had been destroyed decades earlier by the Babylonians.
8. Evangelical Trump Defenders Are Destroying the Church's Witness, by Julie Roys
I never thought I'd see the day when leading evangelicals would publicly espouse that character doesn't matter — and that promoting sexual assault is simply "bad boy talk." Yet, that's precisely what's happening in the wake of a newly released video showing Donald Trump gloating over his sexual exploits with married women.
I honestly don't know what makes me more sick. Listening to Trump brag about groping women or listening to my fellow evangelicals defend him.
Don't get me wrong. I get how disastrous a Clinton presidency would be.
It would mean that the U.S. would be up for sale to the highest bidder, which given the millions it's given to the Clinton Foundation, appears to be Saudi Arabia. A woman with close family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood would likely be chief of staff. The Hyde Amendment would be repealed; religious groups would be forced to endorse gay marriage — or else; the Supreme Court would be handed to a liberal majority for an entire generation; our borders would remain porous; and any hopes of repealing the fiasco that is Obamacare will be completely dashed.
So, I get it.
She's a disaster of historic proportions.
7. 9 Unbiblical Statements Christians Believe, by Shane Pruitt
One of the greatest gifts that God gave mankind was the Holy Bible because the Bible is literally God revealing Himself, and communicating Himself to mankind in written word. Anything and everything that we know about God comes from these Holy Scriptures, and they contain the totality of what we need to know about becoming a Christian, and everything that we need to know about living the Christian life.
Orthodox Christianity teaches that the Bible was inspired and authored by the Holy Spirit of God using human instruments. It also believes that in it's original languages of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic; it is without error and fault.
However, there are many things that Jesus-following, Church-going, Bible-believing Christians believe that are completely unbiblical. How does this happen?
Often, we'll hear someone quote a statement that sounds nice to us, and we'll begin repeating it as though it's Biblical truth without ever researching it in the Scriptures. Several of these unbiblical statements have gained enough traction that many people believe they're actually Bible verses. Not only are the statements unbiblical; most of them teach the opposite of what the Bible teaches.
Here is a list of nine popular unbiblical statements that Bible-loving Christians tend to believe:
6. Does Donald Trump Pass the Decency Test? by Max Lucado
As the father of three daughters, I reserved the right to interview their dates. Seemed only fair to me. After all, my wife and I'd spent 16 or 17 years feeding them, dressing them, funding braces, and driving them to volleyball tournaments and piano recitals.
A five-minute face-to-face with the guy was a fair expectation. I was entrusting the love of my life to him. For the next few hours, she would be dependent upon his ability to drive a car, avoid the bad crowds, and stay sober. I wanted to know if he could do it. I wanted to know if he was decent.
This was my word: "decent." Did he behave in a decent manner? Would he treat my daughter with kindness and respect? Could he be trusted to bring her home on time? In his language, actions, and decisions, would he be a decent guy?
Decency mattered to me as a dad.
5. Trump's Meeting With Evangelical Leaders Marks the End of the Christian Right, by Michael Farris
I attended the very first meeting of the Moral Majority held in Indianapolis in February of 1980. I was the Washington state director of the MM and have been a leader of the "Christian right" ever since.
Today an estimated 1,000 evangelical leaders are making a pilgrimage to Trump Tower to "listen" to Donald Trump.
The organizer of this meeting came to my office to tell me in person why I wasn't being invited. I had been too vocal in my anti-Trump views.
I appreciated his courtesy in coming to me and he agreed that the obvious implication of the meeting was to rally support for Trump.
While I don't question the motives of those who are trekking to the Tower, I strongly dissent from the wisdom of their chosen path.
This meeting marks the end of the Christian Right.
4. Donald Trump Is a Scam. Evangelical Voters Should Back Away, by CP Editors
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."
3. Trump's Offer to Christians Is Same Offer Devil Made Christ, by Eric Sapp
As an evangelical and member of the Global Advisory Board of Christian Post's parent company, I was heartbroken to read CP's recent editorial telling evangelicals that we have a moral obligation to vote and must vote for either Donald Trump or a protest candidate.
I see three options for evangelicals in this election and none of them include voting for Trump. Evangelicals can morally justify a protest vote for a third party, not vote at all, or join the 30%+ of evangelicals saying they'll vote for Hillary Clinton.
What we cannot do is to cast our vote for Donald Trump. The harm to the Christian witness if we support this man who embodies everything Christ warned Christians against in the Sermon on the Mount would last generations.
What will our Latino brothers and sisters think of us? How could we ever again have credibility on religious freedom if we are willing to trade the First Amendment rights of our Muslim American neighbors so easily? And what will our children learn when they see us cast our lot with this man?
We cannot be deceived about the man we'd be voting to make the most powerful man in the world.
2. My Prediction for the Presidential Election, by Max Lucado
I have a prediction. I know exactly what November 9 will bring. Another day of God's perfect sovereignty. He will still be in charge. His throne will still be occupied. He will still manage the affairs of the world. Never before has His providence depended on a king, president, or ruler. And it won't on November 9, 2016. "The LORD can control a king's mind as he controls a river; he can direct it as he pleases" (Proverbs 21:1 NCV).
On one occasion the Lord turned the heart of the King of Assyria so that he aided them in the construction of the Temple. On another occasion, he stirred the heart of Cyrus to release the Jews to return to Jerusalem.
Nebuchadnezzar was considered to be the mightiest king of his generation. But God humbled and put him in "detention" for seven years. "The kingdom is the Lord's, and He rules over the nations" (Psalms 22:28).
Understanding God's sovereignty over the nations opens the door to peace. When we realize that God influences the hearts of all rulers, we can then choose to pray for them rather than fret about them. Rather than wring our hands we bend our knees, we select prayer over despair.
1. Hillary Clinton Is the Best Choice for Voters Against Abortion, by Eric Sapp
Editor Note: For a response, see "Hillary Clinton Is a Dangerous Choice for Voters Against Abortion (A Response to Eric Sapp)."
In my recent op-ed on how there was no Biblically-consistent way for evangelicals to justify voting for Trump, I touched on the false promises Republicans — and Trump in particular — have been making around abortion. A number of people asked that I expand on that point, and given the importance of abortion to many evangelicals, it's worth a closer and more honest look.
I'll start by saying that I don't think Christians should be single-issue voters since Christ's ministry wasn't single-issue. But if your concern for the unborn determines your vote, Hillary Clinton should be your candidate.
I imagine there might be a reader or two right about now saying, "But Hillary Clinton is pro-choice!"
That's true. She has never promised to overturn Roe. She even famously said that "abortion should be safe, legal, and rare." But all of that is largely immaterial to the question of saving unborn babies.
Here's the question pro-life Christians must ask: do we care more about talking about the unborn, or do we actually want to do something to prevent abortions?