Christians in America face dire 'reckoning' regardless of 2020 election outcome: Dreher, Erickson

People arrive to cast their ballot for 2016 elections at a polling station as early voting begins in North Carolina, in Carrboro, North Carolina, U.S., October 20, 2016.
People arrive to cast their ballot for 2016 elections at a polling station as early voting begins in North Carolina, in Carrboro, North Carolina, U.S., October 20, 2016. | Reuters/Jonathan Drake

Regardless of the outcome of the 2020 election, Christians in the United States will soon face a cataclysmic "reckoning" in light of current cultural dynamics.

Political commentator Erick Erickson commented on the state of affairs regarding Christians and their relationship to U.S. politics in an essay on his blog Tuesday. He said that while he understands and agrees with some of the reasons why Americans back President Trump, he thinks some are treating him as a political savior.

Trump cannot stop the culture from turning against the faith, and some data show that Trump is accelerating hostilities from the political left, Erickson stressed. Trump is purportedly also turning the political right against faith as right-wingers exchange virtues like loving one's neighbor, grace, and truth for whatever it takes to win a victory.

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"Donald Trump will not save you. He cannot save you. In the rhetoric, tone, tenor, and levels of support for President Trump, I am struck by how many people still view him as some defense against the left," Erickson said, speaking to Christians.

"Christians are dealing with spiritual problems, not political problems. They are dealing with the things unseen, not the things seen. Donald Trump is, like the forces they are fighting, of the world. The world cannot protect you from the world."

Whether Trump wins reelection or not, the forces at work in the culture will not be solved politically, he reiterated.

"I think we are in a great sorting. It is not a sorting of the world, but a sorting of the church. Those of us within the church are being sorted between those of us who truly believe Jesus is the answer and those of us who think we can find stopgaps on the road to glory. I don't advocate for escalation or to bring on the persecution," Erickson said.

"But I do worry a lot of Christians have harmed their own witness in how they are engaging in the world and politics. Many younger evangelicals are abandoning even a passing interest in politics and voting."

Eastern Orthodox Christian and author Rod Dreher concurred in his blog at The American Conservative published on Tuesday. 

"Even if Trump is re-elected, don't be deceived: we are in the twilight of Trumpism. He is a spent force," Dreher said, adding that should Democrats "somehow snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and America gets four more years of Trump, it's over."

"[N]ot only has Trump done little to stop the forces tearing the church apart in post-Christian America, he has actually accelerated them. To be fair, no politician could have stopped those forces, because they are spiritual and cultural forces, not primarily political ones. Still, he really has hastened the reckoning for believers, in part by anesthetizing a lot of them about the nature and severity of the crisis," Dreher continued. 

The author observed in his 2017 book, The Benedict Option, that Christians risk falling back into complacency and that "no administration in Washington, no matter how ostensibly pro-Christian, is capable of stopping cultural trends toward desacralization and fragmentation that have been building for centuries. To expect any different is to make a false idol of politics."

Erickson was a NeverTrump conservative in the 2016 cycle but has decided to support the president in 2020, justifying his decision in light of the policies Trump furthered during his first term in office.

Dreher's upcoming book, titled, Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents, recounts the stories of modern-day dissidents — pastors, lay ministers, martyrs, and confessors from the former Soviet Union and the captive nations of Europe — who offer practical advice for how to identify and resist rising totalitarianism in the West.

Follow Brandon Showalter on Facebook: BrandonMarkShowalterFollow Brandon Showalter on Twitter: @BrandonMShow

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