A member of Donald Trump's evangelical advisory council is explaining why he will no longer participate, having described the Republican nominee as "lecherous" and "worthless" in light of the lewd comments Trump made that surfaced Oct 7.
Unimpressed with Donald Trump's video apology that his campaign released Friday, Pastor James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Church emailed members of the council contending that Trump's 2005 remarks should not be dismissed as simply locker room talk. Until Trump demonstrated a true repentance he would refrain from participating in any advisory role, he said.
In a Tuesday blog post titled "Is Donald Trump Truly Repentant And Does It Even Matter?" MacDonald reiterated the importance of a genuine change of heart.
"The reason evidence of full repentance matters so much is that if Mr. Trump is not entirely repentant for the content of that recording, he cannot have changed," MacDonald explained.
"And if Mr. Trump has not truly changed (because that is what repentance actually is: change), then we do not have a rational reason to anticipate different behavior in the future. And we have lost the 'better of the two' argument that brought so much evangelical support to Mr. Trump in the first place," he continued.
MacDonald further noted that frequent charges that pastors like him were only advising Trump in order to be close to power bothered him when in truth their conversations have been oriented "to the task of giving 'faith counsel' to Mr. Trump as requested," adding that it is wrong to say one knows other people's motives.
But Trump's unwillingness to fully own up to his past transgressions were simply too much.
As The Christian Post reported on October 11, MacDonald had previously said that he had spent a good part of his life "helping men get free from such disgusting commentary on women — even writing my doctoral dissertation on self-disclosure of sin among men. I cannot and will not offer help to a man who believes this kind of talk a minor error."
"I would have to deny my Lord and my calling to certify Mr. Trump as repentant, based on what he has told us," MacDonald wrote Tuesday, adding that fellow ministers advising him "find my insistence unhelpful or uncharitable, I will gladly resign this little bit of influence to their greater combined wisdom."
"Only God made America great in the first place and only God can make America great again," MacDonald added.
"Even now the windows of heaven are bursting with the grace and mercy God would shower upon America if we would stand without fear for life and liberty as a repentant people under God. I am praying for revival in America, and God can do it through any economic policy, any configuration of the Supreme Court, and any person in the White house, if they and we all repent," he concluded.