Bestselling author and megachuch pastor Max Lucado of San Antonio, Texas, explained why he decided to break his political silence and write a blog speaking out against Donald Trump, saying that he is protecting the reputation of the church because the Republican frontrunner claims to be a Christian.
Asked why Trump is winning the white evangelical vote, Lucado said on the Kilmeade and Friends radio program that "the enigma of that is something we're still trying to disentangle."
Exit polls have shown that Trump wins self-described "evangelical" voters who don't attend church regularly, leading experts to describe Trump as attracting cultural Christians not committed ones. Trump also does not win a majority of so-called evangelical voters, but only a plurality.
Lucado mentioned that his recent blog about Trump got 15 million reads, and said while many agreed with him, others wanted him to "shut up."
Lucado, who ministers at the Oak Hills Church, said while Trump claims to be a Christian, he is using "a language that is so incompatible."
Referring to Matthew 12: 34, Lucado said, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. He pointed out that Trump has called 64 people "losers" in a short period of time.
But Trump loves the Bible, as he said a few months ago, "Nothing beats the Bible," the host said.
Lucado laughed, and then said, the core of the Christian faith is that we are sinners who need forgiveness, but Trump said he didn't need to ask for forgiveness.
"For a person to say that they are Christians but never need forgiveness is like a swimmer saying I'm a swimmer but I never get wet, and I'm a musician and I never pick up a musical instrument… Grace is the oxygen of Christian faith," Lucado said.
Lucado continued that he doesn't have an answer to why evangelicals are rallying behind Trump.
"I do not have an answer. I apologize. I have had my own church members come up and criticize me for that blog and I'll ask them, do you not see a disconnect here? And it's almost like the ends justify the means in their mind," he said.
However, Lucado added that if Trump becomes president, he'll pray for him everyday, as he prays for any other president of the United States.
"I'll be the first to cheer him on, but I'd hope that if he's going to call himself a Christian, that his language and his demeanor towards other people would more accurately, more consistently link up with the Christian faith," he said.
Lucado stressed that he is speaking up only to protect the reputation of the church because Trump is projecting himself as a Christian while using a language that doesn't reflect the Christian faith.
In an oped posted in The Christian Post last month, Lucado questioned why isn't decency an issue in the presidential race?
"I don't know Mr. Trump. But I've been chagrined at his antics," he wrote. "He ridiculed a war hero. He made mockery of a reporter's menstrual cycle. He made fun of a disabled reporter. He referred to the former first lady, Barbara Bush as 'mommy,' and belittled Jeb Bush for bringing her on the campaign trail. He routinely calls people 'stupid,' 'loser,' and 'dummy.' These were not off-line, backstage, overheard, not-to-be-repeated comments. They were publicly and intentionally tweeted, recorded, and presented."
He added: "Such insensitivities wouldn't even be acceptable even for a middle school student body election. But for the Oval Office? And to do so while brandishing a Bible and boasting of his Christian faith? I'm bewildered, both by his behavior and the public's support of it."