Who Are the Evangelicals Supporting Donald Trump?

The Christian Post reported on Trump's upcoming September meeting with Paula White, a well-known prosperity Gospel preacher, and other Christian leaders at the Trump Towers in New York City. Perhaps, then, Trump's Evangelical supporters are of the "health and wealth gospel" variety. They are, after all, the least likely to be turned off by brazen displays of wealth.

In another CP op-ed, Carmen Fowler LaBerge, president of the Presbyterian Lay Committee, argued that Trump's Evangelical followers are likely the type who have embraced a bastardized version of the Gospel that has more to do with positive thinking and American capitalism than the teachings of Jesus.

"Trump's 'Evangelical' supporters are the Christmas-church-going, Protestant work-ethic, Manifest Destiny believing, can-do capitalists. They are in every denomination and none. They think of themselves as Christians but they see no real need to have every aspect of their lives aligned with an arcane morality. Trump is tapping into the spirit and power of positive thinking that pervades the teachings of modern cultural evangelists like Oprah Winfrey and Joel Osteen," she wrote.

Jeremiah Johnson, an author who planted Heart of the Father Ministry in Florida, prophesied that Trump shall be God's "trumpet to the American people."

"Trump does not fear man nor will he allow deception and lies to go unnoticed," wrote Johnson of his prophetic claim. "I am going to use him to expose darkness and perversion in America like never before, but you must understand that he is like a bull in a china closet."

Still, many Evangelicals are mystified about the support for a man who seems to have attended church little in recent times and referred to communion as the "little wine" and the "little cracker." Trump has said he is Presbyterian and a member of Marble Collegiate Church. But Marble Collegiate Church is not Presbyterian and said Friday that Trump is not among its members. Trump even said he's not sure "if he's ever asked God for forgiveness."

But perhaps his missteps are overshadowed by his authenticity, the establishment backlash and what is perceived by many as failure in Washington. As Peggy Noonan argues in the Wall Street Journal, Trump's appeal extends far beyond the Republican Party base or politics.

"Now look: when Trump talks about how he doesn't really ask God for forgiveness except for when he partakes in communion," wrote David Brody of the Brody File, "that obviously is not the Evangelical textbook answer. But at least they appreciate his honesty and with politicians nowadays that is a valued commodity."

Regardless of Trump's intentions, it is clear, despite his awkward language and what some would see as off-putting language about faith, he sees Evangelicals as a natural constituency for his support and as part of a larger movement of the electorate away from what many say is the ultimate power broker — Washington D.C.

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