In 2016, I along with others were invited to be a part of Donald Trump’s Religious Advisory Council. He had attended First Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, Fla., a few times when I was pastor there in the late 1980s, but I did not interact with him. So, when he decided to run for president, like me, many in the evangelical world did not know him, and he was a long shot among conservatives in America. But in the providence of God, he was elected for “such a time as this,” and the rest is history.
I have gladly served as an Evangelical advisor. For evangelicals, it was at first a small window of opportunity to stem the tide of secularism and liberalism in our beloved nation out of a hope that we could advance principles of faith into the culture and better the lives of Americans – to be salt and light as Jesus has commanded all of his followers.
Some Christians who think us foolish and gullible have met this effort with skepticism and cynicism, decidedly ignoring the many ways President Donald Trump has positively impacted our country and honored the beliefs that Americans and Christians hold dear. Our critics seem to have a theology with so little grace and they fail to recognize that someone with an unrighteous past can still make righteous decisions on behalf of those they lead.
What we have seen happen over the past three years appears to be the providential hand of God at work as President Trump has kept his promises to people of faith and delivered on policies in spite of unrelenting resistance. For example, the appointment of two conservative Supreme Court Justices and record appointments in the federal judiciary will be a legacy for the Trump Administration for generations to come. Religious freedom protections are now securely in place, which are critical to the proclamation of the Gospel and the security of churches and religious organizations in our country and the world.
President Trump is also decidedly pro-life, stating unequivocally the importance of protecting the unborn. His policies reflect the protection of pro-life pregnancy centers and adoption agencies. In fact, his pro-life policies are more wide-reaching than any of his predecessors.
When it comes to the United States’ role in advocating for religious liberty around the world, the facts are incontrovertible. Just take into account the State Department’s Ministerial on International Religious Freedom, which represented the largest human rights event of any kind in State Department history.
When it comes to humanitarian assistance, the United States government is actually providing more humanitarian assistance around the world than any previous administration.
As Christians, we also care deeply about our communities and therefore wholeheartedly support President Trump’s Opportunity Zones, led by former NFL player and former Texas congressman Scott Turner who is also a Prestonwood Baptist church member and whose passion for Christ inspires his work, impacting low-income and underserved cities through economic revitalization.
Then there’s the passing of the most significant prison reform effort in 30 years which represented another example of the role the President’s evangelical advisors have played in shaping administration policy—positively impacting lives and families through the First Step Act, which embraced a Biblically inspired redemptive and restorative approach to Criminal Justice, giving nonviolent prisoners a second chance at life. This entire initiative began at a dinner I attended at the White House on the eve of the National Day of Prayer just a few months after the President took office. I should say it also corrected aspects of the bill championed by President Bill Clinton and Senator Joe Biden which resulted in the tragic mass incarceration of young black men in America.
Under this President, the economy has added more than six million jobs, reducing unemployment to 3.5%, which is considered ‘full employment’ by economists resulting in the lowest unemployment figures ever recorded for minority communities in the United States.
Of course, many evangelical Christians support Israel and we are grateful that our president has affirmed Jerusalem as the historic and biblical capital of the Jewish people (as Congress mandate over twenty years ago) and he has strengthened the United States’ ties to our strongest ally in the Middle East all as he has sought friendship and peace with Arab nations causing some to speculate that there could finally be an end the enmity between many Arab nations and the State of Israel.
President Trump is a leader. He fights for principles and policies we hold dear as his constituents.
Our president is vibrant and strong, which is exactly what America needs nationally and internationally. National security is obviously strong under this president’s watch. This includes the security of missionaries and religious minorities around the world. President Trump has fought to protect our country from the possibility of another 9/11 with stronger immigration policies and with support from the President and Vice President, Evangelical advisors have served on the border and have encouraged churches to bring hope and healing to refugees, and also to U.S. Border Patrol Agents, who are facing one of the biggest crises of our time. At the urging of evangelicals, the president has advocated for a permanent solution for Dreamers while holding the line on illegal immigration.
President Trump has been steadfast and unrelenting in his fight against socialism, an ideology which resulted in massive religious persecution for most of the last century and the death of millions. There are those pushing this dangerous and destructive ideology in our country, regardless of what history has shown and what is currently taking place in socialist countries - the relative size of the United States - around the world. As I’ve said before, no serious Christian can seriously support socialism. Where this has been tried it has failed.
On a personal level, I have found our President to be warm, personable and welcoming. He respects people of faith and relies on their prayers. He listens and he listens to the concerns of those he trusts. Among those in his administration and the White House, there are many Bible-believing Christians, beginning with Vice President Mike Pence and including cabinet members like Secretary Pompeo, Secretary Carson and others. These are bright, caring public servants who work for the president and practice their faith with the highest integrity and with a commitment to the issues that matter for Americans. This is a tribute to President Trump’s ability to lead and his commitment to conservative values.
From this pastor’s perspective, we have a leader for our country who is giving heart and soul to restore and renew the greatness of the American vision as one nation under God. It is wisdom, not foolishness, which has prompted many of us to support this president and to pray for and to pray with him. I personally believe I am called by God to use my influence for the sake of generations to come, including my own children and grandchildren. And this includes collaborative efforts of evangelicals across denominational lines with a president who is not only faith-friendly but faith-affirming.
When we began to work with the Trump Administration, it was with the hope that our president would keep the promises he made to America and advocate for conservative biblical principles. We continue to support him because he has kept those promises (all of them) and often he has exceeded them and beyond expectations. The 2020 election is pivotal, and we all should be prayerful that the policies of our president are secured for generations to come.
So call me foolish, but I’ve never been more confident in the will of God as we work and pray together with President Donald Trump with the future in mind.
May we as Christians practice between ourselves the admonition of Scripture given to us by the apostle Paul when he said, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”