Friday, February 26, 2016

Why Are Some Evangelical Leaders Supporting Trump?

Why do evangelical pastors like Robert Jeffress, a Fox News contributor and pastor of the 11,000-member First Baptist Church of Dallas, support Trump? He made headlines during the 2012 presidential election when he described The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a "cult" and said evangelicals should not vote for then-candidate Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon.

Gordon B. Hinckley, prior President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1995-2008), said: “We are Christians in a very real sense and that is coming to be more and more widely recognized. Members of our church pray and worship in the name of Jesus Christ. He is the center of our faith and the Head of our Church.”

Jeffress later conceded, “It is better to vote for a non-Christian (Romney, I presume) who supports biblical principles like life and marriage than voting for a professing Christian like Barack Obama who absolutely repudiates what Jesus Christ said about some key issues.”  

But the damage was done. Jeffress did not seem to realize that not voting for Romney was the same as voting for Obama. A small increase in the Christian vote would have defeated Obama in 2012.

In 2014, Jeffress released a book claiming that Obama’s re-election was paving the way for the Antichrist foretold in Scripture. Maybe he was promoting this future book when he helped with his reelection. 

The good pastor is back for the 2016 election. He appeared on Fox’s Lou Dobbs recently to again express his support for the Donald, saying that he is the only real “outsider” (which indicates a disturbing level of naiveté). He went on to say that after the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriages, evangelicals seem more open to a secular candidate, that they have decided to allow the government to solve “practical problems” and let the church solve Biblical problems. This was in answer to a question by Dobbs wherein he described Trump as a “very religious man—a Protestant . . . a Presbyterian”. 

So is Trump secular or Christian? Which is it, Dr. Jeffress? And are you seriously suggesting that Christians “give up” and vote for a candidate that does not reflect Christian values? What kind of twisted logic is that? 

How about that book of yours in 2014? Do you not realize that Trump’s values align almost perfectly with Obama’s?

Trump took deep offense when it appeared that the Pope was questioning his faith, but he has questioned the faith of at least three other candidates for the nomination many times. Maybe Jeffress is supporting Trump because they share a common personality trait of narcissists. They seem able to hold opposing ideas in their heads at the same time, to change positions regularly, and yet believe all positions held are exactly right. 

“The notion that the church, the press, and the universities should serve the state is essentially a Communist notion. In a free society these institutions must be wholly free — which is to say that their function is to serve as checks upon the state." —Alan Barth (1906-1979)

Food for thought: "Just how much must evangelicals and conservatives compromise themselves to support Trump? That is the ultimate problem. Every person supporting Trump has not just compromised on a candidate, but compromised their core values. ... These people are compromising their integrity for a presidential candidate willing to use profane language on the campaign trail and bombast to overcome a lack of knowledge of details. 'For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?'" —Erick Erickson

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