I’m angry, I think in a righteous way. Not without hope or in fear, but angry nonetheless.
I’m angry with some of my spiritual fathers because of their confusing and maybe even misguided leadership in hopes of landing a conservative victory in the White House.
In these last days before the 2016 presidential election I have a real problem. I am a pastor serving Christ and shepherding people I love dearly. I am the father of three daughters all of which have some grasp on the issues surrounding the election. My family, my church, and a small portion of the Kingdom of Jesus that God has given me some influence with is clamoring for answers. Who should we vote for? Who will be the one that will lead our country in the right direction? How will you vote?
Generally, I am conservative when it comes to American politics. As an “evangelical” leader I feel pressure to get on the Trump train. I feel as if I am standing in the station, watching the train go by, unwilling to board. While I will not vote for Hillary, I have not been able to bring myself to say, “I’ll vote for Trump.”
The latest video of Trump, again revealing what is in his heart about women, is indefensible. Remember, I’m a dad of daughters and a pastor for many women. How can I say to my girls or the women in my church, “Look, we need to get over it? He’s the hero for our conservative cause and the best choice we have, no matter how he has spoken about women.” I know, I know, that video was from 2005. But, prior to seeing that video I already knew what was in Trump’s heart concerning women. Why? Over the last two years I have been watching him and listening to him. At first I thought he would never win the Republican primary, well because it’s obvious. What comes out of a man’s mouth is what is in his heart. When he did win, I grieved. After all, in America, we get what we ask for.
Sadness is different than anger though. Our options for choosing the next President make me sad, not angry.
What makes me angry are “evangelical” leaders who rally behind Trump no matter how egregious or indefensible his latest escapade might be. It is as if we are willing to shout “liar” at Hillary Clinton while embracing the foolishness of Donald Trump. This is a double standard formed in partisan politic not gospel centeredness or in light of a biblical worldview. It is not as if we Christians can simply apply our worldview to one candidate but not the other.
When choosing a President we look at policy positions as well as the trajectory of one’s life, beliefs, decisions, and mistakes to determine worthiness for office. Then, we vote. We are quick to follow this process with Hillary Clinton. E-mails, Benghazi, long-term stance on abortion, the sins of her husband, etc. This is how I eliminate Hillary Clinton as the winner of my vote. When it comes to Trump, some evangelical leaders are rejecting the trajectory of his life and argue, “People can change.” While this is true, some things are simply not defensible.
To be sure, I am angry with my spiritual fathers who quickly sweep the trajectory of Donald Trump’s life under the rug in hopes of winning an election. This is hypocrisy. According to Collin Hansen of the Washington Post in this case the real “Hypocrisy is not about failing to live up to your standards. Hypocrisy is about teaching something you don’t actually believe.” (Article: This is the last spastic breath from the Religious Right before its overdue death)
How can we excuse “red flag character issues” for a presidential candidate that we would not look over for a local schoolteacher seeking employment? It’s a farce.
I have a real hope for America. It’s not found in a political leader or even the government for that matter. My hope lies in Jesus Christ and in His church. My prayer is that the political lunacy of these days causes the church to seek first the Kingdom of God, united to saturate this country and it’s beautiful people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Right now we need to pray more than ever. Join me in praying for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and voters across this great nation. Let’s pray more than we have leading up to this moment. Then we will trust God in His sovereignty to use whoever wins to further His purposes in this nation whether it be for prosperity or demise. His Kingdom will never end.
Dear Pastors, let’s hold up Christ and be consistent with our call to the gospel of truth and grace. Quit pushing a candidate and hold up Christ.