UPDATE 7/1/2016: According to Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, a well-known Christian ministry, Trump recently received Christ as Lord and was “Born Again.”
A lot of people in the church are having a hard time right now deciding what to do about Donald J. Trump. They are 100 percent certain they won’t vote for Hillary—a no-brainer due to her many objectionable policies, such as her statement in 2015 that, “religious beliefs … have to be changed” to ensure women have access to abortion on demand.
That is a real winning policy for Christians—NOT!
But now Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum, the openly Christian candidates, are permanently out of the 2016 presidential race (and no, there won’t be a third party or another chance at the Republican convention—sorry #CruzCrew). And Christians are being bombarded by the millions of anti-Trump messages streaming across the digital landscape.
Do you have to be crazy to vote for Trump if you’re a Christian? Let’s look at the facts:
He hates women.
But other than Rosie O’Donnell and Megyn Kelly, who both picked very public fights with him first, which women does Trump hate? Is he not allowed to defend himself when attacked?
Hillary? If he doesn’t fight fire with fire, he’s never going to beat the Clinton cabal.
He is immoral.
Trump famously does not drink, smoke, or do drugs.
However, it’s true that Trump was divorced twice and admits to cheating on his wives—sort of like King David, the “man after God’s own heart.” David had several wives and then cheated with married Bathsheba while her husband was at war. When David found out she was pregnant, he called her husband back from war and had him killed.
Yet David repented and God forgave him, even to the extent that David and Bathsheba’s second son Solomon became king after David and wrote the book of Proverbs in the Bible.
Has Trump repented like David did? At the Family Leadership Summit in February he said he never asks for forgiveness, though when he does something wrong he “tries to make it right.” But isn’t that the definition of repent—to turn around and go the other way?
At the end of the day, we don’t really know what’s in Trump’s heart. We do know that he’s done a fantastic job co-parenting his children after his divorces, and they have turned out quite well.
He calls people names and is unkind.
Trump does call things as he sees them, and doesn’t mince words. Sort of like Jesus, who was very unkind to certain people. For example, he called the Pharisees and teachers of the Law “whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” (Matt. 23:27 NIV)
Jesus said a lot of things that offended people, such as when he told his followers that unless they ate his flesh and drank his blood, they had no life in them (see John chapter 6). He was speaking in spiritual terms, of course, but they were grossed out and refused to understand.
In fact, Jesus said so many things that the Jews of the day found offensive that eventually they killed him. Yet, he was the Son of God.
He doesn’t know the Bible, even though he claims to be a Christian.
A lot of Christians have made fun of Trump because he called a book of the New Testament “Two Corinthians,” which supposedly showed his ignorance of the Scriptures.
Actually, I’ve heard this way of referring to the second letter of Paul to the Corinthian church many times from old time Bible teachers. And I’m not the only one—apparently this is the way Christians in the U.K. often refer to it.
Trump’s mother was the daughter of a fisherman and grew up on a remote island in Scotland, so it’s very possible she learned to say it that way. Considering that Trump was brought up by her and went through confirmation in a Presbyterian church, not an Evangelical church, “Two Corinthians” is probably how he’s always heard it referred to.
He advocates violence.
In Old Testament times, violence was rampant, even among those who God chose as his special people, the Israelites. But God often used violent men, such as Sampson—a very flawed hero—to save and protect Israel.
In the New Testament, Jesus on at least one occasion was quite violent himself. I’m talking about when he turned over the tables of the money changers and the benches of those who were selling doves for sacrifice in the temple (Matt. 21:12). The Gospel of John adds that Jesus “made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle.” (John 2:15 NIV)
This violent side of Jesus probably shocked his disciples. The event was so memorable, it made its way into all four Gospel accounts (see also Mark 11:15-17 and Luke 19:45-46).
Of course, Jesus had a good reason for his violent actions—he was defending the honor and sanctity of his Father’s house. He said, “Is it not written ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” (Mark 11:16 NIV)
And come to think of it, God himself has promised plenty of violence will be perpetrated on those who hate and reject his Son. At one point in the future, the book of Revelation says, God will unleash the powers of heaven so one-third of all people will be killed (Rev. 9:18). Even after that, the rest of mankind will still not repent of its idolatry, murder, theft, and sexual sins.
So, even though Christians are to turn the other cheek, etc., violence in some cases is obviously acceptable. Has Trump gone beyond the bounds of acceptability in his actions and statements? What has he actually said, and what has he done—or what have his followers done—that is anywhere near as violent as the anti-Trump protests in Chicago and in San Jose?
To sum up: He’s not a saint
Trump doesn’t claim to be a saint, though he does say he wants to protect Christians and Christianity from the increasing persecution here and around the world.
Why would God allow someone like Trump—a flawed individual—to lead our great country? We don’t know why God chooses people for certain jobs, and very often he confounds our expectations. The first will be last and the last will be first, as Jesus said in Matt. 19:30.
Remember how God chose Gideon, a wimp who was hiding from the Midianites, threshing wheat inside a winepress? Remember how Samuel went through the whole list of David’s seven older brothers before God chose David as the next king of Israel?
And what is the alternative to voting for Trump? You really only have two choices. Hillary claims to be a Christian, too. But is she going to do a better job at leading this country to safety and prosperity? Or is she going to continue the destructive policies that Obama has already set into motion?
As Christians, we have civic responsibilities, and as Americans we have the right and responsibility to vote. Let us investigate the facts, pray for wisdom, and then choose wisely.