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January 28, 2017

Comments

Donna Minto

Well said and I wholeheartedly agree. Everyone seems to think that we should give Donald Trump the chance to prove himself but there are certain edicts and opinions that must be checked immediately they are uttered i.e. those that are wrong and immoral. His stance on immigrants is also wrong and immoral not to mention unkind and apparently oblivious to the wider repercussions it will cause. In one week Donald Trump has shown his true colours pretty clearly.

LJ

I am so very sad and deeply disappointed that the evangelical wing of the church in America has supported Trump. It has made me uncomfortable to the point that many of the speakers or authors I follow have lost something for me. I don't want to read them; that's how strongly I feel. I cannot, just cannot equate being a follower of Jesus with supporting Trump.
And I and others are labelled with the term 'judging' if we even dare express such thoughts in front of American pro-Trump friends.
What are your thoughts on this? Am I being too harsh and judgmental in dropping the reading or podcast listening or is it just a shock response and over time I will forget that they spoke out for Trump?

Jim Gordon

Hello LJ - you are by no means alone in asking this question. How evangelical Christians have managed to accommodate to, and rationalise their support for Donald Trump, raises questions about the nature of evangelicalism itself. Of course American evangelicalism has a diversity, and an entanglement with politics that differentiates it from other streams of global evangelicalism.
When Wayne Grudem, Franklin Graham, John Piper and other leaders endorsed his candidacy, it raised profound questions for many of us about American evangelical integrity. These first days of the Presidency confirm many of my own fears for the liberties, generosity, values and international standing of America.
Many evangelicals I know in America don't support Trump,but they are a minority. It is inevitable that such a deep fault line will mean those preachers and writers who support Trump have, in my view, raised serious questions about their moral judgement, understanding of Scripture and commitment to the clear unambiguous teaching of Jesus about love, peace, forgiveness, mercy, compassion and so much else that is radically diffeent from the nationalistic selfishness Trump and his team are promoting.
As to being judgemental, we are required to be critical of policies that discriminate, treat people inhumanely, demand unswerrving allegiance to the State and its power brokers. That means for me, those whose writing and speaking purport to guide me in my faith, require to pass the test of integrity and discernment in what they see, support and believe to be right. I will not read a book about how to be a Christian, written by someone who endorses and will not critique a President who has no qualms about the use of torture, or writing an edict of exclusion based on race or faith commitment. Like you, I am saddened and troubled about the kind of world that is triump's vision; I see nothing of the biblical values of justice, peace, mercy and service. These lie at the heart of my faith for they arise from my faith in Jesus. Hope this helps - thank you again for your comment.

Dave Summers

Thank you Jim - this is all well said.
A couple of months ago or so, I made a comment on Patheos along similar lines to the start of your reply to LJ and someone replied that evangelicalism in the US is a political, and not a religious movement. Although there are clearly exceptions I found that helpful.
I read Wayne Grudem's endorsement of Donald Trump and although he made several different points, at the root of it I felt that the argument was "I'm a Republican, Donald Trump is a Republican, so I support him." His politics were overriding his moral judgment I think. Although not sharing his politics, I would say that normally it is fair when voting to put policy above personality, but Donald Trump fails disastrously on both.

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