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Christianity, Trump, and the White House

Oct 29, 2020

Why Christians need to support Trump:

America will soon determine who will be its next president. Debate still rages amongst the voters at large, and also amongst the Christian community. Whereas in times past such a stark decision facing the electorate would have meant Christians would be pretty clear on who to run with, the continual leftist takeover of the churches has changed all that.

Sure, mainstream denominations have long ago succumbed to theological and political liberalism. But now the woke movement is penetrating the evangelical world big time as well. The left has always hated Trump, and Trump Derangement Syndrome is most certainly real.

Now we have evangelicals strongly pushing a Biden win. Not that they can actually name anything good about Biden, or offer any constructive policies of his. It is all about hating on Trump. The other day I discussed all this, focusing on one evangelical – John Piper – who said he cannot vote for either man: billmuehlenberg.com/2020/10/24/evangelicals-and-trump/

That discussion continues, with other evangelicals responding to Piper, and others giving a more generic case for why Trump is the right choice. One major response to Piper came from Wayne Grudem. In his lengthy and irenic piece, he explained in detail why he has to differ from his friend. Let me share parts of that article. He begins:

John Piper has been a friend – a good and faithful friend – for more than 40 years. I thank God for his remarkable worldwide ministry, his evident deep love for God, his faithfulness to every word of Scripture, and the way his life of self-sacrifice continues to provide a challenge to me personally. When we have opportunities to be together, I enjoy every minute of conversation with him. I pray for him regularly, as I believe he does for me. I agree with probably 98% of everything he has written and said during his entire ministry. But he and I have reached different conclusions about this year’s presidential election.

He continues:

A candidate’s character and policies are both important to consider before voting. And I would agree that there are some character flaws so serious that they would by themselves disqualify a candidate (such as an avowed racist). But in most elections, and with most candidates, we have to choose between two rather ordinary human beings, both of whom have flaws. In that case, an evaluation of their policies becomes decisive. And that is the case in this election….

After his nearly four years in office, I would add that he has shown remarkable courage of his convictions, faithfulness to his campaign promises, steadfastness of purpose in spite of an astoundingly hostile press, incredible energy in the performance of his job, dignity and even eloquence in many formal speeches and ceremonies at home and abroad, respect and appreciation for his wife Melania and his sons and daughters, and a wide-ranging understanding of the hundreds of different issues that every president faces….

Imagine what would happen if all evangelical Christians followed Piper’s example and decided to write in someone else’s name instead of voting for either Trump or Biden. The result would be an overwhelming landslide victory for Biden, because the largest single bloc of Trump supporters is evangelical Christians. In 2016, 80% of white evangelicals voted for Trump, while 16% voted for Clinton and 4% didn’t vote for president or voted for some other candidate. If that 4% of “vote for neither one” evangelical voters had been 5% or 6%, Hillary Clinton would have been president.

So, if Trump loses the evangelical bloc, Biden wins. In fact, if a significant number of Christians decide not to vote for either Trump or Biden, the result will not be some ideal third-party president. It will be a Biden presidency which (in my opinion) will bring great harm to the nation. Therefore the decision not to vote for either candidate is not a neutral position for evangelicals. When evangelicals decide not to vote for either candidate, this takes voters primarily from Trump’s base and therefore helps Biden win the election.

He goes into some detail on the clear differences between the two if elected, and concludes:

These are two vastly different kinds of nations. The first one features increasing freedom, personal responsibility, and human flourishing. The second one features ever-increasing government control of every aspect of our lives, significant losses of freedom, and the implementation of many laws and regulations that are contrary to the moral teachings of Scripture. That is why voting for Trump seems to me to be the most loving, most faithful choice for a Christian. www.christianpost.com/voices/a-response-to-my-friend-john-piper-about-voting-for-trump.html

And a key evangelical leader who did not vote for Trump in 2016 explains why he now will. Al Mohler said this in part:

I am a Christian, Baptist by conviction. I am a Christian theologian who has addressed issues of public policy, political theory, history, and cultural analysis for decades. . . . I cling to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the saving truths of redeeming grace, but I am also thankful for the common grace whereby all humanity, formed in the image of God, is accountable to universal truths embedded by the Creator in his creation—including the goods of marriage and family and community and economy and culture. I believe that denying these universal truths is destructive of civilization.

I believe that, in a fallen world, all politics is some mixture of good and evil, all political gains are partial, and the perfect is—often tragically—the enemy of the good. As a Christian, I believe that love is to be the animating motivation for political action, but I understand love as revealed in Scripture to be manifested in concrete actions that are measured in moral effect. In other words, love is not merely a mood or an emotion. Love leads to policies that have good moral effects, not necessarily to actions that earn the applause of the world.

Thus, I am also a classical conservative in the Western tradition. I stand solidly in the tradition of Edmund Burke, affirming the real but limited responsibilities of government, the importance of the rule of law, the classical defense of liberty, the vital importance of free associations, and the necessary alignment of human government with human nature.

The life issues are absolutely crucial here for Mohler, as they should be:

Just consider the fact that a Biden-Harris administration would be, by any honest account, the most pro-abortion political force in American history. . . . The Democratic Party is now so pro-abortion (and yes, that is the right term) that it has declared opposition to any restriction on abortion and demands tax-payer funding for abortion.

Led by Democratic governors, states such as New York and Illinois have adopted new abortion legislation that effectively allows for abortion right up to the moment of birth. . . . The party’s dogma would allow for unrestricted abortion in the case of Down syndrome diagnosis, for reasons of sex-selection, or for any other reason, or for no stated reason at all. The Democratic Party is linked hand-in-hand with Planned Parenthood, which is not only the nation’s largest abortion provider, but is also the engine for the Culture of Death, unmasked for having targeted unborn babies for the strategic removal of specific organs and tissues.

This tears at my heart like no other issue. I agree that there are many other issues that press on the Christian conscience—questions of economic policy and foreign affairs and energy and the stewardship of the earth. The searing pain of racial injustice and the unraveling of our social fabric demand Christian response and urgency. Christians must be concerned about questions of immigration policy and refugees—and these issues defy the simplifications of the sound-bite and tweet culture.

But human dignity and the sanctity of human life are even more basic truths, and I believe there is no hope for defending human dignity for all if it is denied in the womb. To be intellectually responsible is to recognize the array of issues confronting us, but the same intellectual responsibility demands that we know which questions are prior to others and on which truths the entire superstructure of human dignity and human rights depend.

He says this in conclusion:

I am thankful to be a Southern Baptist, and extremely thankful that Southern Baptists have for nearly four decades spoken clearly and courageously for the unborn, and just as clearly and courageously about marriage and sexuality and gender. The convictions of Southern Baptists are clear, and I am confident that the vast majority of Southern Baptists will vote according to those convictions. That pattern has been in place for many decades.

But Christian fellowship is based on shared convictions and common faith in Christ. In my denomination, that means shared passion for the gospel, shared commitment to cooperative ministry, and shared convictions about marriage, the sanctity of human life, human beings made male and female, and the wholeness of the faith once for all delivered to the saints.

I know of no church or denomination that makes voting choices a matter of church discipline or church order. It is the convictions themselves that constitute grounds for church discipline and church order. On the other side of this election, brothers and sisters who share the same convictions will have to find a way to work together to forge a way forward. If politics becomes primary, the church is reduced to a political party. Politics is never off the horizon, but if it dominates the horizon, Christian fellowship is undermined….

I truly believe that this presidential election, with the control of the Senate also clearly at stake, is likely to be transformational. The stakes just keep getting higher. The difference between a Trump administration and a Biden administration will shape a generation and have a very great deal to do with the future of our nation. My convictions lead me to a very clear conclusion in this election. I hope and vote for the election of Donald Trump and the Republican ticket for a second term and for a continued Republican majority in the U.S. Senate. I do so precisely because of my convictions. I am accountable to make those convictions and reasons clear. May God bless the United States of America, and may this nation bless the nations of the world. albertmohler.com/2020/10/26/christians-conscience-and-the-looming-2020-election

There are many more voices that could be featured here – both pro and con. But I must agree with these two men. This may well be the most important American presidential election yet, and the stakes are enormous. As I keep saying, Christians must be very prayerful and careful as to how they vote. The fate of America and the West may well depend upon it.

[1788 words]

16 Responses to Christianity, Trump, and the White House

  • Dear Bill,

    I cried as I read your post with its powerful quotes. So very, very much is at stake for the way ahead after next Tuesday, in the upholding of God’s values.

    Thank you so much for your faithfulness. We all need to pray that Piper will also read these quotes and that his heart and influence will be turned quickly now towards promoting a God-honouring future for the U.S.

    Again, sincerest appreciation.

    We honour you!

  • I have been watching some of the Christian Leaders in America such as Lance Wallnau, who has been so faithful and who have definitely fought the good fight against all odds by supporting Trump both in the natural and in the spiritual and my prayers are also with them. I fail to understand why are Christian would vote for those who would kill the unborn, thereby condoning it and that those same Christians would then judge Trump on his past sins. Reminds me of the Lord’s words “he who has not sinned, let him cast the first stone”. I see a lot of good fruit in Trump, he has grown so much since taking office and I pray that he stays there.

  • Hi Bill,

    Thank you again for your faithfulness in keeping the “body” informed, not just here in Australia but also in America.

    The first time I have actually prayed for Trump to continue his presidency, last week!

    I believe and discern it’s not just about an American election, but the important upholding of worldwide democracy…through which our world is so dependent upon.

    Let’s remind ourselves what God wants from “the Body of Christ”

    “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

    This is good and pleases God our Savior” -1Timothy2:1-3

    But…let’s see the other side of the coin;

    Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.
    Luke 12:51

    Let’s keep praying and fasting and seek God’s will, to come to fruition, as recorded in His Word.

    With God all things are possible…

    Cheers & Blessings

    Stay safe and close to Jesus…

    Eric Hansen

  • Dear Bill, how much I rely on your scriptural logical analysis. Thankyou. I’m so involved with this US election as well a a vote in SA regarding abortion up to birth coming up 11-12 November.
    Deuteronomy 30:15 See I set before you today, life and prosperity death and destruction.

  • I’m definitely with Eric above, in recognising the need to thank you, Bill, and others such as Grudem and Mohler who are faithful in “keeping the ‘body’ informed” when it comes to political issues in the US (and on your part in Australia). I’m convinced that articles and essays such as these make a vital contribution to the education of Christians who have been politically naïve but have reached the point of becoming serious minded Christians, wanting to grow in political knowledge but finding themselves overwhelmed in knowing where to start in pursuit of that knowledge. Without these articles, such Christians can flounder when they recognise that their political decisions matter. I remember myself as a politically apathetic Christian years ago who thought that not voting for either of two parties was a noble, moral choice – the ‘Christian’ thing to do – when in reality I was just parroting what I was hearing from other Christians whom I believed were mature in their understanding, trying to hide behind my own ignorance. Then I remember the time I wanted to move on from that, wanting to make my political decisions count, realising that if others voted as I did – essentially not voting – we were wasting an important privilege and responsibility, and likely affecting electoral outcomes in potentially devastating ways that could greatly impact people’s lives. I was already reading your column and have been for years – but I originally skipped the political articles. But when I knew it was time to change I knew where to start. Appreciate your ministry immensely.

  • Thanks once again Bill for an excellence article. The line that’ jumped out at me’ this morning was that the ‘woke movement is penetrating the evangelical world.’
    You feel it, you sense it, it hangs out there like a mist in front of us…that like every other part of life, the Left is robbing us of, in this case, our most precious treasure…fellowship with Christ and each other.
    I pray for America and president Trump at this momentous time.
    Respectfully’
    Ron Adams

  • Four years ago, the other Bill would have called you a Trump-bot, Bill 🙂

  • Thanks Kevin. As I carefully explain in this article, there is good reason for a change: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2020/02/04/on-trump-for-potus-in-2020/

    As I discuss there, I and millions of other conservatives and Christians had very good reasons to be concerned about Trump back then. Thankfully he has done better than many of us expected, so of course we will therefore be much more willing to now promote him.

  • Excellent article Bill.
    Thank you. May our God continue to bless you and guide you.

  • Bill, I am not connected to a parish or a Church at this time in my life, but God Himself continually leads me to you and your Church, for which strongly Thank Him. Reading your sermons keeps my Bible-based Faith intact, and strengthens the convictions it has developed in me.

    This “sermon” has confirmed in me how right I have been to pray for a Trump Victory on Tuesday, especially since it also confirms my soul-deep belief in the utter wrongness of abortion. Once abortion is freely available to all who seek it, the moral compass of all human-kind is seriously set in sin.

    Thank you for all your timely, spirit-led articles. You cannot know how deeply I appreciate them.

  • Many thanks indeed Kenya.

  • Thanks Bill.
    I cannot recall any election where the choice has been so stark: between good and evil, order and chaos. In a few days time I suggest we will know whether God has decided to bless America for four more years, or curse it for who knows how long. A blessing or a judgement? We will soon see. As for people who “cannot vote for either candidate” do they not realise that one or the other will be the next president? Not voting is therefore in effect voting for one or the other. As for ‘undecided voters’, anyone who is undecided at this stage I suggest doesn’t deserve the right to vote.

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