Donald Trump is counting on his conservative base to bring home a victory on November 3. But those who call themselves conservative evangelicals, are have lost faith in him, are questioning his Christianity as well as his conservatism. As the November 3 date looms in the air, his trust in his base should be shaky, as many are choosing to vote for Biden.
See what one Texas evangelical has to say about Trump, his record, his conservatism and his Christianity.
Read the full Houston Chronicle story below.
Opinion: ‘When I look at Donald Trump, I do not see a Christian’
By Robert Goen
Published: Sep. 30, 2020
Polls show that 82 percent of white evangelical Protestants support President Donald Trump. As a white evangelical Christian who has read the Bible, I find this hard to understand. When I look at Donald Trump, I do not see a Christian. I do not see a conservative. And when I look at Trump from a Biblical perspective, I certainly don’t see the “chosen one.” I don’t think believers should have anything to do with Trump.
I am probably what you would call a conservative evangelical. I am not a theologian or an academic, but I have read the Bible cover to cover twice. I registered to vote when I turned 18 in 1977, and I’ve voted in every presidential election since then. I have never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate. Politically, I’ve always considered myself a Republican. However, today’s Republican Partly is an embarrassment. This is not the party of Abraham Lincoln. This is not the sunny, optimistic party of Ronald Reagan. That changes in November. Given the mendacity and incompetence of Trump and his administration, I will have no trouble voting for Joe Biden in November.
In 1 John 4:1, the apostle John warns the believers that not everyone who claims to be a Christian knows Christ. John gives the believers two tests that any Christian will pass. The first test is a question: who do you say Jesus Christ is? But the second test is an observation: does this person show a self-sacrificing love for others (1 John 4:7-8)? John says that if you don’t have love, you don’t have God because God is love. When you think of Trump does the word “love” pop into your head? Me neither. Not even in the top 10.
In the third chapter of Colossians and the fifth chapter of Galatians, we are given a list of attributes of those living their Christian faith: compassion, kindness, humility and gentleness. I do not associate any of these words with Trump.
But in those same two chapters we are given a list of attributes of those who do not know Christ: anger, fits of rage, malice, slander, filthy language, sexual immorality, and envy. Trump checks most of these boxes. The apostle Paul says in Galatians 5:21 that those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
And if you pull the focus back and look at the overall arc of Trump’s life, what you see from a secular perspective isn’t any better. Everything Trump puts his hand to fails or is corrupted: hotels, casinos, a university. People who associate with Trump are demeaned, corrupted or in prison. From a Biblical perspective, we’d say God blesses nothing that goes through Trump’s hands. Nothing he touches prospers. This should terrify anyone who loves this country.
So based on the Bible and on what I can see of Trump, I strongly suspect he is a pagan. And not just any pagan, but a pagan idolater (Ephesians 5:5-7 and Colossians 3:5). The idol he worships is himself. And if you want to be on his team, you better be prepared to bend the knee, too. If you don’t sing his praises fervently enough, you won’t last long in his administration.
While there are many reasons and theories as to why some Christians are attracted to Trump, what I see from a Biblical worldview are excuses, rationalizations and hypocrisy. Some of what is going on is Biblical illiteracy and a lack of faith in God, and some is a consequence of what happens when the church becomes corrupted by its involvement in politics.
Nowhere does God say we should partner with darkness to help Him achieve His ends. Just the opposite. Romans 12:21 tells us not to be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good. God gave us just one job: go make disciples. Tell people about Jesus. Give people the good news (Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16: 15-16). Live your faith. You can’t do that if you’re aligned with a political party. When you get into politics you are alienating half the people in the country no matter which side you choose. Christians shouldn’t be in the business of alienating anyone.
In the Gospels, Jesus had nothing good to say about religious conservatives. That should give us all pause. The conservatives Jesus was dealing with were the Pharisees. This group had been waiting centuries for the messiah. But they were so caught up in their own righteousness, their own petty rules and their own fiefdoms, they were blind to the messiah standing right in front of them. They’d lost God’s heart.
In John 8:3-11, the Pharisees are messing with Jesus. They bring before Jesus a woman they say was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says she should be stoned, but the Pharisees want to know what Jesus would do. They’re picking up rocks, but Jesus tells them that the one without sin should throw the first stone. Think about that a second. There is someone right there qualified to throw that first stone. Jesus! But does He throw any rocks? No. He tells her to go and sin no more. That’s God’s heart! If you still doubt God’s heart is for people, look no further than the cross. Jesus didn’t suffer for an ideology. He suffered for us.
As Christians we should live in a manner that draws people to Christ, not in a manner that pushes people away. Those who embrace Trump are tearing down God’s kingdom, not building it up. We should all examine our hearts to see if we’re truly in the faith. And if you realize you’ve become a Pharisee holding a rock — let it go.
Goen is a mechanic who has lived in the Houston area since 1995.