I voted for Trump.
There, I said it. It’s true. In 2016, I voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. And I think I’m still ‘ok’ with my decision. But this isn’t an article about how Christians should have voted in 2016 or how they should vote in the future, although that is a very controversial topic (there are different views even among the four of us here at PtP). This is an article to Christians who voted for Trump (like myself). Since Election Day, I’ve seen something troubling among Christian Trump supporters. I’m sure you’ve seen it too.
Evangelical Christians praise (and borderline glorify) him as if he were actually a stand-up guy. They defend not just his policies, but his character--praising him for ‘telling it like it is’ and ‘always punching back’ as if those were actually Christian virtues. Christian leaders like Jerry Falwell Jr. misappropriate Scriptural phrases like “you shall know them by their fruits” to describe Trump’s ‘glowing’ testimony. Christians portray Trump’s war against the media as a righteous stand against the relentless onslaught of liberal persecution.
Again, I’m not bashing your choice vote for him. I think there were good reasons for doing so; neither am I denying the reality that God has sovereignly placed Donald Trump in his position to accomplish God’s will and purpose.
What I’m trying to say is that it is possible to see Donald Trump as God’s man, without seeing him as a man of God. I fear that Christians’ blanket support of everything Trump does and everything he is has exposed our own hypocrisy and divergence from Scripture’s authority.
When Trump’s immoral, licentious choices are brought to light, do you mourn and pray for his repentance? Do you explain to your son that Trump is living in rebellion toward God (Heb 13:4)? Or, do you simply fire back with “how much worse those libs are”? Pointing out the immorality on the opposing side does not excuse the immorality on your side. Does Trump’s immorality bother you beyond the excuse, “Well...no one’s perfect”?
When Trump rattles off tweet after tweet, do you recognize the manifestations of the fool of Proverbs? Or, do you squeal in delight as the ‘snowflakes’ squirm in disgust? Let’s just point to one example: Proverbs 29:11 says, “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” Which portion of that Proverb describes Trump? I would encourage you to read a previous article I wrote called “10 Proverbs for Social Media” and consider how many of them apply to Trump’s tweets.
When you hear Trump’s braggadocious and pompous rhetoric, do you see it as abominable pride that leads to utter destruction unless he humbles himself and repents? Or, do you simply chuckle at Trump’s antics and appreciate his ‘unfiltered,’ ‘unpolitical’ approach? Christians, we should be deeply concerned with Trump’s pride. When you read verses like Proverbs 16:5, “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished,” Trump’s pride shouldn’t make you chuckle--it should cause deep concern.
I say this, not to disrespect the president, but to view his life through the lens of Scripture: based on the observable fruits of Trump’s life, he is a immoral, proud, fool. And I voted for him. Was I wrong in doing so? Maybe. I’m still comfortable with saying that my vote was simply pragmatic (Supreme Court, tax cuts, etc.), but there are solid arguments against my view. But, again, this isn’t an article about the ethics of voting.
If you are a Christian who voted for Trump, I want to encourage you: you can be supportive of his policies without praising his character. You can rejoice when he promotes your values but mourn and pray when his testimony stands in rebellious opposition to God and his Word. You can defend Trump’s political agenda but call him out when his immorality, pride, and foolishness manifest themselves.
I also want to warn you: your dying devotion to Trump and the defense of the indefensible will compromise and destroy your Gospel witness. I believe Christianity has already taken a major hit in our culture for its perceived whole-hearted and unqualified embrace of Donald Trump.
May it be clear that our citizenship is first a heavenly one, not an earthly one. May it be clear to our culture that our singular devotion is, not to a man or a political party, but to Jesus Christ, to his Word, and to his Church.
Aaron Berry earned both his undergrad and MA in Bible at Bob Jones University. He, along with his wife, Hanna, and daughter, Brooklyn, currently live in Detroit, MI, where Aaron is pursuing his MDiv degree while serving as the Director of Recruitment at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary and working on staff at Inter-City Baptist Church. You can follow him on Twitter @AaronMBerry
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