It would be a great understatement to say that this years U.S. Presidential election has been divisive. Two candidates with higher unfavorable ratings than any previous candidate and an ever more entrenched partisanship has seemingly resulted in an American polity that no longer seems to even be able to talk amongst itself. This has been true within American Christianity as well, where old divisions have been made worse and new divisions emerged.
Many Evangelical leaders, whose politics has long been conservative and Republican, have backed Donald Trump. But an editorial in Christianity Today has called upon evangelical leaders and church members to stand against him. Titled “Speak Truth to Trump: Evangelicals, of all people, should not be silent about Donald Trump’s blatant immorality,” Andy Crouch, executive editor of Christianity Today, lays out his case.
“…because we are neutral, however, does not mean we are indifferent. We are especially not indifferent when the gospel is at stake. The gospel is of infinitely greater importance than any campaign, and one good summary of the gospel is, “Jesus is Lord.”
The true Lord of the world reigns even now, far above any earthly ruler. His kingdom is not of this world, but glimpses of its power and grace can be found all over the world. One day his kingdom, and his only, will be the standard by which all earthly kingdoms are judged, and following that judgment day, every knee will bow, in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, as his reign is fully realized in the renewal of all things.
The lordship of Christ places constraints on the way his followers involve themselves, or entangle themselves, with earthly rulers.”
Crouch points out that Hilary Clinton stands for positions that many evangelicals do not favor, while also pointing out that they have seemingly not applied the same kind of critical judgment to Donald Trump, reverting instead to blind partisanship heedless of the potential consequences. Crouch points out that though the revelations from the Washington Post from an off-air recording have been disturbing to many, they shouldn’t have been surprising.
Understanding that many evangelicals might be willing to support Trump from a strategic standpoint for inaugurating their preferred policies, crouch points counters that strategy can become a kind of idolatry when divorced from a gospel perspective. Ultimately, adherence to political partisanship and a strategic view divorced from morality or belief does the christian mission no favors.
“Enthusiasm for a candidate like Trump gives our neighbors ample reason to doubt that we believe Jesus is Lord. They see that some of us are so self-interested, and so self-protective, that we will ally ourselves with someone who violates all that is sacred to us—in hope, almost certainly a vain hope given his mendacity and record of betrayal, that his rule will save us.”
Check out the whole thing here