In my previous post I referenced Mark Galli’s editorial at Christianity Today calling for Donald Trump’s removal from office. With 81 percent of American evangelicals having given their steadfast, wholehearted, and unwavering support to Donald Trump, one should expect that there would be blowback to such a thing.
Jentezen Franklin, a prominent charismatic megachurch pastor in the Atlanta area, has written a piece at the Christian Post in which he takes Galli and evangelicals who sympathise with Galli to task. His arguments: Under Obama (whom he does not even mention by name), America was in a state of moral decline. Socialism was on the rise and religious liberty was in jeopardy. Donald Trump has defied all the haters and kept his promises to the evangelical electorate. He has overhauled a raging leftist, activist judiciary. He is pro-life. He is pro-Israel. These are the values and policies that matter most to our Christian faith.
In other words, the values that are most central to our Christian faith are being pro-life (as evangelicals define it, which means that one’s pro-life ethic extends only to the unborn), supporting the state of Israel, opposing socialism, supporting religious liberty (again, as evangelicals define it, which means supporting the liberty of certain Christians and Christians to shit on gays and women and minorities and put Bible verses on it), supporting judicial restraint and a conservative judiciary, and being pro-Israel. Don’t talk to us about Jesus Christ, except as the title sponsor who puts his name on all of this. And don’t even begin to talk to us about love.
In the previous post I said that when I watched 81 percent of American evangelicals give their steadfast, wholehearted and unyielding support to Donald Trump, I watched my faith sell its very soul right out from under me. This is exactly what I am talking about, right here.
Donald Trump’s life and message are the exact opposite of anything even remotely connected to Jesus Christ. Under his administration, the worst specimens of humanity are now empowered and emboldened to spew out hatred for blacks, gays, immigrants–anyone who does not look like us privileged white males. ICE is running rampant here in Georgia, and in other places too (I would imagine), and my nonwhite coworkers live in a low-grade state of fear that they could be targeted next.
According to Franklin, this is “the values and heart of Christianity today in these United States of America”. God loves you and Jesus Christ died for you, but not if you are a woman, black, gay, immigrant, or otherwise not a privileged white male.
No. Just no. That’s all there is to it.
Those of you who are evangelical supporters of Donald Trump (and I recognize that the vast majority of you have probably long since left the room, but just in case there may still be a few of you hanging around): You know what Jesus was all about when he was here on earth. You know how he moved among people and you know the teachings that formed the heartbeat of his public ministry. Can you square any of this with what Franklin says are “the values and heart of Christianity today in these United States of America”? Do you see any connection between the life and message of Donald Trump and anything that Jesus Christ was about?
I have said it before and will say again: Think about this through the grid of “What does love require of me?”. If you can make a compelling case that what love requires of you is to continue to give your steadfast, wholehearted, unwavering support to a president whose life and message are the exact opposite of anything even remotely connected to Jesus Christ…no. There is no such case to be made.