There is a small group of evangelicals who not only condemn Donald Trump without relenting but with equal ferocity condemn evangelical leaders who support him.
Never-Trumper David French writes these words at National Review:
We are not told, however, to compromise our moral convictions for the sake of earthly relief, no matter how dire the crisis. We are not told to rationalize and justify sinful actions to preserve political influence or a popular audience. We are not told that the ends of good policies justify silence in the face of sin. Indeed — and this message goes out specifically to the politicians and pundits who go on television and say things they do not believe (you know who you are) to protect this administration and to preserve their presence in the halls of the power — there is specific scripture that applies to you:
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
That’s pretty strong stuff. French practically exhausts the thesaurus to pile up dark verbs and phrases one on top of the other: “compromise, rationalize, justify, say things they do not believe, justify sinful actions, justify silence in the face of sin.” And then he invokes a curse from Isaiah to round things off.
Well, I am only one evangelical, so I will speak only for myself. I continue to support President Trump even though I have no “presence in the halls of power” to preserve.
I believe that the affair with Stormy Daniels probably happened, although only two people know for sure. The $130,000 payoff is enough evidence for me. People just don’t pay hush money to those who don’t need to be hushed.
Now no evangelical I know defends cavorting with porn stars. In the few times I have addressed this on my program, I have used words such as “reprehensible” and “tawdry” to describe such conduct. It did happen 12 years ago (if indeed it happened at all), and the president does seem to be a changed man. He sounds more like a Christian every time I hear him speak, as his words at the National Day of Prayer event last week exemplify.
If President Trump is a changed man, why is that? I’d suggest it’s because, while critics snipe at him from cloistered cover, evangelical leaders such as Robert Jeffress and Franklin Graham have befriended the president, spent time with him, counseled him from the Scriptures, and prayed for him. Isn’t this exactly what evangelicals are supposed to be about?
While the president’s evangelical critics are acting the part of the judgmental Pharisees, the president’s evangelical friends are acting the part of the Son of Man, who came to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
One question I have for the president’s critics: What exactly are you hoping to accomplish through your unrelenting judgmentalism of the president and all who support him? Our nation is in spiritual crisis, and the best you can do is run down the first president in a generation who seems determined to do something about that?
I support the president despite his many notable flaws for one reason: I support his policies. For the life of me, I cannot see a reason for any evangelical to doggedly resist a president who is keeping his promises to protect life in the womb, religious liberty, freedom of conscience for Christians in the marketplace, a strong national defense, and a secure border to protect our culture and our Judeo-Christian heritage.
Evangelicals who wish to go down in history in the pantheon of “nattering nabobs of negativism” are of course free to do so. For mine own part, I’m going to stand with the man who is willing to get in the arena and fight the good fight.