Perhaps the most disturbing result from the South Carolina primary is that 72% of GOP primary voters were self-identified evangelicals, and 33% of them voted for a man who seems proud of the fact he’s never asked God for forgiveness even a single time.
When Trump was asked by Frank Luntz whether he has ever asked God’s forgiveness, he replied, "I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don't think so. I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don't bring God into that picture. I don't."
In South Carolina, this candidate got a greater slice of the evangelical vote than the next two candidates, both of whom have unquestioned evangelical credentials.
If this trend continues, evangelicals may be more responsible than any other single demographic group for putting Donald Trump in the White House. If Trump is as risky a bet as clear-thinking observers think he is, evangelicals may wind up doing more to hasten the decline of America than anybody else.
This is a candidate who has openly and unapologetically boasted of his many sexual conquests and who famously cheated on wife number one by ensconcing the woman who became wife number two in a penthouse apartment at one of his casinos in Atlantic City.
He told Howard Stern in 1997 that sleeping around was “my personal Vietnam,” where he routinely and repeatedly dodged the bullets of sexually transmitted diseases. But, he proudly proclaimed,“I feel like a great and very brave soldier” who courageously faced that risk without flinching.
He was the first casino owner in American history to put a strip club in a casino. And he did this not in the distant past but in 2013.
Over the last several decades, he has over-leveraged four different business enterprises into bankruptcy and yet wants us to believe he’s just the man to do something about our $19 trillion federal debt.
In early February, he assured a lesbian activist that the homosexual agenda would see progress under his presidency. He was approached by lesbian reporter Sue O’Connell, who asked him, “When President Trump is in office, can we look for more forward motion on equality for gays and lesbians?”
“Well, you can,” answered Trump.
As recently as last week he was defending taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood,
And yet he claims he has never needed to ask God for forgiveness. For anything. If character counts, this man is simply unqualified to serve as the leader of the free world.
If values on moral issues count, this man is unqualified, in the eyes of the gospel, to serve in any leadership capacity whatsoever let alone as the president of the most powerful nation in the world.
Now whatever else the term “evangelical” means, it means an adherence to the “evangel,” the gospel found in the New Testament. This gospel clearly states that a man who has never repented of his sin does not have a relationship with God. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).
The gospel teaches us that life begins at conception and that a woman carries a baby in her womb, not a clump of tissue (Luke 1:44). Jesus himself taught us that marriage is the union of one man and one woman (Matthew 19:5-6), and the New Testament teaches us that marriage as God defines it should be “held in honor by all” (Hebrews 13:4).
The fact that so many evangelicals are so enamored with Trump is a mystery. It is inexplicable on any rational basis. It is almost as if a fog of confusion and opaqueness has settled over the evangelical community so they simply do not see this man as he actually is.
It may be that the term “evangelical” has virtually become meaningless, since so many who claim the term for themselves seem to have no idea what it means. Mormon talk show host Glenn Beck seems to know more about evangelicalism than evangelicals themselves.
On the other hand, perhaps evangelicals have simply been poorly taught and do not understand the emphasis Scripture places on character as a qualification for leadership.
If so, that is a fixable problem. The pastors of America can correct that flaw by causing their pulpits once again to flame with righteousness.
The GOP establishment, the Democratic establishment, and social conservatives all across the fruited plain are asking themselves one question: who can stop Donald Trump?
There is one answer and one answer only to that question: informed, educated, and discerning evangelicals. Evangelicals are absolutely the only demographic group with enough numbers to knock the Trump Train off the tracks. But they will have to think more clearly than they have, starting right now.
Bottom line: for good or for ill, the choice of our next president rests solely in the hands of evangelicals. Evangelicals can put Donald Trump in the White House and they can keep Donald Trump out of the White House. Many are hoping and praying the fog lifts before it’s too late.