An Open Letter to American Evangelicals

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Why, tell me why, in this Republican primary process are you supporting Donald J. Trump in such great numbers. Donald Trump may share your anger, but he doesn’t  share your values. He may not even be angry over the same things that you are. He’s just angry.  He most likely won’t make decisions morally but pragmatically. It’s possible he has the same concerns as you but he doesn’t know your Christ. Trump may articulate your fears but he won’t face them with your faith but rather with as much brute force as he can muster.  He’ll bully his way through things. The Donald on occasion may quote the good Book, the Bible, but he lives by his own book…remember it — The Art of the Deal.  He may have the endorsements of some of your leaders — Dr. Robert Jeffers of First Baptist in Dallas, and Jerry Falwell, Jr. President of Liberty University but he doesn’t serve your Lord, Jesus Christ. He has said over and over that he will owe no one anything.

In spite of Trump dropping F’Bombs and S’Missiles in almost every place so far, you evangelicals have given him as much or more support than the evangelicals in the race.  Trump has slandered almost every one of his competitors. I guess defamation of character is an easily forgivable sin, though Mr. Trump says he’s never asked God for forgiveness.  Senator Ted Cruz, Pastor Mike Huckabee, Dr. Ben Carson, Senator Rick Santorum and Governor John Kasich all have bon fide Christian credentials. They are flawed, yes, but they and others give testimony of their faith. So what’s up? Don’t you think that Donald Trump has more skeletons in his closet than the largest cemetery in Queens? The message you are sending to every aspiring Christ follower who would seek public office is frightening. Aren’t you saying that in order for Christians to support you brother or sister you need to mimic The Donald not the Christ.

Is it about the power? Do you actually think The Donald will listen to you because you endorsed him?  People, we are born again but not born again yesterday are we?  Is it about so desperately wanting to win you’ll sell your soul to someone who has made a lot of money building…casinos. Didn’t we used to believe and teach that gambling was bad? Maybe it is because we think the country needs a businessman, a true capitalist, who has built “a great company”. How do you think he did that? I know we are not voting for “saint and chief” but we aren’t voting for “bully and chief” either.

Evangelicals are now nothing more than a voting block. Spend ten minutes listening to any cable news station and you’ll see that this is all that we are thought of as. We are people to whom you can make a certain set of promises that you will never keep because we are just a special interest group. I thought evangelicals had one interest and one agenda, our Lord’s. Where is the kingdom agenda in all of this?

Circus tycoon P.T Barnum famously said, “there is a  sucker born every minute.”  In the circus that is the Republican primary, that sucker is much of the evangelical church and its leaders.  In the words of Judy Collins, “send in the clowns, send in the clowns….don’t bother they’re here.”

From Gordon McDonald’s “Ordering You Private World “

Harry Blamires, in an insightful book called The Christian Mind, asks where there are Christians with minds sharp enough to confront a culture that steadily drifts away from God. He calls for people who think “Christianly”about great moral issues. His fear, which I share, is that we fool ourselves into thinking that we are thinking people when we are not. With a stinging rebuke against the Christian public, he wrote: “Christianity is emasculated of its intellectual relevance. It remains a vehicle of spirituality and moral guidance at the individual level perhaps; at the communal level it is little more than an expression of sentimentalized togetherness.”