Donald Trump is unlike any U.S. president before him, a real enigma to many. Some scold Christians for supporting a president who is so un-Christlike. Are Christians wrong to support a man like this?
Donald Trump has a long history of sexual immorality. A serial husband with several divorces, he has a reputation for womanizing. His integrity as a businessman is questionable, given his habit of ignoring debts and using bankruptcy as a business strategy. His speech is provocative and he is careless with the truth. Combine this with an over-sized ego and Trump is not the kind of person Christians respect. It’s no wonder some think Christians are hypocrites to support Trump. In many ways, Donald Trump is as un-Christian as it’s possible to be.
Which is why it is so surprising that many of his policies are shared by conservative evangelical Christians. Donald Trump is probably the most pro-life president ever, who backs up his words with actions. Trump is pro-capitalist. He understands that the best way to help the greatest number of people economically is to unleash the power of free-enterprise. Under his administration, more people are gainfully employed than at any time in American history, with the greatest gains being among minorities. More than merely talking about helping the poor, this president harnesses the energy of capitalism to give people the dignity and rewards of honest labor. He is a friend of religious freedom who has defended Christianity against attacks.
President Trump defends the rule of law. That’s the heart of the immigration debate. Should we ignore laws or enforce them? Congress has the power to change immigration laws, but chooses not to, and then complains about a president who endeavors to enforce laws as they exist. The legislature is responsible to enact laws which the administration is responsible to enforce. Those who are unwilling to enact change should not oppose those responsible to enforce. We are a nation of laws, and if we flout immigration laws today, what will we ignore tomorrow? How long before the United States descends into anarchy?
And what about Federal Judges? The Senate has confirmed more than one hundred Trump appointed federal jurists committed to interpreting the Constitution and laws as written. The courts have long been misused to circumvent legislation. President Trump is slowly returning integrity to our courts.
Most Christians find President Trump’s personal behavior offensive. He is mean spirited when attacking opponents. His penchant for name-calling is barely exceeded by a playground full of junior high students. Every day seems to bring new insults and divisive rhetoric. This caustic environment wears upon one’s soul. Please! Can anyone convince this man to tame his tongue? He is his own worst enemy.
So why do so many Christians support Trump? It’s not because of his likeable personality, nor his ability to inspire the best within us. It’s not because they like the caustic attacks and constant bickering. It’s not because Christians view Trump as a fellow Christian. Most Christians would likely cringe at the thought of having Donald Trump as a member of their church. So why do they support him? Because so many of his policies align with what they believe, and there have been so few presidents able to advance these policies effectively. Trump gets things done.
Consider the alternatives. Every presidential election offers only two candidates who can realistically win. The perfect candidate has never appeared on the ballot and never will. Are Christians so naïve as to support a polite candidate whose agenda is opposite what they believe? Which is better, a bad person who accomplishes good things, or a nice person who promotes bad policies? That, my quizzical friends, is why so many Christian support Trump. It’s not because they like him as a person or admire him as a Christian, but because they believe in much of what he stands for.
If you are a Christian, you have a God-given responsibility to pray for Donald Trump (1 Tim. 2:1,2). Pray for his salvation. Pray that he will exercise greater wisdom and self-control. Above all else, pray for revival. What we need is for God to bring us to our knees and give us a sincere desire to honor His Word. Anything less will accomplish little. May God save the United States of America!
G. N. Barkman received his BA and MA from BJU and later founded Beacon Baptist Church in Burlington, NC where has pastored since 1973. In addition, Pastor Barkman airs the Beacon Broadcast on twenty radio stations. He and his wife, Marti, have been blessed with four daughters and nine grandchildren.