Why This Election Makes Me Hate the Word “Evangelical”

"Worst of all, what happens when evangelicalism is no longer even clear about what it takes to be saved: repentance from sin and personal trust in Jesus Christ?"  RMoore

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Darrell Post's picture

The last several weeks I have scanned through many conservative/Republican political blogs, and those posting there are absolutely mocking evangelicals as the ultimate hypocrites. When Jerry Falwell Jr. endorsed Trump, they howled with frustrated scorn--how could the son of the moral majority guy, stand there and endorse the owner of a strip club, the guy whose current wife has been involved in things I cannot even type here. Trump has tapped into anger. And like many unbelievers, many professing evangelicals are angry, and this sinful anger has been exposed by their following a man whose lifestyle and temperament is everything you do NOT want to see in a national leader. Those who claim Christ and follow Trump simply want a pound of flesh and Trump is the guy who will knock over tables and throw chairs. At a time when we desperately need a national leader with dignity and integrity, it is a shame against evangelicals that so many have failed to model the discernment they should have to be able to choose a credible leader.

Larry Nelson's picture


I'm sure they're out there: the polls apparently claim they exist.  Locally (I'm in Minnesota), I'm not encountering them though.  I'm hearing a lot of "I simply wouldn't vote on Election Day" (if Trump is the Republican candidate) or "I'll write in a candidate---anyone but Trump!"

I was talking to an IFB associate pastor at a wedding (not at my church) the weekend before last---he startled me by saying that if the choice comes down to Hillary or Trump, that he'd vote for Hillary!  (How things have changed!)


Bert Perry's picture

I've been interacting with a guy who's under the impression that Trump supporters come primarily from the ranks of the blue collar workers who are getting their clocks cleaned by globalism.  Now if we infer that large portions of evangelical churches are inhabited by this demographic, I think we have our answer.

That really means, more or less, that the pastors of such churches are probably doing a lousy job teaching the distinctives of the faith, and I would dare say that many of them have worn out their welcome in terms of moral pronouncements as well.  Moore may well be correct that they are "honky-tonk Christians" answering polls while intoxicated.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

There are many "country western" listening, beer drinking, howl at the moon "Christians". They are the ones voting for Trump. Though, listening to radio like Rush Limbaugh and the like, pastors have called in more than once to say they were voting for Trump because they think Cruz lied in the "Ben Carson flap" in Iowa. So, they think everyone is a hypocrite, so why not swing for the the fences?

As for me, if Trump wins the Republican nomination, and no acceptable 3rd party candidate appears, I guess I'll not vote for the first time ever. I will not vote for a casino owning, strip club owning, etc, candidate.

Richard Brunt's picture

I am so discouraged about this election.  Don't get me wrong, I know politics is not the answer but I have been talking to two Christians, one evangelical and one fundamental Baptist.  They are both Trump supporters.  I have been furnishing them with about three articles a week but so far to no avail.  I will pass this one along as well.  I am ready to leave the Republican party and register as an independent.  I too will write in a candidate or not vote for president.  I will be voting for all other Republicans.  We desperately need them in Congress.

Richard E Brunt

Darrell Post's picture

We learned last night they aren't in Minnesota. Its mostly a Bible-belt, red-neck thing just like Mark Smith said above.

But this isn't over yet. Don't listen to the media who has declared the race over. They want desperately for it to be over. But thus far, Trump is only 1-3 in caucuses. Saturday there are three caucuses and 1 primary. Trump failed to meet expectations yesterday. Many were predicting he could sweep all 11 states. Others said 10 states, falling just short in Texas.

But yesterday Trump lost 4 states total, and won 7. Of those 7, three were narrow wins, within 3 points of 2nd place. Trump still has a ceiling it seems. He is 0-2 in midwest states, and is untested out west. I know NV happened, but NV is basically Las Vegas, a place pretty well aligned with Trump's lifestyle.

And it seems that the carpet-bombing of Trump via negative ads had an effect. But now going forward, starting March 15, there will be a number of key winner-takes-all states. If for instance, Rubio wins FL, he cuts into his delegate deficit by 99. If Kasich wins his own state, he gets them all, denying them from Trump.

If those two things happen, then we are almost assured there will be a brokered convention where no candidate got to 50%.

Barry L.'s picture

"I will not vote for a casino owning, strip club owning, etc, candidate."

You voted for a Mormon in 2012.

You voted for a member of the Keating 5 in 2008.

You had a so-called "evangelical" President and conservative congress in 2000 and 2004 and the country still digressed

Maybe Christian folks don't see the virtues of any politician no matter what Christian precepts they memorized to get elected.

Darrell Post's picture

Barry, I would hope you would agree there is a difference between someone being wrong on a political position (McCain) and someone believing in a false religion (Romney), and someone who might have failed to be conservative in spending (Bush) versus someone who shamelessly owns establishments committed to degrading women for money as they corrupt men through lust.


Barry L.'s picture

Its about political corruption. You may not be old enough to remember the S&L  crisis, but you should Google Keating 5 McCain to get an idea how corrupt he is. I don't see the difference between a strip club owner and a cultist in Romney and those who engage in political corruption. 

I don't have a high opinion of Trump, but I also don't have a high opinion of the other candidates either. In my position I attend my share of political fund raising events and visits to congressmen's offices. They will tell the masses one thing and their donors another, being deceitful. 


Bert Perry's picture

....it's worth noting that the combover is really the first guy to completely act as if his moral failures didn't matter.  Clinton tried to hide his philandering, and did somewhat successfully.  McCain argued forcefully that his guilt in the S&L scandal wasn't that great, Romney downplayed the distinctives of Mormonism, Obama acted as if his lifelong friendships really were just casual acquaintances.  

Trump ignores that model, and that's striking.  It means a lack of self-control and shame that does not bode well for anyone in any position of authority, and I would dare suggest that's why he's got four banktruptcies and two divorces to his name.  Keep in mind that both of his divorces involved adultery, and at least a couple of his banktruptcies involved junk bonds.  He had warnings that these deals were going to go bad, but went ahead anyways.

OK, let's imagine that mindset when the setting is diplomacy, and the question is whether we're going to war or not.  We are talking some seriously dangerous issues!

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Joeb's picture

Cruz's IFB Pastor father said his son was anointed by the Lord to be President.  He also wants to form a militia with other IFB Pastors if needed for an insurgency.  Don't get me wrong Cruz is my man but don't u think these kind of statements by Cruz's father make the Evangelical/Fundamental Christians look like s bunch of nuts and then throw in a good number of them voting for Trump.  Trump is a jackass and a Clown but people are getting just stupid. 

Ron Bean's picture

There were lots of Christians, including fundamentalists, who voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976. Labels may really only be useful on soup cans.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Joeb's picture

I guess my question is Cruz's and his father's 7 mountains  Dominionism  scriptural. Also is Cruz's father proclamation of Cruz being the Lord's anointed scriptural.  I I have said before I like Cruz for standing strong against spending money and down sizing the government. Is this guys idea of a Christian government ushering in the second coming of Christ scriptural.  If not would not that make him a heretic and if so would we want to vote for him versus Rubio.  Bert and Mark how about a shot at this. If Cruz wraps his motivation for leading our government with his beliefs should not believers lean toward Rubio.  The only alternative after that is Trump.  Kasich does not seem to stand a chance. 

Mark_Smith's picture

1. I have never heard of "7 Mountains Dominionism".

2. "If Cruz wraps his motivation for leading our government with his beliefs should not believers lean toward Rubio." My, I hope not. Where would motivation to lead come from ideally other than one's belief in God?

3. Rubio is Roman Catholic. Is that more scriptural than whatever you are concerned about?

4. Trump is his own religion. He worships himself. Is that better than whatever you are concerned about?

Mark_Smith's picture

I tried to research "Seven Mountains Dominionism" and the only places that used the term were anti-Christian or anti-conservative websties. So, without endorsing or opposing this "dominionism", I simply don't trust one word typed on those websites.

Bert Perry's picture

I had heard that Cruz is a Southern Baptist.  That would not seem to leave a ton of room for what Joe's referring to.  However, I did look up things about his father, and he appears to be an independent evangelist.  That would at least leave room for some "interesting" theological perspectives.

(side note; we fundagelicals need to be careful lest we, or our pastors/leaders, become de facto Popes without the restraining factor of a Magisterium of tradition--e.g. Bill Gothard, Jack Hyles, Jack Schaap)

All in all, I would concur with Mark that we need to be careful with our sources, as there are a lot of people out there who are theologically unmoored who will make all kinds of wild claims about just about anyone.  Do we have any reputable sources which reference the actual writings and such of Rafael Cruz?  If not, I'd have to make the assumption that some of these sources are examples of my friend's characterization of the Internet; "the autobahn of fertilizer".    (yes, cleaned up a bit for this forum)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Joeb's picture

Mark Prof John Fae from Mesiah College wrote an article on the matter.  As far as Cruz's father check You Tube. In his own words about his son being the anointed one.  Anyway I did not make this up.  Now Rubio splits his time between the Catholic Church and a Southern Baptist.   I don't know where that puts him, but he has come right out and said he will address Illegal immigrant and SSA/Medicare down the road ie kick the can.  Cruz has taken a stong and unwavering stand on both issues.  He knows we're broke and is going to deal with them with tha in mind no matter the hardship and cut the size of the gov in an appropriate way.  That's why I say he is the better then Rubio or any of them.  He is being honest about the stituation where every one else and I mean everyone is sticking their head in the sand hoping it will go away.  He is bad medicine but now is the time.