Trump and the Hypocrisy of Christians

trumpProbably like most people, over the last week my Facebook page has been lit up with presidential politics. My page has been especially littered with comments by those who have been critical of my postings of articles and my comments of Trump being an illegitimate candidate for president. Now that Trump’s behavior toward women has been clearly confirmed, the discussions have only intensified and many have begun expressing their thoughts in regard to Trump as a viable candidate. The one consistent theme that has troubled me is how some Christians are attempting to defend the indefensible. It’s difficult to escape the notion that the accusation of unbelievers that Christians are hypocrites may somewhat be true.

I certainly understand why some Christians take the position they do concerning the Trump v. Hillary campaign. Some have been quite vocal–emotively speaking–in regard to my posts and others’ which reveal a lot of Trump’s failures and indefensible actions as well as political positions. Many of the comments have been quite rude, but that’s o.k. Really. I have thick skin and have been called much worse. But let’s consider a few things here for a moment. Let’s take a deep breath and think rationally. Let’s put aside our emotions and our apocalypticism for just a few minutes if we can.
 
I deal weekly and annually with hundreds of students as a professor at a large Christian university. One of the primary criticisms from unbelieving students (and even believers at times) is that Christians are hypocrites. My response includes (but not exclusively) that, Yes, we Christians ARE hypocrites. That’s why we need the grace of God–to cover our horrible sins, and we meet with the church not because we are perfect but because we are learning together how to be more perfect. Of course, I always rejoin, this does not give Christians a pass to act hypocritically. We ought to do our best to act consistently with our convictions and biblical teaching.
 
What does this have to do with politics? Exactly this: what does it say to those who criticize Christians as hypocrites when Christians now defend Trump for his immoral sinful behavior not only toward women, but so many? Back in the ’90s (when it was popular for Republicans to say “character matters” and “family values”–which evidently have been entirely abandoned) the popular evangelical theologian Wayne Grudem called for the impeachment of Bill Clinton for his adulteries. Grudem now defends Trump as a MORAL choice when Trump has done the exact type of things as Clinton. And it’s not only Grudem; it’s many Christians. This only supports the notion that Christians are hypocrites. Sadly, if I am to be completely honest, I have to agree. When Christians attempt to defend Trump for his egregious actions just because they are going to vote for him is hypocrisy. You can still vote for Trump, but at least be honest and say his attitude and actions toward women are horrible and condemn them.
 
I still have a small fraction of doubt as to whom I will vote for in this election (that’s very small, but still a little doubt). But if for some reason I decide to vote for Trump, I will not defend him. Some of my FB friends have been overly upset with me for pointing out how horrible of a candidate Trump is. Why is this? Why respond with “Hillary is worse?” Why not say, “You’re right. This man needs the Lord and to repent for his sinful actions?” This is the primary reason why I have posted so many articles against Trump and have been so critical of him: because it’s time for Christians to begin acting consistently with their worldview and quit trying to defend what is immoral just because “that’s my candidate.” Character does indeed matter. It’s time to put away hypocrisy so that those who accuse Christians, like my students, don’t have a leg to stand on (and just for the sake of the glory of God!). (As a side note, I think Hillary is also just as indefensible. I don’t post much concerning her because I don’t feel that I have to point out the obvious.)
 
Ultimately, we should have seen this train wreck of an election heading our way a long time ago. For too many elections we have had to put up with “holding our nose” and voting for the “lesser of two evils.” For too long some have compromised convictions for expediency and pragmatic concerns. Imagine if we had not compromised as much in the past?
 
May the Lord grant us grace and peace, and may each Christian love each other with constructive dialog rather than attacking each other and undermining each others’ intelligence. Let love prevail in disagreement. And let us act with consistency. Support your candidate with integrity, not hypocrisy.
The Blade
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3 Responses to Trump and the Hypocrisy of Christians

  1. I can understand the “I’m voting for Trump simply as a way to vote against Hillary” position. I am not doing that, but I do understand the position.

    One might even reason that, in regard to treatment of women, given that Hillary defended, lied for, and used a serial molester of women (Bill, in case he has been forgotten) Trump could be the less-abusive of women candidate. Of course, with the Clinton “team” that is not saying much in your favor, but I would understand that approach.

    What Republican and other supporters of Trump need to do is admit that Trump is what he is: a very bad candidate whose main point that recommends him is that he is not a Clinton. That is almost everything good that can be said about Trump. Even if you are for Trump, if you won’t admit that, you are either self-deceived or a deceiver of others.

    Republican primaries gave that party a bad candidate. That is the truth. We all need to face it.

  2. Roy Wasson says:

    Warning: This is a Pro-Trump Post. Do not read if you would rather rot in a ditch than be helped. Roy Wasson, a fellow American

    People with rough pasts and who are not yet perfect often are the people who help you the most. Once I was in a rough spot with the guy next to me getting his head beat in. A guy everyone said was worthless rescued me. I am not talking about Jesus. Jesus had already saved my soul. I am talking about a guy who people looked down on but was a friend to me in this world. I was in danger and in that moment that rejected man went out of his way to save me when it was better for him to stay away. So too, our country is in great need. Trump is an imperfect man. We rejected Romney who is a nicer man. We rejected McCain who was rougher than most people knew but was deemed to have admirable qualities. Now we are in the ditch on a Sabbath day. We can apply the rules and tell the unclean man reaching to help us that he is not worthy and it is the wrong time. As a country, we can lay in the ditch and rot. Or, we can take the imperfect hand willing to help us out. He is not good enough. It is the wrong time. But he is the man of the hour and the only man and the only hour we have to save the nation. Rough men, imperfect men and women, often do great good. Individually we should ask ourselves who has helped us in our greatest times in need. They likely did not meet all of our requirements of a good person. But they had the skills needed and were willing and available in our hour of need. That, my fellow Americans, is where we are. Let us pull ourselves up with the help of Trump/Pence 2016.

  3. Jason Carnley says:

    I would guess people who are upset about your Trump posts “feel” you are condemning them for their choice. While I don’t think you have done that there are a lot of Christians who have already rationalized their support for Trump. Cottrell has said their are no Biblical requirements for government leaders and God’s concern is for what they are to “do”. Given that, if a Christian believes Trump will protect the innocent and punish the guilty they are justified in supporting him–biblically there is no other concern. A lot of what B. Clinton was doing was breaking the law and ethical breeches. The case can even be made that the years of America ignoring B. Clinton’s escapade lead to a lot of the moral decay in the political realm. We had hoped that G. Bush who was morally upstanding would be a moral palliative to the situation–yet the decline only continued. Indeed G. Bush was very ineffective in prosecuting the war on terror and defending his own beliefs and values. He was a “good” man who allowed goodness to be defamed because he wouldn’t defend the good. People got sick of it and have now opted for the hothead strong man. It wasn’t the choice I wanted but that is where we are at.
    I’ve been saying for a while that the election is between Jezebel and Jehu. God has allowed our nation to judge itself with its own immoral actions. Terrible leaders are only the natural outgrowth cultural decay. I know a lot of Christians who believe that we are so bad as a nation that a Christian can’t even do the job of president.
    After thinking long and hard I believe given all the circumstances we should not condemn Christians this year for their voting choice. Christians should avoid a full-throated support for Trump. I believe for the most part they have walked that line. There are a few who bare responsibility for being early adopters. If this ends in a loss for Republicans or Trump does a very poor job–as many of us expect–I hope that those who were early adopters are made to bare responsibility for the bad Trump choice (Palin, Hannity, Coulter) they need to go away. When all is said and done a leader is tasked by God to punish the guilty and protect the innocent–one of the two candidates has promised to do that the other has promised they will not.