George A. Somerville on Why I Disagree With Shane Idleman’s View That Christians Can Follow Jesus and Support Trump

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of BCNN1. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

A recent column by Shane Idleman poses the question, “How can you follow Jesus and support Donald Trump?” Mr. Idleman takes the position that it is possible to do both, and he makes some valid points. I have given his arguments careful and prayerful consideration. I respectfully but vehemently disagree with his conclusion.

Mr. Idleman acknowledges but downplays the obvious fact that President Trump “lacks Christian character.” What, however, could be more important? As Christians, we ought always to have the Great Commission in the forefront of our minds. How does Christian support for President Trump make disciples of Jesus Christ? Mr. Idleman does not address that question. I think such support has the opposite effect, for reasons that I discuss below.

How, then, does support for President Trump advance Christian values? Mr. Idleman believes that it does, seemingly because President Trump is an ungodly means to godly ends. I respectfully disagree.

President Trump is a seemingly compulsive liar. He has a long history of immoral affairs and exploitation of those who are economically weaker. And he is a bully – especially a cyber-bully, which is an enormously important issue for young people today. Our children are watching if we praise and glorify Donald Trump; and whether we say it or not, that is a signal that he is a role model. How does that advance Christian values?  Is he really someone whom we want to hold up as a model for emulation?

The secular world is watching as well; and many in that community gleefully shout “Hypocrisy!” – with much justification – when they see leaders and members of the “evangelical” community supporting Donald Trump, apparently because he is an ungodly means to godly ends. They can see, as well as we, that virtually everything in his life is a contradiction of Jesus’ teaching. How does that advance Christian values?

Mr. Idleman denies that the Trump administration is taking children from their mothers and locking them in “cages.” I can only question the source of his information. Granted, descriptions of well documented and widely reported events have sometimes been described in overly emotional language. The fact nevertheless is that the acts of this administration are highly contrary to numerous biblical injunctions to welcome the “foreigner” or “stranger” (depending on the translation) and treat him compassionately and justly. How does that advance Christian values?

Mr. Idleman’s strongest point is that President Trump’s judicial appointments may serve eventually to mitigate the holocaust of the unborn. But he ignores or overlooks the fact that President Trump’s political coalition yokes the evangelical community to the NRA, an organization which vehemently opposes even the most modest limitations on availability of weapons of war – instruments designed for no purpose other than to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible. How does that advance Christian values? It is difficult indeed in today’s political climate to be consistently pro-life – certainly neither major party takes such a position – but let us not deceive ourselves by ignoring the pro-death positions to which this politician adheres.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, George A. Somerville

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