Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California and the WCF Radio Network. More can be found at ShaneIdleman.com, including free downloads of his eBooks. Visit him on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to his new podcast, Idleman Unplugged. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of BCNN1.
When my op-ed, “How Can You Follow Jesus and Support Trump” went viral, many of the negative emails came from folks who asked similar questions, and the one that topped the list was “How can you support a man who always lies?” This was followed by questions such as: “How can you support him based on his lifestyle?”
In answering the lying charge, we have to ask the most important question of our day: Where are we getting our information? The emails I received sounded more like sound bites from anti-Trump news outlets than people doing their own unbiased research. Many in the media will doctor numbers, erase information, take things out of context, and outright lie to make Trump look bad.
What most call lies or misleading statements are actually differences of opinion rather than facts. For example, when the president says that this is the “best economy ever,” that can be supported by some and refuted by others. One pundit said it’s a lie because, in his opinion, the economy under Lincoln was much better. I’m currently reading A. Lincoln: A Biography by Ronald C. White, and I can assure you, based on my understanding of a strong and healthy economy, that Lincoln’s economy was not as strong as ours. However, we must remain humble and vigilant in our pursuit of God and not trust in our economy or military, but trust in God alone. (More here at our YouTube page; make sure to subscribe.)
Charges are also leveled at him that he inflates numbers and stats. Statistics often fall into the art of deceiving via numbers. Statistics can vary greatly depending on the agenda and presuppositions of the person you ask. A national economist who opposes the president will say he is off on the numbers, but an investment banker who supports the president will say that he is right on.
On the other hand, many speakers, from the late Billy Graham to current pastors and preachers, give out numbers and stats in their sermons but sometimes find out later they had wrong information or misquoted someone. Although we should double-check our facts, this isn’t lying; it’s being human—having wrong information, forgetting exact numbers, or mixing up stats in your head. For example, I recently said, “I think that 85 percent of all lottery winners end up losing their money in the end.” It’s actually around 70 percent. My critics, undoubtedly, would level charges of lying against me too.
So again, most of the recent charges against President Trump for lying are simply unfounded. Granted, he is not perfect and, indeed, has lied and will lie (we can simply look in the mirror to validate this truth), but is he improving, learning, and growing? Is he looking out for the American people according to Romans 13? I’m not saying that lying is OK, what I am saying is that much of what we hear about Trump is actually designed to mislead the public. Ironically, those saying that he is lying are actually the ones doing the lying.
Another question goes something like this: “His values don’t line up with the Bible. Aren’t we straying from God when we support him?” First, I would encourage you to read the op-ed mentioned at the beginning. Second, we must wrestle with this question: What if God put him in office? Did you know that God used pagan kings to accomplish his purposes—from Cyrus to Artaxerxes and many others. Regardless of the king or president, the key questions to ask are: What direction is the leader taking us and our children, and where is he seeking counsel? Is he really trying to honor God through legislation?
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Source: Christian Headlines