This election cycle is beyond the point of jumping the shark. For months, pundits and analysts were confident that Donald Trump was just a phase; that his brash attitude and extreme views would soon turn off the American public so enamored with him.
It turns out we are all wrong.
Many evangelical leaders including Russell Moore and Albert Mohler have expressed outrage and disappointment at the number of Christians who publically support Donald Trump. Moore went so far as to write a Washington Post op-ed about why this election cycle is causing him to no longer want to be identified as an evangelical.
All the more strange is the endorsement of Trump by Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University. Not only has Falwell endorsed Trump, but he’s said he has compared Trump to King David, a man after God’s own heart. Bible scholars feel free to weigh in here, but this seems like a bit of a stretch.
On the other end of the theological spectrum sits Joel Osteen, who told FoxNews radio that Donald Trump is a good man and an incredible communicator.
Both Osteen and Falwell have incredible influence in different parts of Christendom. Their words echo into churches as endorsements of a man whose moral character is dubious at best.
There is a vast difference between being a good person and being someone who understands the sin and depravity of his heart and repents. In the last few weeks, Trump told attendees at rallies that he’d like to punch protesters in the face, and has asked other participants to ‘knock the crap’ out of protesters nearby.
A new ad campaign highlights derogatory things Trump has said about women; things so offensive, we won’t print them here. He’s also said that he’s never asked for forgiveness from God, reasoning that he hasn’t made any mistakes, so he shouldn’t have to ask for forgiveness.
In Luke 6, Jesus said you can discern the state of someone’s heart by what they say. What Donald Trump stands for and promotes is not the will of God revealed in Scripture.
Endorsements like these from Falwell, Osteen, and even former candidate, Dr. Ben Carson, should trouble us. In light of the great responsibility that God places upon the shoulders of leaders – especially within the church, we should not take our endorsements of anyone, including political leaders, lightly. We live in times that call for great discernment and perseverance in prayer that God might have mercy on our nation and our political process. It is in these times that we must press into the Lord and trust Him, as David reminds us in Psalm 20:
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”