Mark Tuesday, June 21, on your calendar. That’s the day that 500 evangelical leaders will descend on New York City and meet with the presumptive GOP nominee for president: Donald Trump.
Even if you’re not a Trump supporter, the meeting is significant. It is the gathering of many church and ministry leaders who presumably represent Evangelical Christianity. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council in Washington D.C., organized the meeting. He also told FoxNews that it was an attempt to get evangelical leaders to voice their concerns about a Donald Trump presidency.
“Our goal is to be able to have a conversation that could lead to a better understanding of what Donald Trump has to offer to the country. I want to be actively supportive of a candidate who can help turn this nation around. With Trump—I’m not there yet. I hope to be there—but I’m not there right now.”
Among those attending are:
—James Dobson, Family Talk President and founder of Focus on the Family
—Ronnie Floyd, Southern Baptist Convention President
—Pastor Ed Young, Fellowship Church
—Ralph Reed, Freedom Coalition
—Pastor Jack Graham, Prestonwood Baptist Church
—Gary Bauer, American Values President
However, not everyone who was invited will attend. Perry Noble, pastor of New Spring Church, posted to his blog explaining why he wouldn’t be attending the meeting.
Over the past week or so I’ve graciously received two gracious invitations to attend a meeting of 500 evangelical leaders with Donald Trump in New York.
So, am I going? The short answer is no!
Noble goes on to explain that he has trepidation about such a meeting and points to some hypocrisy among evangelical leaders who were not willing to meet with GOP nominees during the 2012 election cycle.
There is no word yet on whether or not Dr. Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention will attend. As of late, Trump called out Moore, calling Moore a terrible representative of evangelicals and stating he had no heart.
Moore has been consistently vocal about Trump, expressing disappointment in evangelicals who support Trump. Moore has also called out the Republican nominee on his biblical error, his treatment of women and religious minorities. He has even gone so far as to pen an article on why the election season makes him want to disassociate from the term “evangelical.”
This meeting of evangelical leaders may well push Moore, and millions of other evangelical Christians, over the edge if these leaders emerge with a collective endorsement of Trump. It may well sever the tenuous thread holding the visible evangelical/conservative/right wing factions together.