Wayne Grudem, a respected evangelical theologian and former supporter of Donald Trump, made headlines yesterday, changing his mind about supporting Trump and strongly urging him “to withdraw from the election.”
In an article published on Townhall, Grudem states, “I now regret that I did not more strongly condemn his moral character,” referring to his earlier endorsement of Trump. The straw that broke the camel’s back for Grudem is the leaked tape that surfaced on Friday, October 7, 2016, featuring Trump joking with a TV show host about how he enjoys assaulting and objectifying women. (The tape was recorded in 2005 and features the now Republican candidate for President using vulgar language and objectifying women.) Grudem says he regrets not doing more thorough research on Trump before endorsing him, and that he deserves to be criticized for that. He says he has since “read transcripts of some of [Trump’s] obscene interviews with Howard Stern, and they turned my stomach.”
Grudem so deeply regrets his endorsement of Trump that he asked Townhall to pull his original statement on the issue. If he had done his research before the Friday leak, Grudem states, “I would not have written as positively as I did about Donald Trump.”
Despite his backtracking on Trump, however, Grudem makes it clear that he cannot support Hillary Clinton. “I absolutely will not vote for Clinton,” he says, citing instances like Benghazi, moving classified emails to her private server and “acting as if she is above the law” as evidence of Clinton’s unfitness to lead the nation. He also cannot reconcile his mindset on government with the Democratic platform. Grudem cites things like Supreme Court appointments, abortion, gender identity regulations, the economy and reforming health care among his list of concerns for the next four years.
In the midst of all of his reasoning for why he cannot support Trump’s opposition, though, he is not sure how he’s going to vote. And with the election about a month away, he’s going to have to decide quickly. Grudem doesn’t want to vote for a write-in candidate and is concerned that “if all the Christians in the country decide not to vote for either candidate, our rulers will then be chosen entirely by non-Christians,” an occurrence which, he feels, will open the door for leaders who may use their power to “promote evil, silence Christians and oppose Christian values in every area of life.”
Ever the evangelist theologian, Grudem ends his article by encouraging readers not to “become fearful or despondent,” because “this turmoil in our nation provides a wonderful opportunity to renew our faith in God each day.” He concludes his article by quoting Daniel 4:17: “The Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.”