One thing about the Trump era: it’s caused a lot of people to confront the misplaced notion that Christians are supposed to be all about inoffensive sweetness and niceness, and only support politicians of that variety:
There are innumerable examples of people who are wonderful but unaccomplished just as there are many notable examples of people with serious personal failings who nonetheless have excelled in other parts of their lives: artists, scientists, parents, and even politicians.
And yes, I’m not so subtly making a point about President Trump. His private failings have been made very public prompting some Christian pundits to say that not only do those failings disqualify Trump from office, but they are so egregious as to make supporting him sinful for Christians.
It should be obvious that support for a political candidate does not mean a blanket endorsement of every aspect that candidate’s life. It is merely an endorsement of that person’s policies and an assessment of his ability to perform in office. What’s more, it’s often not even a blanket endorsement of that, it’s a practical decision that Candidate A, while imperfect, is preferable to Candidate B…
The question is, by what standard should a Christian judge a candidate or an officeholder? Part of the answer is that the Christian and non-Christian ought to judge in the same way: what can the candidate do to protect the peace and prosperity of the nation and its citizens? Christians would add that they require political leaders that will protect the right of the Church to worship freely and its members to practice their faith in peace.
If personal sin were disqualifying, who could lead? Christians in particular, for whom recognition of indwelling sin is both a predicate and a sustainer of faith, should know this. I suspect what the Frenches really want is a prophet, a priest, and a king to rule in this secular age, a political leader in which they can invest their highest hopes. But in doing so, they are placing upon liberal politics a weight it cannot hope to carry and are headed for disappointment. The good news is, if they want a prophet, a priest, and a king, they already have one . . . in Christ.
As a presidential candidate in 2012, [Mitt Romney] was weak and ineffectual, letting Barack Obama walk all over him and run away with the race. But vote for him because he’s polite and he doesn’t curse! Voters, many of them Christians, decided that the time for beautiful losers is over.
Exactly. As I watch my country overrun by uninvited invaders, beset by hostile ideologies growing within and enemies gathering without, I am really not concerned with parlor games and political pleasantries anymore. It’s no exaggeration to say our birthright freedoms are in a fight for their very survival. In such a situation I’ll take a committed patriot with the manners of Genghis Khan over a manicured globalist who’s a disciple of Ann Landers; a Patton, not a Pope.
And as for Christianity requiring a milquetoast demeanor… our adversaries would have us forget that Our Lord’s example includes such pleasantries as flipping tables, driving people with whips, calling deceivers ‘vipers‘ and children of Satan, and calling down woe on feckless leaders more interested in themselves than in those they were called to lead. Christ isn’t just the Lamb… He’s also the Lion of Judah. “Not a tame lion,” either, as C.S. Lewis once pointed out.
So despite his many past moral failings, maybe… just maybe… Trump’s on to something here. I’ll certainly never confuse him with Christ. But Twitter aside, regarding the manner in which he is governing I’ll say he is more Christ-like than many of the false-faced Wormtongues who surround him in Mordor. It’s amusing: the Left always screeches that Christian faith should never influence public policy. But faced with Trump, who has committed the unpardonable sin of actually trying to govern as he campaigned, the Left — which recognizes no restraints of civility on its own quest for power — is more than willing to use a watered-down, denatured vision of the Christian walk to try to shame people out of supporting him.
I mean it literally when I say “to hell with that.”