I’ve finally found it.
I’ve been struggling for some time with the outspoken
support many prominent, recognizable Christian “leaders” in our culture have
offered to President Donald Trump. I
think it’s dangerous, counterproductive, and at times reeks of a “religion of
empire” approach to our faith than the way of the cross.
It’s bothered me so much that I’ve publicly cringed at Jerry
Falwell Jr.’s fealty to the King (and for the record, I consider Falwell a
Christian “leader” only in the sense that he is the president of what is
otherwise a large, respectable Christian university). I’ve publicly begged Franklin Graham to remain silent on politics for the time being.
Don’t misunderstand, please. I am not interested in shaming believers who choose to vote for Donald Trump, because I understand the pragmatic choice they are making even if my conscience doesn’t allow it. I’ve asked them to respect my conscience while I respect theirs in return. I’m willing to accept that we are both doing what we’re doing to honor God.
Further, I am more than happy to celebrate and applaud
President Trump when he does things, signs things, or advocates for things that
are good and beneficial for the country.
My distrust of his character doesn’t preclude me from praising good
deeds. I’m just immeasurably opposed to
the full-throated endorsement, the unquestioned defense, and the near
ordination of Trump by those who (perhaps unfairly and inappropriately) are
seen to be the standard bearers for American Christianity.
So that’s why I was simply ecstatic to see the perfect statement that I wish every single Trump-supporting Christian would echo. It came from a minister in Virginia who was actually expressing his frustration with David French and other brothers who criticize Christian support for Trump. Watching the Democrat presidential debate, Nate Schlomann succinctly, accurately, and appropriately expressed the very pragmatic decision that he has made in a way that is understandable, respectable, and even admirable:
I figure there’s no chance it will happen, but for the sake
of the faith that defines me, as well as the country I love, I’d do anything if
Franklin Graham, Dr. Robert Jeffress, Jerry Falwell, Jr., and others would
adopt this approach and answer all future political questions about Trump with
these very words.