Are Christians Who Support Trump Hypocrites?
Can Christians support Donald Trump without being hypocrites? I’ve been writing on Christian support for the president, and hypocrisy is one of the top criticisms I’ve heard in response.
Hypocrisy is always a risk, but that’s not unique to Christians. Anyone who says they live according to principles can violate them, and hide what they’re doing. That’s the essence of hypocrisy: to pretend, or to deceive someone about who we are: Who I am on Monday is not who I say I am on Sunday.
But this is not what’s going on with Christians’ support for Trump. We’re neither hiding nor pretending. At worst we’re confused, contradicting our own values, but if so, we’re doing it openly. Therefore there’s no pretending there. We’re not being hypocrites in that way at all. Are we contradicting ourselves, then? I don’t think so.
Labels are Just a Way to Avoid the Truth
We have two primary issues playing out. Number one, many simply don’t embrace the president’s agenda. There’s a big push toward globalism, abortion on demand, sexual perversion, socialism, open borders, and so on. I truly believe these issues involve spiritual battle. And it’s often Christians who serve as our moral compass to get us back on track.
Some will call us hypocrites for it. They’ll label us “fundamentalist” for speaking out against ungodly entertainment. They’ll call us “legalist” when we talk about purity and abstinence. We talk about defending babies, and somehow they say that means we’re “against women.” We define marriage as being between a man and a woman, and that’s “homophobia.”
They do like labels, don’t they? Seems like they have to have one for everything. When we support the current president, the label they use is “hypocrite.”
Stand for truth and you will be labeled. Granted, it’s possible to get any of this wrong. We must speak truth, but always from a loving, gentle heart. The truth will offend, but our attitude should not.
The Real Problem: The Battle Over Truth
The more concerning issue is that many claiming to be Christians embrace liberal theology, and most of them are against President Trump. This group typically has a problem with the inerrancy of Scripture as well as repentance, judgment, and sin. So it’s no surprise they don’t like any message grounded in truth. It was liberals calling themselves “Christians” who primarily came against my article regarding what the Bible says about homosexuality.
One must ask, When Hollywood and most of the media is on your side, are you sure you’re on the right side? The Bible calls us to be peacemakers, not religious negotiators. We cannot compromise the message just to be liked. We must speak the truth.
Do Ungodly Means Justify a Godly End?
Another question goes something like this: Do ungodly means justify a godly end? To me, this is a no-brainer. The Bible says don’t murder innocent children (abortion). It also says that we should work hard if we can (no socialism). It also says that the government is to guard the nation, securing borders and fighting terrorism (see Romans 13). The Bible adds that we should have judges who are honest and that we should bring God’s Word into all areas of life. And on and on it goes. Many of President Trump’s staff are doing all this and more. How anyone, let alone a Christian, can overlook these things is a mystery to me.
So many say, “But Trump is … is … Donald Trump,” and sprout a list of Trump’s sins, real and alleged.
No, I don’t believe that all ungodly means are good, even if they lead to godly ends. Blanket statements like that will not suffice, however.
A Nation’s Direction
We have an interesting dynamic working here. Trump, a politician, is actually doing what he said he would do. His past is not perfect, and neither is his present. (The same is true for us all.) But he is guiding America in the right direction. He still sins, yet it appears that he wants to point our nation back on a more godly track. His mode of communication is not always Christlike, but in many policy areas, he’s doing what honors God anyway. He isn’t against gay marriage, but he seems to be more open to what the Bible says about the topic.
He is flawed, as are the rest of us.He is probably not proud of some of the things that he has done. We’re not looking for perfection, though; we’re looking for direction — direction back to what God would have us be. God has always used broken, flawed leaders. Aside from Christ, is there another kind?
If unborn babies could talk, they would tell us they are not too concerned about the president’s past deeds or present tweets. They would be far more concerned about the deeds of the physician with an abortion tool in his or her hand.
The day before I released this article, I ran into a woman who was speaking Aramaic to her daughter. I asked her what she thought about our president. After explaining (in English) that she was a Christian from a persecuted area in Iraq, she said, “I love what he is doing. America is blessed to have him.”
Let that sink in.
No Hypocrisy Here
Now is not the time for hand-wringing and second-guessing ourselves. Many things that we’ve been praying for to happen in our nation are finally happening.
So, at this stage, many of us will not apologize for backing the president, nor will we be intimidated. Unless millions of Americans and I, who are praying and truly seeking the will of the Father, are missing it, we will keep contending: “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3).
This is not being hypocrites. This is standing behind a president who’s flawed but still deserves our support.
Three additional resources: 1) “You can murder babies in the womb, teach evolution to our kids, and flaunt sexual perversion, and I’m supposed to keep my mouth shut? I don’t think so.” Watch this short sermon clip here. 2) Other questions that came in were answered on this short video clip. 3) If you’re concerned about America but also need hope, download my free e-book, One Nation Above God.
Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California and the creator of the WCF Radio Network. His program, Regaining Lost Ground, points us back to God and reminds us that although times change, truth does not. His books, blogs, and sermons can all be found at ShaneIdleman.com.