Donald Trump’s Journey of Change Should Comfort Evangelicals

History is the struggle of imperfect people to try to do the right thing.

By Foster Friess Published on July 23, 2016

Why are evangelicals voting for Donald Trump?

A reporter asked me if, before concluding to support Donald Trump, I grappled with the same concerns expressed to him by a principled evangelical Christian woman. She worried about the moral example Donald Trump is setting for young people.

My response: Remind your born-again friend that all through history, God has harnessed imperfect people to fulfill His perfect will. Saul of Tarsus spent most of his life killing people whose beliefs he rejected but then became the No. 1 salesman for the loving things Jesus wanted to see happen in our fallen world. Saul definitely would have won all the incentive trips to Hawaii.

King David sent Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, off to the front lines in hopes he would be killed so David could play cozy with the guy’s wife. David, an imperfect but powerful king, stated repeatedly that he loved God’s statutes and openly acknowledged his wrong when prophet Nathan confronted him. (Check out Psalm 51). David’s unwavering faith in God, from the time he was a shepherd boy, inspired him to establish Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Joseph counseled Pharaoh and Daniel advised four nasty kings.

Did they struggle with their role and their support of these leaders? Perhaps.

Donald Trump does not smoke or drink and as a father, led his impressive kids to follow suit. My wife Lynn and I spent some time with Bill Clinton at Muhammad Ali’s memorial service and his upbeat vivaciousness is worth emulating. Every day we should embrace Philippians 4:8: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — dwell on such things.”

Your evangelical Christian friend who expressed her concerns already knows that Jesus is the ultimate role model for all of us. She makes sure her kids emulate his forgiveness, servanthood and love for others despite how others so often disappoint.

Jesus exhorts us each day to be a channel of His love to others. His hands and feet in a hurting world are a blessing to every person He puts in our path. We are our brother’s keeper.God blessed me with significant success, partly because I harnessed people’s strengths and pretty much ignored their weaknesses. I evaluated people not so much on their pasts or where they are today, but on what they could become. We all are on a journey of change.

At Muhammad Ali’s service, some said he was the most revered person on the planet. We met people as diverse as the former president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, former President Bill Clinton, Spike Lee and Katie Couric. Several years ago, Ali honored me, a white born-again Christian, with his Muhammad Ali Humanitarian of the Year award and welcomed me to his home. He was also best friends with Billy Crystal, an Orthodox Jew. As a younger man, Ali expressed thoughts about whites some considered racist.

He changed. You and I are changing, and so is Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump’s willingness to express views, at times clumsily, that the Everyday Man embraces brings previously Democratic voters — welders, plumbers, hospitality workers, farmers and truck drivers — to make him perhaps a “bipartisan” president.

I do believe Donald Trump truly loves America and all it stands for. His courage of expressing what he believes is best for America caused Universal Studios, Univision and Macy’s to sever business ties with him. The price he is paying and the attacks from establishment Republicans seem to only add to his growing stature as a “folk hero.”

Your born-again friend should love Donald Trump’s statement, “We need to end the war against Christianity” and take comfort that he would never force the Little Sisters of the Poor to pass out abortion pills. It encourages me that just maybe, he sees Jesus in the people to whom he is attracted: Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, my close friend, evangelist James Robison and now Mike Pence, all fans of that famous carpenter of 2,000 years ago.

Tell her she should have great hope for a better America, including three Supreme Court justices more aligned with her vision for America, as indicated by the list of candidates he released, and a commitment that they be “Scalia-like.”


Foster Friess founded Friess Associates, which grew to $15 billion in assets. He now promotes “Return to Civility” efforts.

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  • VL

    Very edifying and insightful, encouraging and inspiring. Thank you.

  • Will the media cover it if he should choose to publicly apologize for his very public attacks on Ted Cruz’s wife and family? That is the only way he could have won Ted Cruz’s endorsement. The fact that he did not win it tells me that he has not repented of his wickedness in that affair.

    • Wayne Cook

      And sticking out so vividly was Peter King’s curses, boos and gleeful anger over Ted’s shaming on stage. That was wrong, there is not painting the public disgrace of King’s actions in any positive way. He wanted revenge, and got it, feeding off Boehner’s earlier curses. The party has more than a few problems, starting with senior members.

      • I have coworker that thinks that Cruz is just a sore loser. I think, if his wife had heard him say that, he might be spending a few evenings on the couch. 🙂

        • Wayne Cook

          LOL…I have seen over the last 40 years, that people believe what they want, in the face of incontrovertible facts. Plausible deniability allows one to make a Messiah of the devil and justify it.

          The Superpac which supported Trump demonized Cruz, unjustly, but Trump’s followers, even Christians did not care. And Cruz followers blamed Trump for it, though legally there can be no connection between a Superpac and a candidate.

          I’m not voting for Trump because I think he is a paragon of Christian virtue. If at best he did get saved recently (per James Dobson and Paula White), he’s a baby believer. But his strength of character will be what marks him as a President, something that neither Bernie nor Hillary have at all. So I’m voting for him because he has backbone and negotiating skill.

          RINO’s and Progressives beware.

          • In the end, each of us, as citizens, has a responsibility, not necessarily to our own interests, but to that of our nation. When our nation, which, in spite of its many, manifold, and manifest sins, began in the grace-filled and merciful light of Christ, strays into Satanic territory we, as the watchmen on the wall (Ezekiel 33) are required by God to, bidden or unbidden, give warning, lest we sacrifice our own souls on the altar of convenience and cowardice and the politically correct.

            If Donald Trump has recently been saved, then God help him (and He will). If he has not, then God help us. We need to know who God’s “man” in the White House is to be. For that we need to consult God, not political strategists. I will not condemn or exult Mr. Trump, but I need to know who God would have get my vote in November.

  • Really

    Trump might love America, but he loves himself more. He attacks the leaders of his own party that honor the Constitution and our freedom by threatening, intimidation, and a subtle call to violence against the face of the freedom caucus.

    Not impressed by spiritual leaders embracing Donald Trump, and if they want to compare him to biblical patriarchs, as they are doing, how about if we face the fact that Saul/Paul spent 14 years in the Arabia, that the “nasty kings” didn’t ask to be surrounded by evangelical leaders for photo ops, nor did they send out a list of names of the “Executive Evangelical Board Members” list of those “advised” them the very next day.

    These nasty kings were already in power.

    Sorry, not buying it. It’s apparent that all the GOP wants is power, and will do anything for more power.

    In our country, we don’t vote based on 400 prophets, we don’t even vote based on the few prophesying a better way. We vote on the positions of the candidates, and both of them are utterly corrupt.

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