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Don’s Depravity

What conduct is acceptable to the Christian Right?

In the age of Trump, the Christian Right can be viewed in two ways:

1: Blindly supporting Trump

2: Blindly opposing Trump

Of course, that really isn’t true, most individuals are more nuanced than that, but the debate tends to be reduced to that. We have conservatives who oppose Trump because he is a vile wretch. We have conservatives who oppose Trump because they disagree with his policies. We have conservatives who support Trump because they know he is a vile wretch, but like his policies. We have conservatives who deny his depravity and support him regardless of his policies.

What obligation then does the Church have in addressing a political movement that is not uniform and political figures who may or may not be saved?

Supporters of the president generally respond with “it’s in the past,” “judge not,” and “his conduct is irrelevant to his presidency.” There are loads of comparisons to Old Testament figures in attempts to justify the president. The Babylon Bee recently posted an op-ed by King David asking the public to refrain from making Trump comparisons.

Here are some considerations for each retort:

It’s in the past… Trump’s views on forgiveness are concerning. That makes me wonder if he’s a false convert (if he ever converted). If he hasn’t, he desperately needs forgiveness for his past. However, what is more concerning is the present. Trump currently associates with Prosperity preachers. It makes no difference if he’s sorry about his past AND he has the Gospel wrong. The church has to look at the entirety of his character, not just the flaws that stand out.

Judge not… Generally, only liberals like to bring out this misconstrued verse, but we’ve seen it’s application to Trump. Paul clearly states we are to judge those who claim to be Christians, rebuking them and building them up. The church is not supposed to tolerate sin. That readily implies identifying and rebuking sin. This mandate is to the church, not to the civil government. This notion of not judging will be addressed again, not in theological terms, but in the way in which Christians develop standards for political figures.

His conduct is irrelevant to the presidency… I actually agree with this one unless we want to get into claims of certain behaviors being indicative of one’s character, but that will be addressed later as well.

Detractors lament that Trump is vulgar, he’s depraved, he’s an adulterer etc. With the exception of some Jeb!-ian views on immigration, free trade, and views on some other issues, I would be willing to assert that most conservative Christians don’t necessarily oppose Trump’s policies.

Let’s concede that the detractors are correct. There is no denying that Trump is an adulterer. The question becomes, what standard of conduct should be the hill that Christians are willing to die on? Society has liberal views on marriage, and this debate on Trump’s character has proved that Christians have already conceded so much in terms of worldview.

Who are the Christians that have conceded elements of their worldview? Not Christian Trump supporters (well maybe in other ways). I’m talking about Trump’s detractors.

Ask yourself, what instance proves Trump is an adulterer? Stormy Daniels? Any assortment of people who have claimed to have had an affair with him? Who is he cheating on? Melania?

Christians have lost the worldview game. We call Trump an adulterer because society says you shouldn’t sleep with someone you aren’t married to, ergo, Trump shouldn’t sleep with someone other than Melania.

Trump is not an adulterer because he did Stormy Daniels, Trump is an adulterer because he divorced Ivana and remarried. If everything that Trump is accused of did not happen, and all Trump did was divorce and remarry, he’d still be an adulterer.

This is the pinnacle of the Christian Right’s hypocrisy. Why? Because we only judge those who cross some imaginary line where all of a sudden our collective image is tainted by someone else’s brokenness.

There is another president who divorced and remarried. He is widely regarded as THE conservative president. Do we go around pooh-poohing his accomplishments because he was an adulterer? Do we even discuss it? It’s still adultery. You can be made one flesh with one person only. And unless we are talking about Paul’s exceptions for recent converts, those married to an unbeliever who leaves, and a few other scenarios, divorce leads to adultery if the individuals do not remain celibate. There is no possible way to remarry and not commit adultery in perpetuity. The only remedy is to divorce again and stop having sex.

Does the Christian Right care? No! we’ve already given up our worldview.

This isn’t “whataboutism.” I’m all for rebuking people, but if we are going to do it, it’s got to be consistent. I’m not saying we shouldn’t judge. it's for Trump’s church (if he has one) to address this.

We don’t get to make up arbitrary theological categories that suit our political views and then enforce them on a national scale.
Why stop at adultery? Romney is a Mormon, Rubio is Catholic, Cruz is Baptist. What level of doctrine do we enforce? Do we support heretics? Who defines heresy?

Ignore King David, let’s talk about King Asa.

1st Kings 15:14 “Although he did not remove the high places, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life.”

Suppose the converse was true. Asa removed the high places, but was not committed to the Lord. Which one benefits the people? What does more to stamp out idolatry? Removing the high places or a king’s personal piety?

The civil government is distinct from the Church. There are different standards. One’s personal piety has little impact if there are not policies that reflect it. Policies from an unrepentant broken wretch may still be used for good.

I think the westminster confession would agree with your point

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Ah, with all this, we still have the issue that "never" & "anti" trumpers were & are willing to literally GIVE the country over to progressive liberalism by voting for someone who had no chance in.... ummm, this is Christian dialogue here, sorry.... to win just because the one gentleman that stood out above nearly 20 others in the primary had/has baggage. These guys would STILL sell out, right now, in 2020 when here, just because this guy doesn't fit their assumed pedestal. Look at what this man has done - a lot of it in SPITE of the congress, even with them being "GOP" - yet, instead of tooting our horns in celebration of the steps forward, we're standing in our usual circle with T in the middle, shooting at each other.

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I AM A CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN, but I voted for & back Trump because he was THE choice given me to keep Hillary & her ilk out of power. Now, I'm pretty glad I did, as he's doing some good things. My only real gripe so far is too much tweeting, but I can live with this as it's provoking the left to be even more bonkers than they already are!!!

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Trump is a pathological liar, a serial cheater and an abuser of women. That's all I need to know. His policies are irrelevant to me. The lack of character, morals and principles outweigh any good Trump does. I didn't vote for him (or Hillary) and won't vote for him in 2020.

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The 2016 election was not for Pope or leader of the Christian Church in America. The two candidates presented two visions and policies for America’s future. I voted for Trump and have no regrets. There can a thousand of theses stupid articles written on Trump’s sins an I will not change my mind. I had a choice to make and the results so far proves I made the right choice. Every president of the United States was a sinner. All of these articles are one sided by focusing on Trump only and not looking at the alternative, Hillary Clinton. Someone should write an article on where we would be today if Hillary had won. How many interns would Bill Clinton have sinned with in The White House by now? What executive orders would have been signed to ensure more babies would be aborted and there body parts sold to the highest bidder. So many self righteous Christians writing these type articles or commenting. Blind Guides! Look at the big picture.

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I think the hypocrisy is that this good article had to be written, and that there are those who are still campaigning against an elected leader who has performed as a leader, rather than many of the actions in his past. There comes the time when those who will continually criticize his past hopefully realize that he was elected to do a job and not be the chief preacher. One has to look very hard to find the man with no sin, to fill the post.

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I wanted to hire someone to run the country. I helped accomplish that. He is doing a good job. I am intrigued by the number of people who (1) claim to know his personal relationship with God, particularly if he has in his heart repented of his prior bad deeds and come to a closer relationship with
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God, and (2) presume to pass judgment on him.

Actually, what Trump himself has said, repeatedly, is that he's never done anything he needed to be forgiven for. His words, and he has offered no retraction or clarification.

So does he have to give clarification? I am so happy to know where God placed HIS judges here on earth so when I have a questions about this person or that person I can contact all of you Never Trumper writers (Gods appointed judges) to tell me if that person is definitively going to heaven or hell. Until now I thought that we were all sinners.

I suppose that if you needed an operation to safe your life or the life of a loved one you would choose death rather than have the only doctor that could perform the surgery because the doctor had immortality and sins in his past and possibly present. Americans had a choice of 18 Republicans and chose the least likely winner. He is surgically removing the cancer of embedded establishment in American government.

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We cannot undo Trump's nomination as the GOP candidate in 2016. We can begin to rally around a candidate like Nikki Haley in 2020. We can begin to undo the damage Trump has done to the GOP. And only a qualified female conservative will be a credible alternative in 2020. I support Rubio, Cruz and Pence, but they cannot rescue us in 2020. Haley is able to communicate a conservative message that can appeal to suburban women. It is time.

Thanks for thinking about a solution, the damge has really just started. We can complain forever about having to choose between Beavis and Butt Head for president. It will not fix the institutionalized corruption of either party. We need leadership and integrity well communicated. Much work to do very little vision while polishing or denouncing the disaster.

You can thank God for Xerxes without making him to be King David.

"What obligation then does the Church have in addressing a political movement that is not uniform and political figures who may or may not be saved?" A Christian has the obligation first to God, then to man to be Christ-like. That implies educating oneself, with fervent prayer and the help of the Holy Spirit, in what it means to be Christian. It would be worthwhile if we all, Christian or not, conservative or not, put on blinders about the man and open our eyes about his agenda, his policies, and the leadership he displays. Christians are to be the "salt of the earth, but what good is salt that has lost its flavor". There is nothing in scripture that instructs the Christian to pour vinegar in the mix.

I'm sure that even NCMike understands that one gotcha question such as if someone has asked for forgiveness is likely to lead to another asking "for what?" No one should be expected to answer a question like that, and the insistence on bringing it up illustrates why. And we also have to remember that that particular episode is nothing but a snapshot of a specific time and place., and of a quick response to a prying question. We have no idea what has happened since then, in Trump's mind or heart or his evaluation of a need for forgiveness and repentance. We don't know and it's none of our business. All we can do is look at what the man has done since then. Or we can claim title to the Higher Moral Ground and pass judgment, which seems to be the default position of a lot of "Christians" who illustrate their faith by rejecting the concept of forgiveness.

I also note that Oregun's "solution" to what he sees as the Trump problem is to "rally behind" someone who is not Constitutionally eligible to be president.

Sorry--that brilliant idea was Bart Burk's

Which makes you politically irrelevant. Have a nice day.

Me thinks Jeroboam the son of Nebat is a much more biblical comparison?

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