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I Said "Rebuke Jeffress and Trump"...Then Came the Storm

For the sake of clarity, let me list a few things I’m perhaps naïvely hopeful all Christians can agree on moving forward

I have a habit of posting many of the stories I write here at The Resurgent on both my personal website and social media accounts like Facebook. It’s been a long time since I’ve received more feedback from an article than I did after this one calling out Pastor Jeffress for his dismissing President Trump’s sexual sin for political expediency.

Many were supportive, some were absurd (honestly I never thought I'd be criticized for “being silent about Obama and Clinton's failures”), and many were also defensive – defensive about the President they have come to love. But that’s the thing – this piece explicitly said that it is fine to support the President and his policies.

What should not be fine for any Christian is to struggle acknowledging sin as sin. That is what destroys our credibility and does immense damage to the church in America. When Christianity is equated with defending indefensible immorality simply because it helps Republicans, then the church is no longer a spiritual force, it’s a political movement.

But for the sake of clarity, let me reiterate a few things that I’m perhaps naïvely hopeful every Christian can agree on moving forward:

  • I believe ministers are to be held to a higher account and when they err we must not be silent. Those who say we “shouldn’t rebuke a pastor” might want to refresh their memory on who was the most frequent target of Christ’s rebuke.
  • I don’t believe it’s productive to question the integrity of any Christian believer who made the pragmatic choice to cast a vote for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the election. I get it even if I couldn’t do it personally. Again, that’s not what my original piece was about. It was about the willingness of some prominent believers to downplay the seriousness of sin in order to prop up a politician. That’s not good form for a Christian.
  • I do believe that God can use anyone He chooses to accomplish His ends. He’s God, He’s sovereign, I’m not, and all I can do is try my best to be faithful to His instruction.
  • I do believe that adultery is sinful and that no Christian should ever be hesitant to acknowledge that reality, regardless of if the offender is a Clinton, a Trump, or anyone else.
  • Proclaiming adultery as sinful is not running afoul of Christ’s warning that “he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Remember in that very Biblical account, Christ literally proclaimed adultery was sinful.
  • The only reason I referred to Trump’s adultery as “unrepentant sin” is because Trump himself said recently that he did not need God’s forgiveness. Still, I acknowledge I should have qualified that because it is quite true that I don’t know the condition of Trump’s heart since those remarks during the campaign.
  • I think that God forgives our sins when we are truly repentant, and if President Trump prostrated himself before the throne of God as King David did in Psalm 51, he would be forgiven.
  • The account of King David's sin is instructive for us. Yes, the King repented of his sin - after the Prophet Nathan boldly confronted him about it. Notice that Nathan did not dismiss the sin "irrelevant to my support of King David." He addressed it. Christians who care for the President will do the same.
  • Now that Trump is President, it’s not an either/or for believers. I think Christians have a duty to pray for him, support the righteous things he does, rebuke any ungodliness that manifests, and while submitting to his earthly authority, also acknowledge our first and primary loyalty is to the truth of God even when it conflicts with political expediency.
  • I believe that character matters in our leaders and we should never hesitate to hold every one of them to that expectation regardless of their party affiliation.

Always happy to hear what you think.

And sin not repented of is still sin.... no matter how many years have passed. Thank you Peter for a great article.....the basics are worth saving to apply to life in general.

Some have aleady said it, but here's the point: A vote for Trump was a vote against Clinton. My non-negotiable opinion is that this was ample justification. Everyone at The Resurgent who cares to has made it clear that it is painful to them that more Christians will not join in a cacophony of condemnation of Trump. It is getting very tiresome.

He won't repent. The least he can do is quit lying about the porn lady. Even Sarah Huckabee Sanders has switched to "He denies the allegations" from her earlier, flat "She's lying". p.s. What kind of germophobe doesn't use condoms with a sex worker?

If Trump has cited his sins to the Lord in the privacy of his priesthood, he is no longer in need of repentance. Period! The actions you complain about are in the past, as far as we know.

Are you Trump's pastor, Mr. Heck? Those who have participated with Trump, like Jeffress, have indicated that he is currently a believer. Don't those who have had personal contact have a clearer view???

Peter! 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

I'm with you, Peter. I shared your original article on Facebook and most responses I got were of the same flavor I'm reading here: I'm a hypocrite; we weren't electing a pastor; I hear Trump's in (fill in the gap - Christian study/group/prayer gathering); you must love Clinton; don't you believe in forgiveness? and so on. All this of course just helps make your point. (Using Jeffress own words when critiquing Mitt Romney) “Christians need to remember that the kingdom of God is not going to come riding in on Air Force One…The danger in all of this discussion is that Christians sometimes are willing to sacrifice the temporal for the eternal, that in order to get their candidate elected, to enact those laws that they feel are crucial, somehow we fool ourselves into thinking we are going to bring about the kingdom of God here on earth. We are not going to do that. I’m not willing to trade people’s eternal destiny for some temporary change in the law.”

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All you trump lackeys who are proclaiming him to be a Christian are causing shame to the name of Christ!!! By his own nasty words and actions, the fruit he is producing is that of a heathen!!! The lost are watching this travesity saturating America and if this is true Christianity, they want no part of it!!! What is the priority here?? The prosperity of America, or the saving of lost souls??? Anyone who condones, supports, and defends trump's vile words and actions, is compromising their Christian witness!!! The prosperity gospel is a false gospel, propagated by false pastors and teachers!!! America is not the promised land, nor is it immune to God's judgment!!! WAKE UP ALERT!!!!!

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It's none of our business if Trump has "repented" or not. We are not the arbiters of his faith or the state of his soul. There is no doubt that Trump led a sinful life, for many decades. There is no doubt that a couple of years ago he said, off the cuff, on the spot, in response to a kind of gotcha question, while on the defensive, that he had never done anything that called for forgiveness. I do not believe for a moment that when he had a chance to reflect on that he thought it was true---it was so patently false. But that is between him and God, not between him and us. I personally find the refusal to help defeat Hillary Clinton and the utterly Godless and destructive political model she represents to be a sin, and worse, a sin of pride as it is based on a prideful assumption of knowledge of a man's relationship to God and his worthiness and the right to pass judgment. In a perfect world there is a clear-cut line between good and evil, but in the real world it often comes down to a choice between evil and less evil, in which case refusing to take a stand is essentially a vote for the evil. I look at the behavior of Trump in the past year and a half and do not see a sinful man. I see a man whose pride is being challenged, who is trying to rise to the challenges of his responsibilities, who is doing what he thinks is right (not what will benefit him personally) and who is willing to admit to mistakes and correct them. I do not see a perfect man, but I do see a man who is working on being a better man, and I for one don't think God has assigned me the right or the duty to decide if he is doing it the "right" way. I believe in forgiveness and I believe in salvation, and I believe that much salvation has come about when a bad man has decided to reinvent himself and become a better man. Perhaps a lot of people would benefit by spending less time congratulating themselves on their moral purity and spending more time supporting the efforts of the president to do the right thing now. We don't get a lot done when we spend so much time looking over our shoulders at what is in the past and being angry about it.

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