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.