Outside Looking in: How Foreign Christians View Support of Trump

The Archbishop of Canterbury is baffled by Christian support of an unrepentant man.

You are not alone, Sir.

How many times, as a Christian, have you considered the lives of Christians outside of the United States? If you ever ponder what life is like as a Christian outside of the American Christian experience, then how do you suppose they see Christians in the U.S.?

More specifically, how do they view the evangelicals that turned out in record numbers to support a man like Donald Trump, and by every account, still seem to support him?

Over 80 percent of Christians voted for Trump, and over 60 percent say they still support him and the job he's doing.

And if your first reaction is to be defensive and say you don’t care what anyone outside of the U.S. says, then that’s very telling. When it comes to our faith, there are no American Christians, Chinese Christians, British Christians, Brazilian Christians, etc…

There is only the Body of Christ, and we are one.

Considering the Body, the head of the Church of England was recently asked his thoughts on the position of Christians in the U.S. who support Donald Trump.

Most Rev Justin Welby, the Archbishop Of Canterbury, was asked by ITV’s Robert Peston on Sunday if he understands why fundamentalist Christians in the United States are so supportive of Trump.

“There’s two things going through my mind: Do I say what I think, or do I say what I should say? And I’m going to say what I think,” said Welby. “No, I don’t understand it. I really, genuinely do not understand where that is coming from.”

The archbishop will have the opportunity to meet with President Trump when he visits the United Kingdom early in 2018.

In the meantime, I would suggest that what other Christians are seeing who are on the outside of the U.S. doesn’t help them understand how tragically intertwined politics and religion have become, and not in any way that helps us, as a nation.

The sad reality is that Christians in America have clamored to have their faith pulled down to be equal to political power in the nation, rather than insisting that politics be pulled up to meet the standards that make up their faith.

Those that self-identify as evangelical voters were willing to make allowances in their alleged faith, in order to “win” the White House. It didn’t even matter that the man they were supporting was the opposite of everything that faith teaches about moral and just leadership.

There are Christians in some nations who have to move from safe house to safe house, in order to worship, but they do it because their faith and ability to worship is that sacred to them. Having a Bible to read is even considered a revolutionary act and is forbidden by the state, but they crave the Word, just the same.

Here, Trump says we’re going to say “Merry Christmas” again (I don’t know anyone who has been prevented from saying it, anywhere), and he’s hailed as a hero of the faith.

If this is our idea of religious persecution, we shouldn’t be surprised if Christians outside of the U.S. look at us strangely.

When asked if he’d meet with Trump, the archbishop went on to say he would, of course.

“I spent years and years involved in conflict stuff around the world where I met people who had killed many, many people,” he said. “Part of the job is to meet people you disagree with and to testify of the love of Christ to them and to seek to draw them into a different way.”

And if he could meet with killers, meeting with Trump should be no problem.

I’ve long said that Trump isn’t the problem. He didn’t get to the White House on his own. He’s simply a symptom of the greater problem with the hearts of the voters.

Doubly problematic would be the hearts of American Christians who would so readily reject what the Bible teaches about leaders and embrace a man such as Trump, putting politics above faith.

Most Christians admit that apart from God, there is nothing good, so to divorce God from how we choose a leader, or worse yet, to twist God to defend the choice of an unrepentant, abusive adulterer can only bring ruin.

Something to think about.

Apples and oranges. If your faith is determined by your political party, it's not really faith. See my comment within the piece about the intertwining of faith with politics that has watered down the American church.

So...timiskim, you must be one of the handful of people that believe dt is republican even though he has been a NY LIBERAL democrat all his life???

There is far more to Christianity than just being pro-life.

Excellent article Susan. I was basically ostracized from a Christian group I had belonged to for 10 years for making many of the same points about Trump. BTW, I voted for Tom Hoefling.

I loved this! I’ve have believed for a while now that America is experiencing “diminishing returns” in not only new Christian conversions, but in long-time believers staying the walk. There is no doubt that newly converted Christians in other countries are better reflecting the purity of the Word and of their faith, literally dying for it, in fact. It’s become almost embarrassing to try to answer people who wonder why Christians over here are so different from those in other countries. How do I tell them they aren’t, when today’s political “sanctuary” makes it seem like they are miles apart!

Why elevate the Archbishop of Canterbury's "Christian" judgement over US evangelicals? We can be baffled by him, too--his acceptance of same-sex marriage, for example.

I really don't understand a lot of things about Christianity, myself, being an lifelong Episcopalian, and all that. There have been times throughout the history of the Episcopal Church in North America where it's communicants had distanced itself form the Archbishop of Canterbury, but most times there is no problem, as in this answer he gave. Saying "How should I answer this" is what most people of position in a hierarchy would ask themselves, especially when it is something that is outside their profession(using that word loosely because I don't know the correct word for him). His answer doesn't trouble me, or probably most of the communicants of the Church because he isn't making any declaration on anyone, other than himself. I don't consider him to be coming to your aid to condemn Trump. The Archbishop has made many candid remarks. Episcopalians like to engage in intellectual conversations, and sometimes it isn't even about religion or politics. Contemplator gave a good example of the split between the Archbishop and commuicants, while I was typing, and I agree with him. There have been many others, also.

Contemplator, please see my comment about "...all one Body." And yes, if he's accepting of gay marriage, he needs to be confronted by the Church.

Two things get conflated in your piece. The first is that Christians choosing a flawed leader somehow brings their faith down to the political. The second is that in choosing in the best interest of the country as a whole this somehow negates their principals of Christianity. That’s absurd. If only the perfect could be political leaders worthy of a Christian’s vote then Christians could never vote. There are and always will be choices in the political realm one of which is which gives us the best opportunity to protect and enhance our churches. Don’t think such choices matter? Ask Little Sisters Of The Poor.

TO: Susan_Wright The Apostle Paul encouraged "putting on the full armor of God" for battle. I, as a Christian do not understand that to mean I am to bow to the ungodly of the world and wait to be kicked in the posterior. On the contrary, I expect the government to act like they understand the Constitution which proclaims we are a nation of the people, by the people and for the people. A government that SUBMITS to the authority of the people. A government that takes a "hands-off approach" to my religion and my practice thereof; as is stated in the Constitution. Nowhere in the Constitution are we to take a "hands-off" approach to the government nor our participation in it.
The "so-called" separation of church and state is not found in the Constitution, although the separation of the state from the church was an ideology held by most if not all the founders; most of whom claimed the Christian faith. That is truth regardless of what barnyard manure is being spread by the unenlightened educational elite of the nation and those undernourished in the knowledge of the Christian faith. Also, regarding Roy Moore; no one knows if he has done anything he should seek repentance for; all is accusation without any proof. Actions he has denied. If he has repented for anything he may have done; no one knows that but he and God.

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