I've read a lot of bad theology in defense of voting for Trump, etc. and I have read a lot of bastarizations of Augustine's City of God and City of Man ideas, but this piece may take the cake. Want to vote for a murderer? Go for it with this. I read this piece twice and the greatest echo from it was of Satan trying to tempt Jesus in the wilderness. The stones will turn themselves to bread and if you throw yourself from the cliff, the angels will protect you.
There is no great firewall between the things of God and the things of man. You do not get to engage in all sorts of bad behaviors and endorse all sorts of bad behaviors and excuse it all away as being in the city of man, so it is okay. The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. The argument of the author in this pieces is that Christians can engage in the society of man looking no differently from others so long as they're advance the church's agenda. It is an argument of selfishness and devoid of repentance. Let's review it and, along the way, I should note that the entire article contains not an ounce of scripture to stand on and never once notes the need for repentance.
Unfortunately, many social conservatives, and Christians in particular, treat secular leaders as if they’re spiritual leaders, as if any stain on their character, fault from their distant past, or even theological apostasy disqualifies them from political leadership. They seem to fear that the personal sinfulness of a man will bring about the ruin of an entire party or nation. How many times have we heard that the “vulgar” Trump will singlehandedly destroy the GOP, as if he’s a divine prophet rebelling against God’s holy decrees? By erecting this standard, these critics come dangerously close to confusing the secular and the sacred, the city of man and the city of God. I would like to address this point in particular, not whether someone should vote for Moore.
What we are and have been arguing is 1 Corinthians 5:11-13. When a man declares himself part of the church, as both Trump and Moore have, and then behaves in a way to bring disrepute on the church, the church is supposed to shun them. Let me stop right here and say it is really amazing that the author spent as much time as she did making a Christian defense of Roy Moore and never once actually quoted scripture. She danced around it. Let me quote some for you.
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”
That's 1 Corinthians 5:9-13. Paul could not be more clear in writing this. When someone holds himself out as part of the church and is "sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler" we are not to associate with that person. Why? Because that person will drag the whole church down and discredit the church in the eyes of the world. This isn't rocket science. This is about bringing discredit on the City of God as it works in the City of Man. The church, if it does not police its own, will be viewed as no different from those outside the church and will lose its moral voice.
But then let's look further into what the author writes and be horrified how, like the devil tempted Jesus, she twists scripture to fit her ends.
Esther even allowed a man who was falsely accused of rape to meet his death because that was best for the Jewish people. The man had never touched her, but she allowed him to be falsely accused of sexual abuse because it was politically expedient—and it saved her people from death.
What an awful lie. Again, there is no scripture quoted. Let's go to the actual scripture and see what happens. You will recall that Haman had deceived the king into ordering the execution of all the Jews in Persia. He told the king about "a certain people" who do not keep the king's laws. He seeks to kill them all and the King gives his blessing not realizing Haman is talking about the Jews. So Esther invites Haman and the King to a banquet where the King tells Esther she can have all that she wants up to half the kingdom. Then the king, unable to sleep, turns to the record of his reign and remembers the good works of Mordecai.
At the banquet, Esther tells the King that all she wants is for her life and that of her people to be spared execution. The king is enraged to know they have been ordered executed as he did not order it. He demands to know who did it.
Esther said, “An adversary and enemy! This vile Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and queen. 7 The king got up in a rage, left his wine and went out into the palace garden. But Haman, realizing that the king had already decided his fate, stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life. Just as the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was reclining. The king exclaimed, “Will he even molest the queen while she is with me in the house?” As soon as the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.
It takes a really creative reading to say Esther "even allowed a man who was falsely accused of rape to meet his death because that was best for the Jewish people." Haman was doing what Mordecai in the story refused to do. Mordecai would not fall on his knees and beg before Haman. Haman was willing to do that. And it was a capital offense in Persian custom for anyone other than the king to touch the queen. It is to read too much into "molest" here to say Esther let him be accused of rape. The king was already stewing with hatred for Haman and this action gave the king the final pretext he needed to execute Haman whether Esther defended him or not.
But there's a more distinct irony here in the author's use of this. She is going to claim Esther let Haman be accused of molestation or rape and she was justified in doing so because of the greater good. Does she not recognize the irony in making that claim when Roy Moore stands credibly accused of molestation?
The entirety of DC McAllister's piece is to excuse Christians from behaving in a worldly manner when the Bible repeatedly condemns God's people for doing so. The big difference centers on a word McAllister never even bothers using: repentance. She cites scores of sinners in scripture and never once mentions they repented. Even David who famously, in the Psalms, begged God to "create in me a new heart."
If Donald Trump or Roy Moore showed real repentance, it would be one thing to demonstrate Christian forgiveness. But they have not. Instead, they have doubled down and denied accusations against them all while also claiming to be Christians.
And it is one thing for you to not believe Moore's accusers and decide this is partisan politics. But to take the position that Christians are justified in voting for those who claim to be with the Church while refusing to repent of sin is no different than the Devil telling Jesus to throw himself down and the angels will catch him
Yes, God can and will use people like Donald Trump and Roy Moore to advance His kingdom. All things do work for the good of those called according to his purposes. And in this case, as in so many cases in scripture, God will use his people siding with sin as a means to discipline them and draw them back to him so that they may find their salvation in him, not in politicians and political powers.
McAllister's argument is an open invitation for Christians to embrace any sin as a means to an end while ignoring that Christ alone is the only means to a good end. Can Christians participate in the world? Absolutely. But we are to hold ourselves to a higher standard recognizing that the world is going to turn against us and hate us because the world hates the things of God. We should not provide the world every reason and excuse by embracing wordliness so that we do not look like the things of God.