It’s risky to wade into evangelical political waters—especially when those waters are teeming with fellow Christians who have a different opinion than your own. But I’ve come to the conclusion that you, Mr. or Mrs. Unbeliever, are worth the risk.
Donald J. Trump has caught the imagination of many on the political right. And, as you probably already know, my fellow evangelicals are known for voting republican more often than not. So naturally, Mr. Trump is experiencing some real momentum among values voters lately. But I want you to know, there are many of us evangelicals who will never support Mr. Trump.
We evangelicals are also known for using the Bible as the source of all godly wisdom and knowledge. Going to that source, I can find many reasons not to support Mr. Trump. There are multiple verses in Proverbs that seem to speak right to the situation. “Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him” – Proverbs 29:20. Also, “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back” – Proverbs 29:11.
Then we go to the words of Jesus in Luke 6:45. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bears what is good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bears what is evil. For of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus is recorded as saying that His people should be salt and light. He wasn’t saying we should pour salt into open wounds while blinding people with a spotlight. What He is clearly talking about in that passage (Matthew 5:13-16) is the flavorful attractiveness that salt brings to the dish. And the light was a reference to shining a positive light in a dark place. There’s no way for me to bring attractiveness to the kingdom of salt and light while also supporting Donald Trump. His recklessness of speech is the antithesis of salt and light.
In Colossians 4:5-6, the Apostle Paul (whose writings comprise one-third of the entire New Testament) wrote, “walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, wisely using the opportunity. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you should answer everyone.” Quite honestly, I cannot hold to that scripure passage while simultaneously supporting a man whose rhetoric has insulted and inflamed many of you.
I can’t vote for Donald Trump because I care about what the Bible says and because I care about what you think of the Gospel that I represent. We evangelicals have not always represented the sacred words of Scripture with the love and care that those words require. For that, I am sorry.
Obviously, Mr. Trump has touched a chord with many people. Maybe you are considering voting for him. And that’s your choice. But just in case you are part of the majority who finds many of his words and deeds reprehensible, I want you to know you that are not alone in that sentiment. There are still plenty of us evangelicals who find his rhetoric inconsistent with the Gospel we proclaim. I’m sorry if the growing evangelical support for Mr. Trump’s campaign has left a bad taste in your mouth. It’s not supposed to be that way.