We can support a leader’s policies and support him for election without excusing his moral defects. Why is this so difficult to comprehend? Last week, Dennis Prager defended evangelical Christians who support Donald Trump, on the basis that Trump has good policies.
Yes, Trump has good policies. He has been an ally to religious freedom, has worked to oppose abortion, has signed significant tax cuts, repealed ObamaCare’s wretched individual mandate, repealed job-killing regulations, and pursued a foreign policy that puts American interests first. (To answer inevitable Leftist objections: I am not addressing whether Trump personally believes any of this. I am talking about policy.) All of this is why I support Trump and why this former #NeverTrump voter who wrote in Darrell Castle in 2016 would not hesitate to vote for Trump if the 2020 general election were held today.
But the one thing Christians must never do is excuse the man’s wicked personal life in order to support his policies. It is a betrayal of the gospel of Jesus Christ to say Trump gets a “mulligan” on an alleged especially heinous act of adultery because his policies have been friendly to Christian values, as Tony Perkins did. (Perhaps the heretical “mulligan” remark could have applied 30 or 40 years ago, but not to something that allegedly took place in 2006.) It is cowardice and heresy to brush aside Trump’s immorality based on his policies, as Jerry Falwell Jr. did.
It is utterly disgusting to watch so-called “christians” brush aside and excuse Trump’s well-documented history of sexual depravity because his policies have been good. It is a betrayal of all of those Christians who struggle with sexual sin on a daily basis, because it lessens the good and necessary shame God gives us to protect our souls from the ravages of sin. When heretics pretending to be “pastors” do this, they are allowing wolves to devour the sheep entrusted to them. It angers me to no end.
As I said before, I did not vote for Trump. I still shake my head at his incredibly childish behavior, and I wish he would grow up and behave with the dignity and professionalism the office requires. But he is the incumbent, so the only path forward for conservatism through 2021 or 2025 is to work with him and support him as he fights for our values. Assuming he runs again, we will have the choice between continuing the good policies he has implemented and the terrible policies of the Democrats.
Trump, a lifelong New York City liberal who donated truckloads of cash to Democrats, was an unknown quantity in 2016 and there was no reason to trust that he would govern as a conservative. That is not the case now. He has a record, and that record should please any ideological conservative. But supporting that record and his continued place in the Oval Office does not require us to excuse his personal immorality or forbid us from denouncing it and calling on him to repent.
What people like Perkins and Falwell are doing is committing idolatry. They have placed access to political power over the gospel of the Savior who shed His precious blood to redeem us of our sins. Given their positions in the Christian community and the harm they are doing to believers who look to them for spiritual guidance, their apostasy and idolatry is especially heinous and despicable. These men are heretics, and their wicked teachings should be rejected by any faithful Christian.