Kevin’s Conversations: Trump and the Gospel Witness

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55 Responses

  1. Paige says:

    This:
    What must the unbeliever think? How can they take serious our claims of salvation and life in and through Jesus Christ when there is so much avid promotion of those whom are anti-Christ in their behavior? How can they believe our assertions of the morality found in the Word of God when we are so apt to excuse boorish and corrupt and misogynic and deceptive and sexual predatory behavior? How can they believe us when we say God is in control and Jesus is the only way and then turn around and say that we must elect this thoroughly vile or corrupt candidate in order to save our country?

    Exactly. Christians are their own worst PR for the Gospel.

    I know it sounds awfully trite, but IMO, repentance and humility are gravely lacking.
    Where is our faith?

    “The kingdom of God is not meat, nor drink, (nor politics), but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:7

  2. Michael says:

    Well said, Paige!

    Kevin did an excellent job on this article…I echo his thoughts.

  3. Dan from Georgia says:

    This is a great read Kevin. I am particularly fond of this comment:

    “You cannot blast Bill Clinton for his sexual ethics and behaviors and say he is unfit for the presidency because of them and then not say the same of Donald Trump. The list can go on and on. It is all rank hypocrisy.”

    I fully remember the early 90s and the “character counts’ chant that came from the right, and now some on the right are ignoring character in order to outlaw abortion (and we all know that is why they are ignoring character now – and no, I am not an abortion supporter). One prominent so-called evangelical leader is pretty much at the forefront of supporting Trump (all the while being a Bill Clinton critic for the same reasons. We all know who this “leader” is. I brought up this issue on ChristianityToday.com’s women’s blog/website, and was supposedly taken to task from a fellow believer for not being against Hillary Clinton. Their argument was that “well, Hillary is worse”. OK, so now we are debating who is the worse sinner? Wow. Just. Wow.

    All in all, I have pretty much decided what I am going to do this November on election day, and I will not announce that here because that is not the point of this blog post.

    Amen that we all need to do a better job in representing Christ, no matter our political affiliation.

  4. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Kevin – good job.
    As a disclaimer I am one who sees no redeeming quality of either candidate nor do I think either should hold the office of president – so I will vote for no one in that category.

    Now there are just as many Christians who are Democrats as there are Republicans – they are not all identified as ‘evangelicals’ so they go under the radar. No one seems concerned about their morality or the morality of their candidate since we seem to be only concerned about what people think of Christianity if the person involve does their morality with their clothes on or their clothes off.

    If your immorality becomes public and you have your clothes off you are a shame to the Christian faith. If your immorality becomes public but it is done with your clothes on, well it is not a shame.

    All of these ‘christian’; democrats are all blindly following the god of molech – killing the unborn, rallying behind homosexuality and same sex marriage — but no one claims any of this is a shame on the Christian faith. I have never understood it.

  5. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    btw, since it is close to World Series time – my favorite World Series quote was when the Reds won their 2nd consecutive WS in 1976 and Manager Sparky Anderson (a one year Phillies 2nd baseman – for you Kevin) was asked how it felt he said “this is the most fun I have ever had with my clothes on.”

    Just thought it timely. 🙂

  6. Xenia says:

    Great article, Keven!

  7. Xenia says:

    Kevin, that is.

  8. Kevin H says:

    Thanks all for the charitable words so far. Circumspectly waiting for those who don’t agree to arrive. 🙂

    MLD, I agree with you about liberal Christians rallying behind sinful and evil things. It’s just as wrong, if not even more so in some respects. Each of us can only fight so many battles. I’ll let someone else handle that one. 🙂

    And right now your Dodgers have a much better former Phillies second baseman. 🙂

  9. Dallas says:

    MLD, At least in my experience they tend to be characterized not as Christians but as godless liberals by those who disagree with them. If the word Christian comes into the conversation at all, it finds itself in quotes.

  10. Bob Sweat says:

    Great job Kevin! We are on the same page. I have received a lot criticism for my stand on this issue. Sadly, all the criticism has been from Christians that hate Hillary so much that they are blinded by Trump’s behavior. If not blinded, the willingness to overlook his shortcomings. Trump is nothing but a opportunist. He will say anything to get what he wants.He is also the perfect example of a narcissist. If one carefully listens to him, it is easy to see that he knows nothing about running a country, and certainly nothing about the Constitution!

    This is an election fueled by fear and hate.

  11. Michael says:

    I think both platforms contain issues that are problematic to Christianity.
    My issue is that one party thinks it represents God…and the other party doesn’t care what God thinks.

  12. Tracey says:

    Donald Trump makes Hillary Clinton look presidential. One of the most unpopular candidates ever to run looks like a rational, measured adult in comparison to Trump. What could have been if the Republicans had nominated someone principled? This man’s character was evident from the beginning, which is why those who distanced themselves when the tape came out are far too late to rehabilitate any moral authority they may have possessed at one time.

  13. Kevin H says:

    Bob,

    Yes we are in the same boat. Most of the criticism and opposition I have received in my speaking out are from Christians who more or less believe Hillary is the devil incarnate and electing her will be the end of America. Or something close to these things. And so when you say that you agree with them on many of the problems with Hillary but that you have just as many concerns with Trump, they just don’t want to deal with it. They will quickly concede that Trump has some problems but will go right back to blasting the terribleness of Hillary. Or they will attack you for your self-righteousness. Or your confusion or inability to think straight. We must save America!

  14. Em ... again says:

    ever since we injected “One nation under God…” into the pledge of allegiance the Christian segment of this nation has been conflicted… that and the national prayer breakfast, which if you’re not invited, you must be a nothing pastor… are we one nation under God? well, yes in the sense that God is omnipotent and no nation exists without God’s consent as the nation plays out in His plan for history… and the prayer breakfast in principle is a good thing (too bad it can’t be tested by calling down fire from heaven, tho)

    in light of Proverbs 6:16-19, my take away from Kevin’s great post is the Church has no business IN politics – amen

    from where i sit this morning

  15. Jean says:

    One of the things that the Christian right does, which I frankly have never seen on the Christian left in support of their candidate, is say that unless one votes for Trump (of all people, right?), one is not a Christian or is outside the faith. In other words, from multiple people over the last few months, and getting louder as Trump descends further into the abyss, I have read multiple Christian right Trump supporters say that one who votes for Clinton is not a Christian.

    And depending on their immediate audience, these conservative Christians also do not hesitate to wrap Jesus with the 2nd Amendment, because, after all, Jesus is a card carrying member of the NRA. (snark)

  16. Kevin H says:

    Jean,

    I have seen it where Christians on the left have said that a Christian should or even must vote for Hillary (or Obama before her). I don’t recall if I’ve ever seen anyone from the left declare a person out of the faith if they don’t vote for her. However, I’ve seen a ton more on the right declare that Trump is the “Christian” vote, or God’s candidate. That a Christian should/must vote for him. And yes, even to the extent that if a person doesn’t vote for Trump (or more commonly said if they choose to vote for Hillary) they cannot be of the faith.

  17. Em ... again says:

    the Christian right or the Christian left……
    aren’t they just the same as anybody else with a political stand? ….
    i don’t care if someone wants to take a political stand, no matter who they are… but i suspect that God cares when they claim to speak for Him when it comes to the subject

    privately, i think a lying tongue is more egregious than a dirty mouth, but if one reads on in my above referenced chapter of Pr0verbs, both candidates have serious behavior problems as God sees it… there is one candidate i fear as much as i’d fear some bad actors of the past when it comes to patriotism, but it appears that nationhood is on the way out in this hemisphere anyway… all part of the playing out of God’s plan for history… what a privilege it has been to have lived my life in a rather lovely time and place in history

  18. Michael says:

    I’ve treaded lightly this year even though everything in me wants to raise hell.

    However, it’s more important to me to sustain relationships through this election and really, despite it.
    Second, I never want my political views to stand in the way of my ability to witness or counsel people from the Gospel.

    I represent a kingdom, not a party…

  19. Erunner says:

    In the end this article is one mans well thought out presentation of what he believes to be important for this election. So that now makes 1,000,000 articles by Christians covering every possible position that can be thought of that I have read! 🙂

    In the end individuals will vote by their convictions and we will disagree as we always do.

    I fear for what might happen after the election regardless of who wins. There are extremists on both sides who might be willing to do some terrible things. I pray that doesn’t happen. Time will tell.

    Thanks for your thoughts Kevin.

  20. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean – over the many years and many elections you get from the left, perhaps not an outward “you are not a Christian” – but you do get plenty of ‘you are working against Jesus if you do not follow our social programs.’

  21. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jesus told his disciple to take their weapons with then. For all we know Jesus may be a card carrying member of the NRA today.

  22. Jean says:

    Eisegesis – score 1 to MLD.

  23. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean – Well you cannot argue that Jesus was against weapons nor that he was against carrying weapons in public or that he every called for any restrictions on weapons..

    Call it eisegesis if you like – I call it reality …(and I said ‘for all we know’)

  24. Michael says:

    I’m opposed to gun control…but I don’t see it as a Christian issue.

    Opposed to abortion and gun control…I’m a bad liberal. 🙂

  25. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I wonder about Christians who vote for an immoral candidate like HRC, whose vote will only add to her mandate to liberalize abortion, and broadening LGBT… (whatever all those perverse groups are) to special status. All of these godless issues right now are balls to the walls and the added Christian vote adds the fuel on that mandate.

    (note – not a political comment – a social policy question.)

  26. Michael says:

    MLD,

    It really depends on how you look at those issues.
    I think society has accepted both sins you note and solutions will only come by changed hearts.

    As I’ve said in the past, I believe that immigration and asylum issues are also moral issues where the law can still affect change.

    I only have one place to go to see those changes…

  27. Jean says:

    I don’t speak for anyone but myself. But whereas the status quo is far from perfect, I perceive Trump to be a high risk to world peace. I don’t trust him with our nuclear deterrent, and I don’t trust him with the organs of the executive branch. I judge him by his own words, recognizing that he is probably the only candidate on either side who lies more than Clinton.

    His whole campaign is built on vague promises to make this and that great, without any plans for voters to evaluate. He admires leaders who up until recently were rejected by conservative Americans.

    I also reject his narrative that America is not great by temporal measures, while acknowledging that we have more work to do so that more people share in our nation’s prosperity. Unfortunately, Trump’s vague plans further exacerbate income inequality and probably would cause a serious recession if not depression, through trade wars and military conflict which his plans would invite.

    Trump’s plans could very well increase abortion and depress family formation by destroying our economy.

  28. Michael says:

    I shouldn’t say this…but without free contraception from Planned Parenthood, I would’ve been as blessed with offspring as Father Abraham.

    From my former days, of course.

    These things are complex…

  29. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    My point was just that – many here are puzzled at how a Christian can overlook Trumps immorality and vote for him.

    I am doing the same thing and pointing out that the Christian left does the same thing – overlooks gross morality and votes for HRC – ignore it just as vigorously as any Trump supporter.

    But like I said Trump does his immorality with his close off and HRC does her’s with her close on, which in many circles is considered a lesser immorality.

    Both sides are wrong and should abstain.

  30. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Vote to have free contraception given from a non murderous organization.

  31. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I’m all for it…

  32. Michael says:

    The Christian Left is very hard to track and quantify…outside of Sojourners I don’t know of many.

  33. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Black churches – the RCC – Epscopal Church – this is not hard to track — if I know who they are Pew knows who they are. I would say that all of the liberal branches of the mainlines – PCUSA – ELCA –

    I am sure that there are many more liberal church members who traditionally vote Democrat than evangelicals voting Right Wing.

  34. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I don’t believe that at all.
    Mainline numbers are shrinking like a jersey made in China.
    You never hear Democrats trying to pander to any Christian faith group.

    When I talk about tracking I’m looking at people trying to persuade others on social media.

    Outside of Sojourners, it’s a tiny group…because I’ve looked for them.

  35. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “When I talk about tracking I’m looking at people trying to persuade others on social media.”

    Sorry, I look at real sources.Not by who in whining on my FB page.

    All the black churches – most of the RCC new wave – immigrants etc all lobby hard for the demo party. Because they don’t do it as loudly does not mean they are not there and cannot be tracked by the pollsters. You are just on one frequency tuned to what the evangelicals say.

  36. Jean says:

    “Both sides are wrong and should abstain.”

    Abstain from what?

  37. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    From voting for corruption (which is this case is both candidates.

    Christians need to stand up and say “perhaps Satan and his people will participate in this folly but Christians will not.” — join me.

  38. Jean says:

    Christians need to respect other Christians’ liberty to participate in the election as their conscience directs them. Join me in not telling other Christians how or whether to vote.

  39. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean – are you saying that I need to give up my Christian liberty in trying to persuade people in the proper way to do things?

    What I have done here by advocating for a non vote is no different that what you have been doing in trying to ‘persuade’ people of the evils of Trump. How am I different than you?

  40. Jean says:

    You’re just like the F. Grahams of the world trying to tell other Christians what they “need” to do. You’re just providing a different answer. It’s hubris.

    I’ve never told a Christian how as a Christian they “need” to vote.

  41. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    LOL 🙂 your scorched earth against Trump doesn’t hide who you want people to vote for.

    All you offered was guilt by association and have not answered my question;

    ” are you saying that I need to give up my Christian liberty in trying to persuade people in the proper way to do things?”

    I do not tell anyone how to vote – I tell them how to act like a Christian and not like a follower of Satan. We can doing nothing about living in a corrupt and immoral environment – we need to make the best of it. At the same time it is a moral issue to actually vote for corruption.

  42. Jean says:

    You said one thing in your #41I agree with: “LOL”

    There, we have common ground.

  43. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    LOL (just to get your approval again.) 😉

    but you have still left me with the fact that as a Christian I must shut up and not try to persuade people. I am disturbed over that.

  44. Jean says:

    “I am disturbed”

    Wow! I agree with you there too. 🙂

    Advocacy is fine. You cross the line when you say “Christians need to do x, y or z with regard to an election.”

  45. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    If you go back to my #37, I asked people to join me – I did not make any demands on anyone.

    I would also state that a Christian should be in church on Sundays to receive the word and sacrament. I have no issue in applying law to people. Roast me at the stake.

    You would never, never, ever say “Christians should do …. fill in the blank? – would you never say Christians need to stand up against immorality? Odd

  46. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Speaking of Disturbed – here is his great rendition of The Sounds of Silence. I love this.

  47. dusty says:

    MLD #46 that was good.

  48. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Dusty – he is pretty good for a little Jewish boy. 🙂

  49. Duane Arnold says:

    Kevin,

    A great post. A year hence, we will look at it prophetic. The death of the “Christian right” in politics will be the Book of Esther come to life… hung on their own gallows. Michael has said it time and again, let the Church be the Church, not looking to grasp power, but serving…

    Well done.

  50. JD says:

    #27.Trump’s plans could very well increase abortion and depress family formation by destroying our economy.

    Apparently abortion is not a scriptural issue here. 🙁

  51. Em ... again says:

    i don’t listen to the rhetoric, i look at the track record – both of these people have quite lengthy ones – and then i remind myself that i’m considering a secular event, not a religious one… not even necessarily their list of virtues as God counts virtue…

    there is ample reason to think that we are on the precipice of war (aren’t we already?) no matter which candidate wins…
    my grandson enlisted in the army and just washed out when his lungs were found to be unable to take the gas chamber training – hard on him, but i think it a blessing from God as i view the state of the world and our conduct in same at this point in history – dunno, tho, do i
    just from where i sit

  52. Xenia says:

    Trump’s mysoginist, hedonist lifestyle is a big part of the abortion culture of death.

  53. Dan from Georgia says:

    Xenia (52), I would be hard-pressed to try to separate Trumps sexual sins and the abortion culture. You are spot on!

  54. Lura Humana says:

    Alex,

    Illegitimi non carborundum.

    I wish you all the best in your endeavors for justice. I fear it will wear you down. (Powerful people with money, even if wholly wrong, are powerful.) And in light of the family relationship, the illigitimi part may be wholly appropriate, or wholly inappropriate. Nevertheless, my well-wishes are solid and full-throated.

    [I repent of the writer’s sin of using the word “wholly” too much. Which, for a site that touches on spirituality and the life of the church, is actually kinda hilarious, if you say the over-used “wholly” word aloud.]

    I’ve recently found it expedient to take a deep dive into descriptions of the Malignant Narcissist Personality Disorder (because of a certain egomaniacal shameless predator presidential nominee, who shall remain nameless, which of course would bug the living daylights out of him were he to read (!!) this obscure corner of the internets, because all he lives for is fame fame fame OMG fame —is it any wonder?—so this deliberate namelessness is as good as wishing him obscurity, which, to him is tantamount to death…but I digress. — and HOW!).

    Political candidates aside, the descriptions of narcissist make some sense for you. No doubt I’m typing words and concepts that you have already encountered, so this is a confirmation, not a revelation. Anyway, on the off chance that this is new, perhaps some of the words and works on the concept might be helpful as a shameless, vindictive personality seeks to grind you up in the court system. Like I said, don’t let the {you know what} grind you down.

    And—if all that was a blur— here’s wishing you well, and fierce, and strong, and wise.

    —and ultimately victorious.

  55. Lura Humana says:

    oops. wrong thread. sorry.

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