In Sunday’s Sacramento Bee, Martin Griffith wrote an op-ed about how evangelicals who supported Trump need to repent and admit the damage they caused the country and faith. Its an up-front and strong op-ed. Griffith who draws from his knowledge of faith explains the issues with white evangelicals. This blog liked what he composed and is encouraging others to read what he has to say.
“Consistency can be a trap, especially if it leads to being consistently wrong rather than to stopping, admitting your mistake, and changing course.“
There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV
I grew up in Fresno and call the Central Valley of California my home. Many of the cities that line and dot the Valley from Tulare, Dos Palos, Madera, Visalia, Kingsburg and Bakersfield I know very well. Football games, traveling in the Valley when I was younger made me familiar with them. The main news service in Central California is McClatchy which owns a number of newspapers up and down what many call The Bible Belt of California. During the Trump years I saw how many evangelicals reacted. And that included in my former stomping grounds of California and Wisconsin. Many praised Trump and often just reduced support of him to one or two issues usually -abortion or gay marriage. Many became single issue people. As I rejected evangelicalism last year I watched some people go deeper down the rabbit hole and double down. This blog has written about this issue before.
But getting back to McClatchy there was an interesting op-ed that appeared in Sunday’s Sacramento Bee by Martin Griffith. Griffith who graduated from the University of Missouri – Columbia worked in journalism. He is affiliated with Associated Press and today lives in Sparks, Nevada which is outside Reno. Griffith wrote a faith based perspective on evangelical support for Donald Trump. In short order he said that evangelicals caused great harm to the nation. They accelerated the destruction of facts and destabilized the Republic. They made a deal with the Devil and caused great harm to faith itself. The only way out is for evangelicals to admit error and repent. That is the right way forward according to Martin Griffith.
This blog has a few thoughts on that idea. Its good in theory but evangelicalism is a belief system that is broken and known for its hypocrisy. While evangelicals teach about repentance they don’t actually believe in it. Neither do churches, denominations, para-church ministries or pastors. They think they are above it all and that the rules they subject to others does not apply to them. Mark my words and this is coming from personal experience evangelicals will not repent. Pardon my French but many evangelical’s don’t give a rat’s ass about the neighborhoods, communities and cities they call home. They are too self-centered to care. What I learned is that when someone says they are an evangelical the best thing to do is lower expectations and think of them less. So while Martin Griffith’s idea is interesting the fact of the matter is that it will never happen. That said, I would encourage you to read what he says below. The name of the article is called, “Trump-supporting evangelicals must repent after turning blind eye to his evil.” And as always this blog is asking you to support your local newspaper. Its important and it doesn’t cost very much.
Like many Americans, I’m mystified by how so many evangelical Christians turned a blind eye to former President Donald Trump’s moral depravity and constant attacks on civility and democracy over the last four years.
Some 8 in 10 white evangelical Christian voters again supported Trump in 2020, and a faith adviser to the president expressed unequivocal support for him even after the attack at the United States. Capitol on Jan. 6.
“No conservative president has done more than Donald Trump to champion Christian values,” Ralph Reed told the Washington Post.
Really? My conservative parents and Sunday school teachers at the Methodist church in my hometown of Turlock taught me that, in the long run, nothing good comes from associating with an evil man like Trump.
It’s high time for Trump evangelicals to come to their senses about the faith’s central truths and to read what the Bible says matters most to God: love, character and honesty. They must see that Trump clearly fits both the definition of a “fool” in the book of Proverbs, as well as the seven “things” that God finds “detestable.”
According to Proverbs 6: 16-19, the latter are “haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”
And what doesProverbs 16: 12-15say will happen to people guilty of these sins?
“A scoundrel and villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth … who plots evil with deceit in his heart … he always stirs up dissension. Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed … without remedy.”
The passages make clear that the Almighty cares deeply about honesty and character, and suggest it was God’s will for Trump to lose the election.
The truth is that evangelical leaders made a pact with the devil, winning hundreds of judges who oppose abortion and same-sex marriage in exchange for ignoring Trump’s constant lies and moral failings. As a result, they hastened the national descent from strict, fact-based truth and helped Trump warp the political system to the point that many of his supporters are calling the Capitol mob “patriots” and claiming the election was stolen from him.
Some prominent evangelicals have praised Trump as a godly man and compared him with Persian King Cyrus II, who established an effective system of administration throughout his empire. But do they really believe Trump displays the “Fruit of the Holy Spirit,” the nine attributes in the Bible’s book of Galatians that define us as Christians: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?
A better Old Testament comparison would be with King Rehoboam, whose arrogant attitude incited a division in Israel that was never healed.
As Christians, we should be the light of the world, not part of its darkness. When evangelicals give political cover to Trump, they’re identified with hatred, dishonesty and smallness. The hypocrisy is not lost on the world, and the result is a loss of moral authority.
This unholy alliance especially turns off young people to Christianity and detracts from Jesus’ main message: love. Asked about the two greatest commandments, Jesus replied, “Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God with all thy heart … (and) thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
At a time when our country is more divided than ever, it’s incumbent on evangelicals and their elected representatives to follow Jesus’ other commandment to “love our enemies.”
What the country desperately needs now is for evangelicals to adopt a more faithful, loving form of Christian social engagement that embraces racial reconciliation, concern for the poor and political civility as a norm.