The election of Donald Trump and subsequent potential election of Roy Moore – with the ample support of evangelical Christians exemplifies a crisis of faith and fear among the faithful in the United States.
Every candidate is flawed but as voters of principle and with great influence, the evangelical wing has a tremendous responsibility on their shoulders to advocate for leaders of character.
Right now, fear is their guiding light – and it’s not a good look. While I don’t consider the RNC to be an “evangelical wing,” their newly laid support for Moore certainly isn’t helping.
As a conservative Christian working in Republican politics for many years, I nearly always stood shoulder to shoulder with evangelical voters. We have many of the same policy goals regarding children, families, taxes and healthcare.
In 2015, things began to change with the rise of Donald Trump –not in the issues we cared most about – but in the people we would entrust those issues to.
Trump was so obviously untrustworthy and crooked. His treatment of women, penchant for lying, scams on innocent folks through ventures like Trump University and tasteless discussion of people groups like illegal immigrants, were unbecoming at best and disgustingly immoral at worst.
He’s not the only elected politician bearing such boorish qualities, but he may be the first that evangelicals have stood behind so wholeheartedly. The support appears to be borne mostly out of fear; fear of losing their religious liberty, the battle for unborn human life and other freedoms that Leftist America is intent on paring down.
The rest of us non-Trump, non-Moore supporting conservative Christians have similar fears but the Bible says to “fear not” and that’s what I chose to do when I cast my vote for a third party in 2016—and continue to stand against Moore as the days lead up to his election. I don’t want wayward leaders charging forth on behalf of my issues – but it appears many evangelical voters care little about the messenger so long as the policy gets passed. It doesn’t have to be this way.
In 2017, I still don’t recognize many of my former voters in arms as large swaths stand behind accused child molester Moore. Some voters who were a pivotal part of the Tea Party movement, which I wholly supported in the early days, now appear to be unhinged in their complete disregard of devastating information about candidates they want to win at any cost.
It’s understandable that voters would see Trump, Moore and other less than desire-able candidates as the only path toward their policy goals. With a Clinton versus Trump election, I sympathized greatly with those who voted Trump as a last resort. But it hasn’t ended there – and the continuing trend is disturbing, as I watch Christian leaders like Franklin Graham off up excuses for Moore’s behavior.
As Christians, we are to seek God first. We needn’t support men so clearly unfit for leadership simply because they might put our policies into play. It’s sinful to throw our trust in God’s provision under the bus out of fear and it showcases a crisis of faith in the face of fear.
The fear is real and valid, but not cause for panic.
God doesn’t need evangelicals to elect a Republican at any cost to accomplish good things for His people. While the role of politics and policy is important – and a good and worthy endeavor to participate in – it must not be driven by fear.
By supporting candidates like these, evangelical voters completely remove the chance for God to move in a bigger, better way.
Sexual deviancy and character corruption is a problem that crosses partisan and religious lines across the board, as the past year has so clearly demonstrated.
We aren’t bound to these kinds of leaders simply because they have an R behind their name, or a pristine pro-life record. God certainly raises up flawed humans to do His work, but as voters we have an important part to play in determining what kind of people we want representing our issues.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27
Stop playing by the world’s rules. God’s on a completely different playing field.