On Thursday, David French penned a letter to fellow evangelicals that have been adamant about their support for President Donald Trump.
French started by addressing the purpose of Christianity, reminding readers that Christianity is not about defending religious liberties in America, nor is it about fighting injustices like abortion. The purpose of Christianity is simply to glorify God.
“A Christian’s primary purpose is not to defend his own religious liberty. It’s not even to fight abortion — as vital as that task is. His basic task on this Earth isn’t protecting Christian education or preserving the freedom of Christian artists. Each of those things is important. Each of those things is necessary. But their defense cannot and must not compromise our true purpose.”
French, a senior writer for National Review, quotes Westminster Shorter Catechism: “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.”
He also invokes Micah 6:8 to make the point that the Lord requires Christians to “love kindness, and walk humbly with our God.”
French then quotes Matthew 16:24 stating, “Or, let’s refer to Christ’s famous words: ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?'”
The columnist reaffirms that Christianity is not a glorification of political ideology nor is it a platform to uplift certain political players, but that ultimately “our life on this Earth should glorify God, demonstrate profound virtue, and count even our lives forfeit in the pursuit of eternal truth.”
French goes on to argue that we are told that as Christians we will receive scorn and hatred from those in the world if we are living for Christ. It can be seen more vividly in foreign countries where persecution is high, but it can also be seen in the United States when an evangelical takes a stand on something.
“We are not told to rationalize and justify sinful actions to preserve political influence or a popular audience. We are not told that the ends of good policies justify silence in the face of sin,” he continues.
French calls out fellow politicians and pundits who say things they don’t believe in order to protect the Trump administration:
“Indeed — and this message goes out specifically to the politicians and pundits who go on television and say things they do not believe (you know who you are) to protect this administration and to preserve their presence in the halls of the power — there is specific scripture that applies to you:’Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!'”
He then takes a turn and addresses the behavior of President Trump, calling him out for paying a porn star hush money in order to cover up an affair, accuses him of more than a dozen accounts of sexual assault, and calls him a liar.
“The president of the United States has paid hush money to a porn star — apparently to cover up a tryst that occurred shortly after the birth of his son. And that’s hardly his only affair. More than a dozen women have accused him of sexual assault or some form of sexual harassment. He has been caught lying, repeatedly and regularly.”
French then turns to evangelical Christians, asking how they can support a man who is the opposite of what they truly believe.
“Yet there are numerous Christians of real influence and prominence who not only won’t dare utter a negative word about the president, they’ll vigorously turn the tables on his critics, noting the specks in his critics’ eyes while ignoring the sequoia-sized beam in their own,” he writes.
French tells evangelicals that they cannot call his behavior “politics,” for it is sin, and that is all it should be called.
“I’m sorry, but you cannot compartmentalize this behavior, declare that it’s “just politics,” and take solace that you’re a good spouse or parent, that you serve in your church and volunteer for mission trips, or that you’re relatively charitable and kind in other contexts. It’s sin, and it’s sin that is collapsing the Evangelical moral witness.”
French ends his piece by calling evangelicals to take action.
“We live in a time of profound existential pain. Americans are dying deaths of despair at such a rate that our nation’s life expectancy is actually decreasing. Reality is revealing the moral rot at the heart of the sexual revolution. Christians have answers for this crisis. We have a message that can renew hearts and transform lives. But there are now millions — millions — of our fellow citizens who despise us not because we follow Christ (the kind of persecution we expect) but because all too many fellow believers have torched their credibility and exposed immense hypocrisy through fear, faithlessness, and ambition.”
French explains that eventually, evangelicals will not have to defend Trump publically because he will not be in the public scene anymore, but that evangelicals who defended him will have to ask themselves a question, “was it worth it?”
“The answer will be as clear then as it should be clear now. It’s not, and it never was,” he concludes.
(H/T: National Review )