In this week’s Sunday Special at The Daily Wire, host Ben Shapiro interviewed Pastor John MacArthur, covering a wide range of issues from morality to spirituality, and, of course, President Donald Trump. Honing in on the evangelical inclination to deconstruct and analyze every single morally questionable decision made by the president, Shapiro asked Pastor John whether believers should be supporting a man of questionable character to lead their nation.
“We have a big problem as religious people,” Shapiro began. “The representative of the party to which I am an adherent stood for some of my values. But on a personal level, he doesn’t fulfill certain basic moral precepts about character, the necessity of cleanliness in business dealings or the decency with regard to women.”
“As religious people, how should we choose between candidates who may not be personally moral but may forward out priorities, or do we disengage completely?” Shapiro quizzed.
“It’s a challenging reality,” MacArthur responded, “but it is less challenging than it used to be.” Why? Because “you have a party that advocates the killing of babies,” the pastor noted. “I can’t vote that.”
“I don’t care who the other guy is,” MacArthur said. “You’re looking at the lesser of two evils.”
As for the state of the president’s character and morals, MacArthur used the analogy of a brain surgeon to highlight that the presidency “is not a position of moral authority.”
“If a brain surgeon is going to open my brain, I’m not too concerned about his moral life,” he said. “I would like to know that he’s been in somebody else’s brain and he’s done the right thing when he’s been there.”
“Nobody is perfect,” MacArthur continued. “You choose the best you’ve got. Someone who does justice and fears God.”
Pastor John said that much of what people should be looking for in a president is “competence” rather than a clear-cut sense of morality.
“Who can move things in the right direction? Who has the leadership ability?” he explained.
MacArthur also noted that Christians should vote for the candidate who is “closest to the biblical standard of morality,” but that we should be realistic and make a choice based on personal and spiritual convictions. As for the blame placed on the president for wider moral failings in society, or, for example, the breakdown of the family unit, MacArthur insisted that this cannot be pinned on any political leader.
In turn, you cannot, MacArthur said, expect someone like President Trump to heal the “social fabric” of society. That comes from within the communities and is built from the family unit outwards.
“You can’t blame the president for the complete destruction of the family,” he said. “That’s why the social fabric is coming apart, and he [Trump] had nothing to do with that.”