Evangelicals end year of self-reflection after Trump victory

Monday, December 18, 2017
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

Trump prays with pastors after HarveyIt's been a hard couple of years for the politically engaged Evangelical, with a lot of disagreement within what used to be a solid voting bloc. 

When the dust settled after the bruising Republican primary of 2016, a lot of evangelical voters felt caught between the Devil and the deep blue sea, as the saying goes: a morally bankrupt candidate versus... a morally bankrupt candidate.

Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission was one of the first to publically question Evangelicals who supported Donald Trump.

"What I'm concerned about," he said last year, "is the reputation of evangelical Christianity and the credibility of the Church of Jesus Christ right now."

2017 hardly made things easier. Allegations of sex abuse dogged U.S. senate candidate Roy Moore, who enjoyed vocal support from Evangelicals but, in the end, discovered that many of them stayed home on Dec. 12.

To a non-believing world already looking for reasons to hate Christians, it was low-hanging fruit. Self-proclaimed "friendly atheist" Hemant Mehta has claimed that Evangelicals aren't looking for a candidate who shares their values but one who is "just as big of a hypocrite as so many of them are."

Longtime conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats of Iowa's Family Leader says he feels for Alabama voters who shouldered such a burden.

"It's a narrow road to walk. It's a tough needle to thread," he observes. "And we need to be aware there's a ditch on two sides."

The GOP-led effort to defund abortion giant Planned Parenthood took a "huge hit" with Moore's loss, which symbolizes the "complicated decision" Alabama voters faced, Vander Plaats observes.

Vander Platts goes on to point out that he did not endorse Trump in the GOP primaries nor in the general election against Hillary Clinton, when many other conservatives publicly got behind him. But he did cast a vote of him – and reluctantly so.

As the first year of Trump's presidency comes to a close, Vander Platts tells OneNewsNow that Evangelicals should heed some advice if, in the future, another Trump-versus-Clinton decision comes along.

"Always be concerned about how is my walk being viewed by a watching world," he says. "And there's a way to thread that needle but do it in the proper order."

Evangelicals should continue to pray, search the Word, and remember it's often easier to have influence when there's a relationship.

"We want to be the Nathan to the David," he says.

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