Apologist: Evangelical support for Trump isn't hypocritical
Friday, December 29, 2017
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)
Has the term "evangelical" passed its expiration date? Evidently that's up for debate among evangelicals themselves when it comes to the topic of politics.
A simple Google search reveals that quite a few people who used to describe themselves as evangelical now think the term is tarnished beyond all redemption. That's attributed mostly to their being embarrassed by their fellow-believers' support of President Donald Trump last fall – and perhaps more recently, their backing of defeated GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore in Alabama.
Evangelical apologist Dr. Alex McFarland admits he didn't back Donald Trump during the presidential primaries. But he points out that Trump was his only choice during the general election.
"The support of evangelicals for any individual candidate in no way should be construed to mean unequivocal support for anything that person has ever said or done," he tells OneNewsNow.
A recent report by the American Culture & Faith Institute about the 2016 presidential election shows Trump's unexpected victory had a lot to do with spiritually and politically engaged conservatives. According to that report, 79 percent of self-described evangelicals who voted cast their ballot for Trump (compared to 18 percent for Hillary Clinton). The difference was even greater (93% to 1%) among "spiritually active, governance engaged" conservatives.
Clearly, like many other conservative evangelicals, McFarland "held his nose" when he voted for Donald Trump.
"In the case of the 2016 election, at stake were really four things: religious freedom, the nature and definition of marriage, the appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the future of the Constitution," he explains. "I believe the evangelical support for President Trump largely was along those lines."
With the exception of a few Twitter spats, the Christian apologist admits being pleasantly surprised with the spiritual and cultural leanings of the president. But it hasn't been enough to rescue the term "evangelical" – at least for many of the "Never-Trumpers" who may be worried that a watching world will think poorly of the brand.
McFarland contends those individuals are playing to the wrong base. "Many on the Left have seen an opportunity to discredit evangelicals by looking at the perceived or the assumed hypocrisy," he offers.
And he says they're never going to be won over. It would be better, he suggests, to focus on pleasing the Lord and winning the lost.
"Evangelicals are those who love the Lord Jesus Christ," says McFarland. "We care about the spiritual welfare of our fellow citizens, we care about the spiritual and moral health of the country – and following Christ and His Word, we simply want to make a positive difference in this world."
And here's the kicker, he adds. His vote for Trump hasn't compromised a single one of those principles. The spiritual and moral health of the country, he argues, is in good hands with a president who takes faith and religious freedom seriously.
Editor's note: In response to a comment on Facebook, the poll answer "His strong pro-life statements" was added after the poll was originally posted. We apologize for the oversight.
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It'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.
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