Ok, in general I don’t post political thoughts on this blog, and in many ways this isn’t a political post. Recently, recordings of the GOP Nominee saying some absolutely vile things has surfaced. It baffles me, but this seems to have been a catalyst which has lead many evangelicals to reconsider their previous stances. Wayne Grudem, for example, has pulled down a previous article in which he made a consequentialist argument for voting for Mr Trump. He subsequently withdrew his support and endorsement of Mr Trump. In fact, just about all of the arguments I’ve seen in favor Mr Trump have been consequentialist.
I’m wondering what has actually changed though. The things that Trump has said are vile, sexist, and mysogynistic. It is clear that Trump thinks that because he is rich, famous, and powerful, that he can use and abuse those who cannot provide anything for him beyond carnal gratification. This is who he is, and frankly his comments –which are over a decade old– are a perfect reflection of who he is: A vile, sexist, mysogynistic, and ultimately immoral man.
But what does that change in terms of the consequentialist argument. We knew that he was all of those things before, and the consequentialist argument unfolds exactly the same way. Is the fact that we have evidence to demonstrate what we all already knew somehow going to change who we think Trump will appoint to the Supreme Court, or what executive orders he will strike down or enact.
No. The fact is that many evangelicals were happy to vote for a man who they suspected to be vile, sexist, and mysogynistic if it accomplished the effect that they wanted. I’m not here to stand in judgement over them for that, that isn’t my place. However, many of those same evangelicals are now no longer happy to vote for that exact same person. These comments are not a new revelation of his character… they are, perhaps, a confirmation of it… but they are not new.
Another thought, that actually just came to me. Trump claims to be a Christian. He isn’t, but he claims to be. He claims to be a Presbyterian, so I can only assume that he has been baptized. That means he is part of the visible church and claim the name of brother. As Christians, we are called to disassociate with someone like this.
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. – Paul
I want religious liberty to remain as much as the next person. I hate abortion as much as the next person. I don’t want Hillary to be president as much as the next person… however I cannot associate myself in the form of voting with someone I am forbidden to associate myself with.
For more information, check out the recent Reformed Brotherhood episode where Jesse Schwamb and I discuss politics and how Christians ought to think about voting. You can subscribe to the Reformed Brotherhood on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or anywhere else that podcasts are found.