Shane Idleman on Pro-Trump and No-Trump Christians: Can They Unite in 2020?


Like many, I’m perplexed by the divide in the Christian community over President Trump. This article has been many months in the making as I’ve talked to people on both sides of the aisle. And as I stated in a brief op-ed, we can’t have our cake and eat it too—there is no middle ground for Christians today. You can either choose a president who will wear a Planned Parenthood scarf at her inauguration (or one of countless others who would seek to destroy the America we know and lead us down the primrose path of socialism—or worse), or you can back President Trump. There is no plan B. I’m amazed at how many pulpits are silent on this (more here and at my website, including Fox News debates).

The following seven points may help us better understand the differences between pro-Trump and no-Trump Christians. Personally, I believe that No. 7 stands above them all.

1. Some believe that Christians should stay out of politics. That may sound noble and even spiritual, but politics has been instrumental in movements to protect the unborn and the poor, to abolish slavery and secure women’s rights, and to advance the Civil Rights movement, to mention only a few.

Politics won’t save America, but in order to implement change and help others, we must take action; hence, the political process. Politics, which once focused largely on the economy, national security and the deficit, now tackle important moral issues. These major issues have enormous implications; to remain silent actually makes a statement that we are not concerned enough. Topics considered “too controversial” are often critically important; we can no longer ignore them.

2. Many are divided over foundational issues and the role of government. Some value appearance over abortion and graceful speech over national security. They are concerned that Trump is reckless but fail to see the plethora of conservative judges he has appointed and the protection of freedom of speech. Some even say, “Bring on the persecution. The early church did!” No, that’s not correct. The early church did not invite persecution, and most Christians in persecuted countries wish that they had our freedom. Many need to wake up to this fact. We can’t be united if we are divided on foundational issues. If everything is a priority, then nothing is. The highest priority is the value of human life. There is no contender. Our president is not a pastor; he is to be a terror to those who do evil (Rom. 13:3-4). This is why it’s unwise to apply many of Jesus’ teachings such as “turn the other cheek” to the institution of government. Contextually, Jesus was referring to personal affronts and insults, not to the administration of justice—which leads to the next point.

3. Many misquote Scripture to push their agenda. I’ve been shocked at how many people use “turn the other cheek” and other scriptures out of context. If you feel that the government should “turn the other cheek,” I appreciate your heart, but you really need to think this through. Even Jesus didn’t always turn the other cheek. When one of the temple officers struck Him, he called the man out and said, “Why do you strike me?” There is a time to call people out. The Bible does not promote pacifism in all cases, especially in the context of national security. Should we tell our leaders to turn the other cheek to Russia, China and North Korea?

I would love to have a humble, Spirit-filled Christian in office, but this person would have to be an exceptional leader who not only shows grace to his fellow man but is also a terror to terrorists. And even if that person exists, I am not sure if they could win the presidency. There are only two candidates … two choices when it comes to enough votes to win.

Again, the president is to protect and defend, not turn the other cheek. I believe that this is also why many of us view Trump’s tweets differently. For example, on immigration, although I would not have said what he said, what I read into many of the tweets is that he was talking about securing our borders from those who wish to do us harm. He was not making a blanket statement that applies to all immigrants. We have a legal process to enter our country, and if we want to change it, there is a constitutional method to do so. As Christians, we should be able to agree about the rule of law, even if we don’t care for the words used to express how those laws should be enforced. So, on the one hand, I can have great compassion for refugees and others who want to live here, but on the other hand, I realize that we have to do things the right way.

How I treat refugees is different from how the government does. I do not believe in the separation of church and state as it is defined today. But I do believe the church and state are to be separate in their duties and functions while being interwoven in their core beliefs and principles. Our second president, John Adams, said: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (More can be found in my book, One Nation Above God, free on Kindle.)

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SOURCE: Charisma News