A New York Times article recently stated that four-fifths of evangelical Christians are planning to vote for Donald Trump. At the recent Republican convention, Trump thanked evangelicals for supporting him and added, “I probably don’t deserve it.”
Trump is right. He does not deserve the support of Christians, not only for the lifestyle he lives, but because his values are opposed to Christian principals – principals that Jesus taught in word and deed; doctrines he laid down his life for. These values create the Kingdom of God, the heart of Jesus’ message.
There is no mystery about the heart of Jesus’ teaching. Jesus welcomed the downtrodden and embraced the outcasts. Those that were rejected, he accepted. Those that were feared he welcomed. Those that were shunned, he touched and healed.
The bible that Jesus read and believed and preached, the Hebrew Bible, bears powerful witness to the same principles. The God of Israel condemns those who “trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth, and push the afflicted out of the way.” “I will save the lame and gather the outcast.” Does Donald Trump represent these values, even remotely?
When approached by a rich man who wanted to follow him, Jesus said, “sell all you own, giving the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come and follow me.” When a tax collector named Zaccheus wanted to become a follower of Jesus’ he said, “half my possessions I will give to the poor. If I have deceived anyone of anything, I will pay back 4 times as much.”
Much has been said about Trump University and other such business ventures. Does the long record of Trump’s business practices represent even slightly the principals laid down by Jesus? How would Jesus respond to this record? Is it possible to imagine Trump repenting of anything?
Many Christian voters object vigorously to abortion, and support Trump in the hope that he will appoint Supreme Court justices understanding of their cause. The weight of this real and continuing moral issue cannot be denied. But should this one issue, important though it may be, cause Christians to discard the visible teaching of Jesus on all other subjects?