As a man, I am utterly appalled by the audio that was leaked of Donald Trump, in 2005, using vulgar language to describe how he seduced women. It turns my stomach. It angers me. No one should speak about women the way he did.
As a Trump supporter, I am disappointed. I knew that my candidate was rough around the edges, but this is beyond the pale.
As a Christian, I am saddened. Is this how far we have fallen as a society? The moral depravity of both candidates is shocking.
“Character” is not something that can be changed overnight. It requires a total transformation — one that only comes through believing in Jesus Christ.
I’ve faced criticism — and even some level of guilt — for supporting Donald Trump this past year. In the beginning, I was hesitant to support him. I’ve spent time researching the third-party candidates, reading numerous books on conservatism and even attending one of his rallies to hear him speak in person. I refused to ignorantly cast my vote for someone who didn’t share my values.
Donald Trump is the only candidate for president of the United States who stands between Hillary Clinton and the White House. Here are just a few of the things on Mrs. Clinton’s “presidential wish list”:
- Liberal, anti-Constitutional Supreme Court justices
- Restrictions on the First Amendment
- Restrictions on the Second Amendment
- Open trade
- Open borders
- Single-payer healthcare
- Weakened military
- More regulations
- Common Core education
- Increased assaults on Christianity
- Pay-to-play government
While there are other candidates who are less brash and offensive than Trump, the fact of the matter is that none of these candidates have a legitimate shot at winning the presidential race. That leaves us all with an important decision to make this November.
Clinton or Trump?
I’ve sinned plenty in my life. I’ve repented of my sins, both privately and publicly. In private, I’ve asked God to forgive me; in public, I’ve asked my Christian family to do the same. No human is perfect. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God.
We respect and celebrate Christians who weep on the front pew asking for forgiveness. We bury any judgment, welcoming them back into the fold with open arms. We accept their sincerity without question. In our hearts, we might even question our own need for repentance.
Yet, oftentimes, we tend to hold our elected officials to a higher standard. A holier pedestal, if you will. The media has somehow convinced us that “scandals” are somehow a different kind of sin. Sin is no longer sin when it comes to these “others” — and we are more hesitant to forgive them of their transgressions. And in so doing, we have created for ourselves a pseudo-moral paradigm.
Donald Trump is no different.
Why the hypocrisy? Why the double standard?
Jesus didn’t come for those who were righteous, he came for those who were sinners. He came for those who were lost.
“I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Luke 5:32 (ESV)
Trump apologized last night for his crude remarks. But how many will forgive him? I fear that few will. How many of us would immediately forgive our own father, brother or son for saying the exact same thing or something equivalent?
I am not condoning Donald Trump’s words or actions. On the contrary, I’m disgusted by them. I wish he had never said what he said. Nevertheless, he made these comments and now has to live with them in the public sphere.
And they could very well end up costing him the presidency.
Why? Because as much as Christ preached forgiveness while on earth, mankind simply has a hard time meeting Christ’s standard of forgiveness. Frankly, forgiving someone seventy-seven times is not easy.
Peter: “How often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?”
Jesus: “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Matthew 18:21-22 (ESV)
Critics and detractors will argue that Trump has sinned more than seventy-seven times – as if they carry around a pocketbook with pencil marks in it every time he slips up. They judge Trump based on a scale that is unattainable. While they begrudgingly give him credit for proposing Constitutionally conservative Supreme Court justices, they always seem to fall back on the recyclable “I don’t trust him” line as a means of hedging their support.
As Christians, we must be careful of our attitude and inclination to judge others. This is a practice that the world participates in; instead, we are supposed to be like Christ.
“Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.”
Romans 14:10 (ESV)
While having a righteous, morally upright Commander-in-Chief should be one of our goals, it should not be our only goal. The role of the president is to enforce federal legislation, command our military, direct foreign and domestic policy, work with Congress to pass laws, and prepare national budgets. We also should pray that he does not interfere with our religious freedoms and rights to assemble and worship peaceably.
It is then our duty, as disciples of Christ, to seek and save the lost.
Listen, I’ll be the first to tell you that Donald Trump is far from the perfect candidate.
He, at times, can be offensive and harsh with his words. As a New York native, he speaks with a blunt tongue that is almost always going to leave somebody feeling uncomfortable.
But he is also honorable, charitable and loving. He cares about this country. As someone who has attended one of his rallies, I know in my heart that’s true.
This is a man who is sincere in his desire to fix our country.
If you examine the heroes in the Bible, you will notice that they were all flawed — save one. David, Samson and Paul all committed terrible sins, but we revere them today for how they responded to their sins. They sought to make their lives right in the sight of God, and as a result, they were redeemed.
“For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside.”
1 Corinthians 5:12-13 (ESV)
I believe Donald Trump is a changed man. Many of the attacks leveled against Trump are things he presumably said in private a decade ago. While wrong, I have decided to place my trust in a Savior that has the power to save even a criminal on a cross from eternal condemnation.
I believe in forgiveness and redemption.