When you go to the “About” page of the Faith and Freedom Coalition website, this is the description of the organization given:
We believe that the greatness of America lies not in the federal government but in the character of our people — the simple virtues of faith, hard work, marriage, family, personal responsibility, and helping the least among us.
It’s a simple, yet powerful statement. I could get behind this statement, and until very recently, would say I believed, with no problem, that every word is true.
Today, I have to say we have lost our national virtue.
I’m sure some will say it’s been gone for much longer. It began slipping away when prayer was removed from schools and that void was filled with drugs and guns.
We lost any firm grip on virtue when abortion was pushed as “choice,” rather than an atrocity on par with King Herod’s directive to murder the Hebrew children, 2-years old and under.
When the majority of our high school aged children (and getting younger) are not only sexually active, but are openly encouraged to explore “alternative lifestyles” and alternate realities, in regards to biological fact, we are no longer dealing with the virtue our nation was founded on.
Our culture is in a state of rot and the church is not immune.
A Pew Research poll conducted in July showed that 78% of those who identified as “evangelical” voters support a serial adulterer, gambling house owner, cheat, and abuser for president. A full third of evangelicals strongly support him.
It’s an unbelievable figure. There was a time when Christians held a certain moral litmus test for those leaders they supported.
Nobody can be perfect, and often, those leaders would fall short, but few were so scandal-ridden that their deeds could be described as criminal.
Donald Trump and the past year has done more to hurt the Christian witness to the world than 100 Jimmy Swaggart/Jim Bakker moments.
We may truly be in a time of testing, where the chaff and wheat are being separated, and that chaff is about to be tossed into the fire.
Trump, on his own, could do nothing to damage the standing of Christianity in this country. When someone of his obvious moral shortcomings is held up as a brother in Christ and the choice of evangelical voters, however, Christians should be really uncomfortable.
They should object. Strongly.
The worst part is that there are evangelical leaders who have signed on to ride the Trump train, and they refuse to get off, no matter how many scandals emerge and how it makes them look to the world.
Ralph Reed, of the Faith and Freedom Coalition is one of those “leaders.”
Reed joined others, such as Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council, James Dobson, Focus on the Family founder, and Pat Robertson in circling the wagons recently, after the now-infamous audio of Trump declaring that his wealth and celebrity granted him certain lewd privileges with women.
“Voters of faith are voting on issues like who will protect unborn life, defend religious freedom, create jobs, and oppose the Iran nuclear deal,” Faith and Freedom Coalition president Ralph Reed said in an email to BuzzFeed News. “Ten-year-old tapes of private conversation with a television talk show host rank very low on their hierarchy of concerns.”
Unbelievable. It’s as if character has no place in Reed’s world.
It’s particularly concerning when Reed’s own organization mentions marriage and family, but he’s willing to blow that off to support a serial adulterer.
With the rest, it is likewise a despicable potluck of supportive comments, which completely disregard this man’s dangerous arrogance.
What is the message these men are sending? If Trump touched a sister-in-Christ in the way he so graphically described in the audio, would it matter to them?
There were many who did realize the error of their ways, and in recognizing the importance of character in a leader, withdrew their support.
Wayne Grudem, an evangelical theologian, who gave early support to Trump, upon hearing the 2005 audio, withdrew his support and wrote a powerful apology message in doing so.
His vulgar comments in 2005 about his sexual aggression and assaults against women were morally evil and revealed pride in conduct that violates God’s command, “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). I have now read transcripts of some of his obscene interviews with Howard Stern, and they turned my stomach. His conduct was hateful in God’s eyes and I urge him to repent and call out to God for forgiveness, and to seek forgiveness from those he harmed. God intends that men honor and respect women, not abuse them as sexual objects.
Now that is the proper response for a leader of faith, when confronted with what the audio of this incident revealed about who Trump is.
And now there are more.
A number of women stepped forward on Wednesday, giving claims that what was heard on the audio wasn’t just “locker room talk,” but that he’d actually touched or molested them in some way.
I have to ask how Reed, Perkins, Dobson, Robertson, and others who have defended Trump through everything will continue to defend him and still expect to be taken seriously in their own organizations?
How does their allegiance to an immoral, abusive man further the cause of Christ, which is the main objective of all Christians?
As has been said before elsewhere, Christians supporting and defending this man, for whatever reason, hurt their Christian witness. They forfeit any right to call out sinful behavior. They forfeit any right to minister to the broken and abused woman, who needs to have a meeting with the Healer. They forfeit any right to go into the streets, the bars, the prisons, and tell troubled young men that though what they do is wrong, there is forgiveness. They forfeit the right to talk about God’s plan for the family, when they’ve held up such a man as the leader of the free world.
At some point, it all becomes too much. There is no excuse to still support this man to be president, when there are better choices among our third parties.
These “faith” leaders show a lack of faith by letting fear of Hillary Clinton be the chain that keeps them loyal to a man such as Trump.
1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV says, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’”
Trump is the bad company that will follow these men and the Christian church in America long after the election is over.
Whatever good their organizations once served will be forgotten. Their mission statements will be hollow.
My hope is that somewhere, these men are hearing about the latest allegations, and that the Spirit of God is doing a convicting work on their hearts.
They need to begin rebuilding their reputations immediately, and that begins with saying, “I was wrong.”