Defeating Hillary is Not Worth Sacrificing Our Witness

I never thought I’d see the day when leading evangelicals would publicly espouse that character doesn’t matter — and that promoting sexual assault is simply “bad boy talk.” Yet, that’s precisely what’s happening in the wake of a newly released video showing Donald Trump gloating over his sexual exploits with married women. I honestly don’t know what makes me more sick. Listening to Trump brag about groping women or listening to my fellow evangelicals defend him.

Don’t get me wrong. I get how disastrous a Clinton presidency would be. It would mean that the U.S. would be up for sale to the highest bidder, which given the millions it’s given to the Clinton Foundation, appears to be Saudi Arabia. A woman with close family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood would likely be chief of staff. The Hyde Amendment would be repealed; religious groups would be forced to endorse gay marriage — or else; the Supreme Court would be handed to a liberal majority for an entire generation; our borders would remain porous; and any hopes of repealing the fiasco that is Obamacare will be completely dashed. So, I get it. She’s a disaster of historic proportions.

But let’s face it. This election presents us with a Sophie’s Choice. There is no moral vote. 

Only when compared to Hillary Clinton can Donald Trump come even close to resembling a decent human being. But, let’s be honest, that’s like saying I’m better-looking than Quasimodo.

Only when compared to Hillary Clinton can Donald Trump come even close to resembling a decent human being.  But, let’s be honest, that’s like saying I’m better-looking than Quasimodo. However, if we choose not to vote, or vote for a third party, then we can legitimately be accused of helping Hillary win the presidency. 

So, let’s stop claiming a moral high ground in this election. There is none. These are the two most morally depraved, power-hungry, and unfit candidates ever to win the Democratic and Republican Party nominations. They are a reflection of the moral bankruptcy of our nation.  And, rather than waiving a party flag, every honest person of faith should be mourning the truly pathetic state of our union. Which brings me to my evangelical brothers and sisters . . .  

Please stop defending and promoting Donald Trump! 

If you feel you must vote for him to prevent a Clinton presidency, then go ahead, plug your nose and vote. But please, don’t argue like Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition that “a 10-year-old tape of a private conversation” should “rank low” on our “hierarchy of concerns.” Seriously, character doesn’t matter? Is that really the argument Reed wants to make, especially given that 18 years ago, he urged Christians not to vote for Bill Clinton based on character? “We care about the conduct of our leaders,” Reed said then, “and we will not rest until we have leaders of good moral character.” My, how our standards have plummeted.

Evangelicals also need to stop minimizing the horror of what Trump said and did. I was stunned to read a tweet by David Brody, Chief Political Correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network: “This just in: Donald Trump is a flawed man! We ALL sin every single day. What if we had a ‘hot mic’ around each one of us all the time?” What exactly is Brody saying? Trump’s comments are normal for professing Christians? The only difference between him and us is that he was mic’ed? Seriously? Most non-Christians I know were shocked by Trump’s talk and behavior. What does it say when Christians are not?

I similarly was disheartened to hear Michele Bachmann, someone I really like and respect, dismiss Trump’s reprehensible talk as “bad boy talk” and not “a real issue.” When I interviewed Bachmann recently, she portrayed Donald Trump as a “decent guy” who simply talks “like a guy from Jamaica, Queens.” But, Donald Trump is shockingly indecent – and we need to say so. How on earth can evangelicals maintain any moral platform from which to speak out against abortion and gay marriage if we’re going to dismiss and normalize adultery and sexual assault?

How on earth can evangelicals maintain any moral platform from which to speak out against abortion and gay marriage if we’re going to dismiss and normalize adultery and sexual assault? The evangelical hypocrisy meter is redlining right now — and the world, as well as our own children, are taking note.

The evangelical hypocrisy meter is redlining right now — and the world, as well as our own children, are taking note. A former student I knew when I was in youth ministry posted to Facebook on Friday: “Nothing says pro-life like sexual assault as a lifestyle. Enjoy his SCOTUS picks, values voters.” I hate to say it, but we deserve that. 

I know some of you will argue that we’re not picking a pastor-in-chief; we’re picking a commander-in-chief. Robert Jeffress, pastor of a Baptist church in Dallas with a congregation of about 12,000 people, said as much in an article published in The Daily Beast. “I would not necessarily choose this man to be my child’s Sunday School teacher,” he said. “But that’s not what this election is about.” 

Again, let’s think about what we’re saying. It’s okay for everyday people to participate in sexual immorality — just not pastors and Sunday School teachers? If this is the standard we uphold, we should not be surprised when our sons and daughters embrace this standard too. Then, when we confront them for sleeping with their girlfriend or boyfriend, they’ll throw this same line back in our face. 

In Ephesians 5, Paul clearly states that we should not partner with the “immoral, impure or greedy person — such a person is an idolater.” When we do, we not only lower our standard, but we destroy the church’s witness. I don’t think voting for someone necessarily qualifies as partnering, but certainly stumping for them does. 

Recently, Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, tweeted: “The damage done to the gospel this year, by so-called evangelicals, will take longer to recover from than the ‘80s TV evangelist scandals.”  I fear he’s right. 

Donald Trump may do less damage to the country than Hillary, but he’s done far worse damage to the evangelical church than anyone in recent history.

Donald Trump may do less damage to the country than Hillary, but he’s done far worse damage to the evangelical church than anyone in recent history. And let’s remember, the church — not politics — is the only real hope of reforming the character of this nation and saving it from destruction. That’s why the witness of the church is simply not worth trading for a political victory.

Evangelicals who publicly supported Trump should follow the lead of conservative theologian and author Wayne Grudem. Earlier this year, Grudem argued that a voting for Donald Trump was a morally good choice. Yet, in an admirable show of humility, Grudem Sunday admitted he was wrong. “I previously called Donald Trump a ‘good candidate with flaws’ and a ‘flawed candidate’ but I now regret that I did not more strongly condemn his moral character,” Grudem wrote. “I cannot commend Trump’s moral character, and I strongly urge him to withdraw from the election.”

Unfortunately, a man with Trump’s ego will likely not step aside for the good of the country. So, we are stuck with this miserable GOP candidate whether we like it or not. The best each of us can do is prayerfully vote our conscience on November 8 and hope for the best. But, by all means, let’s not exacerbate the problem by failing to show up to the polls and allowing godless men and women to take over the House and Senate too. Yet, let’s refrain from embracing the person of Donald Trump or defending his misdeeds. Our integrity, and the reputation of the church, is simply too valuable to be sacrificed for a charlatan.    

Photo: Gage Skidmore

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55 thoughts on “Defeating Hillary is Not Worth Sacrificing Our Witness

  1. Trump may have said/done things morally bad that we dont like but can we Christians stop being too distracted (which is what our enemies want) and see the bigger picture. there are big , very big issues against Hillary that are very, very important issue to a christian , and America. If we continue to distract , let us not complain when the presidency falls into the wrong hands. Get serious please , please

  2. I don’t think anything is more serious than adhering to our principles and the witness of the church.

    • Trump has already apologized and he is remorseful.if we women want him to go all on his knees then say so. forgiveness is one of our principles and you dont want to give him that. why dont you highlight Hillary’s treatment of her rapist husband’s victims.

      • Marie

        Donald Trump is passionate and outspoken about what he believes in….but he never ever mentions the core things Christians say they are voting for him for. Ever hear him go off on abortions during his rants? No. HIS passion is rage toward a woman who was upset with him for calling her fat.
        With that rage…he tweeted for all to see, including our children…to check out a sex tape of this woman. This was before his nasty bus tape came out. No one was mention sex tapes..except Trump.
        Look at how Trump has run this campaign and you will see exactily how he would run this country.
        He falls off the rails at the least thing. He cannot be trusted.

    • Oscar

      “This just in: Donald Trump is a flawed man! We ALL sin every single day. What if we had a ‘hot mic’ around each one of us all the time?” What exactly is Brody saying? Trump’s comments are normal for professing Christians?

      Yup Julie, you hit the nail on the head!

    • Trump is pro-life and that’s enough for me, as well as his proposed Supreme Court choices. Not in any way condoning his behavior or talk. As far as I’m concerned he and Bill Clinton cancel each other out in that area, although there is a huge difference between talking and doing. And while both are wrong and inexcusable, rape is worse than groping. However, one of these two people will be president, and I don’t really care at this point if he’s Daffy Duck: abortion, Supreme Court, and closing our borders are critical issues to me. We have to overlook a ton of character garbage to make our decisions here. So we have to determine what issues are important and go with that. I am a Christian and it’s a tough choice, but the issues make it easy for me to live with mine. I stand on the side of life.

    • How are we witnesses to the Church if we allow Hillary to become president because we are bothered by something Trump said many years ago. We have all said and done things we regret. By taking votes from a republican n not helping stop Hillary’s corrupness to me is just as bad as voting for her.

    • Randie G. Ray

      The issues in this election are what is really driving the evangelicals who are voting for Trump. A misdemeanor is much less severe than a federal crime, as is talking dirty and groping is to rape. I submit that allowing a known federal offender get into office would be the real bad witness. Everyone including Trump knows what he did is wrong, but it doesn’t equal even a little bit what Clinton has done. For me, I feel the dividing line between the two candidates falls clearly on Trump’s side. I feel that if I don’t vote for Trump and help enable him to do his vision to restore effective law and order our country will be lost. If I by my inaction allow this country to be lost when it could have been saved then I have missed the boat and my witness of the Lord is lost as well. I believe the Lord still has a purpose for this country to function as originally intended. I say vote for Trump over Clinton, and plan to hold Trump’s feet to the fire on the rest. But lets help him put this country back on a better footing while doing so. I believe that is how Jesus would just this situation. (by the way. I am a 63 year old woman)

  3. Trump asking for forgiveness is irrelevant. This is about extending trust. A sex abuse victim may forgive her abuser, but it would be foolish to trust him again unless he earns that trust. Trump’s behavior in this election has been consistently demeaning towards women, handicapped and minorities. He has done nothing to earn the nation’s trust. As for Hillary, I have highlighted her treatment of her victims…
    http://julieroys.wpengine.com/why-i-dont-want-my-daughter-to-grow-up-to-be-hillary/

    • When Trump was waving his arms describing this disabled reporter, he was not moaking the guy’s disability. Proof, eh? OK – here’s proof – In the meantime, some Trump supporters have shared other examples in which Trump has shaken his hands and used an odd tone of voice to refer to other people. In one video, Trump is shown referring to one of his primary rivals, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, with flailing arms and an exaggerated voice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQQq50JWsmY In another, he uses similar, if more subdued, motions when referring to an unnamed general. See it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4604reEqk0

      Oddly-enough, PolitiFact, which proves me right – rates his claim as false, all the while proving I’m right: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/oct/20/donald-trump/donald-trump-says-hillary-clinton-wrong-say-he-moc/

      VINDICATION: Trump Mocks Army General w/Same “Spastic” Motion in the 1st video and Ted Cruz in the 2nd video — Trump is odd, but he was making fun of the people (which happens all the time in politics), not the disability (as was alleged)

    • Julie – my reply to your comment is awaiting moderation (presumably because it has some YouTube links in it which have not been vetted & reviewed) — but, in the mean time, I was trying to say that when Mr. Trump was waving his arms describing this disabled reporter, he was not mocking the guy’s disability. Trump has made the same spasmodic arm-gestures when mocking both an Army General as well as Sen. Ted Cruz – both of whom are not disabled — so, my point, here, is that his gestures, while odd to say the least, are not making fun of handicapped or disabled – just a guy speaking with his hands. :)

    • I’ve calmed down & had time to think about things — and, now, seeing your title, “Defeating Hillary is Not Worth Sacrificing Our Witness,” I would offer a counter-argument along these lines:

      “Defeating Hillary by voting Trump will **NOT** Sacrifice Our Christian Witness if it is the only way to save the nation – both corporately and spiritually.”

      (or: “Refusing to Defeat Hillary by voting Trump **WILL** Sacrifice Our Christian Witness if it be the only way to save the nation – both corporately and spiritually.”)

      What I’m saying is this: your argument presupposes that a Hillary Clinton presidency will allow the nation to survive and have a “2nd chance,” and this assumption & premise is not necessarily true (and, in fact, probably not true).

      What *if* your premise is wrong, Julie? What *if* this is the last chance?

      Kind David, for example, not only *talked* about things that were wrong (him, being human), but he also **did** commit adultery (with Bathsheba, she who was the wife of Uriah, the Hittite), but even worse, he had Uriah assassinated – in a Watergate-like cover-up of his cheating on her 2 Samuel 11:1-17 (when she became pregnant, remember? I remember this matter, just as if it were yesterday, and it still hurts thinking about it!).

      By your standards, we would have kicked David off the throne, because what he did (the wicked combination of acts, which history records, and summarised above) was worse than both Hillary and Trump – combined: Did Bill or Hillary, for example, have someone assassinated simply to cover up Bill’s many affairs? Urban legends would certainly have us believe this, but I do not think so.

      My point?

      While, arguably, one wonders how much Donald Trump has repented (versus how much is a put-on and just show), what he’s done is FAR less than what David did (even when counting just the late Uriah the Hittite – alone! [2 Samuel 23:39, 2 Samuel 11:1, the whole chapter])

      Yet, we would never think of kicking David off the throne, so how much less moral justification do we have for kicking out Donald Trump, God’s chosen tool to accomplish this job of defeating Hillary Clinton. By not voting for Trump, we put God to a test, and ask for a miracle – which God is not obligated to do. [Besides: Trump has shown MUCH improvement over the years, and has MANY supporters of those who actually know him on a day-to-day basis – including, I am sure, women, the disabled, the poor, and, of course, Blacks, such as Lynne Patton who has worked for him for years and been treated like a person, and not like a number – and not fired when she was going thru rough times & struggling with drug abuse.]

      PS: Thank you for putting up with dissenting views – you are truly a good neighbour, and a reflection of The Christ.

      Gordon in Lakeland, Fla. – between Tampa & Orlando

  4. I agree. To laugh about your mistakes is not repentance

  5. Tasha

    I’m so happy to read your post! It’s very upsetting to see our leaders supporting Trump. As an African American woman, it is truly disheartening when I see leaders turn the other cheek when it comes to his caustic and abusive speech. I’m no fan of Hillary, but his behavior should be condemned. I’m so proud that you are speaking up, like Paul did to Peter, for injustice.

  6. I’m proudly voting for Evan McMullin with a clear conscience!

  7. Julie

    Thank you!! I just read a blog post from another woman who excused Trump’s behavior for many of the reasons you quoted others excusing him for here. It just makes me want to cry. Someone I love was treated this way when she was a minor and years later, the predator is on the loose, still creating more victims because of this attitude that boys will be boys. My loved one’s predator has progressed to inviting little neighbor girls over to help him with his puppy. Thank God one of the little girls was brave enough to say no. Predators tend to progress from words to actions. Who knows what he’s done since then.

    I saw trump’s “apology”- thrusting his hands out like he was saying, “There! I apologized, are you happy now?” That was not a genuine apology, certainly not one I would accept if my daughter had been one of Trump’s targets. Julie Roys commented below that a sex abuse victim should forgive, but she shouldn’t trust her abuser. Bingo!

    We don’t have to vote for one of two incredibly immoral people. We don’t. Period.

    I feel the need to suggest to you and your readers that you take a look at Darrell Castle. http://castle2016.com/ He’s an actual Christian who I would not be ashamed to vote for. I’ve filed paperwork to be an Elector for Castle/Bradley as a write in in my state and I wish all Christians would take a look at him. There’s no need to take a second look at Trump when there are real men like Darrell Castle willing to serve and to Preserve, protect and defend the Constitution while defending the unborn and women too.

    Thank you again for taking a stand and not endorsing the lesser of two evils. Evil is still evil.

  8. All of you will have to stand before God one day voting for a woman who is for murdering the unborn….all because a prolife candidate said things that offended you….sorry babies its open season on you….all you babies past 20 weeks are fair game now to….up to your birthday.. all you babies getting murdered before than sorry no hope for you the prolife candidate that was going to appoint prolife supreme court justices….said bad things.

  9. The interesting thing about the video that has been distorted by the mainstream media is that Donald Trump wasn’t talking about his own behavior. He was talking about what it is like to be rich and famous and having women throw themselves at him. He can kiss them or grab their whatevers because they are giving themselves to him on a platter to do with them what they will. Isiah 3 has much to say about these women who want to have sex with the rich and famous because it’s a notch in their belt. It doesn’t matter if you are a bull rider, a rock star, or a politician – there are always willing women around. Nobody is talking about their sin.

    No, Donald Trump isn’t a perfect being. But he is worthy of forgiveness. I haven’t seen anything in him that leads me to believe that he won’t attempt to protect our borders, defeat ISIS, get rid of regulations that are killing our economy and rebuild our military, which are the primary job of the Federal government. If I have a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea, I’m going swimming.

    • oops – I made a copy-edit error when copying and pasting, leaving in the name of a friend, to whom I was replying – here is my corrected reply: Should Christians Vote for Trump? Trump’s behavior is odious, but Clinton has a deplorable basketful of deal breakers: if you let Hillary get in there, and our nation falls, this will be even worse of a testimony: Eric Metaxas, also a far-right Christian, like-unto you and me, speaks http://www.wsj.com/articles/should-christians-vote-for-trump-1476294992 [you may, if you like, delete my prior comment – or let it stand – it is up to you. :) ]

  10. Randie G. Ray

    I am a 63 year old woman nurse and been a lover of the Lord Jesus Christ since becoming a Jesus Freek in the 60s. I have dealt with filthy talking, groping men while administering health care to them almost on a daily basis since becoming a nurse in 1974. It is disgusting. But if I had walked out on completing administering my duty to care for them every time that happened I would have wound up walking out on half my patients and been sued by my employers for abandonment and lost my license and rightly so.
    I had to learn to forgive, be forbearing and get on with getting my job done. Most of them thought they were giving me a compliment by doing and saying what they did not meaning any harm. Very offensive yes, but let it distract me, no. We as voters, evangelical Christian voter or not, we have a job to do this election and the choice is clear in my mind. Vote for a known federal offender, or vote for a verbally offensive and sometimes touchy feely man who really doesn’t mean any harm but who has what it takes to get this nation back to being all about law and order. I will vote for the offensive one, instead of the one who is an actual offender. In our country, abstaining is a dereliction of duty and that is a much worse Christian witness than voting for a somewhat flawed candidate that can do the best job. I still stand with Trump and I want to see him empowered to do the things he has promised to do.

  11. Randie G. Ray

    What would Jesus do? Jesus told us not to strain at gnats while at the same time being willing to swallow camels. I choose not swallow any more camels. I’m voting for Trump.

  12. Paul Devine

    Donald Trump 16 years ago was “pro choice”. Now is a fearless defender of the unborn. What happened?

    He CHANGED. (Oh that we had such a fearless, strong voice for the innocent in our nation.)

    I would be careful to condemn based some shameful things whispered more than a decade ago – that have been apologised for.

    The bottom line is – based on YOUR vote – how many more innocent babies will be murdered in the generation to come?

  13. Linda

    Julie, First of all I want to say that I have had great respect for you in the past but this time I am disappointed; not for disagreeing with me about Trump, but for your harsh language toward others who disagree with you. While I was upset that Donald Trump was running for the Republican nomination for the presidency and even more so when he won that nomination it is now necessary to look at this from a realistic perspective concerning the direction of our country and not get sidetracked. Character is important and you are correct that neither candidate is a person of upstanding character, but you seem to have taken the bait and over-emphasized Trump’s sins without giving the same attention to Clinton’s sins.
    One of these 2: Clinton or Trump will be our next president . There is no other option. So we really have to compare them to each other. The biggest concern is what would become of our nation under each of them as president? I have big disagreements with some of Trump’s perspective and in some ways, his character. A Trump presidency would be far less than ideal, but these issues do not compare with the mountain of evil character and deeds that belong to Clinton, her followers, advisers, and the lords over her who would all be a part of her administration. She has already sold out to foreign enemies; ie. George Soros and a whole army of Muslim nations. (aside from being careless with our government secrets) Should she become president we would lose our free, sovereign nation. The flood gates would be wide open for not only illegals from the south but for Muslim Jihadists to move in as they have promised and make us the Islamic State of America. Where would our witness be if we are all dead? As David said “Who can praise you from the grave?” Ps 6.5b
    If you are going to attack Trump’s character and accuse him of sexual assault, which is unsubstantiated, you need to also jump in on the accusations against Clinton. For starters: protecting and enabling her husband’s sins as well as threatening his victims, her rape of an underage girl, other homosexual relationships including with Yoko Ono as she claims, participation in witchery and the Illuminati, visits to “sex island”, and how about the long list of those who had associations of one kind or another with the Clintons who all came to an untimely death? Why has none of this been paraded through the news media let alone investigated with any vigor?
    In this election I will vote for:
    The man who says he will protect Christians, who is the first person to ever say he is going to repeal the Johnson amendment, and has said what our country needs is God,
    Not the woman who says Christians need to change their beliefs and is beholden to a lot of Muslims.
    The man who realizes the threat to our country from Islamist Extremists,
    Not the woman who is in bed with them.
    The man who without pomp has helped many needy people,
    Not the woman who set up a supposed foundation which is really a front for her crooked personal gain.
    The man who has respectfully employed women and people of many ethnicities,
    Not the woman who has threatened women whom her husband has allegedly molested, and also lies to minorities to get their vote while speaking hatefully about them behind their backs.
    The man who loves this country enough to invest millions of dollars to save it,
    Not the woman, who for her own personal gain, is selling us to those who wish to destroy us.
    The man who would appoint justices who would uphold our Constitution,
    Not the woman who can’t even mention the Constitution but instead would appoint justices who would cater to people’s interests.
    Even the man who recklessly speaks before thinking (at least he is honest),
    Not the woman who is a pathological liar,
    And the man who has become a pro-life defender of the unborn baby,
    Not the woman who supports the baby death mill, Planned Parenthood; and a “woman’s right to choose”. Why should women have the right to choose to murder a baby?
    Yes, character does matter! As does the future of Americans and Christianity and our right to worship God with our whole life. George Washington is not running for the presidency of the United States of American this time. So, for the sake of the unborn, “the Truth”, the legal right to worship God and spread the Gospel, our Constitution, our free nation and really the safety of the world I will vote for Donald Trump and pray like crazy for him to humble himself (as we all need to do), run after Christ and become the leader we need. Though that is not the testimony a lot of Pharisees will appreciate I think it is a testimony that could please God.

  14. John W Reed

    Excellent article. You tapped into one of the major veins we have forgotten. The far left ridiculed the idea that character counted when it comes to leadership during the eight years Bill Clinton was in office. They even made a movie about a presidential candidate that was so obviously based on BC it was silly, but the main point was my character may be flawed but I’m still the best leader for the nation. Yet, we did dismiss character in this election cycle. This is not good for future reference when we face another democrat candidate in a general election for senate or Governor etc.
    I still supported Trump because I voted against Hillary. I agree with Trump’s policies with border security and economic freedom. So I saw him as the best candidate.

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