Defeating Hillary is Not Worth Sacrificing Our Witness

By Julie Roys

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 The Hyde Amendment would be repealed; religious groups would be forced to endorse gay marriage — or else; the Supreme Court would be handed to a liberal majority for an entire generation; our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. I believe that we can vote and yes, even promote Donald Trump for President without excusing “his sins.” None of us are perfect and none of us our irredeemable – even HRC! I pray for her salvation. But back to the context of this election, as evangelical Christians, I believe we can vote/promote a man who says that his heart and mind has changed and evolved over the years, i.e. he has grown up. AND, I believe that between HRC and DT, Donald Trump is the one that has a moldable heart. I believe that he is a man that God can still reach, change and use to His Glory. My Christian consciensce would never allow me to vote for HRC and by not voting or voting for anyone other that Trump, I am helping to put her in office. I cannot stick my head in the sand. I do not excuse these things DT said. He has apologized. I have accepted that apology. Let’s move on!

    1. He made those taped comments when he was 60 years old. He’s now 70. How much time does he need before he changes? Does the phrase “Set in his ways” mean anything to you? People don’t change once they’re 70 years old…

      1. You are so wrong Jordan. People can change at any age and do. His comments were made in a private conversation. Most of the men I know, and I am a Christian, have talked this way in private conversations. If you are a,Christian you know God is a forgiving God and age has NOTHING to do with it.

      2. He became a Christian recently. Oh, sorry. I guess you’ve always been perfect even before accepting Christ as your savior.

  2. I agree with lservies. We can condemn Trump’s sinful comments while at the same time recognizing his positive qualities as well.

    Even with his many flaws, however, Trump is still not nearly as bad as Romney, who was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, or McCain.

    And George W. Bush was the biggest wolf in sheep’s clothing of all. There is so much evidence out there tying him to 9/11 that it’s shocking. Bush is a monster.

    So, yes, Donald Trump is a deeply flawed candidate. Anyway, in this election, we should all vote our conscience. And voting for a third-party candidate is NOT throwing your vote away. That is just an irresponsible thing to say. Who you vote for is between you and God. Now, if you feel it’s wrong to vote third-party, that’s fine, but don’t condemn others who don’t feel the same way.

    Above all, let’s pray continually about the election. God knows how to work things out for His purposes.

  3. I agree. What I don’t understand are my brothers and sisters in Christ who say that if we don’t vote for Trump it is a vote for Hillary. No…it is not. Is God’s position on His throne depending on my vote in the American election? No, it is not. He is faithful! That doesn’t mean America will be economically or even morally strong…but He is faithful…and I am His!…no matter what happens in America! I will vote and I will pray. It is an important responsibility! But I will not align myself with Donald Trump and I make that decision based on what I saw in him from the past and what I saw from him last night. God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven!

  4. Agreed, Lisa! And I also agree that there are no good choices. But in my view, the best choice is Gary Johnson, and I’m disappointed that he is summarily dismissed as a “wasted vote” (I could say the same about anyone who votes for the second place candidate in any state). Although I don’t agree with a good number of his positions, if everyone who does not want to vote for Clinton or Trump would vote for Johnson (50% or more by nearly every poll), Johnson would actually win. It could be enough to keep Congress in the hands of Republicans, which is crucial! He’d not have an actual party behind him, so he’d need to work with the Republicans who would actually move our country forward (reduce the debt, reduce our propping up of evil regimes, keep the Justice Department from dictating what religious convictions a person is allowed to have, etc.). After four years to see how it works out, we’d be in a better position in the nest Presidential election.

  5. I believe both candidates are unacceptable and will vote accordingly. I’m not in any party that can come up with a robber baron and nurse jackie as candidates. Paul Ryan is I believe the best option for conservatives, so i will vote for him and see if he can put the pieces back together in 4 or 8 years. Until then serve locally in areas you can have an impact.

  6. I think that Ezra Taft Benson, past President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, said it best:

    “If you vote for the lesser of two evils, you are still voting for evil and you will be judged for it. You should always vote for the best possible candidate, whether they have a chance of winning or not. Then, even if the worst possible candidate wins, the Lord will bless our country more because more people were willing to stand up for what is right.”

    A sincere Thank You in advance for standing up for what is right.

  7. I disagree with you on other issues and let you know, however, on this I agree and want to let you know. Thank you for writing this.

  8. Romans 9:18 “Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.”
    Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton are not gods. I do not look to them for my direction. The Bible has many examples of wicked rulers who are used by God to accomplish his work. His plan is unseen to us and we must pray for discernment NOT get caught up in the rhetoric of our sin nature. Pray and pray again. Imagine the rejoicing in heaven if one or both of these candidates meets aTrue Christian sharing the message of the gospel with Jesus love flowing from their heart. Never doubt the power of the enemy to divide the people of The Lord.

  9. I think the key is to understand that it’s politics, not an official endorsement of his sin. He’s apologized, he seems sincerely repentant and embarrassed enough not to go back to that mode of operation. And lastly the fate of our country is important enough that we should find a way to accept that he is indeed (was?) this type of sinner, but still is the better option of the 2 we have available. We are voting to save the country, not to validate Trump’s lifestyle.

  10. We as Christian’s have been forgiven of our sins by God so what is the deal with judging Donald Trump for his past or even present sins?
    It amazes me the hypocrisy I am seeing from brothers and sisters in Christ! Almighty God, our Father in Heaven, the creator of Heaven and Earth and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ gave his Only Son that we could ask forgivemenss for our sins, repent and be saved from judgement of our sins. I do not condone what he said but it certainly is not unforgivable. Mr. Trump is a new brother in Christ and deserves the same grace God has given us.

  11. I agree both candidates are deeply flawed and immoral. We are in a dilemma for sure. However, we’re told in Scripture that God sets up one leader and sets down another. Maybe both candidates are part of a judgment on our nation…only God knows. Yet, God is sovereign, and for whatever reasons known only to him, he has either set up these two candidates or at least allowed them to rise to the top of their parties. If we can agree that one of the two will be the next president, barring a Trump resignation before election, then don’t we have to say that it is God’s will that one of these two candidates is God’s choice? We have to remember that God set up many, many bad and immoral kings in Israel and Judah. We would not have voted for most of them, if we could have voted, yet it was God’s will that those wicked kings rose to their respective positions because he could have prevented that. There is great mystery here for sure.

    Therefore, it seems to me that I have a 50-50 chance of voting in sync with God’s will (assuming one of the two will be president). I don’t know which one his will is, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that it is one of them. I am aware I’m making an assumption here, but I think it is a pretty sure assumption given the situation right now. So, I choose between two immoral candidates. I don’t make apologies for their words, thoughts, character, nor actions. Only God knows which one is best for our country to execute his plans, again, it might be a judgment, but I think Trump will be better for our country than Hillary. It does seem like a choice between the lesser of two evils and that bothers me considerably. The candidates I had hoped would beat Trump in the primaries were solid Christian men, to the best of my knowledge…yet they lost. If I choose not to vote, then I’m still out of sync with what God is doing…I just don’t know which of the two he will allow to rise to the top. That’s my thoughts for now…

  12. Your reasons behind why Clinton’s presidency will be catastrophic for America is sinful and full of prejudice. America belongs to no one. Btw, there was no morality in the candidates four years ago either.

    1. ,,,but American evangelicals choose to support one sin over another. Hypocrisy at its finest. And could Donald Trump be saying out loud all the sentiments that reside in one’s heart, like some of the evangelists you mention in the article. In the last days, Jesus will tell some “I do not know you”.

  13. There is more coming out, already out, about Trump. Much More. He is not just a locker room talker. Please do a couple of searches for the rest of his “character” “flaws”. I do not know how any professed Christian could justify voting for this guy, even just based on his talk. After spending a little time looking more closely – wow.
    Dire predictions about a Hillary presidency are very much overstated. Lets remember our basic CIVICS 101. Congress puts a big leash on presidents. It is what separation of powers is all about.
    Courage and Faith are needed now. The Courage and Faith to finally repudiate both major political parties and to not “waste your vote” by endorsing them. This myth of “wasting” your vote if you do not endorse one of the two moguls is a huge part of the milestone around this nation’s neck.
    I will vote and I intend to vote for ALL third party people or none at all. Christians and everyone need to finally put their votes where their beliefs are and not succumb to the fear and temptation of “wasting” their vote.

  14. There’s a recent article in “Charisma” in which one pastor, Jim Garlow, presents 18 reasons that Trump is far preferable to Clinton. Here are two compelling ones:

    “5. Trump is slowly being surrounded by increasingly good people. From time to time, I receive encouraging calls regarding this. Can these good people impact Trump? We will see. In contrast, I see no reason for any encouragement regarding the people who surround Hillary.

    6. Trump is right on approximately 75 percent of the issues. I wish it was 100 percent. It is not. I am in hopes that those beginning to surround him can help him connect the dots on more issues. Hillary is wrong on 100 percent of the issues.”

    I encourage everyone to read the entire article. Just do a Web search with one of the quotes above, and you’ll probably find it easily.

  15. Oh, there’s another recent “Charisma” article that I encourage everyone to check out as well: “Why I Believe Trump Is the Prophesied President” by Lance Wallnau.

    Anyway, the most important thing we can do concerning this election is to pray–every day, if possible. God isn’t stupid, and He knows how to work everything out.

  16. Julie’s point is basically; don’t try and excuse his behavior as being minor or irrelevant. If someone’s doing that they are wrong (IMHO). As a father of two daughters, I wouldn’t want him ever left alone with my girls.

    I also think that Julie made the point that not voting for Trump (a flawed man but the best candidate for conservatives & Christians of our) would accelerate the formal moral slide we’ve seen via the Supreme Court.

    I truly believe that a flawed man like Trump can be used by God to put 2-3 Supreme Court justices in place so Roe vs Wade is overturned in my lifetime. How would God feel about 1.2mm unborn children’s lived spared annually? He’d celebrate that.

    God used many flawed men & women through time for His will.

  17. What I have been reading on this topic across several locations seems to suggest: A. Trump’s apology counts for little or nothing; I guess in his case forgiveness is not an option for evangelical women B. We have had better choices in the past (Romney, who was not a Christian and an unlikely conservative; McCain, whose past sexual exploits were never raised as an issue) C. Trump’s talk, crude and offensive as it was, is as bad as Bill Clinton’s actions and his wife’s personal efforts to demean and dismiss his accusers. I suppose I could be labeled insensitive (perhaps necessitating a trigger warning) for wondering whether forgiveness is even a part of this discussion. I am less concerned with the future of evangelicalism (it is in dire straits, totally apart from this election) than I am dismayed at the tendency to mimic the thinking and mindset of the pagan culture around us.

  18. You guys had the chance to vote for more Christ-like people in the primaries, but this is the man you wanted. So please you all need with the both bad choices statements I have all over the comment section. Seems to me you got what you wanted

  19. There’s a great (but controversial) article at Charisma News that makes a compelling case that Trump, even with all his baggage, may be the prophesied President. Here’s a powerful excerpt:

    This is the proposition I give to Christians who are dispirited by the failure of their favorite candidate to capture the nomination: Don’t ask, “Who is the most Christian?” Instead ask, “Who is the one anointed for the task?”

    “Common grace” tells us that God acts in history to raise up leaders from unlikely places for the sake of His purposes and His people.

  20. I do not like either candidate either, however in your article you slammed a number of evangelicals by name simply because of statements they made. Why slam anyone? Keep your opinions to yourself. Let God judge what these Christian leaders said, he is the only one who knows their hearts behind what they said.

  21. To vote for Donald Trump is to be identified with him, who he is, what he has stood for (for the 70 years he has been on planet Earth), and what he stands for. I am not so blinded by my dislike for HIllary Clinton that I am under the illusion that Trump is morally a better candidate. Unfortunately, many people are blinded by their dislike of HIllary; so much so that they delude themselves into projecting their longing for a righteous leader onto whoever opposes her. This is very sad and dangerous.

  22. The problem is expecting non-Christians to act as Christians. How can we expect either of the candidates to behave morally if they don’t have the moral compass of Christ in their life? What Trump said was disgusting, and I believe what the Bible teaches, that out of the mouth comes the intent of the heart. What Hillary has done is disgusting, and her ideas for how she will lead this country are dangerous for our country. Let’s face it, our Country is in the condition we are in and we have the candidates we have because we as Christians have failed. Every time a difficult issue has come up — prayer in school, divorce, abortion, gay rights, etc., we have basically laid down and let the minority opinion people have their way. We are now reaping what we have sowed over the past several decades. So, let’s quit complaining and ask God for wisdom on what to do. If you believe the Lord is leading you to vote for Trump, hold your nose at the booth and vote for him. If you believe God would rather you vote for Hillary, hold your nose at the voting booth and vote for her. Then, follow that vote up with prayer. Pray for their salvation! Pray for discernment as they lead. And follow the prayers with action. We need to witness for Christ and get off our backsides if we want to see change. We need to quit whining about it. God is the only One that can bring about effective change, and we need to get down on our knees and pray for it, and follow it up by getting involved.

  23. at 66 yrs old I have given up on church and so called Christians I will not give up on my faith in Christ evangelicals are far right wing hate group with nothing to do with God

  24. Ron wrote:

    “If you believe God would rather you vote for Hillary, hold your nose at the voting booth and vote for her.”

    Sorry, but I cannot believe that God would “lead” anyone to vote for Hillary. The reasons should be obvious. Kathleen Willey has called her the “most corrupt politician in America.” She is the epitome of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And in the article I mentioned yesterday, the pastor said that Trump is right on about 75% of the issues, while Clinton is wrong on 100% of them. There are many valid choices for a Christian in this election, but Clinton is not one of them.

    I do agree with a lot of your other points, however.

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