Never in my lifetime have I seen anything like what is going on at the moment in the US presidential campaign. Many Americans are fed up with what is going on in Washington. Many high-profile Christian leaders have come out publicly for multi-billionaire Donald Trump. They see the other candidates as perpetuating 'business as usual'.
He has been endorsed by all sorts of church leaders: staunch non-charismatic evangelicals as well as high-profile charismatics. Pastor Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, has endorsed Trump. Jerry Falwell Jr, president of Liberty University (America’s largest Christian university with 95,000 students) has also endorsed Trump, as has Rodney Howard-Browne, known by some as the father of the ‘Toronto Blessing’.
The latest to jump on the Trump bandwagon is Beni Johnson, wife of Bill Johnson, who jointly pastors Bethel Church in Redding, California. Her Facebook post commending Trump was subsequently deleted after provoking strong reactions, but her reasons pretty much summed up why many Christians have come out for Trump:
1. Trump is not an ordinary politician
2. He is not dependent upon donors – he won’t be in anybody’s pocket
3. He doesn't have much of a filter (‘bravo,’ says Beni), we see the real man as he doesn't run his statements past 20 handlers or 10 advisors, and maybe a bully in Washington is just what the doctor ordered
4. He speaks for the little people
5. He has a stellar family: his wife and kids are happy to help and a blended modern family could be the first family
6. He seems to lead a straight arrow life; he is known for treating his workers well
7. His policies are spot on, ‘everybody’ agrees with them. She adds other things, including Trump’s love for the military and that he is anti-abortion.
Therefore, it seems it is not Trump’s religious views that have enthralled them. It comes down to his forceful personality and political views.
Billy Graham vowed for years never to takes sides in presidential politics. I think that was right.
I would not criticise my friends for getting publicly involved in politics if they believe, as some of them apparently do, that they are being led by the Lord to do so. I don’t question their motives. As for me, I only know that I am called to be a soul-winner not a politician; however tempting it is to get publicly involved.
I agree with Franklin Graham: neither party will solve America’s problems. But we can certainly pray. I have prayed for President Obama every single day since he became our president. I have also prayed many times for Donald Trump and others.
These things said, I have no idea what God thinks. I’m also unsure what he thinks about the way we church leaders often invoke his name when it comes to political causes. I love America, but I love God more. Whatever Beni Johnson, Jerry Falwell or the many evangelicals who also oppose Trump have to say, we can only pray and trust that God’s purposes will ultimately be served in this nation.