When US author and speaker, Eric Metaxas, recently shared a post that compared Donald Trump’s guilty verdict to Christ’s, Christians around the world were rightly horrified. It is not OK, says Dr Krish Kandiah


Source: X / Eric Metaxas

I am profoundly disturbed by the way that some Christian leaders in America are drawing an equivalence between the unjust trial of Jesus Christ in the first century, and former president Donald Trump’s criminal conviction, in a bid to rally the evangelical vote at the upcoming US election.

Last week, President Trump was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records through covering up hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels, with whom he had an adulterous relationship (something Trump continues to deny). 

To make any kind of comparison between Trump and Jesus is serious, if not blasphemous

But his felony conviction does not seem to be deterring his supporters, which include large numbers of American evangelical Christians. In fact, in some cases, it seems to be doing exactly the opposite.


Christian speaker, author and radio host, Eric Metaxas, shared (and subsequently deleted) this incendiary post from pro-life campaigner, Frank Pavone, on social media: 


It is a jarring picture for Christians around the world. The former has a reputation for grabbing desperately at power, sex and money, while the latter preached against all of that, living a life of selfless compassion, feeding the hungry, healing the sick and welcoming strangers.

Unlike Trump, Jesus stayed silent during his trial and accepted his sentence with grace. Through his death and resurrection, he not only proved his own innocence, but offered forgiveness, eternal hope and peace to all. To make any kind of comparison between Trump and Jesus is serious, if not blasphemous.

Mainstream views

I wish I could dismiss Metaxas as a distant far-right radical, but he is not. He is part of the American evangelical mainstream. He is theologically informed. He has authored best-selling biographies on Martin Luther, William Wilberforce and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

He has won the Evangelical Christian Press Book of the Year award (to which Tim Keller wrote the foreword) and has hosted Christian intellectual luminaries such as Alister McGrath and NT Wright on his podcast. He has also expressed unequivocal support for Donald Trump over the years, writing two children’s books featuring Trump as the hero.

However, his social media endorsements are becoming increasingly controversial. In a recent post on X he wrote: “If you’re a ‘Christian’ who is not standing boldly with Trump – after all we have now seen - you are aiding and abetting genuine fascism in our country. Please make a note of it.”

And, after Trump’s conviction:

Metaxas’ unwavering support of Donald Trump is difficult to accept, even on his own terms. In his book No Pressure, Mr President! (Thomas Nelson) Metaxas expressed outrage that former president, Bill Clinton, dared to turn up for the national prayer breakfast two weeks after the scandal of his affair with Monica Lewinsky had broken “like a rotten egg all over the culture”. Metaxas has, to my knowledge, expressed no such critique of the sordid details that have emerged of Trump’s alleged affair with Stormy Daniels.

Metaxas is not the only pro-Trump Christian leader that has surprised me. Dr Al Mohler is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is published in the UK by Banner of Truth, best known for publishing well known Puritans such as John Owen and Jonathan Edwards.

In response to Trump’s conviction he wrote a piece for The World in which he said: “President Biden is a half-lucid geriatric who is now little more than a tool of the radical left. To vote for Biden is to authorise continued incompetence and moral liberalism, now set to push a set of progressivist ideological goals over the finish line.

“Say what you will about Donald Trump and his sex scandals, he doesn’t confuse male and female”, he continued.

Statements such as this offer an insight into why mainstream Christian leaders are prepared to risk their international reputation (at least) on X. Whatever Trump has done, the alternative seems - to them - to be much worse.

A dangerous distraction

Some Christians view the Democrats as embodying an existential threat to their Christian values. They scare them, just as they scare those who have bought into Q Anon conspiracy theories about secret paedophile rings operating in Washington DC, trafficking children for sex and blood. Perhaps when you have developed such an intense fear of those in power, it is natural to grasp for a saviour figure.

But from this side of the pond, it seems the saviour on offer could be rather like a cat burglar who brings beefsteak to distract the guard dogs while he robs the house. By throwing the evangelicals the red meat issues of pro-gun, pro-gender norms and an anti-abortion rhetoric, is Trump just keeping them preoccupied while pursuing another course entirely?

It is a jarring picture for Christians around the world

I sincerely hope that it is preoccupation or fear driving my sisters and brothers in the US to be so strident in their electioneering - because the alternative, as I see it, could be worse.

If they are deliberately providing theological support for everything from adultery, criminal convictions, racist and sexist remarks, lewd behaviour and more, because they see Trump as the best route to cultural influence, this would be in stark contradiction to the one we worship; the one who went to great lengths to demonstrate truth over power, peace over conflict and compassion over coercion.