By Shane Idleman
Christian Action League
August 19, 2020
If you can believe this, a group of Christian Republicans is warning other Christians and Republicans not to vote for President Trump in the 2020 election. An ad entitled “Trump is Using Us” was released recently on the “Republican Voters Against Trump” YouTube channel.
Like many, I’m perplexed by the divide in the Christian community over President Trump – but I’m not surprised. The media is fueling lies, and the world is listening. And many of those coming against our President is what’s commonly referred to as liberal Christians. They love to quote Scripture out of context when it supports their narrative. It makes me wonder what is truly leading them: worldly mandates or biblical principles. They rail against supporters with words such as “How can you follow Jesus and Donald Trump?”
Trump is not using us, if anything, we are using him (and I mean that in the right way). We are not following a man: he is shaping a movement. A better question to be asking, though, is, “What direction is the country heading?” If a leader lacks Christian character but is pointing the nation back to God, is that a bad thing? If they are minimizing murdering babies and maximizing godly values, is that a bad thing? If they are being a terror to terrorists and making America secure, is that a bad thing? If they are honoring hard work and minimizing free handouts, is that a bad thing? If they respect law enforcement and punish disobedience, is that a bad thing? God doesn’t judge a nation based on the character of one man; He judges it based on the spiritual health of her people. Never forget that.
I’m equally alarmed at the many progressives and liberals who use his past against him. Thank God that God doesn’t hold our past against many of us. They also look to the secular news media for information. But the majority of news outlets spin everything (yes, everything) to put President Trump in a bad light. Their hatred for him trumps the truth. Their agenda is simple and clear: remove him from office at any cost! In actuality, the media is using many so-called “Christians” to fuel the flames. And I hope you realize this: they are really coming after you, me, and our Christian values. If the truth be told, the headlines mentioned earlier should read: “The Media is Using Us Rather Than Trump is Using Us.”
Most critics don’t care what the facts are. Their hatred for the President overshadows their desperate need for humility. Let this sink in: innocent children are being protected, godly counsel is surrounding President Trump, terror is being restrained, good judges are being selected, socialism is being resisted, families are being encouraged via employment (black employment is at an all-time high), prayer is being brought back in schools, God’s wisdom is being sought, and on and on it goes. So again, we are not following a man; we are revitalizing a movement – a movement back to God. I’m more concerned with our nation’s national character than I am with the President’s personal character.
An analogy that I often use will bring this point home. The head of a neighborhood watch program, who took the late-night watches, had previously had an extramarital affair. He was occasionally gruff and impulsive, and sometimes his words were crass and offensive, but he watched over the neighborhood diligently each night. Each week, he invited church leaders into his home to pray for him and his family and to seek their advice. He often stood against others on the committee who wanted to enact policies harmful to the neighborhood and to the children, such as advocating an open-door policy where residents were required to allow anyone into their homes at all hours of the day for handouts.
Is this not the kind of person you would want leading your neighborhood watch? Does his past or his demeanor matter more than the results he is accomplishing? If you are intellectually honest, the answer is not difficult. In the same way, the answer is simple for America. Again, we are not voting for people based on how godly they are; we are voting for the future direction of America: the right to life, the elevation of God’s Word back to its proper place, the appointment of conservative judges, securing America and her borders, creating jobs, and improving the quality of life for all Americans.
Granted, he is not perfect. We can simply look in the mirror to validate this truth, but is he improving, learning, and growing? Is he looking out for the American people, according to Romans 13? Be careful: much of what we hear about Trump is actually designed to mislead us. He had an incredible team around him, offering spiritual advice daily. Can you imagine having people like Jack Graham, Jim Garlow, James Robison, Jack Hibbs, and countless others speaking into your life or the life of our President? We should be extremely thankful. I find it ironic that many of the never-Trumpers fail to take this into consideration. We should be shouting with joy rather than having sour looks on our faces.
As I’ve said numerous times from the pulpit and with the pen: We must remember that President Trump is growing and maturing as a leader. God often uses broken and flawed leaders.
Based on their reasoning, my past just a few decades ago would disqualify me from becoming a pastor! And struggling with dyslexia and reading disabilities and having graduated high school with a 1.8 GPA, I should not be writing op-eds on the national level or speaking to tens of thousands on the radio and other media outlets. My critics will laugh at me, but many others will be encouraged (i.e., if God can use Shane Idleman, He can use me too, if I repent and turn to Him). I am flawed, broken, and utterly dependent on God, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. My strength comes from my weakness (2 Cor. 12:9-11).
To reiterate, we are not supporting President Trump’s past lifestyle; we are supporting a movement back to God. God will use unlikely candidates to accomplish His purposes. We can’t have our cake and eat it too – there is no middle ground for Christians today. You can choose a President who will destroy the America we know and lead us down the primrose path of socialism – or worse. Or you can choose to back President Trump. There is no Plan B.
This op-ed was posted with permission from the author.
Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship, in Lancaster, Ca. and now Leona Valley, Ca. He also began the Westside Christian Radio Network – WCFRadio.org – in 2019. His sermons, books, articles, and radio program have sparked change in the lives of many. For more, visit WCFAV.org.