Tuesday, March 10, 2020

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Christian writer issues blistering rebuke to evangelicals who support Trump while ignoring his 'immorality'

Evangelicals have replaced attempting to be 'Christ-like'  for the power that Donald Trump gives them. Christian writer John Fea says because of this, they have lost all moral authority.

Christian writer John Fea just posted a basic rebuke to evangelicals who have supported Trump in spite of his many faults, hypocritical attitude and general incompetence. I doubt folks like Robert Jeffress, Jerry Falwell, Jr, or Paula White will listen. But those of us who've been collecting the "receipts" on how these folks have gotten carried away with power are definitely listening. And taking more notes. 

Part of what Fea wrote reads as follow::

I recently had a long conversation with a Trump supporter and fellow evangelical. We had a lot of differences, but we also found some common ground. We agreed that evangelical leaders who support Donald Trump have failed to rebuke the president’s immorality.  . . .  
When Trump engages in these activities, many of his most ardent evangelical followers —Franklin Graham, Robert Jeffress, Paula White, Eric Metaxas, Jerry Falwell Jr., James Dobson, and Ralph Reed, to name a few — look the other way. They are unable to speak truth to power because Donald Trump and his Republican Party hold them captive. I recently challenged the bipartisan readers of my blog, The Way of Improvement Leads Home, to find five examples of a pro-Trump evangelical leader making a strong public condemnation of the president’s tweets, speeches, behavior, or policies. So far, I have not received any responses. 
 . . . The United States is not a Christian nation. Nor was it founded as such. The Founding Fathers argued over politics and policy just like we do, but they were united in the belief that republics fail without virtue. They believed people must always exercise what they called “political jealousy.” A jealous citizen kept a principled watch on government leaders to guard against vice and corruption. Political jealousy served as a unifying force, a common ideology of resistance to tyranny grounded in a shared morality. By keeping our heads in the sand as Trump proves he is incapable of living according to the most basic standards of decency, evangelicals neglect to do their part in sustaining our republic. 
We have failed to be good citizens. We have become complicit in the president’s nativism, racism, xenophobia, narcissism, and fearmongering. Sadly, Trump-supporting evangelicals have now lost much of their moral authority to speak out on matters related to government corruption, pornography, sex and violence in movies and television shows, racial reconciliation, school bullying, and the decline in civil discourse. 
 . . . The political problems in our community run deeper than just our failure to speak with a prophetic voice. Donald Trump will be gone one day. But the political playbook that evangelicals follow will not go away unless we decide to burn it and start over. There is a very good chance that this playbook will lead evangelicals into the arms of another immoral tyrant who promises conservative Supreme Court justices and offers platitudes about religious liberty. 
We need a new political playbook. We need to replace our lust for political power with heavy doses of humility. We must forge a new kind of politics defined, at its very core, by human dignity. It is imperative that we teach our children and grandchildren a way of engaging the world that offers it a glimpse of a coming kingdom defined by love, justice, mercy, and compassion. We need to offer hope, not fear.