I’ve been wondering about this question for some time. How could Christians possibly support a man like that? What would even draw them to him? What prevents them from being driven away?
I suppose there are a number of bad reasons, but as I was wondering about it today, I had a disturbing thought. If it’s really true that something like 29% of evangelicals support Donald Trump, could this be because he reminds many of them of their pastors? I don’t mean their pastors are involved in open, high-handed sin of the same kind as Trump is. But could it be that within many of the local churches attended by these 29% of evangelicals, the pastor is authoritarian, domineering, dismissive of criticism, and intolerant of opposition? Could it be that each of these pastors claims not only the sole right to rule the church but also the sole voice in interpreting scripture and proclaiming (or deciding) what God says? Could it be that the members of those churches have grown accustomed to following a Great Man who exalts himself, belittles others, and promises that he alone can lead them to the promised land? Could it be they’ve grown so accustomed to dismissing any information derogatory to “the man of God” that now they’ve carried that over to Donald Trump and simply dismiss the accounts of Trump’s scandalous behavior?
Well, as I said, it was a disturbing thought. It’s certainly comforting to reflect that the great majority of evangelicals are not following Trump. Also, in fairness, we should note that some of those 29% who are following him might well be doing so despite the servant-leadership of faithful elders. Sometimes people just don’t get the things you try to teach them (Remember our Lord’s words to his disciple: “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?”).
I certainly hope those 29% have good churches with good spiritual leaders and that as they continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, they will also increase in wisdom about such things as elections. For the sake of our country, I hope they will very soon recognize the need to choose a man of good moral character for president. It would be deeply disturbing to see a man like Donald Trump come any closer to the presidency. It would be even more disturbing to think that some portion of his support came from Christians whose local shepherds had shown them a bad example of leadership.