Should Christians Denounce Trump?

December 15, 2015

by Dr. Randy White

**This article was previously posted by Dr. Randy White HERE and is used by permission.

Donald Trump has said that if he were president he would initiate a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslim travel into the United States, “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.(1)” Southern Baptist behavior-guru Russell Moore responded that, “Anyone who cares an iota about religious liberty should denounce this reckless, demagogic rhetoric.” (2)

I care about religious liberty, and I am not a Trump supporter, but I am also not going to denounce the remarks as reckless and demagogic. Here’s why:

First, we have three branches of government. If such a ban ever actually took place, it would only be with the support of the Congress and the courts. In such a case, there would likely be overwhelming circumstances to merit such drastic action.

Second, such action would not be entirely unprecedented. The United States has always banned those from enemy states from travel to and from the USA. Russians could not come during the Cold War. Cubans could not come until this year. Iranians could not come during the hostage crisis (which should have ended in weeks, not 444 days). Japanese could not come during WWII, and if they were already here they were put into internment camps, even though the majority of them were US citizens. In that same war, there was a “religion test” that barred the entry of Jews into our land, under the guise that there might be a Nazi spy.

Today, the threat to national security goes far beyond enemy states to an enemy religion which is trying to become a single state (and has already created a pseudo-Islamic state). A citizenship test is becoming more and more useless in the effort to keep terrorists out.

But the debate in Christian circles, especially Baptist circles, has to do with religious liberty. Even though I am a staunch believer in religious liberty, and I would fight for and die for the protection of the First Amendment, I still would have to say that it is not government’s Biblical role to provide religious liberty. In fact, you will search the Scriptures in vain to find any support for the government’s role in religious liberty. Such liberties and their protection are something a civilized society would want to maintain, not necessarily a God-given right nor a governmental responsibility, although the protection of such liberties is consistent with the Biblical truth regarding the importance of each individual soul and conscience.

Government does have a responsibility to keep its citizens alive, however. Perceived threats to the security of our citizens should be investigated and addressed quickly and  strenuously. Only then can the society build a free community for people of all religious persuasions.

The truth is that there is an easy and obvious profile of a terrorist, one that a fourth grader can figure out. The profile involves a religion. Virtually all terrorism is from Muslims. If Baptists are going to cry a religious liberty foul every time a Muslim is profiled, questioned and maybe even forbidden entry, then there will just be more dead Baptists. This seems a strange way to honor religious liberty.

Will I denounce Trump because he might prohibit Muslim entrance into US borders? No. Our Constitution does not guarantee any rights to non-citizens, for one. It also does not guarantee any travel rights, even for its citizens. If the government tries to prohibit my freedom of religion or speech, I will resist using every legitimate and available means. I would – staunchly defend any citizen who was trying to conduct worship that did not harm people or property. But I will not allow anyone—Baptist, Jew or Muslim—to hide behind the “worship cloak” to find freedoms to kill my neighbors and terrorize my country.

I believe that only strength of rhetoric along with swift and unmistakable action is going to keep us safe from the expansionist Muslim campaign that has already taken over most of the Middle East, much of Europe, the majority of north Africa and huge portions of Asia, and is making inroads into Canada, South America and the USA. The “bleeding heart” liberalism of most of the church will only lead to literal blood in our streets.

In short, I have plenty of reasons why I am not a Trump advocate, but this is not one of them.

(1)  <http://www.wsj.com/articles/donald-trump-calls-for-ban-on-muslim-entry-into-u-s-1449526104>; Internet; accessed 9 Dec. 2015.
(2)  <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/12/07/russell-moore-people-who-care-an-iota-about-religious-liberty-should-denounce-donald-trump/>; Internet; accessed 9 Dec. 2015.

Leave a Comment:

All fields with “*” are required

 characters available

Jim P

Jesus said something very relevant to the problem of confusing God’s work and Gov’t’s work:

“Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give to God what belongs to God.”

The world is worse off if the Church can’t distinguish between the two.

Bill Mac

You make some good points. I will denounce Trump for the plan, but not because of religious freedom (although I don’t think he cares about that) but because the idea is idiotic. The only Muslims kept out by this plan are the honest ones. Terrorists will simply lie. In addition, he has ridiculous exceptions (like Muslim athletes) that open holes in this facade of security. So you’re right, people may be articulating the wrong reasons for opposing Trump.

Scott Shaver

Russell Moore seems constantly to shoot from the hip.

I guess in his understanding “religious liberty” in the 21st century trumps the cross of Christ and common sense to boot?

Sometimes I wonder, if in all the barrage of “Christian” criticism (righteous egocentricism) against the perceived character flaws of Trump (a guy who’s never smoked or drank as I understand), God might look into the man’s heart and see a flawed but forgiven believer?

Platitues and piety sure haven’t made many of his Christian critics any less….flawed, hypocritical or unethical

    Lydia

    “I guess in his understanding “religious liberty” in the 21st century trumps the cross of Christ and common sense to boot?”

    Moore might benefit from reading Verduin’s “Anatomy of a Hybrid”

Scott Shaver

I get the impression, from reading Moore’s comments over the last year, that there’s barely a handful of convicted and practicing Christians left in the SBC… himself and handful of TGP folks.

Pretty dull party.

    Scott Shaver

    How about “Christians” denouncing the ERLC?

Bill Mac

There are really two questions here.
1. The title: Should Christians denounce Trump? Well, unless Christians are prohibited from denouncing anyone, then denouncing Trump is fine. If we can denounce Obama and Clinton we can certainly denounce Trump.
2. The article: Should Christians denounce Trump for his plan to bar Muslims from America? If we have established with Q1 that it is sometimes acceptable for Christians to denounce anyone, then their ideas certainly ought to be denouncable. I think the author has made the point that there are some bad reasons for denouncing Trump for this plan. But I think there are some good reasons as well.

I think the underlying question, going by the sentiments we often see on this board, is actually “Should Russell Moore denounce Trump?”. I can’t really speak to that because I’ve always thought the ERLC was a bad idea, before and after Moore.

Lydia

What exactly is religious liberty in Islam? What cracks me up are liberals running around calling it a religion of Peace. Oh how quick they forget about FEMALES and how they are viewed in all Islamic schools of practice

Perhaps this is Moore’s way to bring in more Patriarchy since he said comps are wimps. :o)

    Scott Shaver

    Good question Lydia.

    Here’s another. What exactly is “religious liberty” in the hands of Russell Moore et al who fail to understand the concept is only as good as its national framework?

    Its Whack.

    Mary

    What’s really funny is the people who now are so up in arms about Trump’s “misogyny” refused to denounce Driscoll who was way more of a pig than Trump. The biggest misogynist running for President actually has the initials HRC. But then these are people who are rambling on about IHOP while they looked the other way on Driscoll’s porno visions. The biggest problem that guys like Moore have with Trump is that his name is not Bush or Rubio.

      Lydia

      “The biggest misogynist running for President actually has the initials HRC. ”

      Point! Not to mention she will leave her employees to die in a terror attack while she exchanges gossipy emails with Sydney Blumenthal.

      I am amazed at how many people are so ho hum about the horrible despotic things she did as SoS.

      BTW: porno visions are OK with that crowd when YRR churches are being planted with OPM. That movement is what made Moore a media star for the SBC.

        Mary

        Not only did she leave men to die while she slept til 10:00 am the next morning missing a security briefing, she stood in front of their flag draped coffins and LIED to their families about a stupid video that had nothing to do with the attack. And she continues to lie while the media covers up for her because the media were the ones who enabled the whole administration to perpetuate the lie because they didn’t want Obama to lose the election. The entire Obama foreign policy has been a complete sham that continues to be propped up by – American Pravda.

      Andy

      “Driscoll who was way more of a pig than Trump.”

      If you are saying this only because driscoll as a Christian and famous pastor had such a platform for influence, and used it to say vulgar things when he should have been held to a higher standard, then you MIGHT have a bit of a point.

      If, however, you are using ANY other measure of treatment of women, speaking about women, practicing and/or promoting immorality, then Trump has Driscoll beat EASILY.

        Lydia

        Wearing Jesus lipstick to make the pig look better is always worse. It is a purposeful misrepresentation of our Lord.

        But Driscoll certainly got a pass from SBC gurus and their fellow travellers for years. Now they hold Trump to a higher standard because he does not proclaim the “true Gospel” like they declared Driscoll did?

        Andy, that movement is corrupt and hypocritical. Now, I do understand that is the norm in those circles. We should believe them when they brag about being huge sinners.

        Trump is starting to implode. He has served a good and needed purpose: reset the table. Reframe the debate to include free speech (finally!) Uncomfortable speech. We cannot fix anything we cannot even name or mention for fear of being ostracized. Our form of government is supposed to be messy. We forgot that.

        He is the Newtish (horrible man!) archetype that makes a new debate possible.

        Mary

        Uhh no, not by a long shot. Driscoll’s treatment of women, including his public statements about his own wife’s “assets” are much worse than Trump. Trump’s been in business for a long time and there are no credible reports of sexual harassment/misconduct with subordinates. Reports from people who have actually worked in his businesses are that he treats his people pretty decently. Driscoll on the other hand has both publically and privately made crass statements about women and shown his perverted mind in his obssession with talking about sex and privately has been reported to try to force those in his congregation to tell him about their sex lives. Driscoll is obsessed with sex and has that old Augustinian idea that women are the root of all evil and men need to put them under their thumbs lest they be the victims of feminine wiles. That stupid marriage book of his was just all him whining about every thing bad he got caught doing was because his wife was so messed up and he could have behaved worse considering how bad his wife was so really he was an amazing guy considering. You statement makes it seem like you don’t actually know Driscoll’s history. He is a PIG all caps.

        Scott Shaver

        Andy:

        You have independent source data that confirms Driscol’s life and conduct patterns as both morally and socially superior to that of Trump?

        Or do you speak based on what you’ve read?

          Andy

          I have no inside information on Driscoll that isn’t public knowledge, and I have read many of the articles exposing things he has said and done. HOWEVER, I have not heard of Driscoll going on the Howard stern show discussing his personal viewing of the paris hilton tape from years ago. I have not heard of driscoll having illicit affairs with other women while he was married. Driscoll and Trump MIGHT be on similar footing if you were line up all their VERBAL comments about women, with both speaking derogotory in some settings, and complimneting them in other settings, I’m certainly no expert on either…BUT when it comes to actual conduct with and toward women, Trump has Driscoll beat by a large margin.

          BTW, If you think I am a driscoll supporter, you are reading too much in…If someone on this site were speaking down on catholics for killing and eating their own children, I would defend the catholics, not because I am a huge catholic fan, but because no one is served by sweeping condemnations that are not grounded in reality. The reality is that Trump has history of immoral conduct with multiple women. Perhaps I misunderstood lydias original comment and she was refering only to their verbal statements toward women.

          That said, I do “like” trump, in the sense that I find him entertaining, and appreciate his honesty about some issues, even if I think he’s crazy on others. If someone else with his approach came along who actually had policy ideas, things would be much more interesting than they are now.

            Mary

            “immoral conduct” does not = misogyny. It’s not just their verbal statements. Driscoll is a misogynist in that his attitude and views on women are filled with a disregard and even a hatred toward women. An example would be that he believes when a man commits adultery it was actually the wive’s fault in some way. Or the way he’s described his “troubles” in the past as being rooted in things his wife did. Augustine explained away his hedonism prior to conversion as the fault of women who are always tempting men and therefore must be kept in their place. Think of the recent Duggar scoflaw where the Duggar family has to keep the daughters behind locked doors because they are so tempting in their sexuality that the poor brother was unable to control himself. It’s a misogyny that has crept into this hyperComplementariasm. Men are not responsible beings as far as women are concerned because women are such temptresses.

            If you want to call Trump names misantrope would be more appropriate because he insults both men and women equally. Mostly Trump is just trolling playing the roll of Trump.

            Driscoll on the other hand definiately has serious issues in regards to women. I’m not sure your’e understanding how misogyny is actually being used in this context, but Driscoll has Trump beat on the misogyny front everyday and double on Sundays.

              Andy

              Perhaps you are right in my misunderstanding…I was thinking in general terms of sexual immorality across the board.

                Mary

                I think a lot of people are making the same mistake. Trump is a pig in regards to his immorality but I see him more as an across the board, no boundaries, he does whatever he wants without thought to ethics/moral values. Trump pushes the envelope to see exactly how far he can go. But at the heart I don’t see his treatment of women as misogyny. He’ll use men and women for whatever purposes.

                The question of misogyny is at heart “who do you think women are” Driscoll when you put together all his statements/behavior through the years believes women are “less than” – not as smart, not as good, more sinful, – women are bad to the core and therefore men have to always be on guard against women. Again, if you look over the attitudes displayed by the Duggars – girls have to be locked away because they are simply too much temptation for normal healthy boys – you see this attitude. Islam has a lot of the same beliefs – thus burkas.

                Trump would hire a woman over a man because as a successful business man he wants the best person for whatever job he has for them. Driscoll on the other hand would never hire a woman over a man because a woman would never be the better candidate for anything simply by virtue of being a woman.

                  Mary

                  Soooooo……. to get back to the original point. It’s more than a little hypocritical for those denouncing Trump for his “misogyny” when these very same people luuuuuuvvvvved Driscoll for so long. No one cared about Driscoll’s misogyny so the wringing of hands now seems a little more than disingenous. You don’t get to pretend like you care for women now when you ignored Driscoll’s bad behavior and excoriated everyone pointing it out.

                  I said earlier – the biggest problem with Trump that Moore and Company have is the fact that his name is not Bush or Rubio. If Cruz keeps moving up Moore will come up with excuses to dismiss him because he’s not one of the approved choices the elites have chosen.

                    Scott Shaver

                    Mary:

                    I’m surprised we haven’t already this week begun to hear some opening salvos from Moore against Cruz.

                    Think you’re right about your hunch on his shackling to the GOP establishment in Washington.

                    Mary

                    I think Russell Moore has political ambitions. I’m sure anytime now Moore will will have a Real Christians wouldn’t support Ted Cruz OpEd somewhere.

                    I didn’t really pay much attention to Richard Land – did he use the “you’re not a real christian if you don’t agree with me” card as much as Moore?

                Andrew Barker

                Keep digging Andy. This is getting interesting. So ‘perhaps’ Mary is right about your ‘misunderstanding’ but not “in general terms of sexual immorality across the board”, whatever that refers to!!

                So just what is it about Driscoll that trumps Trump?

                Lydia

                Andy, you must have missed his Acts 29 teaching on sodomy. The really cool thing about Driscoll for years is that we could not repeat his stuff on blogs because it was so vile and folks tend to shoot the messenger. It actually worked to protect him!

            Lydia

            Much of what Driscoll said or wrote was deleted. After a while bloggers started screen shooting. I first ran across him when he was mentioned in Blue Like Jazz as the cool cussing pastor. The young seeker ministry guys fell into big mancrushes. That was what? 18 years ago?

            So one watches. I could not believe his rising star. Do people in ministry have such a lack of wisdom? The coup, porno divinations, cage fighting Jesus….money shenanigans….what he taught at Acts 29 boot camp about sex, etc. I kept wondering were the grownups were in the SBC.

            Now his DNA is all over the SBC. Make excuses all you want. Trump is not running for Pastor. And Trump is imploding.

              Andrew Barker

              Much of what Trump says is unscripted, off the cuff and it shows. Driscoll’s comments were largely well planned for max effect. He’s left a sorry trail of injured people and lives in the wake of his bus!

            Scott Shaver

            I’ve never assumed your were a Driscoll supporter Andy. I don’t know much personally about the man, other that what I’ve read other Christians discussing.

            However, you’ve admitted what you know about both candidates is what they’re willing to share or what has been publicly exposed. My question would be areas NOT EXPOSED/disclosed in the lives of both that add to or subtract from the ledger when it comes to moral/spiritual comparison.

            That’s why I tend to leave such matters in the hands of One who has all the necessary data and wisdom to judge.

              Scott Shaver

              My writing mistake. I did not mean to imply Mr. Driscoll is “politcal candidate” albeit the subject of comparison with Trump.

Lydia

My Brit friends tell me there are about 80 LEGAL Sharia courts operating in England now.

Will we be able to maintain separation of church and mosque here? .

    Mary

    That’s something the liberals have been denying and laughing off as some right wing conspiracy theory. After Paris the media suddenly noticed that Belgium had to admit they had an area which was a “no go” zone and needed help cleaning it out so they could look for terrorists. It’s kinda like how liberals were proclaiming that Syrian refugees would go through a rigorous and thorough vetting process but after San Bernandino we find that the vetting to get into the country is so constrained by Political Correctness that even when a woman posts all over social media her plans to be a martyr she was still allowed into the country. A lot of people have been so trained by elites like Moore to ignore a lot of facts that just don’t fit their Social Justice Warrior narratives because that’s what “smart” “christian” people do. Moore’s one of those fools who’s world view is “if we’re only nice people will decide to like us.

    D. Morgan

    No, we will not. They will do here exactly what they have done across Europe. Refuse to assimilate, segregate themselves and establish mini islamic territories. They will manipulate the constitution to their own advantage. And the progressives and libertarians will help them do it.

      Scott Shaver

      Along with the blessing of the ERLC and its eschewed approach to “religious liberty” in the West.

      I see what your predicting as a potential problem, D. Morgan, and I agree.

Lydia

No need to denounce Trump unless you don’t believe in public debate and prefer to censor what you don’t like or approve. We were designed to have these sort of public debates.

The establishment hates it. Moore is all about being accepted by the DC establishment. This is about Moore building his brand. Otherwise he would have had a hissy fit over Driscoll years ago. Nope. Driscoll was OK. He had the ‘true Gospel’. Never mind the vulgarity, authoritarianism and scandals. Moore did not seem to have a problem with the SBC partnering with Driscoll.

Funny how this works.

    Mary

    No one wants to have a debate about anything anymore. If you think the immigration system has proven to be completely messed up and maybe we should shut it down until the government comes clean with what exactly is happening – not the lies about having safe borders and rigorous vetting – then you must be an Islamaphobe, Xenophobe, racist, and from men like Moore you may not even be a Christian. The name calling has been a way to shut down all debate and I think that’s part of Trump’s appeal – he doesn’t care what names people are calling him.

Mary

Just saw this tweet:

Kyle Drennen @kjdrennen
Blitzer to Santorum: Do you support religious freedom for Muslims? #GOPDebate #TTT1

This is a typical liberal move to distract and attack – try to make the conversation about “religious freedom” when the debate should really be about terrorism. Do terrorists have the right to commit terrorism because of their interpretation of their religion. This isn’t about “religious freedom” it’s about weeding out the terrorists. The Israelis have the best airport security in the world because they are not afraid to ask the right questions and train their people to look for the wrong responses. It can be done.

    Scott Shaver

    took better words right out of my mouth, Mary, on the liberal bait and switch.

    my sentiments exactly. Thank you.

Lydia

A better question is whether Islam supports religious freedom in devout practice. Any Calvinists who ask others that question are not thinking things through. Their own namesake did not believe in religious freedom in Geneva. He was willing to punish and torture to prevent religious freedom.

Leave a Comment:

All fields with “*” are required

 characters available