I recently read a blog article entitled I’m an Evangelical and I’m Still Voting for Donald Trump—Here’s Why by Cameron Fathauer. I have respect for Cameron and I thank him for taking the time to verbalize his views in such a clear and concise way. I simply disagree with his conclusion and feel the need to point back to scripture for the reasons why. From the date, it appears that it was written shortly after the videos with the sexually explicit language from Trump came out. Of course, if anyone still supported Trump before those videos, they should not have been surprised by what the videos entailed. However, I learned that the author of the blog is a local and even attends the seminary wherein I have taken classes. So I felt that a friendly and constructive rebuttal would be an interesting endeavor for all involved.
This post enumerates seven reasons that the author still plans to vote for Trump in the 2016 election. I will address each of these points individually. I plan to use the Bible, a book Cameron seemed to have misplaced for his article. I hope that God’s Word would be able to remind Cameron that Scripture speaks into more places than just in ministry. Scripture speaks into all aspects of a Christian’s life, including those touched by the secular world.
His first point is that God is judging America. Cameron’s logic can be equated to a scenario in which the 2016 election takes to form of two runaway cars headed for a gigantic chasm. In his mind, we ought to choose the car driving off the cliff at 99 miles per hour rather than the one driving off the cliff at 100miles per hour. Additionally, he chose to use a meme of John Calvin with his quote “When God wants to judge a nation, He gives them wicked rulers.” I find his use of John Calvin’s point to be ironic. Let us remember that Calvin was the guy who didn’t “play the game” the system had given him but turned the tables on the church and the state. Cameron goes on to state that abstaining from the vote or voting third party is simply “making it easier for Hillary to win”. Perhaps if Cameron had been alive in 1774, he would have been one of those American Colonists drinking tea and singing “God save the Queen” because that was the “sad state” of the political system of the day. Additionally, I wonder if Cameron would have been willing to apply his same logic to another ill-fated election season in 1932 when Christian Germans chose to endorse an individual from the Nazi Party because they viewed the Communist Party as “worse”. The “lesser of two evils” mentality ushered Adolf Hitler right into power. By doing this, German Christians felt that they also chose the slower car (only 99mph) to judgment. I would recommend The Church’s Confession Under Hitler for any who are curious on the subject or those who feel like I am making up this little-known history. Historical analogies aside, as believers, we look to Scripture for the definitive answer. In the Old Testament, we see that many times people and nations looked for the slower car to judgment rather to the one true God. Two examples come to mind. In Jeremiah 44, the people of God decide to run to Egypt to seek refuge from God’s judgment rather than running to God himself. This turned to even greater judgment from God because they sought men above Him. Also, 1 Samuel 28 Saul sought a witch instead of wisdom from God. These examples serve to show us that during times of judgment, the proper response of the people of God is to turn back to Him and to His Word for guidance. Our response is not to “play the game” or choose our favorite brand of evil.
It is clear that Cameron makes the mistake of creating his argument from fear instead of from the Word of God. But we have not been given a spirit “of fear but of power and love and self-control” for “some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (2 Tim 1:7; Psalm 20:7). The modern evangelical analysis is incomplete because it tends to ignore the rubric given in scripture by which we are to choose leaders from among us. Exodus 18:21 says that we are to choose “able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain”. Donald Trump has stated that he has no need of God, that he has no problems being dishonest and that he has made his living on unscrupulous works. Many would respond “But that’s the Old Testament”. However, this is because evangelicals have forgotten that we not only are to live by Sola Scriptura but also Tota Scriptura. The easy answer would be to quote Gary North, who writes, “Unless a specific Old Testament law has been abrogated by the New Testament, either by specific revelation or because of an application of a New Testament principle, its authority is still morally and/ or judicially binding.” If the point is further pushed that we do not hold the secular authority to that of Scripture, I would remind the reader of Romans 13 wherein it states that the authority is “a minister of God to you for good.”. The word minister is the same for deacon. They are to do the will of God and are held to His standard—not some nebulous abstract principle, which changes as the day wanes. Remember that when John the Baptist called out Herod, he was addressing a secular ruler for a personal sin when that ruler broke Leviticus18:16 by uncovering the nakedness of his brother’s wife. It seems as though Cameron fears a Hillary presidency more than he fears the judgment of the living almighty God. This fear has led him to abandon scripture and its application in daily life. It is impossible to claim that voting for Trump would not be a “compromise of our calling” when we hold him up to the standard of Scripture and find him so clearly lacking.
His next point was that we should vote for Trump because Trump’s VP Mike Pence could take Trump’s place in the presidency. It’s sad that the second point of his article was already hoping for Trump’s untimely demise. I do not believe that Cameron actually believes his own point. He writes “How do we know Trump will go through with anything he has promised?” He then shoots his own argument in the foot by saying “We do not know if any person will go through with their promises”. I don’t think I need to say any more on this point.
His third point attempted to serve two masters as it firmly straddled the rusty barbed wire fence. Cameron states that the election both is and is not a gospel issue. Let’s get this straight: all issues are Gospel issues! To say otherwise is to deny that the Gospel is all encompassing and applicable to every situation, realm, being, and created thing. But rather than breezing past this issue, I want to address Cameron’s allusion to the Supreme Court. Many feel that a Trump presidency will have a positive effect on the Judicial. The problem with this thinking is that he believes a liar, philanderer, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual marriage, venal, warmonger will appoint a person who upholds the exact opposite of all his ideals to the Supreme Court. I would like to point to the beloved conservative Ronald Reagan. He appointed three justices to the Supreme Court, two of whom promoted gay mirage and abortion. He then alludes to Dr. James Dobson as to why he is voting for Trump. Dobson holds that we should vote for Trump because Trump promises to protect our religious liberty. But how are we to believe the promises of a self-professed liar, cheat and one who is obsessed with self-promotion? Again, Donald Trump’s character, shown both in the utterings of his mouth and the works of his hands, show that his actions while in office are on track to be a complete moral disaster.
Reason number 4 that we should vote for Trump is simply a rehash of point number 1. Cameron writes that he supports Trump because it is better to support a whoring crony capitalist over a crooked baby killer. (Although prior to election season, Trump was vehemently pro-abortion so I guess that makes him a whoring, baby-killing, crony capitalist, but I digress.) So for those wondering how I will respond to this point, refer to point number 1.
His fifth point is that “the only time voting for a president is a moral dilemma is if you are deciding between a Christian and a non-Christian candidate.” This is a highly unbiblical statement. I fail to see how Cameron can simply state “we are all dead in our sins” and then go on his merry way assuming that statement gives him license edit out all the Scripture references to civil government. Instead, he ought to seek the whole counsel of God on his “moral dilemma.” The Gospel not only changes people with the first half of the great commission but also the second half. We are not just to go to the nations but we are also to teach “them to obey all that I have commanded you.”. I am thankful that Cameron refers to Scripture here, but he makes the mistake of ignoring the context. He refers to Psalm 51 but one chapter before this Psalm, God promises to judge those who hate His discipline. Instead, they glory in their adultery, lies, deceit, (Donald Trump, anyone?) and he says “Now consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver.” It does not seem a worthwhile strategy to vote for someone that God has promised He will tear in pieces. Cameron then refers to Ephesians 2, a passage that tells us not to walk in wickedness but his point is trying to tell us to vote for someone who glories in his footsteps of unrighteousness. Finally, he refers to Romans 3-4, ironically Romans 3 ends with “Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.” We are to establish the Law of the Lord in our society not to establish lawlessness through a man who dishonors God before all of Israel.
In point number six, he says we should vote for trump because he is only “accused of raping a child”, “has a horrible view of women”, “is a moral disaster with a tremendous amount of sin”, and if he were running for any sort of position that required a person of “moral integrity” would “never come close to getting (his) vote.” Yes, he actually said this and I thank him for his honesty in bringing into writing what most other conservatives only think. So again it is a rehashing of points 1 and 4. Egypt isn’t as bad as Babylon, so we should run there for our rescue. When our grandchildren ask us whom we supported, we will happily avoid conversation than admit we took a dump on our integrity and Bible in order to feel a sense of security. Security is a gift only granted by God and is a blessing on the nation that loves and fears the Lord. Our only way of attempting to gain security in our nation is to turn back to God, repent of the wicked ways and go forth to establish the law of the Lord. This will not be accomplished by voting for Trump.
His final point is simply to have mercy on Trump because any of us could have our lives placed on the big screen. I have great sympathy for this point. Honestly, there are things I have thought, said and done that I am thankful are not documented by the media. However, the resulting logic is that we should ignore the inappropriate comments because “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The problem with this line of argumentation is that it simply does not hold against Scripture. Sympathy for non-believers should not lead us to simply ignore their sin. We are to call them to repentance as the Bible commands (think John the Baptist). We “teach them to obey all the God has commanded us”. We tell them they are accountable to God as ministers. We hold them to the rubric of the Bible. We ought not to say “Well, he’s bad but she’s worse, so I’m okay with having their bumper sticker.” We hold to the Canon of Scripture not the mirage of logic.
The call to action here is simply, will you follow what God’s Word says about civil government or will you follow the arguments of frightened individuals grasping at straws for a way to justify their Republican voting preferences?
Again thank you to Cameron for having the courage to put his views out there. I hope that this conversation can help readers as they thoughtfully and prayerfully consider the matters at hand.