My recent op-eds here received many positive responses—as well as a few negative ones. The charge of being a hypocrite if you support the president is often at the top of the list. But hypocrisy means to intentionally deceive someone (for example, who I am on Sunday is not who I am on Monday). We are not dealing with hypocrisy here. So what are we dealing with?
We have two primary issues playing out. Number one, many are simply not going to embrace the president's agenda. I truly believe that this is a spiritual battle. There's a big push toward globalism, abortion on demand, sexual perversion, socialism, open borders and so on. And it's often Christians who serve as our moral compass to get us back on track.
Calling us hypocrites is really just a defense mechanism for those who don't want to see the truth. For example, when I talk about ungodly entertainment, I'm labeled a fundamentalist. When I talk about purity and abstinence, I'm labeled legalistic. When I talk about defending babies, I'm labeled as being against women. When I talk about marriage being between a man and a woman, I'm labeled a homophobe. When I support the current president, I'm labeled a hypocrite. And on and on it goes. (Subscribe here on YouTube to hear sermons.)
Anytime you stand for truth, you will be labeled. Granted, the truth must come from a loving, gentle heart. The truth will offend, but our attitude should not. Many people on the conservative side also need to pray before posting something derogatory on social media. We are dropping the ball on both sides. For example, when I released an op-ed about distorted facts, a lot of people thought that I was writing something against the president (click here to read it). The mean emails I received from "conservatives" were just as nasty as ones from liberals. Folks, we can all use a lot more grace and humility, including me.
The Real Problem: The Battle Over Truth
The more concerning issue is that many claiming to be Christians embrace liberal theology, and most of them are against President Trump. This group typically has a problem with the inerrancy of Scripture as well as difficult truths, such as repentance, judgment and sin. So it's no surprise why they don't like op-eds, social media posts or anything grounded in truth. They also welcome anti-scriptural agendas (the LGBTQ onslaught comes to mind), and they mock those who aren't willing to throw their Bibles away and follow the crowd. Need more proof? It was liberals calling themselves "Christians" who primarily came against my article regarding what the Bible says about homosexuality.
So, one must ask the question regarding political hot buttons: When Hollywood and most of the media is on your side, are you sure you're on the right side? The Bible encourages us to be peacemakers, but not religious negotiators. In our zeal to reach others, we cannot compromise the message just because we want to be liked. We must speak the truth.
Do Ungodly Means Justify a Godly End?
Another question goes something like this: Do ungodly means justify a godly end? To me, this is a no-brainer. The Bible says don't murder innocent children (abortion). It also says that we should work hard if we can (no socialism). It also says that the government is to guard the nation, securing borders and fighting terrorism (see Rom. 13). The Bible adds that we should have judges who are honest and that we should bring God's Word into all areas of life. And on and on it goes. Many of President Trump's staff are doing all of this and more. How a person, let alone a Christian, can overlook these things is a mystery to me.
Many people say, "I prayed about it, and I don't support President Trump." But nearly all religions pray. The questions you must answer are:
—Do you truly know God via repentance and faith in Christ?
—Are you humble, open and teachable?
—Are you living a holy life?
—Are you fully surrendered to Christ and filled with His Spirit?
—Do you embrace His absolute truth?
These conditions allow us to truly hear from God. Many do not embrace God's truth and are not filled with His Spirit. As a result, they are led by the wrong spirit. Granted, I, too, can become prideful, but I want to make sure I am repentant, teachable and willing to yield to God's Word. He leads those who are willing to follow.
No, I don't believe that all ungodly means are good if they lead to godly ends. It depends on the situation and what the means are. There are many variables, and a blanket statement—like so many of those who speak against the president are trying to make—will not suffice.
We have an interesting dynamic working here: a politician actually doing what he said he would do. His past is not perfect, but he is guiding America in the right direction (in fact, many governmental agencies are now hosting Bible studies). He still sins, but it appears that he wants to point our nation back to redemption. His mode of communication is not always Christlike, but he is honoring God in many areas of legislation. He isn't against gay marriage, but he seems to be more open to what the Bible says about the topic.
I see a man who is flawed like the rest of us. I see a man who is probably not proud of some of the things that he has done. We're not looking for perfection; we're looking for direction—direction back to God. Throughout biblical history, God has used broken, flawed leaders. Aside from Christ, is there another kind?
I'm pretty sure that if unborn babies could talk, they would tell us they are not too concerned about the president's character. They would be far more concerned about the character of the physician with an abortion tool in his or her hand.
Ironically, the day before I released this article, I ran into a woman who was speaking Aramaic to her daughter. Her English was pretty good, so I asked her what she thought about our president. After explaining that she was a Christian from a persecuted area in Iraq, she said, "I love what he is doing. America is blessed to have him." Let that sink in.
Now is not the time for hand-wringing and second-guessing ourselves. Many things that we've been praying for to happen in our nation are finally happening. So, at this stage, many of us will not apologize for backing the president, nor will we be intimidated. Unless millions of Americans and I, who are praying and truly seeking the will of the Father, are missing it, we will keep contending: "If the foundations are broken, what can the righteous do?" (Ps. 11:3).
Three additional resources: 1) "You can murder babies in the womb, teach evolution to our kids and flaunt sexual perversion, and I'm supposed to keep my mouth shut? I don't think so." Watch this short sermon clip here. 2) Other questions that came in were answered on this short video clip. 3) If you're concerned about America but also need hope, download my free e-book, One Nation Above God.
Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California. More can be found at ShaneIdleman.com, and free downloads of his books are available at WCFAV.org. Visit him on Facebook and subscribe to his new podcast.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.