What started as an interesting idea to convene 300 Christian leaders in New York for a time with Donald Trump exploded in a matter of weeks. The interest was so overwhelming that special ID badges had to be made to accommodate over 1,000 who eventually came from all over America.
"A Conversation About America's Future With Donald Trump and Ben Carson" is now in the books. It truly was an experience in genuine humility and unity at a time when "our country is in trouble," as Franklin Graham stated in his opening remarks.
I personally counted it an honor to interact with Rev. Graham and others like David Barton, James and Shirley Dobson, Ben Carson and multitudes of humble servants who, like me, came to learn about the man who could be our next president. We want to serve our constituencies well by conveying an accurate representation of who he is and what he's really about. Here are 10 takeaways:
1. Dr. George Barna, "the most quoted Christian in America" according to Christianity Today magazine, painted a bleak picture of America's current state. Words he used: "Disillusionment"..."transformational shift"... "anything goes morality" ... "confusion and chaos"..."disengagement"... "polarized" and "highly contentious."
2. Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn from my home state of Tennessee described the critical House hearings she's leading to stop illegal procurement and sale of unborn baby body parts. While Hillary Clinton receives applause and endorsement from Planned Parenthood, America's primary abortion provider, Mr. Trump told us he is uncompromisingly pro-life and committed to appointing pro-life Supreme Court justices, contrary to Mrs. Clinton and the Democratic Party.
3. Franklin Graham encouraged us to look at Biblical leaders like Abraham, Moses, David and the apostles, and to recognize all of them had major flaws."None were perfect. Only One is perfect—Jesus—and He's not running for president!"
4. Jerry Falwell Jr., who knows Mr. Trump up close and personal, affirmed the honor and loyalty he receives from his employees and family. Former presidential candidate and governor Mike Huckabee also affirmed these same qualities in Mr. Trump. "Backstage at the debates I saw how real this love and respect was."
5. Mr. Trump was asked, "What is so special regarding your relationship with your five children?" He replied, "God blessed them with intelligence, but I instilled in them to stay away from cigarettes, alcohol and drugs." Donald Trump never partakes of any of these.
6. Dr. James Dobson said the number one issue in America is religious liberty and that we've been losing it dramatically under the Obama administration. Mr. Trump reassured us of his commitment to counter this by appointing Constitution-upholding, conservative Supreme Court Justices. He added emphatically that he will "eliminate the Johnson amendment that paralyzes pastors from speaking on religious issues for fear of losing their tax-exempt status."
When this last point was repeated, a collective sigh of relief spread throughout the auditorium.
7. Ronnie Floyd, leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, asked Mr. Trump about alleviating inner-city violence and poverty. Mr. Trump unhesitatingly and quickly responded with one word, "Jobs!" He exposed phony statistics currently quoted by our president regarding unemployment and economic growth, and pledged to use his vast business experience to straighten out the issues currently facing inner cities.
8. When Hispanic leader Sammy Rodriguez inquired about immigration and Hispanics coming illegally across the border, Trump contrasted himself with Hillary Clinton and other politicians who endorse open borders and lawlessness. "Hispanic people are some of my great employees and they will tell you they too don't want people coming here illegally and taking jobs away from them." He added that the elements of terrorism and infusion of drugs must be stopped.
9. When Family Research Council leader Tony Perkins asked Mr. Trump about the military and its decline under Obama, Trump came on strong talking about its currently depleted state and need to be retooled to once again "become the greatest fighting force in the world so we never have to use it."
10. Mr. Trump emphasized that he believes the Second Amendment will be gone if liberal Supreme Court justices are appointed under Hillary Clinton. "Rogue judges reinterpreting the Constitution would bring an end to our Second Amendment right to bear arms to protect ourselves."
There was much more that took place at this significant event. When we all knelt down and prayed to God, I personally believe the many who came were ready to leave and process what they heard so they could better serve those who look to them for guidance in this critical time.
Larry Tomczak is a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy adviser with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). and he has a variety of resources on his website (see www.larrytomczak.com). You can also hear his weekly podcast here.
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