To what degree are some American evangelical leaders willing to sell their spiritual souls for political porridge?
The answer arrived in a press release this week announcing the upcoming book, God and Donald Trump, by Charisma Media CEO and Charisma magazine founder Stephen E. Strang — who may have inadvertently offended the president he adores by the order in the title.
Strang is not the first or only conservative Christian leader to go gaga over the casino magnate turned world leader, and pronounce his election the miraculous work of God. But Strang outdoes them all.
He claims that Trump’s divinely-guided election was predicted years ago by charismatic prophets. And he assures readers that the president’s faith has grown while in office.
How encouraging! Perhaps one day he might even take up truth telling, admit being wrong about something, and perhaps even ask God or someone he offended for forgiveness.
But as the infomercial announcer always says, “That’s not all!”
Strang is so enamored of Trump that he describes him as “a model husband.” Ah, family values!
Under what big, dark rock has this supposedly knowledgeable Christian leader been living? This is a prime example of a religious leader who gets played like a drum by a politician and, in turn, plays his gullible followers like drums.
Strike up the band!
The sad reality is that politicians may appease evangelical leaders, but they do not capitulate to them. They use them.
And, in turn, these opportunistic religious leaders (though supposedly called and commissioned to a greater mission) capitulate to a political agenda often devoid of the very principles they claim. And they grasp for whatever popularity and power might come from doing so.
Thoughtful observers will note how this capitulation has evolved.
First, some evangelical supporters uncomfortably grabbed onto Trump despite his poor moral moorings. They didn’t excuse his behavior and values, but simply claimed he one among bad choices.
Then, some began to excuse his immoral and offensive ways as equivalent to a modern-day King David — who though imperfect is used mightily of God. I even heard one comparison to John the Baptist — obviously missing the forerunner of Jesus’ central call to repentance, something the president defiantly states he never does.
Now, apparently, this often-obscene man who’d face the harshest judgment from these preacher types in any other context is being made into a model of Christianity. Or at least a growing one and a model family man.
Perhaps Strang will publish a second volume to guide all the young men under his influence to model their lives after his newfound spiritual hero.