August 5, 2020
Back to work and back to school but all from home? | Michael Brown on Evangelicals at the Crossroads
Carmen’s conversations here include Bill English from BibleandBusiness.com and Michael Brown with his new book, Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will we pass the Trump Test?
A few of Carmen’s notes from that conversation….
Question 1: Why has Donald Trump been such a divisive figure among evangelicals?
Answer: “We have never had a president like Donald Trump. On the one hand, he is the least likely candidate for evangelical Christians. He has an immoral, narcissistic past. He can be nasty and divisive, savaging anyone who stands in his way, and to the extent that evangelicals are associated with him, it has hurt our witness. On the other hand, Trump is the strongest pro-life president we have ever had, he has surrounded himself with evangelical believers, he has taken a stand for religious liberties, he has been a true friend to Israel, and he has kept his major campaign promises. Some ask how a Christian can support him; others ask how a Christian cannot support him.”
Conversation here about revival – which is at the end of the book but provides the substance of the question.
Question 2: What do you mean by the Trump test?
Answer: “By the Trump test, I refer to the unique challenge presented by Donald Trump. Can evangelicals vote for him without compromising our witness? Can we support him while still putting the cross before the flag? Or will we sell our souls for a seat at the table? Will be more identified as supporters of Trump than as followers of Jesus?”
Question 3: In your book, you ask, “Has God uniquely raised up Donald Trump?” Has he?
Answer: “Before Trump was elected, there were prophecies stating that he was being raised up by God like Cyrus, an idol-worshiping, pagan king who was used by God to bring the Jewish people back from exile and to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. I believe this is an exact explanation of what happened. A candidate who could make no real claims to being an evangelical Christian and who had no real possibility of becoming president suddenly became our 45th president and has been a true ally of evangelical Christians. And the main chapter in the Book of Isaiah speaking of Cyrus is also #45.”
Question 4: What happened to the evangelical cry that “character counts”? Aren’t evangelicals using a different standard when it comes to Trump?
Answer: “That’s a fair question, and certainly, many are using a double standard. After all, we shouted out “character counts” and “morality matters” in the days of Bill Clinton, yet with Trump, we say, “Well, the stakes are much greater now, so we can’t be so picky.” The better answer would be: “Yes, character does count, and Trump is often his worst enemy. At the same time, he has shown character in keeping his campaign promises, in standing up to countries like China and Iran, and in defending the life of the unborn.”
Question 5: What are some of the points you lay out in your 10-point strategy for evangelicals to pass the Trump test?
Answer: “First, we must put the cross before the flag, meaning that allegiance to Jesus is an even higher value than patriotism.
Second, we must proclaim that Trump is our president, not our Savior.
Third, we must put greater emphasis on spiritual activity than political activity. These are just three of the ten points I lay out in detail.”
#4. We must not get caught up in election fever.
#5. We must not justify carnality and unchristian behavior.
#6. We must regain our prophetic voice.
#7. We must be holistic Christians, truly pursuing justice and righteousness for all.
#8. We must walk in love towards those who vilify us and oppose us.
#9. We must unite around Jesus rather than divide over Trump.
#10. We must lead the nation in repentance, knowing that repentance prepares the way of the Lord, opening a path for revival, visitation, and awakening.