Is the Supreme Court enough?
In the wake of the release of audio of Donald Trump’s “locker room” conversation, I marveled to see pastors jumping on cable news to support him still. One such pastor is Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas recently on Fox News. The central concern for Jeffress’ is the “shaping of the Supreme Court” (about 2:50 in the video). This is a crutch for partisans on either side who want to intimidate voters into supporting their candidates. Since Justices are appointed for life, the argument goes, they can have multi-generational effects.
I don’t buy this as a Christian. Clearly what many believers have in mind are rulings related to abortion-on-demand and same-sex marriage. The thought is that, if we can get the right Justice or two in the court then, we can return to prominence in American politics. Our Kingdom hopes are pinned on some vague sense of power gained through favorable politics.
Fighting the tide
If that doesn’t sound feeble enough, then perhaps the fact that it is false should change our minds. There is one reason that same-sex marriage is now the law of the land, and that is that Evangelicals in America have lost their moral standing. A majority of Americans support same-sex marriage and nearly three of four Millennials support same-sex marriage. (Pew)
In this climate, demography is destiny. Evangelicals lost the moral argument in society. It was only a matter of time before this happened. The Supreme Court could not more stop this than I could stop the tide by punching waves on the beach. Evangelicals are losing influence not because we don’t have the Court in our pocket, but because people increasingly see us as hypocrites.
Back to winning
I can’t think of a clearer example of unprincipled Christian leadership than supporting Trump for political expediency. But in order to gain back our voice in society, we need to be seen as sincere and principled. Losing our values in the sight of the culture will do more harm to the Kingdom than the Supreme Court could ever imagine. Pastor Jeffress’ will have to answer before God for claiming that he would vote for Trump over Jesus (clip below). But he also gave a powerful soundbite to Christian opponents for years to come.
Our battle is for souls, not court decisions. We will get back to winning by showing genuine care and compassion for single mothers. Let’s address the charge of hypocrisy by valuing good marriages within our congregations and not tolerating abuse. Perhaps even our LGBT “opponents” would change their minds if we met them with love and compassion. Our “ground game” should have been the focus all along!
No politician, especially not a demagogue, is worthy of our allegiance over the Lord of Lords. In Him we live by faith, not by fear.
What do you think? Ought Christian voters pass on Trump? Should we compromise on personal integrity to elect for better court nominees? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments below.