Opinion

Buttigieg's Christian Approval Not Necessary

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Posted: Feb 24, 2020 12:01 AM
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Buttigieg's Christian Approval Not Necessary

Source: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

In a recent town hall event, presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg took his turn swiping at Christians who support President Donald Trump claiming that he doesn’t see “any compatibility” between Christians supporting the president and the teachings in scripture. 

To miss the moral decline of the 10 years prior to 2016 would be nothing less than turning a blind eye or political deafness. While mired in a devastating recession, moral decay was mounting with no recourse for people of faith. Federally funded abortion on demand was a machine raging out of control, our prisons were full and overflowing, and a one percent GDP was the “new normal.” Our religious liberties as citizens, business owners, and even clergy were being threatened at greater levels than any other time in modern history.

When millions of evangelicals helped elect Donald J. Trump to be the president in 2016, the vast majority of evangelicals weren’t looking for a political statesman. They were hoping for a fighter, someone who saw the challenge for what it was: the fight of our lifetime on the issues that mattered most to people of faith – and a candidate who would champion the values we held dearest.  

When Mayor Pete says that he can’t see any compatibility between the scriptures and supporting President Trump he shows that he clearly does not identify with the vast majority of people of faith from all Christian denominations. For most evangelicals, and most Christians, they now see movement and action on the issues nearest and dearest to their hearts. Defending the life of the unborn, religious liberty for churches, individuals, and religious business owners, confirming conservative constitutionalist federal judges, and support for our closest ally Israel—these are all Christian values. 

Lifting millions off of the food stamps roll is a Christian value. Putting people to work at record levels for every demographic is a Christian value. And then there is this:  How about a presidential candidate who makes very specific promises to people of faith when campaigning and then, when elected, keeps every single promise? Every. Single. Promise. These achievements speak every bit as much to the character and integrity of Donald Trump the person as any sin you want to drag up and wave in our face as a disqualification. 

While one can point to the flawed person, others see the life-changing policies such as the First Step Act, releasing thousands of non-violent offenders back to their families, or the Right to Try legislation allowing terminally ill patients access to experimental therapies. Some focus on the rhetoric of each tweet while others see the record of achievement and success; record economic growth, record unemployment, record deregulation and on and on. All of this and more are places where we find great compatibility. 

Millions of evangelicals have not lost their moral compass or betrayed their beliefs or turned their backs on God. They simply see a president who leads out on the issues that matter most: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. On each of these, the record of Donald J. Trump’s actions speak a better testimony than a few tweets some deem unchristian. 

In the Christian faith, compatibility isn’t based simply on not having a checkered past or one’s need for grace and mercy, but rather on a flawed person’s willingness to seek God, and be open to our prayers. Government is supposed to be “of” the people and “for” the people. There is great compatibility to be found with a leader---a politician---a representative of the people who shares our values---values we believe to be both Christian AND American---and who will commit their life and their livelihood fighting to achieve them. 

Jentezen Franklin is the Senior Pastor of Free Chapel, a multi-campus church. Each week his television program, Kingdom Connection, is broadcast on major networks all over the world. A New York Times best-selling author, Jentezen has written ten books including his most recent Acres of Diamonds, Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt, the groundbreaking Fasting and Right People-Right Place-Right Plan.