Back in June the Trump campaign formed an Evangelical Executive Advisory Board to advise Donald Trump about issues important to evangelical Christians. The release of the controversial hot mic recording has at least one member of that board questioning what its true purpose is.
Ed Stetzer published in his blog at Christianity Today emails written to the religious advisory board from member James MacDonald, senior pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel. MacDonald said that Trump’s comments should not be dismissed as merely off color but as a revelation that Trump is “lecherous and worthless.”
This weekend, James wrote of his concern that these widely-reported Trump comments are not to be treated lightly. He wrote:
Mr. Trump’s comments released yesterday—though 10 years ago (he was 60)—are not just sophomoric or locker room banter. They are truly the kind of misogynistic trash that reveals a man to be lecherous and worthless—not the guy who gets politely ignored, but the guy who gets a punch in the head from worthy men who hear him talk that way about women.
He also drew some lines in the sand:
I have a wife of 33 years, a daughter, and 2 daughters in law. I am not able to offer my time any further without an obvious “change of heart and direction” [that] true believers call repentance.
And encouraged Trump toward true repentance:
If Mr. Trump isn’t seeking our counsel now— 1) to be repentant 2) on how to portray that repentance, then the idea of a faith council (which has deteriorated into influence brokering anyway) is really kind of a joke right? I have spent my life helping men get free from such disgusting commentary on women—even writing my doctoral dissertation on self-disclosure of sin among men. I cannot and will not offer help to a man who believes this kind of talk a minor error.
And it’s worth noting that he, and others in the group, are concerned that this pattern has continued.
No more defending Mr. Trump as simply foolish or loose lipped. Please pass this on to whomever you deem best.
I can assure you, having seen more of the conversation, James’ words are being discussed.
According to the Trump campaign website, members of the council were not expected to endorse Trump but to advise him on faith related issues. Pastor James MacDonald seems to think that some on the council are circling wagons rather than advising the candidate.
This revelation comes on the heels of theologian Wayne Grudem’s withdrawal of support for Trump.