When a Christian suggests that we can just overlook immoral character, in favor of political policy, you know the salt has lost its saltiness and is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot (Matthew 5:13).
For those puzzling over the reference, in the New Testament times, salt was used to not only draw out the flavor (the good), but to act as antiseptic, and to preserve against decay and putrescence. To describe believers as the “salt of the earth” is a clear directive to act against moral decay and to build up good character, within ourselves, and acting as examples to draw out the good in others.
We don’t draw out good character by giving “mulligans” to those who claim to be brothers or sisters in Christ, and to do so in open view to a world that is lost and needs us to be consistent.
It’s a message I have been trying to make since the primaries of 2015, and so-called Evangelical leaders keep saying things to give me reasons to reiterate.
Perkins, president of the Family Research Council recently expressed his belief in a Politico interview that Donald Trump’s moves in office give him license to ignore what God’s Word teaches about character, the sanctity of marriage, and how we treat the weak and oppressed.
Policy and party over moral and just leadership, always, right?
“We kind of gave him—‘All right, you get a mulligan. You get a do-over here,’” Perkins, the Family Research Council president, told Politico’s “Off Message podcast.”
Perkins said evangelical Christians were “tired of being kicked around by Barack Obama and his leftists.”
I get that. I absolutely do. Former President Obama was an absolute pox on this nation, in regards to his attacks on Christians. No president before Barack Obama was as openly hostile to Christians.
Let us never forget that the Obama administration was willing to cut out police protection and school funding for the state of North Carolina, holding those things over the head of an entire U.S. state, as a means of blackmailing them into allowing men entrance into bathrooms with women and young girls.
(I thank God for a strong governor in Pat McCrory, who planted his feet and stood firm against Obama’s attacks, even as I mourn the stupidity of North Carolina voters who let McCrory go.)
But just because Obama was horrible, that doesn’t mean we should strive to have somebody equally lacking in moral clarity. It should never be about “getting even.”
“And I think they are finally glad that there’s somebody on the playground that is willing to punch the bully,” he said.
Sure. When Jesus was ridiculed, he took to Twitter and made up names for his attackers. When they spit on him and slapped him, it was ON… right?
He added that Christianity is not “all about being a welcome mat which people can just stomp their feet on.”
No, it’s not, but we are to be welcoming. In fact, that’s our mission, far above any political agenda.
That’s a little detail some of these “leaders” like Perkins, Franklin Graham, Dr. Robert Jeffress, and others seem to be missing.
This world is temporal, guys, and 1,000 political gains today mean nothing for our eternity.
Perkins’ comments came as he was questioned about Trump’s reported reference to “sh*thole countries,” as well as his alleged affair with porn star, Stormy Daniels, and the 2016 hush money payoff by his attorney, Michael Cohen.
Certainly, those are issues that should spotlight the moral character (or lack of) of the man, but Perkins insisted that some of Trump’s moves for pro-life issues (we’re still funding Planned Parenthood, so far) and religious freedoms (some recent moves are quite promising) should give the man a pass.
“I don’t think this president is using evangelicals … I think he genuinely enjoys the relationship that had developed. He has found, I think—and he’s a very transactional president,” he said.
“Trust is important to him. Loyalty is important to him, and I think in this transaction, he realizes, ‘hey, these are people I can count on, because they don’t blow with the political winds.’ “
Trump is motivated by self. As long as evangelicals are praising him, he’ll dance in that spotlight. It’s what he does. Should the moment come that they call him out or give him godly rebuke, he’ll cease to be so accommodating.
He continued: “It’s a developing relationship, but I’ll have to say this: from a policy standpoint, he has delivered more than any other president in my lifetime.”
So we’ll see how that works out, in the long run.
He also said he sees Trump as providing the kind of leadership needed for our country and culture, at this time.
How desperately depressing to hear a so-called leader of the Evangelical movement put a man’s agenda ahead of a call to return to the God and the faith of our forefathers. To champion short-term political gains over mercy, love, grace, forbearance, and hope.
This is what’s wrong with the American church. They speak of God with their lips, but deny Him by their actions and their associations.
We’re not reaching the lost, and if you want to know why, just look at Tony Perkins.