On Second Thought: Worried Evangelicals Plan a Trump Meeting to Discuss Mountain of Scandals

Buyer’s remorse?

Apparently, there are some members of the evangelical movement that are rousing from their 2016 election-stupor and catching on to what those of us with discernment have been screaming about since 2015: TRUMP IS NOT A CHRISTIAN.

According to a recent article with NPR, the evangelicals that promoted Trump, proclaimed his righteousness, in spite of so much evidence to the contrary, are beginning to see some detriment to throwing their lot in with his adulteries and sinfulness.

Something in the Bible about yoking yourself to nonbelievers…

“We’re very concerned” about the allegations, said a leader of a faith-based ministry. The leader is involved in hosting the gathering, which organizers are aiming to take place June 19 at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. The source said the combination of the Stormy Daniels sex-scandal allegations and Trump’s continued reputation for divisive rhetoric could suppress evangelical turnout in the November midterm elections.

“It is a concern of ours that 2018 could be very detrimental to some of the other issues that we hold dear,” like preserving religious liberty and restricting abortion rights, the source noted. The source, like the others with knowledge of the event, spoke to NPR on the condition of anonymity so as to not jeopardize the meeting.

How about that part about damaging your witness to the world, when they see you approving and supporting this wicked, unrepentant man?

No, we weren’t electing a pastor, but the evangelical community gave this man’s behavior their seal of approval, so to a world looking to them for moral guidance, they saw hypocrites. Somewhere in there, the importance of the Word of God should have kicked in, as it pertains to leadership, and better choices should have been made.

Now there’s a president with scandals, bad language, and a host of unsavory character traits that have been on full display, throughout, who has been linked to the Christian community.

Trump recently threw his personal attorney, Michael Cohen under the bus, claiming no knowledge of the $130,000 payoff to porn star, Stormy Daniels (real name: Stephanie Clifford), in 2016.

That was only one of several affairs alleged to have taken place while Trump’s wife, Melania, was home with their newborn son.

The planners of the event are hoping to make it an all-day thing and are firming up plans, before they send out hundreds of invitations to Christian leaders around the country.

They can probably skip sending an invitation to Dr. Robert Jeffress. He’s in full agreement with Trump’s bad behavior.

The goal is to have Trump in an open forum for questions, for about 90 minutes, as these leaders air their concerns about his behavior. The actual topic of his adulteries may be saved for a more private off-stage gathering.

They want to be lied to, privately.

“There’s things that are like fingernails on the chalkboard to people of faith. That’s not who we are; that’s not a ‘fruit of the Spirit’; that’s not leading with humility,” the source said, referencing a passage in the New Testament book of Galatians that describes the character traits Christians exhibit.

Specifically, Galatians 5:22-23:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23 AMP

Are any of those traits present with Donald Trump?

The meeting is largely out of fear of what will happen to those issues that are important to Christian voters, like religious freedoms and abortion, should the stench of Trump drive a blue wave during the midterm election.

“Let’s reconvene,” the source said, “and let’s see what we can do to encourage enthusiasm — beyond Trump, so to speak.”

Such a meeting with the president would mirror a similar event held two years ago, when hundreds of mostly white evangelical Protestants gathered at a New York hotel to meet with then-candidate Trump.

The purpose of that gathering was largely to reassure evangelicals concerned about the presumptive Republican nominee’s reputation for vulgarity and his multiple marriages. It was a few months before the revelation of the Access Hollywood tape in which Trump could be heard bragging about groping women’s genitals without their consent.

Oops.

It didn’t actually erode support, especially in light of who his opponent was.

Some leaders, even now, are treating the Stormy Daniels kerfuffle as a minor annoyance, at best.

But others, including Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, expressed optimism that the president will weather the Daniels storm.

“I just honestly don’t hear hand-wringing over the issue,” Nance said. “They’re not surprised; they made that decision a long time ago. This president is not Rick Santorum or Mike Huckabee; he doesn’t pretend to be a Bible-banging evangelical.”

Then why act like he is?

Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, also said it’s “highly dubious” that the allegations will substantially erode support for the president or suppress midterm turnout.

Maybe not. He’s not on the ballot for the midterms, although, many Republicans are carrying his banner into the elections. Maybe, whether they want to or not, they’re carrying his mark.

And that’s the fear some have, while others are more confident that they can ride the Trump wave in 2018 the way they did in 2016.

We’ll have to wait and see, but I have some small encouragement in knowing that some evangelicals want to take another look at Trump, even though it’s too late to do anything about their 2016 vote.