In the last Langstaff Letter, I summarized what a number of well-known Christian leaders have said concerning Donald Trump. Thanks for all the responses that you sent back. Now it is my turn to share with you what I think about Trump.
I find myself in somewhat of a dilemma, as do many people especially Christian believers. As one friend put it, ‘330 million people in America and we have to choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.’ Or, as someone else described it, it is a choice between ‘crooked and crazy.’ Another reader stated, ‘We don’t want Hillary and we don’t want Trump. Lord, please help us.’
So, what do I think? (More importantly, what does the Lord think about all this? I will seek to answer the second question in the next Langstaff Letter.)
THE REPUBLICAN ENDORSEMENT
Before I answer that question, one matter needs to be established first. Trump deserves the Republican endorsement to run for President. He won the primary elections fair and square against what was probably one of the strongest Republican fields for many years. He secured more votes than any other Republican in primary history. People need to accept all that!
ON THE ONE HAND
There are plenty of negatives I could point out in regards to Donald Trump: his profanity, his multiple marriages, his lack of Biblical knowledge, his insults to women, his remarks about many people, including John McCain and Megyn Kelly. One could go on. I will not labor the point on these negatives, as you can read the many references listed in the last Langstaff Letter.
ON THE OTHER HAND
There are also plenty of positives: his success in the business world, the fact that he is an ‘outsider’ to the Washington political scene and not dependent on special interest groups and donors, his willingness to speak honestly and bluntly, often stating what others are actually thinking, stirring things up, his refreshing ‘tell it like it is’ style, ignoring what is ‘politically correct.’
One major positive for me is his children, who seem to be mature young adults of good character. I always feel that you can know a lot about a person when you observe their children. Trump’s children measure up.
In more recent times, it has been reported by Dr. James Dobson, that Paula White led Donald Trump to Jesus. Dobson also stated that ‘only the Lord knows a man’s heart and how real the decision is.’ So, the question arises, ‘Is this real or is this a political ploy?’ Trump appears to be open to the input of evangelicals and has established an evangelical advisory board, inviting a gathering of around 1,000 evangelicals to meet with him in New York recently.
Like Trump at this present time, a majority of American’s have a negative opinion of Hillary and don’t trust her, in view of her involvement in many situations, over the last 30 – 40 years. Then there are the positions she has taken on, what is for me, important issues, such as abortion. She has been consistently pro-choice and is in favor of legalized abortion at any point in a pregnancy, for any reason, to be funded by the American taxpayer. She has supported gay marriage. She has no real respect for religious liberty. Then too, there are questions regarding her truthfulness and overall trustworthiness. The FBI statement shows that, ‘. . . there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,’ and also reveals that Hillary Clinton consistently lied about the emails. Add to that her role in the Benghazi disaster . . . one could go on and on. For these and other reasons, Hillary Clinton is not someone that I can support.
THE SUPREME COURT
‘This Election – It’s the High Court Stupid,’ was the headline of the monthly conservative magazine ‘Newsmax,’ pointing out, ‘The next President will radically reshape the court for a generation.’ In the past Presidential elections, this issue has been a hot topic, but this time, it has not been mentioned or discussed as much as it should be. With the sudden death of Anthony Scalia, a leading conservative on the High Court, this issue has become crucial.
WHAT DO I THINK?
I will start by declaring that in the primary election in February, I did not vote for Donald Trump. Rather, I voted for Marco Rubio, who won the Republican vote in Minnesota.
During this year, I have held a neutral position regarding Trump, a kind of ‘wait and see’ attitude. Through it all, I have been amazed at how Trump has defied the predictions of so many commentators in this election process. They have not known how to assess his campaign and have constantly predicted his downfall, only to be proved wrong time after time.
I was struck by a phrase that C. Peter Wagner used in an article about Trump, ‘Voting for him is a calculated risk.’ I have always been drawn to taking risks, as I believe that a life of ‘safety first’ is no life at all.
So, bearing in mind that a lot of things can happen between now and the election in November, if the election was held today I would not only vote for Donald Trump, I would encourage others to vote for him too. I would choose to take the ‘calculated risk,’ with the knowledge that there is no guarantee that it will work out perfectly.
I would certainly discourage those people who are thinking of staying home and not voting to not do that, as the issues are too important.
I am not ignoring the negatives that surround Trump, but I believe that there is too much at stake in this Presidential election to simply focus on the negatives and ignore the positives. Trump may be the ‘crazy’ choice, but at this time, I believe he is the ‘only’ choice between these two candidates.
AN APPEAL TO HEAVEN
We must not leave prayer out of the mix and we must be focussed on the Lord and what He desires for America at this time. Dutch Sheets wrote a book entitled ‘An Appeal to Heaven.’ Compact and easy to read, this book shares the message he gave at the recent Azuza Street Rally in California. He spoke out of his own experiences of praying for America and believing for revival, centered around a flag that was used before our present national flag. In fact, General George Washington, leader of the American Revolution, commissioned several ships, each vessel to fly the ‘Appeal to Heaven’ flag.
All these years later, this flag has come back to life, not to take the place of ‘Old Glory,’ but as a call to God’s people to pray and make an appeal to heaven on behalf of our nation.
Just recently, a dear colleague of mine Pastor John Halverson took an ‘Appeal to Heaven’ flag to the North Pole. Yes, I said the North Pole. There, from the top of the world, he prophetically declared, ‘that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.’ John declared that God wants His world back.
Politics will not ultimately change this nation, even if Trump or Clinton is elected President. Trump is not our Savior. Nor is Hillary Clinton. Jesus is. We need to pray and make an appeal to heaven, standing on the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14, ‘If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.’
Let’s make an ‘Appeal to Heaven’ on behalf of America. God bless America!
THE SPIRITUAL FACTOR
There is one other factor we must take into account, that is the spiritual factors involved in it all. I will address this in the next Langstaff Letter when I look at the subject ‘In God We Trust?’