This past Tuesday, Mr. Donald Trump was elected as our next President. The evangelical community was a major factor in Mr. Trump’s historic victory. To vote for him, Christians admittedly had to look beyond his despicable conduct during his bid for the nomination and during the presidential election campaign.
The depth of the challenge to make a choice was underscored by a recent survey of 1000 Protestant senior pastors, conducted by LifeWay Research. The survey was conducted 22August-16 September, 2016; seven weeks before the presidential election. Even church leaders found it difficult to choose, given their choices for candidates.
At the time of the survey, thirty-two percent of the pastors planned to vote for Donald Trump; nineteen percent for Hillary Clinton; and four percent for Gary Johnson. But the largest percentage, 40 percent of the pastors, were still undecided as to whom to vote for.
Lifeway Research’s survey also gave some insight on what motivated church leaders to vote the way they intended to during the presidential election. Twenty-seven percent say personal character matters the most. Twelve percent cited a candidate’s likely Supreme Court appointees. Twelve percent rated protection of religious freedom as the most important factor. As for those pastors who planned to vote for Donald Trump, they rated personal character substantially lower than his likely Supreme Court nominees and his stated position on abortion.
If so many church leaders struggled with whom to vote for, it is reasonable to assume that many of the members of the congregations they lead struggled also. In the end, however, the Christian community voted for Donald Trump in large numbers to help sweep him to his stunning victory. Based on exit polling data, a whopping eighty-one percent of white evangelicals voted in support of Mr. Trump.
Now the presidential election is over, and Mr. Trump has won. During his run for the presidency, he struck chemistry with the Christian community in the areas of religious liberty, Supreme Court Justice appointments, and abortion. We must now hold him to his promises.
Delivering on these promises won’t be easy, however. Mr. Trump has zero experience in politics. Currently, he does not know enough about what he has been elected to do to even know how difficult it will be. But I think I am safe to say that no matter how they view his character, and regardless to whether they voted for him or not, Christians should earnestly pray that the Donald and his team succeed in delivering on his promises.
Copyright © 2016 by Frank King. All rights reserved.