Read Time: 2 Minutes 53 Seconds
In 2016, Donald Trump won the presidency of the United States with overwhelming Christian evangelical support. Six years later, with Trump having announced his intention to run for the White House again in 2024, his popularity among that same group may not be so strong.
Many evangelical leaders have been critical of the way Trump has conducted himself in recent months, including hosting Kanye West and known white supremacist Nick Fuentes for dinner at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida and his staunch criticism of popular Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Robert Jeffress, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, was among Trump’s most staunch supporters in 2016. He recently told Newsweek that he would hold back his endorsement of Trump until he wins the GOP nomination.
“The Republican Party is headed toward a civil war that I have no desire or need to be part of,” Jeffress said.
Many evangelical leaders, including American Renewal Project founder David Lane, a conservative political analyst and columnist for Charisma News, say Trump is out of touch with voters and driven by personal grievances.
“President Donald J. Trump’s initial strength during his reign came from him standing up for and with the people of America,” Lane said in a recent column titled “How the Red Wave Died on the Vine.” “Specifically, the rescinding of the Johnson Amendment in 2016 [the pastor muzzle act], his Poland speech in July 2017—The people of Poland, the people of America and the people of Europe still cry out ‘We want God.’—his blue-collar patriotism, his fight to place constitutional traditionalists on the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Courts of Appeals and his strenuous efforts to bring big government and dark state bureaucrats to heel.
“Unfortunately, the former president’s penchant for settling political scores and his compulsion to keep the spotlight upon himself have become both threadbare and trite.”
Frequent Charisma News contributor and founder of the Friends of Zion Museum Mike Evans said in a recent essay for The Washington Post that Trump’s supporters need to stop treating him like an idol. Evans said he once left a Trump rally “in tears because I saw Bible believers glorifying Donald Trump like he was an idol.”
Although Evans did say, however, that Trump “indeed kept and exceeded his promises to us,” he believes Trump needs to change his ways in moving forward and that he had done damage by turning “the pulpit that we preach from” into a political platform.
“Donald Trump can’t save America,” Evans wrote. “He can’t even save himself. …We had to close our mouths and eyes when he said things that horrified us. I cannot do that anymore.”
Evangelist James Robison also had some strong advice for the former president while recently addressing the National Association of Christian Lawmakers.
“If Mr. Trump can’t stop his little petty issues, how does he expect people to stop major issues,” Robison said. “Sir … the more you keep your mouth closed, the more successful you are going to be.”
Robison said the former president didn’t always take to Robison’s spiritual counseling. “He heard, but he didn’t always heed,” Robison said.
Jim Garlow, founder of Well Versed, which brings biblical principles of governance to government leaders, says Trump needs to stop focusing on the 2020 election and whether or not he was robbed and take advantage of his strong assets as a leader.
“It’s not helping him,” Garlow said in a recent article on Charismanews.com. “He has much to offer the party and the nation, so long as revenge is not his goal for running. What he has accomplished (in his four years as President) is astounding. He has sacrificed enormously for the nation. His policies while President are stunning. But he must cultivate the ‘severant’ motif. He loves this country. He can do it.”
Dr. Michael Brown, in a recent column titled “Is the Church Ready for Trump 2024?,” says that if Trump is elected once more to the White House, we as Christians must do better to not get caught up in putting our trust in Trump and the political system.
“In the case of Trump, there were so many good things he stood for, so many admirable things he championed, so much courage he displayed, so much of our burden that he shared, that it was all too easy for us to get seduced. (By seduced I don’t mean voting for him; I mean acting the way we did.),” Brown wrote.
“In the process, we compromised our witness, put our trust in the political system and divided over the president rather than united around Jesus.”
Shawn A. Akers is the online editor for Charisma Media.
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma’s best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.