Is Evangelical Support for Trump Hurting Our Christian Witness Worldwide? by Dr Michael Brown
We often hear that evangelical support for President Trump is hurting our witness here in America. Is it hurting our witness overseas as well?
In a follow-up to Christianity Today’s editorial by Mark Galli calling for the removal of President Trump, CT president Timothy Dalrymple noted that, “We are also a global ministry” and “partly on behalf of that global body, we can no longer stay silent.” Is it true, then, that American evangelical support for Trump is hurting our international witness?
Dalrymple wrote, “Out of love for Jesus and his church, not for political partisanship or intellectual elitism, this is why we feel compelled to say that the alliance of American evangelicalism with this presidency has wrought enormous damage to Christian witness. It has alienated many of our children and grandchildren. It has harmed African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American brothers and sisters. And it has undercut the efforts of countless missionaries who labor in the far fields of the Lord. While the Trump administration may be well regarded in some countries, in many more the perception of wholesale evangelical support for the administration has made toxic the reputation of the Bride of Christ.”
When it comes to America, I have no doubt that, to some extent, this is true. I’ve experienced it myself.
On the other hand, for every person I’ve interacted with who finds my vote for Trump objectionable, I’ve interacted with 10 (or, more likely, 50 or 100) who find my biblical values objectionable. In particular, this applies to my opposition to LGBT activism and, less so, to pro-life views.
So, while some people may not listen to our witness because we voted for Trump, even more people will not listen to us because of our moral convictions. That’s an obstacle we have to overcome.
What about the claim that evangelical support for Trump in America “has undercut the efforts of countless missionaries who labor in the far fields of the Lord”?
Is this as pervasive as CT claims? Is their sampling wide-ranging and representative?
I personally interact with a good number of international Christian leaders, and most of them view Trump in a positive light, overall. I also help lead an organization that helps support and oversee scores of missionaries working around the world. I do not believe that most of them would concur with the assessment of CT.
I also asked this question on Facebook (where we have almost 600K followers, about half of them from outside the USA), as well as on Twitter (where we have 37K followers).