The second presidential debate is officially in the record books. While Hillary Clinton decisively won among debate watchers, according to Vox, many thought that Donald Trump did enough to maintain his highly-committed voter base, of which he even admitted that he could shoot someone and still retain them. Describing his followers as “my people,” the cultish wave of Trump supporters stand by their nominee, rolling the dice on someone outside of the political sphere in hopes to draw a new era of America devoid of corruption and empty promises.
Many evangelicals jumped on this political bandwagon as well. In fact, many have used their pulpits to forward the congregation in the Trump movement, which is a very taboo decision to make by intermingling the two from a position of authority. For instance, Mark Burns, a 37-year-old Pastor of Harvest Praise and Worship Center in South Carolina, has stood by his candidate as a surrogate, claiming that Trump is “fighting for Christianity” and “we’re going to elect a man in Donald Trump that believes in the name of Jesus Christ” to his church members, ABC News reports.
Regarding his views on building a wall to prohibit Mexicans to migrate to the United States, his rejection of the war in Iraq, harsh criticism of Barack Obama’s presidency, mass Muslim ban to the United States, among other topics, a significant number of evangelicals can side with him, due to a litany of inconsistency displayed by Hillary Clinton throughout her decades in the political spectrum. However, Trump’s series of slip-ups from a morality standpoint has let down some staunch evangelical supports. Particularly, with the most recent media concerning his misogynistic comments on women, which was sparked even further by a leaked tape from 2005. This display of viewing women as objects for personal arousal was simply minimized by Trump as “locker room talk,” according to his response during the debate, Fortune reports.
For the majority number of evangelicals, Trump is getting the most attention — whether good or bad — because Clinton is not even considered as a suitable alternative, even with disapproval of Trump. The liberal agenda presented by Clinton of forwarding the LGBTQ movement (which has created a mass labeling of words such as “bigot,” “hatred,” and “discrimination” to Christians for standing up for what they believe), support of Roe v. Wade even to the extent of partial-birth abortion, among other issues on morality, is viewed as a way to gather different people groups together to rally around her mission to be the next president, and issues that a significant number of evangelicals cannot put aside for the sake of gaining her vote.
For a biblically-based Christian worldview, this view is not one that can be endorsed, because the words of the Bible takes precedence regarding a set of truths to live by to fully function in the reflection of Christ. Love wins, even at the expense of going against what the world has transformed as “normal.”
As a result of the inability of settling on a candidate who would represent the biblical values of morality, a wave of “Jesus for President” hashtags flooded social media throughout and after the debate.
This statement took an identity of its own with the help of Shane Claiborne, whose 2008 book is entitled that exact phrase.
His plea for Christians across that nation is for believers to always put politics below the primary objective and mission to live for Jesus, in which one’s lifestyle would be indicative of the decisions he or she make according to the teachings of the Bible.
“When the church takes affairs of the state more seriously than they do Jesus, Pax Romana becomes its gospel and the president becomes the Son of God.”
While this movement is metaphoric in nature, it pulls on the heartstrings of many evangelicals who are struggling to rest in either Trump or Clinton’s presentation of Christ to the masses.
This question posed by the above Instagram photo leaves one to ponder whether Christ has become hidden to the nation and if the Christian community has contributed to this fading away of Jesus’ teachings at the expense of people-pleasing and shamefulness due to being labeled as “bad guys.” These are the vital components, and also challenges, to the revival of the “Jesus for President” movement, exhibited strongly during the debate.
[Featured Image by Joseph Kaczmarek/AP Images]