Is Donald Trump really a Christian? We know that he’s controversial, contentious, and outspoken, but does the Republican presidential candidate exhibit signs indicative of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
As recent scandals threaten to destroy his race for the presidency, many Christian leaders are coming forward to pull their support. If Donald Trump were really a Christian, would he behave the way he has? How about the way he handles criticism? Do Christians say the things Trump has said about women, immigrants, and people of other faiths? How about the way Trump handles confrontation when presented with his own comments? Would Donald Trump have repented by now if he truly had an understanding of the tenets of the Christian faith?
Donald Trump landed on the political scene with the support of many charismatic and prophetic preachers. His personal relationship with Florida pastor and televangelist Paula White took center stage, and she delivered the closing prayer at the first night of the Republican convention. Yet, in an interview with CNN, White was left on the defensive trying to explain away Trump’s Christian faith which is hardly evident in his public persona.
There is nothing about Trump’s statements, comments, or actions that would convince anyone with an iota of awareness of the Christian religion that Trump was a follower or believer. While Paula White stated in the video interview below that Donald Trump is a man who is hungry for God, she acknowledged that he didn’t know the difference between “two Corinthians” and “Second Corinthians.”
While there are numerous examples anyone can point to as evidence that Donald Trump is not a true Christian, the most troubling indication may be summed up in one word: repentance. Repentance is key to the Christian faith. In fact, repentance is key to Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Yet, repentance seems to be a concept Trump is unfamiliar with.
He stated in the video above that he doesn’t understand why he needs to be forgiven. CNN reported on Trump’s comments made in response to moderator Frank Luntz’ questioning during the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, regarding whether Trump has asked God for personal forgiveness for sins.
Trump replied, “I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think so. I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.”
It has become somewhat common knowledge that Donald Trump doesn’t apologize. He apparently doesn’t apologize to God when he does something wrong in his Christian faith and is even more hard-pressed to apologize to the public or individual people he has hurt during his campaign. Trump has every right to be as non-apologetic as he wants. It’s still a free country. But to claim the title of Christian while denying the most important tenet and fundamental principle of salvation is another matter entirely.
Christianity is not a religion where people continue in bad behavior repeatedly, say a prayer, then accept their forgiveness and go along their merry way. The very definition of the word repent means to be sorry for your actions, then to turn away from the behavior and change your ways. This theme of repentance is repeated throughout the Bible.
Luke 13:3 is one of many verses that explicitly states the importance for Christians to not only repent but to turn away from their sins. The Common English Bible makes it plain.
“No, I tell you, but unless you change your hearts and lives, you will die just as they did.”
Christianity is not about repeating negative actions, sins, or bad behavior then casually apologizing when the public demands. It is about changing your life on a daily basis to root out bad behaviors, adopt a lifestyle of love, mercy, and compassion, and extend forgiveness to others. While many Christians try to justify a Donald Trump presidency by offering forgiveness, the more important question might be what kind of Christian doesn’t repent.
[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]