They Call Us “Hypocrites” – They are Not Wrong

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Gentle Reader,

My people.

Evangelicals.

What does the word even mean anymore?

Today, instead of pointing to those who are given over to the spreading of the Good News, the term appears to equate with jackassesHypocrites. Devastatingly so.

I’ll get to the point: If you are using David’s or Solomon’s adultery to excuse Donald Trump’s words and behavior, then you are wrong. You do not have a hermeneutical leg to stand on.

Does God forgive unreservedly all who ask in sincerity? Yes. Of course. No doubt.

This does NOT mean that there are no consequences.

Let’s look at David and the aftermath of his infamous affair with Bathsheba.

Consider the opening verses of Psalm 51:

Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.

– vs. 1-2 (NKJV)

Contrast them with:

‘Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.'”

– 2 Samuel 12:10-12 (NKJV)

God did indeed forgive David.

But he lived out the rest of his days in strife.

Here’s a little Interpretation 101: Just because it’s in the Bible doesn’t mean that God is okay with it. What the honesty of Scripture reveals is the honesty of God. He inspired the authors to present the sweeping story in all of its terribleness. The breadth and depth of human depravity is on full display, showing our inability to self-correct and achieve righteousness. Against this dark backdrop splashes the pure brilliance of the Savior.

Mr. Trump has lived a life devoid of respect for others, particularly women. Edit: My friend Andrew pointed out the danger of generalizations. We do not know every thought Mr. Trump has ever had, every action he’s ever taken. My comment is based only on how Mr. Trump has chosen to present himself to the public. He has at least appeared to take great delight in shocking and demeaning others. Can this be corrected? Can his heart be changed? Can the same Jesus who saved me save Him? Absolutely.

Yet there are consequences. Lifelong ones, even. For as “they” say, whoever “they” are, sins always find us out. Those who cry that Mrs. Clinton should be charged for her crimes would do well to seriously ponder their defense of Mr. Trump. If her actions follow her, then so do his. If her character is attested to in every action and comment, then so is his. There cannot, should not, be a double standard.

Here’s what we’re really getting down to: a lust for power. Church leaders who continue to uncritically back Mr. Trump, sling mud at Mrs. Clinton and engage in fear-mongering over Supreme Court justices have lost sight of what the mission truly is:

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

– Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)

Jesus does not say, “Be sure to vote for a candidate who might appoint justices who can possibly get through a Senate hearing so that Roe v. Wade will maybe be overturned.” He does not say, “Make sure that you do all that you can to ensure your political power and influence.”

None of that.

He speaks the above words to men and women who will immediately experience persecution for their obedience:

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

– John 15:18-19 (NKJV)

Jesus does not say, “Yes, do be afraid. Do worry about what will happen if someone you don’t like is elected to the position of President. Do lament and sigh with great woe. Do wring your hands.”

What is that you want, you who claim the name of Christ? To be the loudest voice in a screaming world? To place a thin veneer of morality over society, expecting those who do not have the Spirit of the Living God within to behave as if they do? If you choose to be a single-issue voter or a person who casts a ballot out of fear, that’s all you can hope to achieve – and that is not an achievement at all.

Or do you want to cast yourself fully upon the sovereignty of God, knowing that you do not belong to this world? Knowing that you are a pilgrim? Knowing that you have a job to do, and that you cannot complete it through natural means? Knowing that you are called to fix your eyes upon Jesus, no matter how the storm rages or how the environment shifts or how hostile people become?

If at the end of the day you wish to vote for Mr. Trump, then do. If you find his proposed policies and philosophies of government sound, then check that box. But please stop believing that he is anymore “moral” a choice than the others. He is not. Stop believing that the GOP is the “party of God.” It is not.

As this incident unfolds, I am appalled by the attitude of those who call themselves evangelical Christians. Again, God can and does forgive. We should hope and pray that Mr. Trump has genuinely repented. At the same time, our response to this should not be the error of eisegesis, to read into the Bible conclusions we have already made, to assume that “because David did it,” all is well. Our response should not be unflinching defense of this or any other candidate. Our response should not be to deflect and say, “But look at what Clinton did!”

And certainly our response should not be, “All men talk like that.”

They categorically do not, and no woman is required to put up with those who do.

Either we care about character or we do not. Either we focus on the Gospel or we focus on clawing and scraping for societal domination. The choice is ours to make. And it is a choice. A binary. This road or that.

We cannot travel both.

We cannot hold onto the world with one hand and hold onto God with the other.

We must do better.

Signature

Addendum: I know that someone is going to cry “foul” because I plan to vote for Gary Johnson and he clearly holds some positions that are contrary to Scripture. I do not pretend that Mr. Johnson is a perfect candidate and I do not pretend to agree with him on every issue. I choose Mr. Johnson because I find him to be the sanest candidate in an insane election cycle, even after the “Aleppo gaffe” and the “tongue thing.” I choose Mr. Johnson because, as a for-the-most-part Libertarian, I do not believe that it is the job of government to do what the Church is meant to do. I choose Mr. Johnson because the two-party system is irrevocably broken. I choose Mr. Johnson because I refuse to “vote strategically,” for that method simply doesn’t work. For more on this topic, please see “Laws & Hearts.”

If you are interested in reading an excellent argument for Evan McMullin, please see this.

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11 thoughts on “They Call Us “Hypocrites” – They are Not Wrong

  1. It is only the beginning – it is prophesied:

    “YOU WILL BEAR THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR LEWDNESS AND YOUR DETESTABLE PRACTICES, DECLARES THE LORD.”

    Christianity has failed miserably.

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    1. If Christians can get to the place where we accept our failure and repent, then that’s great. If we just keep descending… Well, it’s not hard to imagine where that ends.

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      1. Christianity has failed, since the Holy Command is:

        “THEREFORE, GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS.”

        And yet every Tom Dick and Harry gets a calling to become a priests – the Devil called and humanity answered….Christian inability to read and understand the Holy Truth…that’s the problem.

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  2. Deep and thoughtful essay, Marie.

    I would take issue with the statement that DT has lived a life devoid of respect for others, particularly women. His life isn’t an open book; we see what we’re allowed to see, and generalizing doesn’t seem quite fair.

    I’m not fond of either candidate, but I agree with Dietrich Bonhoeffer that a moral choice does not lie between good and evil; it lies in choosing the lesser of two evils. This election, more than any one I have participated in, does seem to be very much a moral choice.

    Personally, I do find Mr. Trump’s comments reprehensible, but I have to admit that I have said worse things on other subjects, and have certainly had worse thoughts. For me, taking the moral high ground would be hypocrisy. Maybe that’s true for most people; I don’t know, but I do know my own heart, and there’s a lot there I don’t like.

    For me it does come down to issues; I think the Second Amendment should be preserved, and that free expression of religion should be protected. I think that closing down coal and investing in ‘clean energy infrastructure’ is a dangerous and destructive myth, because clean energy technology just isn’t there yet. And living in a border state (with a cop for a neighbour) I am absolutely horrified by the notion of open borders.

    Am I therefore clawing and scraping for societal domination? Perhaps. But I would like to think that my views are informed from a life that took in some of the uglier aspects, with a desire to help; a view of what illness and no insurance can do to one’s self-esteem; and a view to what a good career, irrevocably destroyed, can do to the soul. I’d like to think I care.

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    1. As I said, if someone wants to vote for Trump because he/she genuinely agrees with his positions/policies, I get that.

      What is beyond me is how some Christians are insisting that he is the only “moral” choice and that what he’s done is “no big deal.”

      I’m just…so tired. So tired of the whole thing.

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      1. I agree that what he did is a big deal.

        The moral choice does lie beyond character, because almost no one could pass that test. It has to lie in the realm of philosophy and commitment. The choice we have here really doesn’t stretch moral boundaries that much, except in certain issues; but it’s well to recall that in 1933, Hitler was elected in a free vote.

        (I wouldn’t compare either major candidate to Hitler; the sludge-like workings of our tripartite government pretty much ensure that there won’t be a lot of change no matter who’s elected. The devil may well emerge in the details, in the court appointments at the district levels.)

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  3. This is good but also a lot to take in especially with the scripture. I definitely agree with what you said. I wish I was better as you seem to be concerning people’s reasonings on why they would vote for him. I get all passionate about it because It is so black and white to me which really makes me seem heartless and cruel. I know that is my down fall. I am also going to be the one who will say something about Johnson because that seems so black and white for me too. You said you would check out Daryl Castle. Were you able to? He is a cleaner version of Johnson. Anywho… I really appreciate this because no one has written one like this.

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  4. I am 100% saddened that this country is in such “dire straits” and its people do not cry out to the Lord for forgiveness. I believe that whomever wins in November is who God has already designed to be our next President. Am I happy about the choices? Absolutely not! But I also know that the Lord does what He does with a purpose in mind, whether or not I like it or understand it. I am going to cast my vote and cast my anxieties on the Lord!

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  5. I completely agree. It annoys me when people act like the GOP is sent from Heaven and the Dem party is from below. They’re both a mess in their own ways – run by fallen humans who are prone to sin just like the rest of the world. Trump’s behavior is horrible and will with no doubt hurt our witness as the Church if we continue to praise him the way we are right now. The best thing we can do is pray for Him to turn around and come to Christ.

    I’m also planning to vote Johnson and your post convinced me that I was making the right decision. I don’t agree with everything he supports but I believe he’s the best option out of the group.

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