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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Can you still be a good Christian if you advocate for Donald Trump?

An old saying goes, “If you want to start an argument, bring up politics or religion.” So should you dare to mix the two together, expect quite a fractious melee to follow.

Donald Trump met with a group of Christian leaders yesterday, just as he’s been meeting with other conservative and Republican groups at various times to get a sense of where his support might come from in addition to trying to get the #NeverHillary forces together on the same page.

Christian conscienceOnly the dark sages of #NeverTrump see in Trump’s gathering with the righteous nothing but treachery and evil.

Leading #NeverTrumper Erick Erickson writes in The Resurgent, “The fact is if a Christian decides he wants to vote for Trump, that’s fine. But don’t go the road of Ralph Reed and start questioning the convictions of those who refuse. The Bible explicitly says that Christians are absolutely to judge those who claim to be Christians and are ‘guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler.’ (1 Cor. 5:11). Trump claims to be a Christian and claims he has never had to ask for forgiveness. 1 Cor. 5:11 says Christians are not even to eat with a person like that.

“Today, a bunch of preachers will eat with a person like that. And if they lay hands on Trump and claim him to be a Christian worth supporting, they need to remember that there will be a last day and on that last day they will be called to account and they will be asked if they put the Kingdom of God before the Kingdom of the GOP.”

First off, it’s not about putting the Kingdom of God before the Kingdom of a political party. It’s about making the best choice for Christians in a two-person race between candidates who are somewhat less than perfect children of God.

And is Erickson seriously suggesting that if a dedicated Christian supports Trump and advocates for his election that he may be going to hell?

Wow. Talk about a leap of faith. Judging by Erickson’s standards, I’m guessing Hillary Clinton supporters will be heading straight there as well. It’s going to get awful crowded down there…

In essence, Erickson is criticizing Christian leaders who side with a candidate who says he’s pro-life and at least gives lip service to being conservative rather than the candidate who time after time swears she’ll allow as many babies to be killed as possible (okay, preserve a “woman’s right to choose” -- same thing) and gives a shout-out to “LGBT rights” with every campaign speech.

While I would defer the question to certain pastors that I know, I’m thinking the Bible doesn’t exactly address the merits of choosing between two candidates for an election in 2016. Is it failing as a Christian to vote for the one whose social agenda will include many more elements of traditional and religious thought than the one who promises to continue to accelerate the rapid cultural and moral decline experienced under Obama?

As an example, as far as I know, Trump has always said he’d allow states to decide for themselves on the matter of same-sex “marriage,” unlike Hillary who not only supports the Supreme Court’s expansive definition of the federal “right” to marry, she’ll appoint heavy-handed judges to punish citizens who are invoking their right of conscience under the First Amendment to refrain from servicing them.

If you want to continue to see gay marriages in military chapels, Hillary’s your gal.

And the assault on values doesn’t stop there, either. If it were up to Hillary, organizations such as Hobby Lobby and the Catholic Church would be required under Obamacare to not only provide contraception in their health coverage for employees, they’d be mandated to cover abortion under the notion of “common sense birth control” methods such as the morning-after pill.

This is flat out crazy and a serious contravention of our Constitutional rights to live and worship according to our own sensibilities.

Personally, I don’t think it matters in the slightest whether Trump’s version of his Christian faith is genuine or not. He’ll receive his own judgment before the Good Lord when the time comes, but what his administration does here on earth certainly matters more in our daily lives than whatever “punishment” Trump receives at the entrance to the Pearly Gates.

As I’ve repeatedly said: Trump the man isn’t nearly as important in America as Trump’s policies and the people who implement them. Donald Trump isn’t going to be presiding over our next church service, but the policies of the government have a huge impact on how we live day-to-day and what we’re “permitted” to object to by our supposedly benevolent rulers in any circumstance.

#NeverTrump’s reply to this assertion would sound a lot like this: Donald Trump has repeatedly said over the years that he supports abortion (“I am very pro-choice”), gay rights and other liberal social causes, such as gun control. Therefore, his “Road to Damascus” conversion to conservatism isn’t to be believed and he can’t be trusted once in office to do what he’s promised…and he’ll ruin conservatism if he becomes the face of the Republican Party.

In other words, to support him now after such a problematic past makes any Christian who does so a hypocrite.

By implying that Christian leaders who support Trump are hypocrites, Erickson’s being more than a little hypocritical himself. #NeverTrump’s ongoing effort to try and get people not to participate in this year’s election is doing the work of the non-believers and secularists for them. The end result is installing a leader who will do everything in her power to ensure Christians and Jews have no voice in important worldly matters.

With such allies at her side, why would Hillary Clinton even need a campaign?

Trump’s Evangelical support team will work with him to advance cultural issues

Speaking of religious leaders, Donald Trump announced his Evangelical advisory board on Tuesday and it includes some big names that conservatives will surely recognize.

Nick Gass of Politico reports, “Former Republican presidential candidate and Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann leads an alphabetical list of names announced by Donald Trump's campaign on Tuesday as the presumptive Republican nominee's evangelical executive advisory board.

“Along with Bachmann, the campaign announced the additions [of] radio host and Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr, Faith and Freedom Coalition founder Ralph Reed, among more than two dozen names.”

Gass’s article contains the full list of prominent Christian conservatives and notes that endorsements of the candidate were not a prerequisite to being selected to the board. A closer look at the names reveals several of the people on the list were among Trump’s strongest critics during the primary season (mostly Cruz supporters, I believe).

In other words, Trump appears sincere in his vow to incorporate former political opponents into his administration. Once Trump beats you, he’s the first to extend his hand in friendship. Whether you feel like accepting it after being bludgeoned into submission is another matter. But unity is unity.

The “healing” process has begun; at least until #NeverTrump is taken into account.

These folks on the executive advisory board are precisely the ones Erick Erickson suggested are selling out their beliefs solely for the benefit of the Republican Party. As I argued above, I highly doubt that’s the case.

Somehow I have a hard time imagining Michele Bachmann and James Dobson as apostate Christians who’ve traded their faith for political expediency. Maybe they just realize, like most of us, that we only have two choices and one of them is going to be taking the oath of office next January.

And that person cannot be Hillary Clinton. Evangelicals appear to be picking Trump, a wise choice.

As for #NeverTrump, bring on the “hypocrite” accusations. We can take it.

By dumping Lewandowski, Trump signals he’s thinking about his legacy again

Two days after firing controversial campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, many in the media are still speculating on why the move was made and whether it will make any difference in the way Trump does things from here on out.

As for the campaign itself, they’re almost acting like Lewandowski’s removal was a normal part of doing business.

Caitlin Huey-Burns and Rebecca Berg of Real Clear Politics write, “Surrogates insist that such shake-ups are par for the campaign course, and that Trump is positioning himself for the general election, even if such shifts and shake-ups don’t traditionally come this late in the game.

“’Donald Trump is going to be Donald Trump,’ says Boris Epshteyn, a New York based-Trump surrogate, arguing that the campaign changes illustrate the candidate’s ability to make tough management decisions. ‘[He got this far] by being himself and trusting his instincts, so you're not going to see him change.’”

I never thought we’d see a wholesale change from Trump either, but casting out Lewandowski shows The Donald is ready for a new direction, one more in keeping with traditional campaigns…but maybe with a little extra Donald Trump panache thrown in.

Trump will still ultimately control his own dialogue and the message, but expect to see him doing a lot more of the “little things” necessary to win a nationwide election in a country with over 300 million people.

Republican establishmentarians have seemed especially distraught of late because of Trump’s perceived indifference to raising money – not only for his campaign, but for the party. I think with Paul Manafort now completely in charge, Trump’s fundraising numbers will go up dramatically.

We’ll also likely see a lot more of the teleprompter Trump’s been using to deliver prepared speeches on policy. Along with the teleprompter, there’s going to be a renewed focus on message discipline to counteract media narratives that the nominee is easily distracted and strays from the usual campaign discourse to pursue petty personal vendettas.

The best way to describe what we’re likely to see from Trump is his metamorphosis from “The Donald” the celebrity into Donald Trump the serious politician. Trump’s shtick wasn’t catching on nationally for a general election audience the same way it was for the primaries. Trump must see the poll numbers and realize he’ll lose unless things turn around.

And Donald Trump does not like losing.

During the Republican primaries, I talked a lot about how Trump’s legacy would serve as a control to prevent him from making a fool out of himself at a contested convention. Similarly, Trump doesn’t want his legacy to be one of a loser in the general election because he refused to make the changes necessary to allow him to compete and win the presidency.

In this instance, if it meant Corey Lewandowski had to go in order to further Trump’s ultimate goal, the decision was an easy one.

Once in office, Trump will find Lewandowski a nice non-controversial federal appointment – hopefully well away from anyone who gets upset easily by somewhat unstable people...Perhaps an ambassadorship to Djibouti or something like that. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Poll shows the race is closer than the media would have you believe

Finally today, if the high-pitched squealing from some members of the Republican establishment and #NeverTrump were to be believed, you’d think Donald Trump was trailing Hillary Clinton by twenty points in June popularity surveys.

In reality, the margin is much smaller, with the Real Clear Politics average showing Clinton with a little less than a six-point edge today. Another poll released Tuesday showed a similar tally.

Jennifer Agiesta of CNN reports, “Democrat Hillary Clinton tops Republican Donald Trump by a 47% to 42% margin in the race for the presidency, according to a CNN/ORC Poll released Tuesday, and just 22% of registered voters say their minds could change between now and November.

“Clinton continues to lead Trump when Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party are included in the list of options. Nationwide in that match-up, Clinton holds 42%, Trump 38%, Johnson 9% and Stein 7%.”

The poll once again showed the electorate overall isn’t very enthusiastic about either candidate. But it’s June and there’s plenty of time to change minds.

One thing Donald Trump has proven to be very good at throughout his life is controlling his image and maneuvering public opinion. The man is smart and you just have to think everything he does is according to some sort of calculation.

This latest incident with Corey Lewandowski was apparently weeks in the making. Why Trump chose Monday to let his campaign manager go we’ll never know. But Trump’s not that far behind and there are many, many moves left to be made in this year’s chess match.

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A Presbyterian Capitalist Preferable to Soros Puppet? You bet!

Donald Trump may be a capitalist, and may have spent his life building a financial empire rather than concentrating on studying the bible and sitting in church for 20 years, listening to anti-white rants by a racist preacher, as Barack Obama did, but he's still infinitely preferable to a satan-worshipping globalist puppet who is eager to flood America with Muslims and illegal aliens, as Hillary Clinton fully intends to do if elected!

Presbyterian Trump better than Satan-Worshipping Marxist? YES!

Donald Trump may have spent much more time in board rooms, and traveling the world, developing and managing his financial empire, than he has spent in church and reading and studying the Bible, but he's still infinitely preferable to a Satan-worshiping Marxist globalist political puppet of multi-billiionaire globalist Puppet Master George Soros! That Hillary Clinton would agree to promote the Muslim invasion of the US just because Soros says so, and endanger the American people by doing so, totally disqualifies that horrid woman even if every other act of lawlessness she's committed didn't do so!

Erickson's Loose Affair with the Truth

***Trump claims to be a Christian and claims he has never had to ask for forgiveness. 1 Cor. 5:11 says Christians are not even to eat with a person like that.***

Erickson cannot find such a quote from Trump. He repeats his falsity every chance he gets. Erickson lies.

Here is the actual truth as opposed to Erickson's self-serving rewrite of the truth. In an interview with Frank Luntz reported by many outlets, CNN included:

"Moderator Frank Luntz asked Trump whether he has ever asked God for forgiveness for his actions.

"I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don't think so," he said. "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."
Trump said that while he hasn't asked God for forgiveness, he does participate in Holy Communion.

"When I drink my little wine -- which is about the only wine I drink -- and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed," he said. "I think in terms of 'let's go on and let's make it right.'""

One Christian Perspective

Here is some fodder for consideration regarding the perspective of one kind of Christian.

While some who claim to be Christian seem to glory in the profane, vulgar, narcissistic, scabrous behavior of the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee for President of the United States, other Christians are pleading with God to deliver them from having to participate in making the choice between two “evils”. Along the line of deliverance, two options would seem to be preferable over others:

1. Trump repenting of his sin and seeking forgiveness from God; in other words, Trump having a spiritual awakening to the reality of God’s view of the human condition. According to Christ Jesus, this event is a long shot on the order of camels going through the eye of a needle. But, that does not preclude hope toward witnessing a miracle.

2. Trump dropping out before the convention and supporting a Cruz/Kasich ticket for the Republican Party nomination, which adopts Trumps immigration reduction plans and some foreign trade protection plans. Just the thought of the debate between Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton puts a smile on conservatives’ faces. And, so does the thought of John Kasich pressing a legislative and budgetary agenda through congress.

Patience is a virtue. The month before the convention will be covered with prayer. If God chooses to answer the fervent prayer without a miraculous event, then Trump will have several months to convince Christians to vote for him. In fact he could have an extra month if he started now. As yet, he does not seem to be very interested. He may hold the opinion of Rendall, that Christians and conservatives are stuck with Trump, so he does not have to exert any effort to get their vote.

To Rendall’s chagrin, some Christians and conservatives are not as afraid of the Democrat disaster, perhaps to the extent that it could more quickly lead to a mass revulsion to big government and accelerate the political pendulum back toward rational conservative, limited government policies, with the advantage of a greater level of support; perhaps a huge majority. But, plenty of time will be available after the convention to consider this issue, if necessary.

All hail the idiots

Get serious, OK?