Can American evangelism die because evangelicals voted for Donald Trump? This seems to be the thinking that Beth Moore, Christian evangelist and bestselling author, is following nowadays.
In a tweet responding to a Christian Post editorial, Moore, the 62-year-old founder of Living Proof Ministries, identified 2016 as the year the movement “passed away.”
The Christian Post editorial was responding to Christianity Today’s support for President Donald Trump’s impeachment and removal from office; The Christian Post piece blasted “Christian elitism” and the spirit of the Christianity Today editorial.
“CT’s op-ed does not represent evangelical Christianity today, yesterday or in the future,” the piece read. “After all, a majority of Trump’s evangelical support has been triggered by his opponents’ advocating policies that make him appear to be, at the very least, the lesser of two evils in a binary contest.
“CT’s disdainful, dismissive, elitist posture toward their fellow Christians may well do far more long-term damage to American Christianity and its witness than any current prudential support for President Trump will ever cause.”
Tyler Huckabee, the senior editor of Christian magazine Relevant, had compared this to an editorial that The Christian Post had published back in February 2016 titled “Donald Trump Is a Scam. Evangelical Voters Should Back Away.”
This was, of course, long before Trump had even sewn up the Republican nomination, much less been one of two serious choices in the presidential election.
Moore responded with her strange epitaph for evangelical Christianity.
“Evangelicalism as we knew it, as imperfect as it was because we are imperfect, passed away in 2016,” she tweeted Thursday.
“History will plant its grave marker there. A disclaimer is always necessary these days so I’ll add this: This, of course, is not to say conservative Christianity passed away.”
Evangelicalism as we knew it, as imperfect as it was because we are imperfect, passed away in 2016. History will plant its grave marker there. A disclaimer is always necessary these days so I’ll add this: This, of course, is not to say conservative Christianity passed away.
— Beth Moore (@BethMooreLPM) December 26, 2019
Moore had previously tweeted her support for the Christianity Today editorial, as well.
My hat’s off to you, @markgalli. Respect.
— Beth Moore (@BethMooreLPM) December 20, 2019
The idea that evangelical Christian voters choosing Trump over Hillary Clinton somehow killed evangelicalism is patently absurd, as if they would have been better off voting for a person and a party that had absolute contempt for them and their values.
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The past three years have shown that, even if you believe that decision was imperfect, it was the correct one.
Trump’s work on appointing judges who will follow the Constitution as written, a key issue for Christians given its outsized importance in issues of religious freedom, would be reason enough alone to embrace his election.
His defense of the unborn has been unwavering. Even Marc A. Thiessen at The Washington Post acknowledged in 2018 that “Trump is proving to be the most fearlessly pro-life president in history,” noting his move to stop Title X funding from being disbursed to clinics that perform abortions, among other accomplishments.
Trump has supported religious freedom abroad, as well, in a way that a Democratic administration never would have.
“Our Founders understood that no right is more fundamental to a peaceful, prosperous and virtuous society than the right to follow one’s religious convictions. Regrettably, religious freedom enjoyed by American citizens is rare in the world,” Trump said in a speech at the United Nations in September.
“As we speak, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, many other people of faith are being jailed, sanctioned, tortured and even murdered even at the hands of their own government simply for expressing their deeply held religious beliefs.”
President @realDonaldTrump just delivered a critical message on religious freedom and global persecution.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 23, 2019
Is this a speech you would have seen Hillary Clinton giving?
It’s one thing for a Christian to be against Donald Trump. There are plenty of people who are, after all, and far be it from me to cast aspersions on someone’s faith because of their political opinions.
However, to say that evangelical Christianity and all that entails died because the people of America elected Donald Trump in 2016 essentially states that because other Christians don’t share your political opinions, they literally killed an entire branch of Christianity.
This is fatuousness disguised as serious thought, essentially saying that support for a president who’s defended religious liberty and the unborn at home and abroad is morally abhorrent.
The implication, of course, is that his opponent — a vociferous supporter of unfettered abortion rights who couldn’t have given a lick about religious liberty — would have been the Christian person to support.
This is NeverTrumpism of the most wearying sort.
The subtext here is that if you support Donald Trump, you’re not only a bad Christian, you’re literally responsible for the death of evangelical Christianity.
The accusatory language in Christianity Today’s self-important editorial/lecture was obnoxious enough.
Moore has somehow managed to top that.
The Western Journal reached out to Moore for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.
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