Posted Dec 04, 2020 by Michael L. Brown

In my book Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test?, I devoted a chapter to the question, “Since when was loyalty to Trump the dividing line for Christians?” We can now ask the question, “Since when was loyalty to Trump the dividing line for conservatives?” Shouldn’t loyalty to conservative principles define us, rather than loyalty to a person?

I’ve noticed an interesting trend in which I’ve been accused of being a “leftist,” to my memory, for the first time in my life.

Normally, the criticisms and attacks come from the left, where I’m accused of being a right-wing wacko or a religious fanatic or a Nazi or a homophobe or a bigot or a hater. (I’m sure many of you who share my conservative values are attacked in similar ways. This is as predictable as it is hackneyed.)

How is it, then, that I’m now being called a “leftist”?

At last check, I’m still listed as a “key right-wing figure” by Right Wing Watch, with 101 posts related to my name, the last one dating to October. That’s more mentions than were received by Amy Coney Barrett (39x), Attorney General William Barr (43x), and Ben Shapiro (58x), just to name a few. And since all of them are in the news far more than me (obviously!), the fact that I’m mentioned so much must mean I really am considered to be far right by those on the left.

So, I remain in good standing as a vilified, biblically-based conservative.

More to the point (and more seriously), I am as adamantly pro-life as ever, as pro-family as ever, as pro-religious freedoms as ever, and as pro-Israel as ever, just to mention my strongest, biblically-based conservative principles.

What, then, has changed? Why did one FB commenter (who was hardly alone) claim that I am now introducing “left leaning suggestions or at times left narratives” into my articles?

The reason is simple. As a Trump voter, I have cautioned against putting too much trust in a person, specifically Donald Trump. I have challenged Christian leaders who have misused the Bible in their support of the president. I have warned against making exaggerated statements about the elections (like the claim that Trump actually won by the biggest landslide in electoral history). I have urged us to be more temperate in our rhetoric.

For those transgressions I am branded a leftist (or, as I recently noted, “a flaming Communist”). Anything less than absolute fealty to Trump means that you have betrayed the conservative cause.

The irony, of course, is that during this same season, I’ve continued to write and speak about the same biblically-based values that I have embraced for decades.

In the last 6 weeks, I’ve written about a victory against LGBTQ tyranny in our courts and issued a warning about LGBTQ activism in Norway. I have criticized those who compare Trump to Hitler (and, by extension, his supporters to Nazis). I’ve taken issue with former President Obama’s exaggerated charges of American racism. I’ve asked if the left will try to prosecute and remove Christians from our society. I’ve pointed out that America still does not like the radical left. And I’ve drawn attention to the Senate Democrats unanimously voting against Amy Coney Barrett. And even this is not a complete list of articles from the last 6 weeks, let alone the radio broadcasts and videos and posts.

Yet, to repeat, because I raise concerns and cautions about our relationship to Trump (just as I have for the last four years, as a Trump supporter), my conservative credentials are being questioned.

How in the world did this happen, not just to me, but to others who have been sharing their stories with me as well?

The “logic” would apparently be that, to the extent you share any view that is held by anyone on the left, you yourself must be a leftist. Where this line of reasoning could go is really quite scary. (And, for the record, not every value held by people on the left is maniacal and depraved. Just saying.)

The reason that many of us voted for Donald Trump in 2016 was because he promised to champion values that were important to us, specifically, conservative Christian values. At that time, we could only hope that he would keep his promises. The second time we voted for him, in 2020, it was because he had kept those promises.

So, our loyalty was first to those principles, and to the extent that Trump stood with those principles, we stood with him, with great appreciation at that. In that way, he earned our loyalty and support.

Of course, for some of us, it was never a perfect union, since Trump often violated many of our biblical values while fighting for our conservative Christian policies.

Still, we voted for him and stood with him because of the stands he took, and we remain deeply grateful that he held his ground. And if the election has been stolen from him, we absolutely stand with him for justice.

But the idea that one’s conservatism is now measured by how deeply one swears to Trump is wrongheaded and dangerous, especially for people of faith.

We are the ones who are to hold our ground, firm in our convictions, which, we believe, derive from eternal principles. The political leaders and parties should be evaluated by how they line up with those principles, not by how we line up with them.

It’s time for a recalibration.

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Swkh310 posted a comment · Dec 05, 2020
Far more important question: can Evangelicals rebuild their reputation and influence in a post-Trump America?
czarpaul posted a comment · Dec 04, 2020
Yes we should have been out preaching marching and holding rallies for Christ yet we didn't we did these things for a man and now our end will be WORSE than if we hadn't gotten the reprieve. It would have been better for us to have had Hilary and received due judgement than to get a reprieve and squander it. Now we really will being getting judged.
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triumphtr6 posted a comment · Dec 04, 2020
The late and truly wonderful Bible teacher J. Vernon McGee once said: "I have never voted for someone that I liked, I have always voted to keep someone else from getting into office". This is what I did when I voted for our President the first time. Then I was actually rather surprised at his accomplishments as time went by. Being a Jewish believer, I was very pleased with his treatment of Israel. Then when the "Pandemic" hit, I watched his daily updates. He handled them very well. He was trying to keep the hopes of the country up and quite honestly I was surprised by his humility. He was very honest in the fact that this certainly was not his area of expertise. I believe that this is the bottom line: HE IS THE RESISTANCE. HE IS THERE TO KEEP OUR COUNTRY FROM BECOMING COMMUNIST. I truly wish all of us could see that. Those folks that call themselves Christians and then said that they couldn't vote for him because he was not holy righteous and pure: I think, made a huge mistake. Only Jesus is is holy righteous and pure. Our President is a "Good King", not a perfect king. In the scriptures there were good kings and bad kings. How many of those good kings were holy righteous and pure? I hope that God is gracious to us and keeps him in office. If not, we will be heading toward the very darkest years in American history. For you naysayers against the President, I wonder how you will justify your position when that happens??? And it will happen if the Left gets in.
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DLM posted a comment · Dec 04, 2020
You are correct in your analysis, and people want to see and hear what they want to. See 2 Timothy 4:3-5. People believed they saw flying saucers in 1932 after an Orsen Wells radio program. It's called mass hysteria! People are not understanding what they are seeing because 1) they don't know the process, and 2) they are looking through cloudy perspective. Would we believe Jesus was risen with only the word of Mary, a woman? I can tell you the story would have stopped there 2000 years ago had it not been for the approximately 500 people who could attest to it. Now, put that in context with today's issue. Lastly, we should wait and see where Biden stands on Isreal, and just because there might be disagreements doesn't mean he's anti-Israel. Isreal is being led by a man with political ambition like every other nation and we need to keep that in mind. God is in control. Question is, no matter the outcome, who U gonna B?
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Daniel434 posted a comment · Dec 04, 2020
Dear God, please make Trump retire to Mar-A-Lago, rarely heard or seen again by the public. Amen. (What a miracle this would be!)
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Terri posted a comment · Dec 04, 2020
You are not a leftist stay the course regardless of the obstacles or criticism : "Keep cautioning against putting too much trust in a person, specifically Donald Trump. Admonish anyone misusing the Bible in their support of the president, or making exaggerated statements about the elections (like the claim that Trump actually won by the biggest landslide in electoral history). Continue telling the saints to be more temperate in our rhetoric. Sorry I hope you don't mind, I took the liberty of paraphrasing some your comments. Now a bit of history on me, I too voted for Trump in both elections, even though like a lot of Christians I was put off by Trump's boorish behavior. Plus I certainly didn't want a Biden presidency. However, I am alarmed at the idolatry (regarding Trump) that has consumed so many of my fellow Christians. At what point do we stop idolizing a political position, regard them as anointed by God, and speak of them as a prophesied savior come to save America? When I point this out to them, I find they get hostile and defensive stating, "We do not worship or idolize President Trump." They just flat out refuse to acknowledge it. We, are the children of God, we know that no matter who inhabits the White House, God sits on His throne and in control. Therefore, our allegiance is only to God, not any man or political party.
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RAS posted a comment · Dec 04, 2020
When Trump rose to power as the leader of the right, I could not help but remember Simon bar Kochba who led the final revolt of the Jews against their globalist rulers: the Romans. Bar Kochba was very a strong, charismatic man; a natural leader who captured the heart and soul of the Jewish people. As a leader, he had gained somewhat of a superhuman aura about him. After stunning victories against the Romans, Rabbi Akiva declared bar Kochba the Messiah and the Jews elevated him to that level. Christians outright rejected that status, but many rabbis and others supported the claim believing bar Kochba would, Make Judea Great Again by freeing them from their globalist oppressors. Bar Kochba organized a very large army and fought in rebellion against Rome for almost six years, four of which, there was an independent Jewish state. In the end he was betrayed by insiders who conspired with the globalist Romans, and the rest is history until 1948. I support Trump, and will continue to support Trump as long as his actions are worthy of support. I will not elevate him to a place where he is deemed our only hope or salvation, lest our end becomes like unto those who followed bar Kochba. God has used Trump. If God chooses to continue using him in the same capacity that he has, praise God. If God is changing the direction of things, praise God. Either way, the victory is the Lord’s, whatever happens. If we lose the whole world, it is to gain heaven and it will work for the purification and redemption of the saints. Salvation is of the Lord.