Posted Oct 05, 2020 by Michael L. Brown

The massive groundswell of prayer support for President Trump as he battles COVID-19 reminds us of just how strong his conservative Christian base remains. Yet his performance at the first presidential debate was so unchristian that the question remains: why are so many so loyal? This illustration will help to explain.

Let’s say that you and your spouse are committed Christian conservatives, raising your four children to honor the Lord and live by biblical principles. Included in those principles are the words of Jesus, who taught that the meek and the peacemakers would be blessed. That’s one reason that you eschew violent entertainment, from violent video games to blood and gore movies to extremely violent sports.

You live in the suburbs, and your next-door neighbor became famous years ago as the toughest bar fighter in the region, cracking open many a skull in the process. He then transitioned to cage fighting where he has made an excellent living. And while he is a good neighbor, he is not a good role model for your kids. He uses all kinds of profanity. He still drinks. And he has multiple girlfriends.

One day, two of your kids come home from school quite shaken. They were cursed out by some older teens who mocked their Christian faith. They were spat on. And they were threatened. They were also told, “Just see what our dad is going to do your parents! He hates Christians even more than we do. There’s a good reason they call him Crazy Sam!”

Later that night, to your shock, Crazy Sam shows up at your door with three of his friends, all of them looking ominous and angry. They begin to scream threats against you, and you can see they have tire irons and knives in their hands.

Before you can respond, your neighbor comes running over, ripping into Crazy Sam and his cronies, getting stabbed and struck in the process, but beating them up even worse until they are subdued and disarmed.

Then, as the police arrive to clean things up, your neighbor leaves the attackers with a threat: “If you ever come near this family – and that includes your kids coming near their kids – I will tear you apart with my own hands.”

How would you now feel about your neighbor’s violence? Would you see it a different light? Would you recognize that God just used this profane character, who makes his living beating people up, to save your lives? You still might not approve of the way he makes his living, but you would have a deep sense of gratitude and even loyalty towards him. Your whole perspective would change.

Of course, this is meant as an illustration rather than a precise analogy, but the application is clear. It is not just that Trump fights. It is not even that Trump fights back. It is that Trump fights for us.

That’s how many Americans feel in general. Trump is fighting for them. (Of course, the left paints this quite differently, claiming that it is a matter of racist, white Americans wanting to keep their country white. In reality, such people represent a very small minority of the whole.)

Trump is willing to expose the lying media. Trump is willing to take on the political establishment. Trump is willing to confront the radical leftists who want to disfigure our nation. Trump is willing to call out Big Pharma.

So what if he lies too. So what if he’s nasty in the process. So what if he creates deeper divisions along the way. There will always be collateral damage. But the good far outweighs the bad.

When it comes to Christian conservatives, the feelings run just as deep. There are hostile forces that want to wipe us out.

They despise our beliefs. They want to silence us in the public square. They want to indoctrinate our children in the schools. They want to steal our most fundamental liberties.

They also stand for the most egregious sin in our nation, namely, the slaughter of the unborn.

At last, we have someone fighting back for us – and for the unborn. At last we have someone tenacious enough to keep his word, no matter what.

Yes, he is the last person we would have chosen for the job, just like the cage fighting neighbor was the last person we would have looked to for help. But these are existential issues Trump is fighting for, from the life of the unborn to our religious liberties, and from standing up to Communist China to facing down Islamic terrorism. We appreciate him fighting on our behalf. (For my 5-minute interview with former governor Mike Huckabee on this subject, go here.)

To underscore this train of thought, what if, after Trump, Mike Pence became our president? He is known as a committed Christian. He shares our convictions on many key issues. And he is anything but Trump in terms of his own personality and demeanor.

What would be the concern that many Christian conservatives would have? “He’s not tough enough! He’s too nice! He doesn’t have enough backbone!”

I trust you get the point.

To be sure, I would gladly vote for a Mike Pence should he be the Republican candidate in the future, given the current state of the Democratic party. But my sense is that many, if not most conservative Christian voters would vote for Trump today rather than Pence, simply because we need a street fighter right now, and Trump is that proven man.

Where we cross a dangerous line is when we become apologists for Trump. When we defend his indefensible and even destructive behavior. When we look to him rather than to the Lord. When we are better known as Trump supporters than as Jesus followers. That’s a major reason I wrote Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test?

And by “the Trump test” I meant two things. First, can we vote for him without destroying our Christian witness? Second, can we unite around Jesus even if we don’t agree about Trump?

I believe we can and must pass both aspects of the Trump test for the good of our country and for the good of our reputation. But part of passing that test ties in with our ability to explain why, despite Trump’s offensive personality, we so strongly support him. He fights for us, getting battered in the process. We now feel a loyalty to him.


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Tellray posted a comment · Oct 12, 2020
You say: “Where we cross a dangerous line is when we become apologists for Trump.” There is not a thing wrong with supporting most of Trump’s policies. We are choosing between 2 futures, and we must choose the better future — or as you might say — choosing the lesser or 2 evils. What is this dangerous line you refer to? Where is your courage to defend good policies even if you don’t like abrasive New Yorkers? “When we defend his indefensible and even destructive behavior.” Please do tell — what is indefensible behavior? Did you think the debate was a lady’s tea or a Joyce Meyers “fill in the blank” Bible study? Please tell us what you find so destructive instead of painting with such broad strokes of defamation. “When we look to him rather than to the Lord.” We look to hundreds of people in a lifetime including to our Presidents, whether we voted for them or not. To look to a president for leadership does not mean that we have deified him or that we worship him. You are spouting off with a false premise. We aren’t stupid children so please stop treating us that way. “When we are better known as Trump supporters than as Jesus followers.” Yawn. Life is complex. We can be known for many things simultaneously — You could be a Chevy guy, a Pepsi guy, a hunting guy, a country music guy, a married guy with kids. Supporting Trump takes nothing away from Jesus — Jesus is not threatened and He doesn’t need you to be His bodyguard. Quit setting up false dichotomies. You are better than that and we are smarter than you give us credit for.
GrandmaMoses posted a comment · Oct 12, 2020
Seriously Dr. Brown? The “trump test” ?? How about this test? I want a FREE country to live in. I want to be able to practice my religion as The First Amendment says I can without fear of a police state coming in like the USSR/KGB and arresting me for reading a Bible or attending church! Or do you a Jew not get that? Synagogues and churches are forcibly closed by evil Democrat governors and mayors who like Andrew Cuomo are NOW being sued in NY or do we just get to ignore that because Trump said a curse word? I am sick and tired of you butt hurt snowflake Evangelicals hassling Trump over “words” when we are losing our country to Communism by Covid. Or do you prefer Dr. Brown we all just let Biden and his cabal take over and crush us? Is it low self esteem on your part you refuse to FIGHT for The Republic that allows you Free Speech or cowardice? Because your radio program will be shut down under Biden. Churches and synagogues permanently shuttered. Private Property including BIBLES and religious artifacts BURNED. Have you learned nothing from WW2? I feel like you are purposely being stupid. Are you? Ideas are peaceful. History is violent. We have the right to defend ourselves. Trump is leading the charge or are you too blind to see that? Christian “nice” is over!
GrandmaMoses posted a comment · Oct 12, 2020
So what if Trump lies? Please list all the lies Trump has told. You can’t bevayse he stands up at rallies over and over telling us the truth about our government. If anything he has unmasked the lies of the Deep State, The evil Democrats, the mainstream media, the FBI, Comey, Mueller, Clinton, McCabe and those at the DOJ and DOD. Trump lays it out plain with no sugar coating or greasy oil. But so many prefer sweet sugary politicians and everything deep fried with loads of sauce. We Trump Evangelicals just want our food grilled. Just give it to us straight off the grill with salt and pepper. Stop sugar or sauce coating. Stop smothering our food with lies.
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Swkh310 posted a comment · Oct 05, 2020
A pathetic, almost embarrassing back-peddling revision of the last four years. Dr. B. has enthusiastically endorsed an amoral creature. His attempts to justify and excuse those decisions are a laughable failure. You sold your soul to the devil, Dr. Faust-Brown. Deal with the consequences.
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SteveW posted a comment · Oct 05, 2020
President Trump's default is actually to speak very graciously to people (there are many examples of this). For those who incessantly attack and demean him, he has shall we say a somewhat different approach! The scriptures say that anger WITHOUT A CAUSE is a sin. Yes, it would be better if he cleaned up his language, but it is undeniable that he HAS A CAUSE.