I was not surprised at the election of Donald Trump. I was actually expecting that. Neither was I surprised at the decisiveness of his win in Electoral College terms. I was expecting that also. And neither was I surprised that my preferences remained in place—I knew that I would much rather have Trump in the White House than Hillary there. All these things I have addressed in this space already in various ways. But I will tell you what did surprise me, something that I was not expecting at all. I was surprised at the depth of my joy over what happened to the Clinton hubris. I thought I was going to be pleased with the results in Clintonville, but my internal relief thus far has been positively undignified. I am not hugging strangers on the street yet though.
BUT . . .
As I have been warning, the danger with backgrounding your principles for the sake of a particular election is that if you win (which the Trump evangelicals did), is that you then find yourself wanting to background them for a longer period, backgrounding them “until a more propitious time.” Your particular issues are not important to the people you helped elect, and so you start kicking the can’t down the road. You start thinking about getting this or that through, you start mulling on the possibility of a second term, and all that stuff, and so you put some important issues down at the bottom of the “old business” part your agenda. If enough time passes, this process is tantamount to forgetting your principles.
One of the places where Trump is positively bad is on the LGBTQ NATO foolishness. Those evangelicals who supported Trump for realpolitik reasons—and I have in mind people like Jerry Falwell, Jr. Eric Metaxas, Franklin Graham, James Dobson, Tony Perkins, et al.—need to be forthright and loud about their continued opposition to the sexual revolution. Now that Clinton is stopped, and praise the Lord for that, we need to turn our attentions to the rising aspirations of Bera, king of Sodom (Gen. 14:2).
In the meantime, people like Russell Moore, evangelicals who opposed Trump, for reasons of their own are quietly setting the stage for sidling away from the biblical position on LGBTQ AMTRACK. Moore is starting to do this by saying that one of the pressing issues of our day is the stability of the family. By the quaintest of oaths, it is not. The issue before us today is the definition of the family.
The practical problem is that if conservative evangelicals back away from their opposition to the sexual revolution because they don’t want to jeopardize their “influence” in a Trump administration, we have lost an important voice on a crucial issue. And if the cool kid evangelicals back away from opposition to the sexual revolution because, well, they are the cool kids, then we have also lost an unimportant voice on a crucial issue. So who does that leave, besides Tim Bayly?
The theological problem has to do with how we define righteousness for the public square. Russell Moore doesn’t want to build a Christian nation except on racial issues, which is like wanting a nation to be Christian every day between 9:45 am and 11:12 am. If Jesus is Lord of all, we must listen to Him on racial issues in the public square. If He isn’t, then we don’t have to. What we don’t get to do is pick and choose. Under the new covenant there is no unique chosen nation, of course. In the new covenant, every nation must be discipled, and there is no exceptionalism there. But whether you want righteousness in tiny slivers, or righteousness across the board, you still have to define it.
We must call the American people back to repentance. And the obvious questions are why and who says?
So what we must remember is that we must stand for what we stand for. If you stand for part of biblical revelation when opposing Obama and Clinton, and grow deathly quiet in your opposition to the obvious corruptions in what Trump advocates, then whatever you think you are doing, it is not standing for Christ. It is not engaging with culture. Too many Christians think that engaging with culture means surrendering to culture, and we define liberals and conservatives among us by how rapidly or slowly they want to do the surrendering.
Sexual perversion is why God destroyed the cities of the plain (Gen. 19:24). Sexual perversion is why the Lord’s brother Jude told us that the cities of the plain were destroyed in this particular way to serve as a warning to insolent and horny empires until the end of the world (Jude 7). If you are a Christian, you must contend earnestly for this, regardless of who won the election, and regardless of how pleased you find yourself to be over it.