A court evangelical surrenders

One of Trump’s most diehard evangelical supporters has called Joe Biden “the president-elect.” Here is a transcript of Robert Jeffress’s recent commentary on Fox News. The subtitle reads: “What is God doing in this outcome? Why would He allow this to happen?”

It appears that former Vice President Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States on Jan. 20, unless President Trump succeeds in legal challenges to the counting of votes in several states. For millions of Christians across our nation, this is a bitter pill to swallow.

In January 2016 — a year before Donald Trump was inaugurated as president — I was flying around Iowa with the then-businessman to campaign with him before the Iowa caucuses.

We had just finished our elegant lunch of Wendy’s cheeseburgers when I said to him: “Mr. Trump, I believe you are going to be the next president of the United States and if that happens it will be because God has a great plan for you and for our nation.”

“Robert, do you really believe that?” he asked.

“Yes sir, I do,” I replied.

Donald Trump then asked: “OK, if that’s true then let me ask you a question. Do you believe it was God’s will for Obama to be president?” 

“Yes sir I do,” I said. “Daniel 2:21 says that ‘It is God who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings.’”

Human governments and rulers change at God’s direction and design. Our faith and our salvation lie not in any human ruler, but in the ruler of rulers, the King of kings. We have to remember that even though the occupant of the White House is changing, the One who occupies the throne of Heaven hasn’t changed.

The fact that God has established authorities means that by obeying the government, we obey God.

The Apostle Paul told us: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1).

Paul also told us to pray “for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

Now, it’s always easier to submit and to pray for someone when he was our preferred candidate. But the rubber really meets the road when the person who takes office is not the one we supported. Paul didn’t give us any wiggle room — his command applies all the same, whether the emperor was the faith-friendly Constantine or the evil emperor Nero.

Here is our chance to show that Christians are not hypocrites. We serve a God who remains on His throne, sovereignly reigning over every square inch of this vast universe. We serve a God who loves us and will never leave or forsake us. And now we have the chance to show the consistency and constancy/ of our Christian witness to this world.

When Joe Biden becomes president, we should commend him for the things he does right. We should condemn the things he does wrong. And above all, we must pray fervently for our president.

If President Biden succeeds, we all succeed. May God bless Joe Biden, and may God bless the United States of America.

I appreciate Jeffress’s statement. But I also wonder if the “chance to show that Christians are not hypocrites” is long gone. And if such a chance is long gone, Jeffress and his fellow court evangelicals are responsible. Let’s remember that 76% of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump in this election. This election, and the Trump presidency, did little to change the political sensibilities of conservative evangelicals in America. With the election of Joe Biden the nation may be in a slightly different place right now, but the evangelical community is not.