Below is a brief commentary I penned on Facebook concerning what I perceive to be a unilateral campaign by the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Dr. Russell Moore, to ensure Donald Trump is silenced as a presidential candidate. One of my good friends, Dr. Peter Wielhouwer, Associate Professor of Political Science at Western Michigan University, asked if I would place the piece on my blog so he could reference it. Hence, the commentary is pasted below in unedited format.
Evangelical Leader Calls Trump's Christian Backers Unchristian by Evan Ghar: A commentary based upon Ghar's story by Peter Lumpkins
Southern Baptists' ERLC president, Russell Moore, apparently refuses to accept, as valid, Donald Trump's popularity among evangelical voters. In fact, Moore refuses to accept as valid the Christianity of evangelicals who support Trump. He reportedly thinks any evangelical who politically supports Trump worships false gods. Presumably Moore includes any evangelical *who is also a Southern Baptist evangelical* and politically supports Trump is an Idolater.
My how we pay these guys fat-cat salaries to indict us in unbelief.**
I've been a Southern Baptist since 1977. I've never in all my years observed such a publicly displayed unilateral disgust from an SBC leader toward a political opponent more, or even equal to, what one observes Moore has for Donald Trump. Consequently, given Moore's undeniable disdain toward Trump he publicly hurls without a single blink, how could thinking Southern Baptists be expected to reasonably consider *any* evaluation Moore would offer for *any* political candidate to be sober, sound, and thoughtful advice? Far too much emotive language...far too much degrading rhetoric...far too much political moralizing...far too much unilateral posturing against a particular candidate exists in the public square to substantiate a conclusion other than Moore's opinion on political affairs remains hopelessly untrustworthy. In short, Christians generally and Southern Baptists specifically would do better to look elsewhere for sober analysis of the political landscape. Cook your political beans in another pot.
Notwithstanding Trump's inferior political posturing, does Russell Moore's dehumanitarian treatment of Trump--contrarily, Moore's moral obligation to display neighbor-love toward Trump as Jesus teaches in the NT--solicit from his constituents (i.e. the Southern Baptist Convention) increased respect for him and his office as president of the ERLC? Or, is Moore's lack of publicly displayed neighbor-love toward an unworthy political candidate draining out the pond all around of any confidence in him to be justly, wisely, and Christianly representing Southern Baptists in the nation's Capital?
I think you know by now I'm leaning toward the latter and not the former.
**Please do not assume when I use the collective "we" and "us" that I personally am a Trump supporter. I am not--at least presently. While I welcome Trump to the marketplace of ideas just like any other candidate; and I actually think Trump has done the country a favor by shaking things up in the corrupted, special-interest-driven political culture we now possess in the American body politic, Trump is NOT my candidate. Even so, it's politically naive, morally imprudent, and biblically unsound to remotely suggest that a person's Christian faith is suspect if he or she supports Donald Trump for political office. In my view, the Trustees of the ERLC should squeeze Moore until he drops this unilateral political campaign waged against a single candidate--Donald Trump. And, they certainly should caution him to stop calling evangelical Christians worshipers of false gods just because they support a political candidate Moore finds unworthy.