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Listen: Donald Trump's exclusive interview with Christian pub Charisma Magazine
Editors decided to endorse Trump after the interview. The podcast is available now.
Qhite a coup here for Charisma Magazine, one of my favorites and perhaps the most respected publication for those of us Christians who hue bit to the Pentecostal or "charismatic" side. Donald Trump visited their editors while in Orlando recently, and was interviews by publisher Steve Strang and several of his colleagues. Charisma plans to publish the text of the interview in its upcoming edition, but the podcast is already available and you can hear it here.
I think they were leaning this way regardless, but the editors chose following the interview to formally endorse Trump for president - something that seems as influenced by Trump's attitude toward family as by his positions on public policy, although he did take strong positions in the interview on the protection of religious liberty and on the need for the U.S. to support Israel.
Trump has strong support among evangelical voters, if only because they - like me - consider Hillary to be so much worse. But there are also a lot of evangelical voices who are appalled at Christians supporting a man with a lot of high-profile sin in his past, and who has made so much money off casinos, and who continues to display a very vulgar side to his public image.
I want to address that point of view, because just as the editors of Charisma are not blinded to these issues, neither am I.
Donald Trump has not deceived me into thinking he's some sort of great moral champion. Anyone can see that he's a very flawed man, and that any commitment he has to Jesus Christ is at an immature point.
But I know many people who were called out of sin by God for important purposes. At the time they answered the call, they did not instantly and completely transform into heroes of the faith. But they were willing to be obedient and willing to serve - and that gave God something to work with.
I see in Donald Trump a man who understands how many things he's done wrong. I know what he said some months back about not asking God for forgiveness but just trying to make things right, and that's the part that reflects the very immature understanding of the faith. If he's been talking to Franklin Graham, I am 100 percent certain he understands the need to seek forgiveness from God much better today than he did when he said that.
Trump does not stand there and lie in your face, claiming he's morally pure and has nothing to answer for. I've rarely heard him more humble than at the RNC when he specifically thanked evangelicals for their support because, as he put it, "I'm not sure I deserve it."
And maybe he doesn't, but it's not really about what he deserves. The presidency is a secular job, but like all jobs, God is sovereign over it. As flawed as Donald Trump is, his instincts seem to be in favor of the things that are right. He clearly favors free markets, lower taxes and a serious fight against terrorism. He recognizes how badly ObamaCare is failing while the media try their best to protect Hillary by ignoring the story. Trump would work on the right problems, and while he badly needs advice from people who understand public policy, I think he'll seek advice from the right kinds of people. The selection of Mike Pence as his running mate is a very encouraging sign in that direction.
Given my druthers, of course I'd like an outspoken, longtime evangelical Christian who lives and testifies his faith in Jesus. But our choices this time are between a man who certainly sounds like a friend of Christians, and a woman who is clearly anything but. One of these two is going to be the next president, however much you want to play fantasy games and talk about voting for Gary Johnson, Jill Stein or Deez Nuts. I'm going to choose the friend over the foe, and I'm going to pray for him to receive the full guidance of the Lord as he endeavors to govern. I have no illusions about who or what he is. But I also know what God is capable of doing through some of the most unlikely people - if they're willing.