Donald Trump is Our Savior ... From Political Idolatry
With Ted Cruz's (perhaps premature) exit from the presidential race, Donald Trump is finally the presumptive Republican nominee. Many Christian conservatives see this as a terrible thing, but there is one major silver lining involved -- Trump's nomination reminds us that our true citizenship is not of this world.
Kingdoms, empires, and politicians all rise and fall, but the Kingdom of God will last forever. Our ultimate hope is not in political leaders, but in Jesus Christ, and Trump's victory should help Christian conservatives to re-examine not just our message, but our place in politics as a whole.
At an event sponsored by the Falls Church Anglican, Vice President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) Michael Cromartie recalled an exchange he had with the late Irving Kristol. Kristol told him, "There's not a culture war in America today. There was one, it's over, and the other side won." This has more to do with Obama, the culture on college campuses today, and political correctness, but it also has a connection to Trump.
In seeking to explain Trump's success, the founder of the Federalist, Ben Domenech, argued that southern evangelicals are backing Donald Trump because we live in a "post-apocalyptic" environment for Christians. They see in The Donald not a leader who is "one of them, ideologically or faithfully." They "have no illusions about his unbelief. The difference is that while they believe Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio would be one more round of good soldiers for their cause, they think Donald Trump would be a tank."
Trump will be a tank -- against political correctness primarily, but not for Christian conservatism. Many of his supporters likely know this: there is evidence to suggest that the "evangelicals" supporting Trump did so in areas with low rates of church attendance, while those with high rates backed Ted Cruz. Be that as it may, many Christians may have decided that the system needed shaking up more than a true conservative champion. Some of us may disagree, but I can understand this sentiment.
Saint Augustine famously wrote that Christians inhabit two cities: the City of God and the City of Man. These two realms will always be in conflict -- Cromartie openly declared that "we can never claim that we have won the culture." Our primary loyalty as Christians is to the City of God, and if we elevate earthly politics to the level of spiritual salvation, we are committing a form of idolatry.
Next Page: Why Christians must be involved in politics, even though we don't put our ultimate trust in princes.