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Is Supporting Trump Like Making a Deal with the Devil?

When it comes to American evangelical Christians, there seem to be two camps when it comes to Donald Trump: those who are wholeheartedly behind him and those whose stomachs turn when they think of him. It’s tough to find any middle ground.

Trump’s supporters cite their candidate’s promises to stand up for religious freedom, to appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court, and to give Christians a greater role in government.

But are those promises just a deal with the devil? Eric Sapp, of the Eleison Group, the American Values Network, and the Global Advisory Board of Christian Media Corporation (and a self-professed “evangelical leader”), seems to think so. (It’s funny how any Christian with an opinion about Donald Trump automatically gains credibility as an “evangelical leader,” but I digress.)

Sapp compares Trump’s promises to evangelicals to the bargain the devil tried to make with Jesus during His period of temptation. Satan offered Jesus food and physical protection, which Jesus refused, but the devil saved the best for last, offering Jesus power over the kingdoms of the world. Jesus of course refused this temptation as well (see Matthew 4 for the whole account).

In Sapp’s eyes, Donald Trump is offering this third temptation to American evangelicals. In his editorial in the Christian Post, Sapp writes:

I know the editors of CP to be good evangelical Christians, but they made the same mistake many evangelicals are liable to make. They said they were actually tempted by Trump's offer to "Vote for me, and I will give you Supreme Court picks and abolish the Johnson Amendment."

Trump's "tempting" offer is remarkably like another made two millennia ago … when the Devil offered Jesus the power to rule over all the kingdoms of the world with justice and mercy, if only Christ would bow down to the Devil. American Christians should not take a deal Jesus rejected.

Sapp goes on to argue that Republican candidates’ continued promises to appoint justices friendly to Christian morals have failed to overturn Roe v. Wade and that repeal of the Johnson Amendment is a bad idea. I can understand his reasoning — who really wants their pastors picking sides from the pulpit anyway? It sounds so crass.