Christians supporting Trump face danger of losing influence, evangelical leaders say

Christians who support a "flawed politician" like U.S. President Donald Trump face an ethical challenge and the danger of losing their influence over the present generation of Americans, according to two evangelical leaders.

(REUTERS / Yuri Gripas)U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to introduce his Secretary of Homeland Security nominee Kirstjen Nielsen in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., October 12, 2017.

Speaking to Michel Martin of NPR, Sojourners president Jim Wallis and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professor Hershael York shared their opinions on what they perceived as a crisis of spirituality in light of the present political situation in America. They also looked into the political dilemmas confronting the country's people of faith and the people's support for President Trump.

For Wallis, Trump's candidacy had caused a rift between black and white evangelicals, with the former opting not to vote for him due to racial bigotry and the latter rallying behind the Republican. Rev. York agreed and said evangelicals were being torn between serving a leader with whom they do not agree and conniving with the same figure.

When asked for the possible reason why Trump and Roy Moore enjoyed strong support from white Christian evangelicals, York pointed to prioritization of issues as the cause. He said these believers were willing to support a "flawed" leader who had the same belief in abortion, same-sex marriage, and other issues.

Rev. Wallis, on the other hand, thought immigration was the driving factor in Trump's support. He also reiterated his past statement against the president's moral behavior, which he believed made the billionaire unfit for office.

"Well, I was against those who said, as you know, we should just move on. I didn't move on. I said, his moral behavior - moral behavior is connected to governance. And a few of us said that and got critiqued from the left for saying so back then," Wallis told Martin. "But I think there's got to be consistency in this. And Donald Trump's moral behavior is really - is really disgusting. It's the antithesis of Christian values."

Meanwhile, Mike Jensen of the Southeast Missourian attempted to also explore the possible reasons why Christians supported Trump. Given that Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, have publicly expressed their confusion over this support, Jensen said Americans probably believed that the president would implement the right policies to carry out their ideals.

For Jensen, Rev. Welby would most likely understand the sentiments of Americans if he had lived under the "controlling" leadership of their former president.