With Donald Trump still actively courting evangelicals with meetings, rallies and promises to “get your voice back,” it’s curious to me that nobody has publicly pressed him about his faith, especially in light of his
pretend alleged conversion to Christianity.
In fact, many seem to go out of their way to downplay his faith or diminish its importance.
Of course, to put it politely, Trump’s conversion is highly suspect because there’s been no discernible change in his public life.
While I still believe that he’s not trustworthy because there’s been nothing in his life to indicate he’ll be a friend to Christians, I’ll go along with it for the purposes of this post.
Below are some questions evangelicals should be asking Trump, instead of seeking promises about Supreme Court justices. (Actually, most of these are important questions for all new Christians.)
This is important because a genuine conversion would have a significant effect on Trump’s worldview and his political plans. It’s also important because, ultimately, a man’s soul is far more important than any political office.
Here we go ...
1. What was your conversion like?
Why it matters: When the Holy Spirit convicts someone, there’s a realization that you’re a sinner in need of a savior, a moment when the truth of the Gospel awakens your mind and heart to the depravity of man (Ephesians 2:1-3). If Trump has experienced something like this, Christians should want to hear his testimony.
2. Do you still feel you have no need to seek God’s forgiveness?
Why it matters: Trump has previously said he’s not done anything that requires forgiveness. But the Bible teaches that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Yet, even after we’re saved, we still sin. Confession and repentance bring peace because we know our sins have been forgiven. Certainly as a Christian he must now realize that his sins are many (1 John 1:8-10).
3. In what ways has Jesus changed your life since you got saved?
Why it matters: Once a person is saved, he is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). The old self passes away for a new life in Christ. With that comes change — change in attitude, change in thoughts, change in actions, change in desires, change in priorities, etc. The change doesn’t always look the same or happen at the same pace for everyone. Sanctification is a process. But there most definitely should be noticeable change — the kind that’s noticeable to you and to those around you. Some change might be understandably private, but with Trump running for the highest office in the land, and given his past, it’s a fair question.
4. In what ways are you trying to live out your new faith in Christ every day?
Why it matters: The Bible says we’ll know Christians by their fruits (Matthew 7:16). This should be something beyond just creating jobs or being nice. Those are both good, but a Christian’s fruits should be distinctly Christian. Those fruits, according to the Bible, are: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Each one of those could have many off-shoots and applications.
5. What are you doing to grow in your new faith?
Why it matters: This is related to the last question. The Christian life can be challenging, especially for new believers. Being a Christian won’t always be popular. So it’s important that Christians of all “experience” levels continue to grow. Apart from reading the Bible, this should include finding a church home (Hebrews 10:24-25). It might also include reading books by biblically sound Christian authors or finding a godly accountability partner to help and encourage you. It’s important to be around godly people (1 Corinthians 15:32-33). What steps has Trump taken?
6. What are you doing to spread the good news of the Gospel to others?
Why it matters: Every Christian is called to spread the Gospel (Mark 16:15). This can be done in different ways. In Trump’s case, he can express his faith directly in speeches, in op-eds and in normal interactions with other people. In less-direct ways, he can also show the love of Christ in the way he treats people. There’s no one way to do it, but we’re all called to do it. We’re not supposed to stay quiet about our faith.
7. How often do you read your Bible?
Why it matters: There’s no Bible-reading quota that measures true Christianity, but the studying of God’s Word is paramount for spiritual growth in believers new and old (ex. Psalm 119:105; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12). New Christians often find themselves eager to know more about God and Christian living. What are some passages that have spoken to Trump recently? It’s not necessary at this point for him to have it memorized or even know the book and chapter. But Christians should be curious how this is going.
8. Do you find yourself wanting to know more about God every day?
Why it matters: This is related to the last question. New believers often have many questions about the nature of God and the call He has placed on believers’ lives (ex. Jeremiah 9:23-24; Romans 12:2; 2 Peter 3:18). Many new Christians say they find themselves hungry for biblical truth every day. Can he relate to this?
9. Do you see other people differently now that you’re saved?
Why it matters: Salvation is available to all who believe (John 3:16), regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, or even previous religious affiliation. Trump has based his entire campaign on name-calling and the belittling of others. Has his spiritual awakening brought any conviction about this? We’re all sinners, yet we’re all made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Even when we strongly disagree with someone on important issues, as Christians we’re still called to be civil and respectful, and to not engage in behavior unbecoming of our calling (Ephesians 4:29-32).
10. How will your campaign change?
Why it matters: Trump’s talked a lot about fear and walls and the dangers supposedly encroaching on the United States. As Christians, we’re not to live scared, but to live with the hope and joy found in Christ (Romans 15:13). We certainly live out our biblically informed convictions, but we also trust in the complete sovereignty of God (Psalm 103:19). That means we can’t be driven by fear and anger.
11. Why did you say that winning the election is the only way you’ll get into heaven?
Why it matters: The Bible is clear about how salvation works: by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone (John 14:6). There’s nothing we can ever do to earn salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). Whether he wins or loses the election has nothing to do with where he’ll spend eternity. Even if he was joking, it’s still a very odd thing for a Christian to say.
12. How can we pray for you, apart from the election?
Why it matters: As Christians, we’re called to pray for and encourage each other (James 5:16). Trump should welcome prayers for both his public and private lives. He doesn’t necessarily have to go into detail, but all Christians have needs: wisdom, spiritual maturity, ability to resist temptation, etc. There’s tremendous power in prayer (By the way, Christians should be praying for Trump and for Hillary Clinton anyway. See 1 Timothy 2:1-4.).
This is not an exhaustive list, but it’s a start. I suspect none of the evangelicals in Trump’s corner will ask these questions, either because they aren’t truly interested in a godly candidate or because they don’t really want to know the answers.