For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

-Mark 8:36

The election of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States has forever redefined morality in America and what it means to be a Christian.

For most white evangelical Christians (a group that is overwhelmingly White), Trump did not share their moral compass.

He did not embody the tenets of the Christian faith.

Nevertheless, the white evangelical Christians saw something else in Trump.

They saw what others now see and what world leaders already now know: That Donald Trump’s god is not Jesus Christ, but rather his god is “winning at all costs.”

While white evangelical Christians may have been somewhat disturbed by Trump’s demeaning women by saying, “You can grab them by the p_ssy,” white evangelical Christians chose to look past Trump’s indiscretions because they found a person who is transactional.

Hence, when white evangelical Christians leaders met with Donald Trump on Sept. 29, 2016 at Trump Tower in New York City, they came for one reason: to determine if they could support a person they viewed, at best, as a “baby Christian.”

According to a poll by LifeWay Research, in the summer of 2016, Trump had only garnered 39 percent of evangelical pastors’ support.

However, something changed at that Sept. 29 meeting.

When Trump met with the white evangelical leaders that September morning, the group who was once skeptical of Trump began to make a calculation that they could support him.

They could look past that he is amoral.

They could look past that he is a serial liar.

They could look past that he was non-religious.

They knew Trump needed what they had, and they needed what they hoped he could deliver.

Trump wanted to become President of the United States, and the white evangelical Christians wanted to advance their social, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, and political agenda.

According to Rolling Stone magazine, no Republican candidate could have a path to the presidency “without the evangelical voting bloc.”

Nearly a quarter of Americans are evangelicals, which is about 80 million. And about 60 percent of them vote, and more than 75 percent vote Republican.

While white evangelical Christians have been known to use wedge issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, and transgender rights to maintain their base, what they lacked was a candidate who was willing to deliver.

The question before them was: Do we support a candidate who espouses our religious beliefs, or do we support a candidate who supports our racist, homophobic, anti-abortion agenda?

The latter prevailed and now 82 percent of white evangelical Christians say they plan to cast their ballots for Trump in 2020.

Moreover, two-thirds have expressed that Trump has not damaged the decency of the presidency.

Recently, Christianity Today’s editor, Mark Galli, penned an article, “Trump Should be Removed from Office.”

The article made a strong case for impeachment of Trump but highlighted the hypocrisy of White Evangelical Christians who assailed President William Jefferson Clinton but looked the other way when it comes to Donald Trump.

Nevertheless, Galli raised some important issues in his article:

To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: Remember who you are and whom you serve. Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency. If we don’t reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come?

Galli’s article underscored how white evangelical Christians have sold their soul to advance their agenda. And it underscores the increasing division within the Christian community that white evangelical Christians and their unexplained loyalty to Trump has caused.

It seems to many Christians and non Christians alike that white evangelical Christians do not care about morality or the tenets of the Christian faith. What they care about is power.

And it is their love of power that has become their new god.

In the end, white evangelical Christians will have to answer to God for their actions.

What we have seen is that the religious right is “not right or religious,” but rather transactional.

Now it will be left to other Christians to promote the real values of the faith and to undo the damage that has been caused to the religion by “the deal with the devil” that white evangelical Christians have made.

As always, keep the faith!

Kevin R. Johnson, Ed.D. is a frequent columnist and the lead pastor of Dare to Imagine Church, 6610 Anderson St., Philadelphia, PA. Follow him on Twitter @drkrj.

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