Almost one year ago, on September 28, 2015, forty pastors and religious leaders laid their hands on Donald Trump in the Trump Tower and prayed for him.
He looked awkward and confused when a rabbi laid his hand on Trump’s face, but took it in good stride and seemed appreciative for their prayers.
They asked for God to give him wisdom as King Solomon had asked for wisdom, and to raise him up for such a time as this.
Since then, the Trump phenomenon has defied all odds and political experts’ predictions as he went on to defeat other Republican candidates and cinch the GOP nomination, and now perhaps to become the next president of the United States.
Could this be a testament to 1 Corinthian 1:27 that “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the strong”?
Now, Liberty University’s Jerry Falwell Jr. has endorsed Trump, as well as other prominent evangelical leaders such as Tony Perkins of Family Research Council and Dr. James Dobson, including an implicit nod from Pastor John Hagee of the 3 million members Christians United for Israel (CUFI).
Christians in America are desperate. Their religious freedom is under attack and though they do not yet face the level of persecution in the Middle East or the genocide in Syria and Iraq, they have seen their government steadily wage lawfare and legislate against their faith and conscience.
With the death of Justice Scalia, the next US president will have the ability to appoint new Supreme Court justices that will set the values and guide America for the next forty years. Currently about half of the court—four of the nine justices—have served for 20-30 years and are either over the age of 80 or are approaching it. As such, the next president could nominate between one to three justices.
Evangelical Christians thus see Trump as the one who will appoint conservative judges in line with their values in the short term, but also in the longer term to protect their children and grandchildren in a country that is increasingly hostile to its own historical Judeo-Christian values.
Already, the pulpits are peppered with sermons about the Book of Acts, wherein the early church was persecuted and scattered throughout the Middle East, and films abound such as “God’s not Dead”, “Do you Believe”, and “Last Ounce of Courage” that deal with themes of Christians’ right to their beliefs coming under attack.
They sense the country is now at an important crossroad, and whether they approve of Trumps’ personality or not, he is the anointed GOP nominee and they are rallying behind him. After all a house divided against itself cannot stand, and that is why George P. Bush, Jeb Bush’s son, is breaking with his father to also endorse Trump.
For them, this election is about more than just the individual personalities involved. It is also about the team they will bring in—their character, vision, humility to seek advice when needed, and willingness to work with others for the greater good of the country.
As such, having Indiana State Governor Mike Pence as Trump’s running mate, an evangelical Christian with political experience and a proven track record of conservative stance in both the Congress and his state, brings a ray of hope for their future.
But even if their preferred candidate were not to win in November, they cite their scripture that is similar to the sentiments of what the Muslims say Insh’Allah: “Exaltation comes neither from the east, nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another.” (Psalms 75:6-7).
And what is their advice to Israel should their American evangelical supporters become increasingly marginalized or a mighty America no longer supports her? For that they say not to trust in the weapons of “horses” and “chariots”, and cite Proverbs 21:31–“The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance is of the LORD.”