Evangelical Christians split on US elections

On the eve of the American presidential elections between the current President of the United States, Donald Trump and the Democratic candidate Joe Biden, evangelical Christians are divided. 

Demain, Tuesday, November 3, will take place the fifty-ninth presidential election of the United States. In the previous election in 2016, we heard a lot that white evangelical Christians helped elect Republican candidate Donald Trump.

This year, evangelical Christians appear more divided. In an article published today in Christianity Today, the journalist Timothy Dalrymple tries to explain with diplomacy "why the evangelicals do not agree on the president". He makes a point of not caricaturing Christians on both sides negatively, saying that “we are doing our faith a disservice” when we do this.

According to him, "Evangelical believers who have long worked in the same fields now find themselves in camps at war."

“One camp says they cannot understand how men and women who share their faith could possibly support a candidate. While the other side wonders how anyone who is nourished by the Word could reject the other candidate. The camps not only disagree but cannot understand each other. Unable to see reason in the opposite perspective, each side claims that the other has succumbed to unreason, prejudice, or a thirst for power or approval. "

He explains that it is not a question of a division between "conservatives and progressives" but well of differences within even the evangelical Christians known as rather conservative.

With great benevolence, the author proposes to separate them into two camps. On the one hand there would be what he calls "the Church Regnant". These would be members of the church who if they are "concerned about foreign and economic policy" especially felt particularly challenged by the positions of a government "on life and family". In their eyes, "not voting for the Republican Party gives power to the party which protects the appalling regime from abortion and which advances a sexual ethic which leads to immense confusion and suffering".

This camp therefore represents evangelical Christians who support Donald Trump. The author explains that this camp attaches "greater value to the acquisition and use of political power" and considers the presidential election as "a battle between good and evil". Thus, a candidate's vices "seem minimal when the virtue of the world is at stake." In their eyes, gaining political power is a way of protecting the Christian way of life.

As is the case with Franklin Graham, a great supporter of Donald Trump, or even Pastor Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in California who has just expressed his support for the president, in an article entitled "Why I am going to vote for Donald Trump ".

Timothy Dalrymple suggests calling the other camp "The Church Remnant", they would be evangelical Christians who have a very different vision of the kingdom of God. They are often younger, more urban, but also more socially diverse than members of the “ruling church”. In their eyes, the kingdom of God is too sacred to be involved in presidential elections. Rather, it would manifest itself in action, "as we share the gospel in word and deed, serve the homeless and refugees, and accompany our suffering neighbors."

“For the rest of the Church, the kingdom of God is less about the acquisition of power and more about the divestment of power, establishing our rights and privileges as Christ did (Philippians 2) to serve the powerless. "

The author explains that for this reason, the second camp “gives a higher priority to the purity of the church than to the prosperity of the country. National prosperity is important, but nations flourish and fall while the Church persists in eternity ”.

This would be the camp that instead supports the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden. Like the political action committee, "Not Our Faith", launched by Christians to oppose Donald Trump and denounce "a use of Christianity to serve its own interests".

Public chat his website, the committee is positioned in favor of Joe Biden, even if they are "pro-life". They explain that overall the Democratic candidate's policies are more in line with a biblical vision.

This is for example the case of Billy Graham's granddaughter, Jerusha Duford, who spoke out in favor of the Democratic candidate, saying that President Trump was trying "to hijack our faith for votes."

The author recalls that despite their differences, the two camps are made up of men and women "who strive with every fiber of their body to follow Jesus" and concludes that at the base of these disagreements is not a difference. theological, but a “different vision of the kingdom of God”.

CP

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