During a recent interview, well-known pastor John MacArthur said that he told President Trump during a phone call that “any true believer is going to be on your side in this election” since it would not be logical for Christians to vote Democratic due to their positions on abortion and homosexuality. MacArthur’s statement seemingly goes against his own “vote the issues” position by overlooking — or perhaps being unaware of — Trump’s vocal support of abortion exceptions and homosexuality, including his efforts to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide. Some state that Christians should consider a third party candidate in light of what they see as the biblical standards for choosing civil rulers.
MacArthur, who has declined to stop holding indoor church services at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley despite threats from Los Angeles County, received a phone call from the president earlier this month to thank him for taking a stand.
“He called me after the Sunday morning service, and he was very gracious and said, ‘I just want to thank you for taking a stand. Church is essential, and I’m glad you’re doing what you’re doing,'” MacArthur, the chancellor of The Master’s University and Seminary told Liberty University’s Falkirk Center Executive Director Ryan Helfenbein.
He said that the discussion also turned to why “Christians could not vote Democratic” from a “biblical standpoint.”
“Because there’s no way that a Christian can affirm the slaughter of babies, homosexual activity, homosexual marriage, or any kind of gross immorality,” MacArthur outlined. “[There is ] no way we could stand behind a candidate who was affirming transgender behavior, which of course is really the reprobate mind of Romans 1.”
“So, I said these things aren’t even political for us, sir … These things are biblical,” he explained. “These things are laid down by the Word of God, and we love God. We desire to honor him, and upholding righteousness in a society is what a church is supposed to do.”
MacArthur said that he consequently told the president, “[A]ny real true believer is going to be on your side in this election, because it’s not just an individual. It’s an entire set of policies that Christians cannot in any way affirm.”
As previously reported, MacArthur is being represented in court by Trump senior legal advisor Jenna Ellis. She is also an attorney at Liberty’s Falkirk Center.
During the 2016 election season, MacArthur stated during a forum at The Master’s University that he’s not necessarily voting for Trump but for a worldview. A page on the university website summarizing the event was entitled “Vote the Issues, Not the Individual.”
“I’m voting for an ideology that is closer to Scripture,” he said. “Because [the Republican platform] is political responsibility, work, it has a place for the Bible, it has a place for God, it understands the necessity of a family, it understands the role of government is primarily to carry a sword to threaten evildoers and protect those who do well.”
Co-panelist Gregg Frazer also remarked that “the ‘lesser of two evils’ issues is only a problem if both candidates would do evil if elected,” and he believed only “one [candidate] will do evil.”
“In this election, like most that have come before it, we are not voting for the most ‘righteous’ candidate. Our votes should be cast considering the issues each political party supports, especially when those issues directly contradict Scripture,” the page for the forum exhorted.
As previously reported, while being vocal about his support for religious liberty and conscience rights, Trump has given a nod to those who identify as homosexual a number of times throughout his presidency — and during the last election.
Last year, he posted two tweets in recognition of “Pride Month,” asking Americans to “stand in solidarity” with homosexuals who live in countries where such sexual practices are illegal, as well as for nations to join his administration’s campaign to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide.
“As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation,” he wrote.
“My administration has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality and invite all nations to join us in this effort!” Trump urged.
Recently, when Richard Grenell, former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, recorded a video characterizing Trump as the “most pro-gay president in American history, Trump re-tweeted the video, remarking, “My great honor!!!”
Trump has also stated that he personally would have no problem with voting for a homosexual as president, and when asked if he would agree that it is a “sign of great progress” to see then-Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg appearing on stage with his “husband,” he replied, “Yeah, I think it’s great. I think that’s something that perhaps some people will have a problem with, [but] I have no problem with it whatsoever. I think it’s good.”
And while Trump generally opposes abortion, speaking at this year’s March for Life in Washington, he has stated that he also supports the exceptions of rape, incest and the life of the mother.
“As most people know, and for those who would like to know, I am strongly pro-life, with the three exceptions — rape, incest and protecting the life of the mother — the same position taken by Ronald Reagan,” he tweeted in May 2019.
He also told NBC’s “Today” show in 2016 that he would like to see the exceptions in the Republican platform as there currently are none.
“The Republican platform, every four years, has a provision that states that the right of the unborn child shall not be infringed. And it makes no exceptions for rape, for incest, for the life of the mother. Would you want to change the Republican platform to include the exceptions that you have?” asked co-host Savannah Guthrie.
“Yes, I would,” Trump replied. “Yes, I would. Absolutely. For the three exceptions, I would.”
David Whitney, pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Pasadena, Maryland, and senior instructor with the Institute on the Constitution, told Christian News Network on Thursday that while he agrees with MacArthur’s sentiment that Christians cannot vote for ungodliness, he does not believe that Democrat and Republican are the only two options.
“I would say it is wrong to conclude that every Christian should vote for Donald Trump,” he said. “Most people assume that if you don’t vote for Donald Trump, you’d be voting for Joe Biden. No, that’s not the case. There are third parties that ought to be given consideration by Christians.”
He said that assuming that not voting for a Republican is a vote for the Democrats is pragmatist rather than biblical, and is a “false concept that basically believes that God is not sovereign.”
“God is sovereign in the election, and no matter how we choose to vote, God’s will is going to be accomplished and His plan and His purposes are going to be established,” Whitney stated. “Many people believe that the election is up to us, and it is not. It is up to God. And basically, we need to vote what we believe our Lord wants us to do to honor and glorify Him — and we leave the results in His hands.”
He explained that even past presidents who have not ruled in the ways of the Lord can be seen as “God’s judgment against our country for the evils that we have not repented of.”
But what standard, or whose standard, should be used when evaluating a candidate? Whitney pointed Exodus 18:21, in which Israel was instructed to “provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness” for their civil leaders. Christians should vet candidates in every position in light of this guidance.
“Christians should make a careful evaluation and not just assume that a vote for Trump is what God would have them do, but evaluate the candidates here by the criteria in Exodus 18,” he said. “I see some of what President Trump has done is very good and some of it has supported the sodomite agenda, the transgender agenda. So, there’s a mixed bag there with President Trump.”
And while some may not like to think about these facts, or become upset at those who would notate them, “[i]f you are not honest about the flaws of a particular candidate — their strengths as well as their flaws — and make a decision before God regarding that, you’re not dealing with the reality of what you’re confronted with,” Whitney said.
He outlined that while some would argue that a third party vote is a waste because the candidate has no chance of winning, “of course they’re never going to win if people don’t vote for them.”
“People need to come to their own conclusions about those running for office and not just assume it’s one [party] or another.”