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  • Writer's pictureAmy Hawk

Trump’s Toxic Influence - Six Reasons Why We Left the Evangelical Church

After 20-plus years swimming deep in the ocean of white, American evangelicalism, we finally came up for air. Steve and I left the evangelical church in the summer of 2020, during Covid. It turned out to be really good timing because it took people a long time to realize we were actually gone. We were already considered to be in “questionable” theological territory by a suspicious few who had read my blog posts outlining the dangers of Trump. After we made it official, I received a phone call outright questioning my salvation, and a few phone messages from concerned church members wanting to know the scoop. Steve got a letter from an elderly lady (who had never once acknowledged our presence, but who was now insisting that she “missed us,”) suggesting we watch Dr. David Jeremiah on Sunday mornings. We couldn’t help giggling at that. We were sure she meant the good doctor to restore us to the joy of our previous salvation. She may have sent the letter to be a blessing, but since we had no prior relationship with her whatsoever, it felt more like a reprimand. 

Our church friends who did not support Trump understood why we left with no hesitation. But our Trump-supporting friends needed an answer, and frankly, we felt they deserved one. We had been swimming in evangelical waters alongside some of them for two decades, and now we were going against the flow. So I made a list.

Trump’s Toxic Influence - Six Reasons Why We Left the Evangelical Church

  1. By embracing Trump, the evangelical church became an obstacle to Christ, instead of a light shining the way to him. Trumpism in the church is a repellent to outsiders, and rightly so. No person in their right mind should join any institution that supports and even celebrates a bully.

  1. By defending Trump’s outright lies, his gaslighting, and his refusal to show his tax returns, much of the evangelical church has shown the surrounding world that they really don’t care about the actual truth after all. You can’t have one foot on the true path to God, and the other foot on a road of lies with Trump. The world would be correct to follow you exactly nowhere. 

  1. Jesus Christ is our comforter and our safe refuge. He is not a bully, and he does not support bullies. The church should reflect this attitude. A physically handicapped person can not and should not feel safe around those in the church who pretend Donald Trump didn’t mock a disabled person. 

  1. Similarly, a woman who has been assaulted can not and should not feel safe around those in the church who dismiss twenty-five accusations and a recording of Trump bragging about sexual assault. 

  1. Jesus welcomes the stranger and even washes his feet, and he commands his church to do the same. A church that justifies the turning away of thousands of refugees in crisis, and defends separating children from their mommies and daddies at the border, is a church that does not reflect Christ or his teachings. 

  1. By celebrating a cruel man who calls people, “human scum,” “dogs,” “low I.Q.,`` ''third-rate,” and “fat,” the evangelical church has shown the world they are willing to make a deal with the devil as long as it will get them what they want. This attitude is exactly the opposite of Jesus, who refused when the devil offered him power. 

We didn’t leave white evangelicalism because we stopped wanting to follow Jesus. We left precisely because we want to try to follow, serve, and represent him as accurately as we can. And that means removing ourselves from any institution that glorifies Donald Trump. 

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