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President Trump - Evangelicals Divided

by Sim Lee  
1/16/2019 / Politics

"Often times God demonstrates His faithfulness in adversity by providing for us what we need to survive. He does not change our painful circumstances. He sustains us through them." ~ Charles Stanley

In the two years since the election of President Donald Trump, Evangelicals have divided politically along five new lines. As determined by a study (11/2018) conducted by the Center for Religion and Civic Culture, USC the five types are:*

1. Trump-vangelicals: Christian nationalists who believe tht God chose Donald Trump to lead America and make up the core of Trump's base. They include notable people like Franklin Grahm and James Dobson.

2. Neo-fundamentalist evangelicals: Trump supporters who emphasis morality in politics and who are critical of some of the President's conduct. They include such personalities as John MacArthur and Tony Evans.

3. iVangelicals: those of the mega church movement who do not emphasize politics or seem to be partisan, centering on church worship and personal improvement. Their numbers include personalities like Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes.

4. Kingdom Christians: Urban area small church members who do not identify as being evangelical but hold evangelical beliefs. Their political focus is on local issues such as poverty and racial injustices. Very few among their numbers are as nationally known as leaders Greg Russinger or Kevin Haah.

5. Peace and justice evangelicals: Commonly referred to as being the "Evangelical Left", these are the evangelicals who voted for President Trump, but mainly identify with liberal causes, and include people like Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo.

Looking back to the 2016 election exit polls, 81 percent of evangelical respondents voted for Donald Trump and there have been estimates since that indicate only 75% voted that way. The definition of an evangelical as based upon factors such as demographics, location, and age varies.

Perhaps the method is identification by basic beliefs as was given by CP World writer Napp Nazworth, Ph.D** :

Evangelicals are identified by four basic truths:

1. The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe.

2. It is very important for me personally to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior.

3. Jesus Christ's death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin.

4. Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God's free gift of eternal salvation.

The one political truth that always is appropriate in trying to predict trending public sentiment is that "nothing ever stays the same", and as the times and public sentiments change, so will U.S. political opinions, including those of evangelicals.

* "The Varieties of American Evangelicism", Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California, conducted November, 2018

**"5 types of American evangelicals; new report contributes to 'what is evangelicalism?' debate" by Napp Nazworth, Ph.D, CP World - December 27, 2018

Sim Lee is a retired NE Iowan who loves all of God's creatures.

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