We need to pray against Donald Trump

It is time for evangelical Christians to unite to actively pray that Donald Trump does not win the Republican presidential nomination.

This isn’t about policy. The Bible leaves room for disagreement and debate over important political questions. But this is about character, and about whether serious character flaws should be disqualifying for the presidency of the United States. This is about a candidate who claims to be a Christian and asks for Christian support, yet lives a testimony of vulgarity and unrepentant sin. And it’s about our testimony, as Jesus’ followers, if Donald Trump wins with Christian votes.

When Bill Clinton was in office, we said character mattered in a president. Did we mean it? Because Donald Trump is the guy who decided that what his casino really needed was a strip club. Trump is the guy who thinks violating marriage vows is something to be proud of, boasting about “my experiences with women, often seemingly very happily married and important women.” Yet Trump says he has never asked God for forgiveness for anything.

Marriage vows aren’t the only ones Trump has broken. His business career is littered with broken promises that hurt contractors and employees, and he routinely lies about self-funding his campaign.

Another Trump lie came when he denied mocking a disabled reporter who had been critical of him, even though the moment was caught on video. That sort of petty cruelty and vulgarity are par for the course for a candidate with a habit of dropping the crudest obscenities at campaign rallies and personally typing out childish Twitter insults at anyone who irritates him. When Proverbs warns of the fool whose “anger is known at once” (Proverbs 12:16) and who is “hasty in his words” (Proverbs 29:30), it’s hard not to see Donald Trump in the warnings.

If it is possible for deep, unrepentant character flaws to disqualify any candidate, Donald Trump is that candidate. And the fact is, Trump simply cannot win without the support of professing Christians. That means either he loses or we get to explain to our children why Jesus’ followers elected a vulgar, perverted, arrogant fool to be president of the United States. If Trump wins, it’s partially on us. This isn’t just about our country; it’s about our testimony.

Christians have lost credibility in public debates over issues like abortion and the sanctity of marriage because the culture, and even our children, don’t think we really mean it. They’ve seen the American church sacrifice principle for power too many times. If Christians pull the lever for Donald Trump this election, what are we telling a watching world we really care about?

If the idea of reading newspaper headlines saying “Christians Elect Donald Trump” troubles you (and that is exactly what the headlines would say), then do something about it. Inform yourself by reading the links above and share this article with friends so they know the facts about who Donald Trump is. But, more importantly than that, pray. Trump’s victory or defeat rests in the hands of our fellow believers–who also read their Bibles, who also pray, who also try to follow the Lord’s will. In coming weeks, I am going to be praying hard that God will give his people real discernment into the character of Donald J. Trump. I hope you’ll join me.

UPDATE: If you’re thinking, “Well, at least Trump is pro-life. He can’t be that bad.” Well… It’s complicated.

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24 thoughts on “We need to pray against Donald Trump”

  1. I am appalled that a Christian man would write an article suggesting that we pray against someone – certainly not biblical. Instead how about finding a candidate that you think has the character you desire and pray for that person. How about praying for Mr. Trump especially if you think he is lost – which of course you have no way of knowing. I’ll bet you never even met him. Also consider that God uses non-believers to execute His plan. The rebuilding of Jereusalem was funded and supported by non-believers.

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  2. Mr. Riegel, thanks for challenging me on this. It’s easy to use politics as an excuse for unbiblical behavior, and I hope people will call me out if I do so. I think you are mistaken, however. If someone was doing something wrong or dangerous, wouldn’t you “pray against them”? Not that they would be harmed or damned, but simply that their purposes would not succeed. I certainly should pray (and have) that Trump would repent of his sins and be saved. However, I also pray that his plan to become president would fail. That is clearly what I meant by “pray against Trump,” because the first line of my article says, “pray that Donald Trump does not win the Republican presidential nomination.”

    I agree with you that unbelievers can execute God’s plan, but that is different from saying I should try to put someone serious character flaws into a position of power. The presidency is a position of responsibility, and Trump has demonstrated that he does not have the integrity for such a position.

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    • Jimmy Carter did have character and he ran this country into the ground – 16% interest on mortgages. If he wins will it be God’s will?

      I guess this negativity is where I have an issue. I do think you have taken license with some of your links. I am supporting him for the same reasons Dr. Falwell is supporting him. I believe that the ugliness from Christians against Dr. Falwell was tragic. Dr. Falwell knows him personally and I put value in his opinion.

      Here is what I would ask of you. How about finding a candidate that has the character you want and the credentials for the job and write an article on why we should support him or her? I’ll bet you don’t have one.

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    • I certainly agree that character isn’t enough by itself. Otherwise, I might support Carson. You need knowledge, courage, the right instincts, etc. But character is important too.

      If Trump wins, it’s certainly God’s will. But that doesn’t mean we should not try to keep it from happening. If you die in a car crash, it’s God’s will, but you would still try to avoid crashing.

      I really wish you would tell me where I have inaccuracies in my links. On Facebook you referred to “lies,” and I take that very seriously, but I can’t really respond or consider correcting things if you don’t tell me what you think is incorrect.

      Personally, I don’t like negativity either. Sometimes I think it’s unavoidable, though. If we are going to make an informed decision about a candidate, we need to consider both pros and cons. In fact, on Facebook, I noticed you were “negative” about both Carson and Cruz by noting concerns you have about them. I don’t think that’s a problem, as long as we are factual and speak from love rather than hatred. After all, Jesus had some pretty harsh words for people during his ministry.

      I actually do have a candidate who I like (Cruz) and I wrote a post about him two posts below this one. However, I think the most pressing issue in this election is not electing Trump, which is why I chose to focus on that.

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  3. All of the political figures are lying and Carson might be an angel but let’s face it…he’s not going to make the cut. The powers of political parties will decide. The only reason I vote at all is because husband taught me to choose the lesser of two evils. We as Christians aren’t electing a king…we have one. We are choosing who will best lead our country. Vulgar or not…Trump is more of a leader than Rubio or Cruz. Rubio being so political that he can’t think for himself but rather say what he is paid to say. Cruz is a flat out liar who if was a great leader wouldn’t have allowed his campaign to have done what they have done. Trump’s movement is not founded on his past, but on what he can do to make this nation great for our kids.
    I haven’t dug up anything on any of the candidates but who wants ppl digging in their closets?
    Let’s not be disillusioned to believe that we have the opportunity to elect a born again Christian into office that will walk as Jesus did. None of them are that by example, so if we are going by talk…let’s elect a proven leader. Trump or Cruz or Rubio…2 are being paid for by crooks. They are puppets. Saying what Bush, Obama and many others have said…what will win the race. Only 1 man in the race has raised good solid children, who are good solid leaders, and they are married with children and successful to say the least. His past is his past but I will take my chances for the future.

    We have a King. His name is Jesus!

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    • Thanks for engaging with my argument here. I think you’re right–we are not electing our king, nor are we choosing a pastor. However, as you said, we are looking for the person who would best lead our country. I think a person’s character is an important part of that. Trump’s moral failings say very worrying things about his integrity, his attitude to those who are weaker, his honesty, and his leadership. Proverbs says “the companion of fools suffers harm,” and Trump’s behavior fits exactly how Proverbs says a fool acts. I think that’s something we have to consider as discerning voters.

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  4. David, you say: “If Trump wins, it’s certainly God’s will. But that doesn’t mean we should not try to keep it from happening.”

    Do you believe everything that happens in the world is in accord with God’s will? How can you even begin to believe something like that, knowing all the evil there is in the world? Is the Presidency some exalted thing that gets God’s “special attention”?
    Do we not pray “Thy will be done,” since it is far from clear that it is always invariably done?

    The earnest prayers of a righteous man availeth much, so it is right to pray and otherwise express our concerns. But if the outcome is sure to be God’s will, how can we be so presumptuous as to think at any point we can know better than God?

    ” If Christians pull the lever for Donald Trump this election,” what they might be saying they REALLY CARE ABOUT is first and foremost defense of the borders, that the country not continue to be invaded. That the country be saved in that sense, that the sort of things that Obama and company might do against the Constitution would no longer be tolerated. Though his personal character flaws are “bad enough,” it would appear, he may be the only one who would be strong enough and headed in the right policy directions enough to put the U.S. on a more correct and promising path.

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  5. I’ve been expressly disconbobulated over his “character” & lack of accountability to God & this is a major issue to me but basically..even if he was better than this, my bottom line is that the guy is just plain an @**h*!# with no experience for running a country. Where did anyone get the notion that if you know how to make money out in the big bold world, that automatically qualifies you to run a country? Why do people very often link outspoken-ness, rudeness, & dictating method of communication with strong leadership? Just because a kid on the playground can make everyone do what he wants, that doesn’t make him a leader….generally, it makes them a bully..and that’s all Donald J. Trump is. The fact that he’s made all kinds of claims about what he’s going to do for our country but with no presentation of a plan just makes him a loud mouthed braggart. We’re already in deep with this country without another arrogant talking head deciding he’s going to do what he pleases while he blithely dismisses moral principal where ever it suits his convenience. He may indeed love our country & mean the best for it but I don’t want to be represented by someone who bullies everyone else iNcLuDiNg our allies..such as Israel, even if he CAN solve economic problems. Nor do I want to be represented by someone that really doesn’t appear to follow God on a daily basis. That’s not to say that God won’t give him wisdom; God is faithful to our country regardless, but the guy is a bull in a china shop & we have some really pressing things to deal with here. We NEED a president that honours God. I won’t even get into national security..my post is already too long & opinionated. I don’t know that the “way” the article was written was the best way to express the ideas here but i don’t disagree with much of what was said. Perhaps a different “spirit”….says the girl who wouldn’t mind giving the guy a hefty boot in the backside, in the name of Jesus no less. I just mean to say that I think the substance of the article is very important, I am very angry with our current president & really don’t believe in trump..in fact, i am as fearful if he gets elected as if hilary did, and that some of us as christians need to change how we view people(me included). Not necessarily what we view..but how. Namely, through the eyes of Christ..which does not always present a free hall-pass to anyone we look at, if you know what I mean. Discernment & judgement are a thin line apart. We should discern..God judges…I guess. Not that anyone really wants to know, but there it is. my thoughts. :)

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  6. I’m so tired of people of Faith who treat God like they have him on the psychiatrist’s sofa where they can analyze God’s personality and understand what makes him tick. How little you understand God if you think you can understand God.

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    • When the Bible says things about God, that does help us to understand God. It’s Him telling us about Himself. Among other things, it says that He considers marriage vows sacred and hates lying and bullying. Equally important, the Bible tells us what qualities to look for in a leader–good character, integrity, judgment, etc. I think Christian voters need to consider these things.

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  7. Repentance and confession are basic tenets of Christianity and yet Trump proudly announces that he doesn’t feel the need to confess his sins and ask for forgiveness. Now, this comes from a serial adulterer. Now if Trump broke his first 2 marriage vows and has flaunted countless other affairs and has not asked God for forgiveness, how can we say this man is a Christian?

    In Ephesians 4:1-3, Paul calls on followers of Christ to conduct themselves with humility. Donald Trump is the opposite of humble. He brags openly about his net worth, his looks, his wife’s looks etc. one week ago when asked how he would deal with someone who disagreed with him, he had no answer. So if Christians are to be humble, and Trump’s actions are quite the opposite, can we really call him a Christian?

    The Bible calls on Christians to allow their words to be seasoned with salt. Donald Trump has on more than one occasion used profanity at his rallies. Some years ago, he told a guy, “you’re just mad because I get more (insert little cat) than you.

    The bible said, you will know them by their fruits, but having examined Trump’s fruits, I’ve found him lacking. I realize that people have other reasons for voting Trump, and they have the right to vote for the candidate of their choice. But I don’t understand how any Christian can use Trump’s Christianity as a factor in voting for him.

    For those who believe that Trump is indeed a Christian, I’d like to ask what brought you to this conclusion.

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  8. Instead of praying against Trump, how about all Christians begin praying for his salvation. I don’t believe that Trump is a Christian, but I know he could be. As far as that goes we have not had too many in office that were Christians. Cruz professes to be a Christian, but his campaighn’s actions aren’t highlighting Christian values. Sin is sin to God. Your praying against a man is sin, you should be praying for him. In God’s eyes there are no categories of sin, just in man’s eyes. I have voted for so called Christians for years just to see them get elected and forget that they are Christians and that Christians elected them to up hold Christian values.

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    • Hi Judy, I definitely agree that we should pray for Trump’s salvation. I have! But I don’t think it’s an either-or. We should pray for his salvation while also praying he does not become president. You’re right that all sins are sinful in God’s eyes, but there is an important distinction between sins that are repented of vs. unrepentant sin. Trump proudly declares that he has never asked forgiveness. That by itself, communicates quite loudly that he is not a Christian. But my argument isn’t that we should vote against him because he isn’t a Christian. The problem is that he has a pattern of proud immorality, dishonesty, bullying, and vulgarity—patterns of behavior which should be disqualifying for the presidency.

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  9. Sorry but I will stick with Pastor Robert Jeffress and pray for him, as I will trust his training and judgement is at a much higher level than any of your qualifications to post this article. I am a Christian and am smart enough to know that what Pastor Jeffress says is true, which is not to be hung up on whether they say they are a Christian or not, but by what they do. All 5 realistic candidates have exhibited non-Christian behavior during the campaigns and debates. Most evangelicals are smart enough to realize this. Also, you need to remember Matt 7:1, as you are judging Mr. Trump and you will also be judged.

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    • John, thanks for commenting. I’m puzzled, though, by the way you responded to a list of verifiable facts about Trump by completely ignoring them. Do you think those facts are false? (Don’t take my word for it. Follow the links and read for yourself!) Do you think they don’t matter? I agree that all the candidates have behaved badly at times, but Trump’s character flaws are on a whole different level and they speak to issues that are directly relevant to his qualifications as president. If he has no integrity, no morals, no self-control, and no concern for the truth, shouldn’t discerning Christian voters consider that before pulling the lever for him? As a brother in Christ, I challenge you to seriously think and pray about this.

      You’re right that we need to be careful about judging, as Matt 7:1 warns. However, you need to read Matt 7:2 too: “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” Jesus is warning about judging others without holding ourselves accountable too, not saying we should close our eyes and ignore blatant sin. A few verses later, in Matt 7:16, Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruits.” When you look at Donald Trump’s fruit, what does it tell you about him?

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  10. This is what’s wrong with people who say they believe in God. You should be PRAYING and asking The Lord what is HIS WILL for this country. You should be on your knees DAILY and asking for DISCERNMENT when it comes to choosing a President. You should be asking The Lord to show you the TRUTH about what’s really going on in this country. You should be asking The Lord for RIGHTEOUSNESS to reign in this country. You CANNOT know and will NEVER know someones HEART unless The Lord reveals it to you, but you can forget about asking any of this if you are an unrighteous person yourself. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24

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    • Hi Jan, I agree completely with you that we need to pray for discernment and for God’s will to be done. I have done that and will continue to do that. However, we also need to use our God-given discernment. The Bible tells us to use wisdom in selecting our leaders, and it encourages us to scrutinize their records to determine if they would be good leaders or not. That is what I tried to do in this article and what I hope we will all do as we consider who to support for president.

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  11. David, just your title alone “We need to pray AGAINST Donald Trump” tells me that you obviously did not hear from God nor is this wisdom or God given discernment. This is all You. Your title should of read “We need to humble ourselves and pray”. Remember God can use anyone he wants and if God is using Donald Trump then we are nobody to be arguing with God and coming against whatever God is doing here. God will use and has used people we would never even consider and some wanted nothing to do with God, but God chose them for a purpose (his purpose). There was also David and he did horrible things and yet God said he was a man after his own heart and God used him to fulfill all his will. If you want to scrutinize somebody’s record and pray against someone (as you call it) you might want to look into the candidate that says he’s a Christian and the only “TRUE” conservative and is using and running on that platform. Then, after all the information you find out about him, ask the Lord what he hates, someone who claims to be a Christian and isn’t or someone that just isn’t? We are not electing a pastor or preacher here, we are electing a president and if Donald Trump can get the job done and the people who know God and God knows them are praying then we have to trust God because he knows what’s best. If MY people, which are called by MY name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek MY face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, AND WILL HEAL THEIR LAND”.
    2 Chronicles 7:14

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    • Jan, thanks for engaging me about this piece. Why is it wrong to call on my fellow believers to pray that Donald Trump does not get the nomination? Do you think that the Israelites prayed that Goliath would be killed? Do you think Christians should have prayed that Hitler be defeated? I don’t mean that Trump is as bad as either Goliath or Hitler; my point is simply that it is acceptable, even necessary, to use the power of prayer to resist bad men with bad plans. I am 100% convinced that Donald Trump is a foolish, immoral man whose nomination would harm the Republican party and whose election would harm the country, for the reasons stated above and in this other article I wrote, and in hundreds of other articles written by Christian conservatives.

      I agree with you that we aren’t electing a pastor. My criteria for a pastor would be very different from my criteria for a president. But Trump meets none of my criteria for a president. He is also uniquely damaging to Christian conservatives, as I argued in the article, which is why I wrote it. You are correct that God can use anyone, but that doesn’t mean we should support anyone. At different times in Israel’s history God used the Pharaoh of Egypt, the Philistines, and the Assyrians to accomplish his purposes, but they were still bad people doing bad things which should have been resisted. As for David being “a man after God’s own heart,” surely he isn’t comparable to Trump? David repented after his great sin with Bathsheba, while Trump has said he has never asked God’s forgiveness for anything. That’s a pretty big difference!

      Incidentally, I suspect that what is really upsetting you is simply that I don’t support your candidate. After all, you are attacking Cruz (I assume that’s who you mean) and suggesting I should not vote for him in the same way I argued against Trump. That’s a good discussion to have, and I’d be glad to continue it with you and compare the two candidates, but it doesn’t seem honest to be offended by my suggestion that discerning Christians should oppose Trump and then turn around and suggest that discerning Christians should oppose Cruz.

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    • You could do a few things, Philip. The simplest is to use social media to share information about Trump and start conversations with friends about him. Inform your circle of acquaintances so they don’t fall for his media-blitz strategy. This page of editorials against Trump has good info.

      Beyond that, you can contribute money or volunteer for Ted Cruz. Cruz is the only remaining challenger with a chance of beating Trump, and he actually has quite a good chance. I’d say Cruz has slightly better than even odds at this point. Personally, I think Cruz is a great candidate in his own right, too. He’s been one of my favorites from the start of the primary.

      And don’t forget to pray. The “please pray” in this article isn’t a gimmick to get people to read. I’m serious. God hears the prayers of his people, including our prayers for our nation.

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  12. I am not an American citizen, neither am I resident within the USA, simply an observer of your presidential election process. Perhaps, rather than pray against Donald Trump, more would be acieved by praying for the future leader of your great Country to have the qualities that would ” Make America Great Again ” or ” Stronger Together ” and then leave the outcome in God’s hands.

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  13. Wow, your comments are all so confusing. Each is full of arrogance as you really think that YOU can tell God what prayers to answer and which he shouldn’t. These are all beliefs of Pharisees. Bottom line is that Trump is devoid of basic human decency and lies about almost everything. For all we know this may be God trying to teach Christians a lesson for forgetting that the love of all people is the only thing that qualifies you as Christians. Stop trying to control things and have faith. The abortion issue is not for you to fight in the ballot boxes but rather through compassion and service. Marriage equality is not for you to deny others off but rather for you to gain understanding. And just if we get to judgement day I doubt you’ll be punished for someone else’s sin. You may however get a few extra days in purgatory for voting for someone who plans to make life miserable for millions of people.

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