The evangelical constituency in the United States is a political prize fought over by both Republicans and Democrats. Pew Research confirms that those who believe a) the Bible is the word of God, and b) Jesus is the way to heaven – heavily support Trump. But where do Christian leaders stand? Here are some of the most popular Christian leaders in America, and where they stand on the 2016 presidential election.
1. James Dobson
On July 22, the founder of Focus on the Family formally endorsed Donald Trump for president. As an outspoken campaigner for traditional views of marriage and against abortion, his voice carries a lot of clout.
2. Jerry Falwell, Jr.
As president of Liberty University and the son of the founder of the Moral Majority, Falwell is a hero to young pastors. He has led his church to become one of the largest ever seen in North America.
3. Robert Jeffress
Jeffress is the senior pastor of Dallas’ First Baptist Church and a frequent guest on Fox News. He serves on Trump’s advisory board and is one of the most frequent guests at major Trump rallies.
4. Wayne Grudem
The Southern Baptist ethicist and theologian calls a Trump vote a “morally good choice.” In an article for Townhall, he admitted Trump is “egotistical, bombastic, and brash,” and has “mistaken ideas.” But he says a Clinton victory would be a huge set-back for traditional Christian values.
5. Paula White
Perhaps America’s most well-known female evangelical leader, White has been a close spiritual advisor to Mr. Trump. According to Politico, the televangelist is one of Trump’s most outspoken supporters.
6. Mark Burns
As a media mogul, Burns carries a lot of weight. He led a prayer at the Republican National Convention, in which he referred to Hillary Clinton and the Democrats as “the enemy.”
7. Jack Graham
The pastor of Prestonwood Church near Dallas says he is happy to “champion Donald Trump” after he attended a meeting with Trump and 900 other evangelicals. “I am convinced he is going to make a great president,” he said.
8. Eric Metaxas
The popular author, speaker, and radio host has written biographies of Wilberforce and Bonhoeffer. He says, “Not only can we vote for Trump, we must vote for Trump, for he is the best hope to keep America from sliding into oblivion.”
9. Max Lucado
The popular author and pastor from San Antonio wrote a stinging post about Trump, but has not backed Clinton, either. He has taken the middle road, backing away from supporting either candidate.
10. Deborah Filkes
As executive adviser to the World Evangelical Alliance, Filkes is perhaps Clinton’s most famous evangelical supporter. She had condemned Trump’s behavior toward minorities and women, saying, “Hillary Clinton is the leader who people of faith are looking for and we are praying that Sister Hillary and not Mr. Trump will be elected in November.”
So here is your scorecard: Trump – 8, Clinton – 1, Unsure – 1.
Certainly this is not a scientific study. But there is no question that most evangelical leaders support Donald Trump. Does that matter? Perhaps the answer to that question depends on how you feel about evangelical leaders.