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Donald Trump's race to the White House defied every prediction and expectation. From his controversial speech announcing his candidacy, to the large crowds filling stadiums, through scandalous comments of one variety or another, down to last night's election returns, Mr. Trump repeatedly did what everyone said he couldn't or shouldn't do. His campaign energized sections of the country who were either fed up with or checked out of the usual political cycle. Along the way, Mr. Trump defeated two political dynasties--the Bush and Clinton families--and broke nearly every "rule" on presidential elections. As a result, Mr. Trump will become our 45th President in about three months.

The next several days will certainly be filled with punditry, analysis, and reflection. All kinds of viewpoints will fill our airwaves, some celebratory and some dismayed. We'll learn more about campaign strategies, demographic trends, and exit polls. An overarching story will take shape, and perhaps a new conventional wisdom will develop.

But as a Christian and leader of some sort, I'm most interested in what took place with evangelicals during this election. Exit polls tell us that white evangelicals voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Trump, coming in at 81 percent. For historical perspective, that surpasses the 78 percent of evangelicals who voted for fellow evangelical candidate George W. Bush in 2004.

Pulling the lever at 8 out of 10 times for Trump, however, should not be confused with unqualified, widespread support. Many "held their noses" as they did so, if we are to believe the "unfavorable" numbers for Mr. Trump. Many simply believed Trump was "less bad" than Mrs. Clinton. Still others, keeping an eye on Supreme Court nominations, sided with Mr. Trump with the hopes of a more conservative court and possibly putting a dent in Roe v. Wade. It's been said all along that "evangelical" is difficult to define.

But that's what makes the turnout in favor of Mr. Trump so interesting to me. If there is one way to define evangelical, it's by voting behavior, the very metric that journalists and sociologists have been using for years. I know many who would prefer a theological definition and find the journalistic approach troublesome. But with 80 percent of professing evangelicals selecting the GOP nominee, we can no longer act as if all the journalists misunderstand the movement. In the polling booth, "evangelical" does amount to very nearly one thing, or at least one voting behavior.

Now, it should also be said that there were a number of #NeverTrump evangelicals. Twenty percent did not vote for him. But what's fairly clear by that percentage is those white evangelicals are the minority in this election and quite possibly in the movement itself. All election I heard #NeverTrump evangelicals saying they didn't know of any evangelicals who were voting for Trump. As it turns out, they did. Eight out of ten persons in their churches, small groups, and conference gatherings voted for Trump, even if they said they weren't. Either their friends were swayed at the last minute or downright dishonest. But in either case, the number of evangelicals who put gospel and character before politics and party are small.

I'm pondering this today. Admittedly, my thoughts are not very developed, and in a week or two I may have learned more and changed positions. But at this point, I think the evangelical turnout for Mr. Trump signals several fatal weaknesses in the movement.

First, the movement has surrendered any claims to the moral high ground in electoral politics. Even though many evangelicals chose Trump while having significant reservations about his character, they nevertheless chose Trump. They did not choose character. To be clear, Mrs. Clinton was not an objectively better moral option. But not voting, voting third party, or writing in, as many said they would, were also options. The lion's share of evangelicals put character concerns aside and pulled the lever for a man whose character is every bit as "flawed" as President Clinton’s, whose impeachment evangelicals supported. For that choice, as many have already observed, the moral high ground is lost.

Second, the movement has abandoned public solidarity with groups who considered Mr. Trump an existential threat to them. I'm speaking here of the many groups who expressed reservation regarding Mr. Trump's racism, religious bigotry, misogyny, isolationism, and nativism. People with those concerns came from a lot of groups in the country, including African-American Christians, many themselves evangelicals. At 80 percent, white evangelicalism en masse sided with Mr. Trump over and against the concerns of fellow evangelicals weary of his alienating and divisive rhetoric and campaign promises. Based on correspondence during the campaign and following the election, it seems clear to me that that voting decision will likely put a deep chill on efforts at reconciliation and co-belligerence in the culture. For many, evangelicals expressed solidarity (again) with some of the worst aspects of American history and culture while abandoning brothers and sisters of like precious faith. Coming back from that may be difficult.

Third, the movement failed to escape its partisan bias in favor of more principled and biblical stands. A good number of evangelicals took #NeverTrump positions because they did not recognize Mr. Trump as a bona fide conservative. They felt conservative principles had been abandoned by party leadership. They felt a charlatan had hijacked their political home. But not enough of them sought out a new home, one of their own making based on more sure biblical grounds. Instead, some evangelicals offered "biblical" justification for voting Trump and minimized his character flaws. Others endorsed and vigorously campaigned for him. With last night's election result, the GOP stranglehold on evangelical conscience and voting may have tightened to unbreakable strength. It may be we've reached the point that the only thing that would move evangelicals in more constructive directions would be outright persecution from the GOP itself. Short of that, it's difficult to imagine evangelicals going elsewhere. This, for me, is all the more discouraging because I've long endured evangelicals questioning African-American allegiance to the Democratic Party. "Why do nearly all African Americans vote for Democrats?" they ask. "Isn't it better if African Americans refuse allegiance to that party?" I resonate with the sentiment; but I wonder if it's not born in some sense of hypocrisy. If the movement doesn't escape its partisan pull, its usefulness will be seriously compromised.

Finally, the movement has made its evangelistic mission more difficult with many it wants to reach. A good number of people outside the faith look at the exit polls aghast and angry. Aghast because they themselves cannot imagine supporting a candidate with the personal moral flaws of Mr. Trump. Angry because they've watched evangelicals moralize in public for a long time, often shaming people for their sins and moral weaknesses. The vote for Trump creates or amplifies a credibility problem for evangelicals. Why should the unrepentant listen to their gospel when it seems so evident they've not applied that gospel to their political choices? "Shouldn't we view evangelicals as basically concerned with politics over all things?" they ask. Convincing answers will be difficult to find. For many, Christ and the gospel are now bound up--rightly or wrongly--with evangelicals choosing a man with little resemblance to either.

And all of this was wrought by the bulk of evangelicalism itself. No one forced this on the movement. An 81 percent return will not allow us to discard these voters as “not truly evangelical.” At the moment, that’s exactly who evangelicalism is.

This is why I tweeted, to the confusion or chagrin of a few, "Congratulations white evangelicalism on your candidate's win. I don't understand you and I think you just sealed some awful fate." A few took offense. But a couple hundred retweeted it without comment. Not all retweets are endorsements. And perhaps those retweets came from the 20 percent who did not support Trump. But in either case, I'm not alone in seeing serious problems with evangelicalism's witness at the moment. I fear the fate of the movement may have been in some measure sealed with this vote.

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248 thoughts on “4 Problems Associated with White Evangelical Support of Donald Trump”

  1. Jason Kates says:

    The points Anyabwile makes here are worth considering carefully. However, it is hard to listen to an argument about “moral high ground” or “more principled” stands from someone who supported Hillary Clinton and her corruption and support for abortion at any time during a pregnancy. Had Anyabwile vocally supported a 3rd party principled candidate these critiques would carry more weight. As he did not, it is very difficult to read these as anything other than what should be said in the mirror to Christians who voted for Clinton. Emotions are high and fresh so soon after this election, and I wonder if pieces like this are helpful. I commit to prayerfully considering all of this, but my first reaction to some of it is to reject it on its face. I think the 4th point is critical, however, and must be addressed. Any ground lost for the Gospel must be fought for again, but not via politics or a vote.

    1. Jason Kates says:

      Additionally, the white vote did not carry the day for Donald Trump. Trump received less of the white vote than did Romney. He received MORE of the black and Hispanic vote than did Romney. Clinton won LESS of the black and Hispanic vote than did Obama. White evangelicals didn’t elect Trump. Whites voted pretty consistently, though in lower overall numbers, as they did in the previous 3 elections. Hillary proved un-electable on her own merits. Looking for a scapegoat elsewhere doesn’t seem honest fair.

      1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

        Umm… not that I owe you an explanation, but (1) I did not at any time support Mrs. Clinton’s views on abortion, quite the contrary; and (2) I did not vote for Hillary Clinton but recommended and voted for McMullin.

        Again, not that I owe you that. But if you’re going to attempt to discredit the post by discrediting the author, at least get your facts right.

          1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:


            1. Zach Lee says:

              Well then Thabiti, you can certainly understand why someone would have been under the impression that you voted for Hillary, can’t you?

            2. Timothy Joseph says:

              I am concerned that any evangelical leader could possibly consider voting for Clinton when she advocates a culture of death for not just the unborn but the ‘unproductive’ of any stage of life. Honoring life created in the image of God is the most basic Christian value. It appears to me, that maybe you have a different understanding of evangelical than most.

            3. Lorriane says:

              You did recommend voting for Hillary and I was left with the impression that you did. This article continues to push a divisive spirit among that church. I am deeply trouble by it and deeply troubled that at one point you were pushing Christians to vote for Hillary. Hopefully all voted according to their conscience and you cannot judge another Christian for doing that, which you have. You do nothing to address black Christians who also voted for him, as he pulled higher numbers among blacks than any other Republican. You also fail to address those black Christians who voted for Hillary, who was among one of the most corrupt politicians in history and who robustly supported partial birth abortion. This article does nothing to unite the church and I am ashamed that I pastor would sit down and write something out like this. If you are going to write something like this (which is reprehensible in the first place), then at least be fair and address all the black Christians who voted for Hillary. I am praying that this divisiveness that you are stirring up and encouraging is ended. We need to be untied and praying for revival in this nation.

          2. Jeff Schultz says:

            Thabiti’s post was written, as he said at the time, assuming that Trump and Clinton were the only options. Back in May, McMullin wasn’t an option as he was literally unknown.

            1. Reformed Catholic says:

              However, McMullen was not a viable candidate as he was not on the ballot on all states, and most people don’t do write ins, and while a vote for him would have been voting your conscience. For many a vote for Trump (while holding their nose) was also voting their conscience as he was more likely to have a chance to actually win, thus eliminating any chance of packing the SCOTUS with liberal justices, as well as any presidential executive orders which would violate my freedom of expression of religion.

            2. Brenda Truels says:

              Well, then, if you only had two choices, you can understand why a Christian can not vote for someone who believes in late term abortion (much less any kind), not to mention her other policies. From the beginning of this campaign, Mr. Trump began to surround himself with Christian men, recently prayed to receive Christ (ie: James Dobson), has learned from the school of hard knocks how politicians operate, has chosen to put conservative judges on the Supreme Court, is getting ready to put in a conservative Cabinet (many of whom are Christian). He has spent ample time with people of color, including Dr. Ben Carson, one of his most ardent supporters.

              If you are someone who has never had an unholy thought, by all means, cast the first stone. You say that His election made it harder for Christians to make an impact evangelically. That is only so if you make it so. God will have His way. The Bible tells us that God is the one who chooses our authorities, so if you don’t agree, your argument is with Him. Instead of complaining, take it up with Him in prayer as many of us did before the election.

        1. Joshua C says:

          Mr. Anyabwile,

          Regarding your post from May 10 of earlier this year ( you stated the following:

          //And, regrettably, unless there’s a third party tsunami, which I’d happily ride, I have to vote for either Clinton or Trump because one of them will win. While writing in and third party has the appeal of offering some protest, some symbolic demonstration, it doesn’t mean jack when it comes to who will be Commander-in-Chief for the next four years. It has little value for at least limiting the evil that will result.//

          And then came to this conclusion about your choice:

          //At this point, assuming Trump and Clinton are my only options, I’d vote for Clinton.//

          Reading your post from which I’ve cited, I can see how one would come to the conclusion that you voted for Hillary. Surely, you can see how others might come to this conclusion.

          Now, it’s very possible, since you left yourself an escape clause in that if there were “third party tsunami, you’d happily ride it”, that you somehow became convinced that he stood a chance of winning. Regardless, it would be wise to seek to understand why someone thought you voted Fir Hillary.

          Also, for many Christians, it seems unconscionable to support someone that has the utmost extreme view on abortion that is possible — abortion up until the moment of birth. How can you justify supporting someone knowing that is their goal in the matter? Of course, that doesn’t necessitate that one that supports her over Trump supports her views on abortion, but nonetheless, at the very least, you are saying that you feel there are moral issues of more importance than the life of the unborn. It is true that Trump may not do anything to rid our nation of this evil, but you can’t say with certainty like you can with Hillary that he will make it worse. I can’t stand Trump either, and I too did a write-in, but I’m willing to admit this much.

          Also, and this is just my opinion, but you seem to make an issue of race when there is none. Is it hard to fathom that so many white evangelicals voted for Trump for the not so nefarious purposes of hoping he’ll defend the rights of the unborn, repeal Obamacare, and/or appoint Supreme Court justices that don’t seek to destroy the Constitution? None of these issues have to do with race and are the very reasons why every single white Evangelical that I know of personally supporting him are doing so.

          Just some things to consider.

          God bless.

          1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

            God bless you, too, friend.

            As for the assumption I’d vote for Clinton, that’s a reasonable assumption based on a May article. But lots has happened since May and I haven’t written since then. So, it would seem that courtesy would require making an inquiry before making a statement based on old data. Representing others accurately is not an unfair request.

            On your last paragraph, it isn’t a matter of my being able to conceive that since I clearly acknowledge it in the opening paragraphs. And nowhere does this post allege anyone was motivated by race. It observes, as the facts require, that white evangelicals broke for Trump and that vote has implications. We can’t do any less without ignoring that simple fact.

            The Lord bless and keep you,

            1. Dan G. says:

              Hillary looked good in May? But then you switched over to the guy from a demonic cult? Please consider staying out of the are of arena of political advice. Your articles always seemed so good too.

            2. Lorriane says:

              No, you left us with the impression that you supported and would vote for Hillary. It is unfair for you to lay it upon us to change that perception.

            3. Burton French says:

              Thabiti, thank you so much for your insights and leadership. I agree with each of your points in the original post. For disclosure, I am a white evangelical who chose to abstain from the presidential vote.I have voted in every election since 1976. I was for Jimmy Carter in 76 and have voted for the Republican candidate since then. To abstain, was a huge and sad deal for me. I would just like to offer a cautionary comment for perspective. Please do not quote the 80/20 poll as fact. If the polls on Monday regarding the election were mostly wrong, exit polls based on demographic data are even less accurate. The sample sizes a very small and not particularly scientific. They depend on people describing themselves as evangelical. If I 100 people leaving the voting booth told you they are evangelical, how many of those, do you really think are evangelical? It is fairly accurate to rate a characteristic like White/Black, College/No college, but it is highly inaccurate to accept a self-description like evangelical which can have so many different meanings to different. Taking that poll as fact (which you did in the post), will lead you and others to make possibly inaccurate generalizations. Your leadership voice is greatly needed to give perspective and exhortation to both white and black evangelicals. And I do not think this issue affects the validity of your main points in the post. Thank you for your courage. Keep speaking into the church. I can tell from the other comments to this post that your leadership is crucial.

        2. Kenny Long says:

          Thanks for your dedication to the church and helping us to think biblically on hard issues. I do however have some concern with what “appears” to be a kind of bullying of our white brothers and sisters from black evangelical leaders.

          I don’t understand the alarm at which you and a few other brothers, some christian hip hoppers, have with the number of white evangelicals voting their conscience and voting Trump. I didn’t hear many of you guys speaking on the record turn outs for blacks in support of Barack Obama. It seems more explicit that black evangelicals showed up to vote for him because he was black, but I don’t remember any of you guys running blogs on that. Not to mention, it didn’t seem like many of his policies squared well with our beliefs as Christians.

          Lastly, isn’t it understandable why people would vote Trump to ensure that Clinton was prevented from the White House? That’s why I voted for him. He was direct on the abortion issue and very clear on his SCOTUS intentions. I personally went to the polls and voted last second for him, because in light of those two things, I thought the church would have continued freedoms to exercise their right to faith and evangelism. God bless bro

        3. Anonymous says:

          I believe if you’re going to write an article like this condemning people’s votes, it would be best written with some sort of encouragement on what exactly you would’ve thought better to do. So yes, you do respectively owe the readers an explanation. (So thanks for filling in those details. I was surely wondering myself.) Unless you think an article of condemnation encourages and unites the kingdom body, without offering any helpful insight into what you thought the better option was, this article seems more pointless than good.

        4. Logan Sloan says:

          Thabiti, I’m really confused here. So, it was okay at one point in time to vote for Clinton—regardless of her moral failures—but now it was wrong for (self-proclaimed) evangelicals to have voted for Trump—precisely because of his moral failures?

          Apart from the extremely, if not impossible, case to be made that voting for almost anyone is sinful, the hypocrisy of such a claim is disheartening.

          I respect you and want what’s best for you. If you are concerned with your witness as well as the Church’s, as you claim (and I completely believe you are), then you ought rethink your words here.

          You are not immune to error.

          I come from a different background and perspective than you, so I understand that there are things culturally that cause our views to be somewhat different. However, in Chrost, we are united. You post does nothing but sow seeds of division. Though intrigued, you did not seek to understand—at least, according to the words you have used—you merely built straw men to topple down. I do not mean to imply that you intend such things, but this is our present reality.

          Personally, I think you need to repent and apologize. But I’m not you nor one close enough to council you. All I ask is you pray with me for God to make clear whether or not what I have said here is the case.

          If not, I will gladly repent and support your position.

          With the love that I have only because of Christ,
          Logan Sloan

        5. Carlos Prather says:

          Thank you for your article to make us think. My prayerful sentiment is I voted for Pence, (Carson, Rubio, Bush, others who hold my values) based on concerns in your 4th paragraph with the hopes their service will help clean up Republican corruption as well as Democratic.
          I highly disagree with your 2nd point of no solidarity with minority groups etc. I have worked 25 years in urban blue collar communities (Blacks & Hispanics) and experienced love and harmony. I have not seen any vibrant, life changing democratic party policy in that community aside from food stamps. I have seen great community change through evangelical Black churches and their non Black church partnerships. So much emphasis on Trump’s vulgar comments and minimal on Hilary’s “white collar crime” that is more subtle and impacting emotionally, but very damaging to people’s lives and morals. Enough said. I give you credit on the risk of “perception damage” but not on my lowering my character making a prayerful decision to vote.

        6. Lorraine says:

          Yes, you do owe us that explanation. First you tell us that we should not assume that you voted for Hillary (when you endorsed her and pushed others to vote for her a few months back) and then you tell us that we should not assume you voted for Hillary. You can’t have it both ways.

        7. Sam says:

          Well, when you previously and publically supported Mrs. Clinton you do owe an explanation if your views changed.

      2. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

        Who is looking for a scapegoat? The post didn’t assign any decisive factor to evangelical or white votes. It simply raised questions about what an overwhelming evangelical support for Trump means.

        The quickly developing trope about Trump getting more Black and Hispanic votes than Romney really ought to be put in context. Both Trump and Romney were in low single digits. And both were significant below the 12 percent Bush garnered in 2004. If anything, they both continued in a net loss compared to the 2004 election, a net loss neither of them very seriously tried to regain.

        There’s no scapegoating in the post, just a reflection on evangelicals. Attempting to dismiss and avoid that is the dishonest, I mean, unfair thing here.

        1. Zach Lee says:

          Yes. It. Did.

        2. Ken says:

          I couldn’t agree more with this post. I am a white, male evangelical that weeps at the narrative evangelicals have painted with this election. It matters because I now have to overcome all of these obstacles in lovingly sharing the gospel with my LGBT friendly, African-American, disabled neighbors and friends. All because of fear. And just because of the tone of people commenting on here, I voted for McMullin. Why? Because I am pro-life, conservative and place character as the highest value in any elected official.

    2. Janice Wright says:

      My thoughts exactly, You lose the right to discuss high moral ground when you support Clinton

    3. arthur says:

      You are stating facts which are not true! Trump supports abortion.

    4. Luis says:

      This author makes a series of dangerous and biased assumptions:
      1. He assumes his interpretation of Christians in politics is biblical, elevating his opinion to the level of word of God. The Bible is vague at best as to how Americans in 2016 should vote for president. Neither it says morality should be the test for office (over experiencing, capabilities, and such). In doing so, Mr Anyabwile dares to judge “Evangelicals”‘ character in voting out of character, in a scenario that leaves no objective good options, because, after all, who is good enough?

      2. The author assumes all negative feelings about Trump are factual and truth (racist, bigot, nativism). This is as dangerous as believing all Christians are hateful because they are not pro- choice or pro same sex marriage. Furthermore, he assumes only the good Evangelicals on his side matter, not the others.

      3. He assumes that only ‘against-Trump’ people deserve to be reached out to be saved -even if it fails other reasoning. What about the many unbelievers who hate or are afraid of Hillary? Shouldn’t we be sympathetic with them too? To what extent? Even if they’re wrong?

      There has to be a way to reach out to blacks and whites, and Asians and Muslims and feel their pain and show our care without necessarily pleasing them in everything they want -or at least be consistent and do it for all people groups.

      People are not saved when I vote like them or think like them but when they know Christ and see his love in me, in spite of our differences, not in exchange of them.

    5. Jean says:


  2. Nathan says:

    I am a white Christian and would be called evangelical, but I don’t want that label anymore. This breaks my heart.

    I voted Evan McMullin and prayed that Trump would break this unhealthy and unChristian bond between white Christians and the Republican Party. Fear and anger motivated many to vote for Trump. We should never act out of fear, that is not the Spirit we have received.

    Many historians/theologians decry the heretical “Christianity” that supported salvery. It seems in our own time many Christians have blended faith/politics/Americanism into some sort of folk religion.

    Yes God is in control, He directs “the hearts of kings”, God’s plan is perfect and He was not surprised. Yes we should pray for all of our leaders regardless. I don’t know God’s plan on all of this, but I know that God has been bringing much of our ugliness to light and there are many opportunities for godly sorrow and repentance.

    1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:


      1. Challis Bower says:

        Really struggling with the Evangelical public celebration of Trump’s win! “An answer to prayer” is hard to listen to… especially when I wonder how that might sound to unbelievers. Donald Trump is not our man, he does not represent us. That is clear. I agree with much of what you wrote. The problem is, I gave him my vote. And now I have to live with that. I pray I have not lost my voice for the gospel because of this judgement.

    2. Julie says:

      Thank you.

    3. Jeff Schultz says:

      Nathan, I am struggling with the same thoughts.

    4. Kristi Ahrens says:

      Nathan, very well said

    5. Kathy Snyder says:

      Well said

    6. Zarae says:

      Agree with your words. Cant add anymore really.

      and a thank you to the author for writing this, to helping me see more than my limited view.

      My husband and I voted third person, unable to vote for the two big folks. Naively thought with the choices, that it might not go so bad.
      It is so sad to see how this election has gone, by believers especially. sadden at the attacks against others, the cry for a party, at the expense of people, and the disregard for lives of minorities, or blatant abusive actions and words, sadden at how someone with such horrible character got in.
      But I am most sadden at how many of our sisters and brothers in christ and in humanity are scared at what this means for them and their future. their pain at how this election has shown what they mean in terms of party-politics, or so called liberties they hope to keep.

    7. Chris Seawood says:


  3. Bill Cayley says:

    Well said!

  4. Jimmy says:

    Thanks for taking the time to graciously respond.

    I’m my white evangelical circles in the state of Georgia, all of my brothers and sisters saw Trump as the only option to block liberal supreme court justices. There was no real understanding or conversation about what message this would send to our AA Christian family. Many will be surprised that you bring up this very valid point and saddened by the perceived lack of solidarity.

  5. AJ says:

    So voting against abortion but for adultry, bigotry, racism, cheating (because that’s what you get with “your president elect”) is ok. You know in the last days it says “even the elect would be deceived” You “asked for a king” as they did in Judges. Now pray II Chronicles 7. Regardless of the outcome Heaven Rules!

    1. annajo says:

      That seems unfair. The concern was to vote in such a way that would provide as much a legal blocking to the late-term partial-birth stance of Hillary Clinton. Do you see anyone publicly urging for adultery, bigotry, racism, cheating? I’m sorry, it just seems an extreme thing to say. It has been established Bill Clinton committed adultery with several people in his marriage to Hillary. It has also been fairly well established Hillary Clinton was in an adulterous relationship with the now deceased Vince Foster. It’s currently impossible to vote “against adultery”, but it’s very possible to vote “against abortion”. Why was this once a focal point of most believers, but suddenly this year, no one seems to care? Also, President Trump has proven himself a clumsy oaf in the way of words at times, which makes us all cringe, but in what honest ways has President Elect Trump proven he is a racist? As for cheating?! Are you aware Hillary Clinton has been selling our nation to radical islam supporting nations? Are you aware of her illegal activities to erase evidence while having been served with a subpoena? Are you aware of CNN smuggling debate questions to Hillary in advance of debates? This is all known cheating by Hillary Clinton. What evidence do we have of cheating on the part of President Elect Trump?

      1. JW says:

        What ways has he proven he’s racist? Wow. By only referring to the AA community as living in hellish inner cities where you will get shot, by calling people from Mexico criminals and rapists, by claiming Muslim Americans allow terrorist attacks to happen because they don’t spy on their neighbors, and that’s just a few of the most public moments from his announcement and debates. You add his history of court losses over discrimination, the stories from staff on his TV shows who quote him demeaning other races, and you pretty much have all the proof you need.

    2. Rach says:

      The actual verse says the antichrist will ATTEMPT to deceive the elect. It is implied the Spirit prevents the elect from falling prey to the lies.

  6. David Lovi says:

    Your tweet was obnoxious, unfair, and unworthy of your calling as a minister of the Gospel, Thabiti. What if Donald Trump was an African American and I tweeted, “Congratulations Black evangelicalism on your candidate’s win. I don’t understand you and I think you just sealed some awful fate.” I’d bet a dollar to a doughnut you would cry “racist!” Once again, I am shocked that the Gospel Coalition would allow this sort of tripe on its page. Are you trying to bring racial division into the Body of Christ?

    1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

      Hi David,

      Am I “trying to bring racial division into the Body of Christ?” No. It’s already there. I’m trying to get somebody to pay attention to it and why it exists.

      As for the tweet, you’re welcome to your opinion. And for the record, statements like that were made all over the place when President Obama was elected. Feel free to look up posts I wrote after his first election and check the comments section for a few examples. You probably did read those posts (can’t blame you), but I don’t remember anyone showing up to say people raising those objectives were racists for making them.

      Grace to you, David.

      1. David Lovi says:

        So, you are trying to get somebody to pay attention to racial division by publicly mocking and falsely congratulating “white evangelicals” for voting for Donald Trump and then saying that because of them there will be an “awful fate”? Nah, that’s not racist at all. Wake up, seriously.

    2. Piffy says:

      David, if you know anything at all about Thabiti, it’s evident he’s not “trying to bring racial division into the Body of Christ”. That question is obnoxious and unfair. Besides, he can’t bring into the body of Christ here in America what has already been in it long before he came along.

      1. Timothy Joseph says:

        Actually, regardless of what you or I think we know about him, his words here are actually racist!

    3. Shellie says:


  7. BV says:

    The challenge here for many white Evangelicals, I think, is that they/we/us view a potential Hillary Supreme Court as a Court that will be very hostile to us.

    Does this mean Trump will with certainty nominate Justices that will be down-the-line conservatives? Nope! But the chances are much greater with Trump’s nominees than Clinton’s – or at least that is the thinking.

    We were not given great options in this election. At the end of the day, we voters had to make a choice.

  8. Korey Daniel says:

    You encouraged a voted for Clinton. Get off the internet Thabiti.

    1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

      Thanks for leaving a comment, Korey. I’m not getting off the internet any time soon, but you’re free to not read or comment on any of my sites. For you it would have the same good effect.

      Grace and peace to you,

  9. James says:

    Brother, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Here are mine:

    First, you yourself admit “Mrs. Clinton was not a better moral option.” So, do you believe that the ONLY moral high ground was to vote for a third party candidate? Respectfully, wouldn’t that make all your Democrat friends equally culpable? This article (and that tweet) could therefore have been written just as easily to them.

    Second, the evangelical Trump voters I know considered Hillary to be an existential threat (through the courts) to ALL serious Christians, including the very groups you are citing. Religious liberty for ALL was under explicit threat from Clinton, while Trump was willing to at least pay lip service to religious liberty.

    Third, what exactly is this “constructive direction” you are pointing white Evangelicals to? The Democrat Party, alongside our African-American brothers and sisters? Or is there some new Christian Party, that all White Evangelicals and all African-American Christians are morally obligated to support? Could you link me to their website? Who was their proposed candidate? Who — specifically — do you think white Evangelicals should have voted for?

    Fourth, I can sympathize with the point you are making here, because I (like you) know many white Evangelicals who have been mystified by the support of African-American Christians for Democrat candidates (Hillary) and policies (abortion, etc) that seem morally indefensible to many Christians outside the African-American community. Many have been tempted to view that support uncharitably.

    Brother, it seems to me that both sides have a problem here. Like you, I’m interested in convincing answers.

    1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

      Hi James,

      Welcome, brother. Thank you for contributing to the discussion. A few quick replies:

      1. I’m not interested in this post in all voters. But, yes, if evangelicals had broken at that rate for Clinton then the tweet would apply as well. The difference is they went for Trump and this post is dealing with the implications of what actually happened.

      2. Mr. Trump paid, as you put it, “lip service,” to religious liberty for Christians. But he was adamantly opposed to that liberty for our Muslim neighbors. And as history teaches us, taking any religious group’s liberty will result in the loss of liberty for others. I think they’re a push on this issue.

      3. It isn’t for me to do your homework on this point. If you’re not interested in another option, that’s fine. But a good number of evangelicals called for third party and new options. Some saw potential in McMullin. Others like Alan Noble and Michael Wear launched a new effort. Check those if you’re sincerely asking.

      4. Thanks, brother. Glad for any agreement and mutual understanding that can be achieved in times like this.

      Grace to you,

      1. Todd Waldron says:

        Thabiti, Why could you not have found a 3rd party candidate?? The logic holds no weight. You claim all of the Trump votes should’ve banded together for a 3rd party candidate, but you wouldn’t be there to lead the charge? Instead you tried to use your influence and position to encourage a vote for Clinton, who you adamantly said yourself was evil? Why the double standard? Why not lead the charge for all Christians to come together for a 3rd party candidate? Why should Trump voters (which doesn’t mean supporter by your self defined ‘vote for Hillary’ posts) go out and find a 3rd party candidate while you sit comfortably in the HIllary camp?

  10. Karl Heitman says:

    This “white” evangelical, theologically defined, just lost every drip of respect for you. You are not contributing racial reconciliation; you’re making it worse. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why you can’t see that.

    1. David Lovi says:

      AMEN. Aint that the truth. Thabiti has become more and more spiteful. Even when I met that dude at T4G he was very rude to me. But whatever. This comment section isn’t gonna change that dude.

      1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

        Dear David,

        If I was rude to you at T4G, I apologize. I do not remember being rude to anyone there. But I do not assume you would make that up or overstate it. So, please forgive me for my rudeness and any hurt or embarrassment it may have caused you.

        Depending on God’s grace in Christ,

        1. David Lovi says:

          I forgive you. Thabiti, man, I seriously think you need to consider the position that God has placed you in to influence people. Can’t you see that there are many Jesus-loving Christians who feel sinfully attacked by you? Do you care about that? You are doing more than just pointing out a racial divide, you are helping to cause MORE racial division. How many comments from Christians will it take for you to see that? Would sitting down with people you actually respect help?

          1. HB says:

            Your comments lead me to believe that you either are unaware of the present racial divide that exists in our nation (and churches) or you choose to believe race isn’t that big of an issue and that we’re one big happy family. Racial reconciliation will only come when we correctly identify it for what it is and understand the causes for division.

            Can’t you see that your comments sting non-white Christians like myself? Your feelings of being attacked are nowhere close to the real fears of many who woke up realizing that the man who has publicly vilified them will now hold the highest position in the country that they live in. I agree with the author, that it has now become more difficult to reach women, LGBT, immigrants, Hispanics, and those of the Muslim faith. Why would they believe our sincerity when so many Christians have, however passively, endorsed Trump’s hateful rhetoric by electing him to office?

            I’ve seen this shared today so I will include it here: What a privilege it must be to be able to look past a presidential candidate’s racism because it won’t ever affect you.

  11. mdb says:

    There’s a lot here to discuss, but I’ll stay on target with one point. “Evangelicals have lost credibility with those they are trying to reach.” You must mean people like Bill Maher, who said this election proves Christians are hypocrites. My sarcastic thought was, “Shucks, Bill was probably THIS close to converting.” Sadly, of course, he is not. These concerns are, in what is known as internet speak, concern trolls. They aren’t going to convert, and they shame Christians at every opportunity for voting the way we do. They would have said the same thing if we would have voted for Cruz, Rubio, etc. Trump won because, finally, evangelicals quit listening to these kind of comments.

    1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

      Hi mdb,

      Actually, I’m not thinking Maher and that ilk. I’m thinking of the number of everyday Christians and unbelievers who’ve written, not with the venom and mockery of a Maher, but with hurt, bewilderment and honest objection based on their perception of evangelicals.

      I think they’re worth considering.

    2. Amanda says:

      The purpose of evangelism is to share the word of God, but the politicalization of the movement, and the support of a candidate such as Trump points to hypocrisy, and this is leading the Church to lose the country’s youth and young adults. It’s our responsibility as Christians to demonstrate the love Paul described to the Corinthians through our actions of love, patience, humility, etc.; and, as Christ suggested, people will know we are Christians through our love. Evangelicals need to get back to welcoming people to Christ with open hearts, minds and doors rather than shutting them out of the church through supporting a candidate who embraces and epitomizes hate, exclusion, impatience, arrogance, misogyny, etc.

      1. mdb says:

        Losing the youth and young adults, Amanda? To let you in on some evangelical conversations which you may or may not know of, WE’RE ALREADY LOSING THEM! I have been a volunteer youth leader and seen teens leave the church for now more than a decade. I am sure some older than me, like Thabiti (no offense my brother in Christ) have seen more. Electing Clinton would not have brought these people back. There are greater forces at work, and pretending like electing Trump was the final straw is incorrect. It’s the final straw to drive out people who have already been driven out? As far as supporting Trump goes, yes, evangelicals did support him, far and wide. On an individual level, your vote is anonymous. I don’t see how it has to affect your witness. In fact, it shouldn’t. Don’t discuss it. What are political positions compared to the shed blood of Jesus for sinners?

  12. Scott Smoliak says:

    None of the four positions hold any merit. While I’m not gonna write a novel explaining why, I will give a couple of reasons.

    First, you said we have surrendered claims to the moral high ground in politics. We do not live in a moral country and do not have a moral candidate from whom to choose. Moral character is only a political tool used by both sides to demean their competition. Now as a believer what do I do in this situation? I have to look at what scripture says is the role of government: execute justice in the land. So my choice is based on which candidate has a more biblical view of justice. And not “social justice.”

    I am not electing or voting for a pastor whose qualifications must be moral according to the apostle Paul. I am voting for someone who can execute justice. If it is morality you are searching for, then christians need to start with the morality of the own lives, family and churches. And then reach out to the community with the gospel, get people saved and watch them then become moral.

    You also said; Why should the unrepentant listen to their gospel when it seems so evident they’ve not applied that gospel to their political choices? “Shouldn’t we view evangelicals as basically concerned with politics over all things?” they ask.

    The answer is not hard at all. It is simply what I previously stated about the role of government and me not voting for a pastor. But the church has too often led the community to believe that the church is a place for moral people, for good people and we only support good moral people. That is not why the church exists. The church exists for Gods glory in rescuing immoral people. We seriously need to stop blending the role of church, government and morality all together.

  13. Brenna says:

    Thank you for your words, and saying what needed to be said but with grace and truth. “Evangelical” has lost its meaning for me. I think there are more “evangelical” non-Christians in this country than I once thought, which this election has revealed. I am one of the few white evangelicals who didn’t vote for Trump (I voted for McMullin), and I feel like a stranger in a strange land, moreso now than ever before. I long for a better country. Come, Lord Jesus.

  14. Steve says:

    Couldn’t agree more with you! I voted Castle and said some time ago that the only person that made me want to vote for Trump was Clinton and the only person that kept me from voting for Trump was Trump! I do worry that the church has become overly worldly in politics and far too worried over outcomes. We too easily forget that we serve an omniscient God who has no experience with shock or surprise and to our detriment we refuse to rest in Him!

  15. Mrs. Morris says:

    This “white” evangelical wonders if defensiveness from other white evangelicals on this topic might be a signal for some prayer and deeper reflection. What hidden idols might be threatened by this post? Is being seen as a “good Christian” more important to you than humbly serving your God and loving Thabiti, who is your neighbor and brother in Christ, as you love yourself? That seems to me to be what’s at stake here, your self-image, that is, how you see yourself and how you want others to see you.
    Anyway, psychobabble aside, I also would like a new name. I despised “Evangelicals” until I found out, theologically, I am one. But it’s a name that doesn’t evoke the images it ought. So please let’s think of a new way to describe Bible-believing Protestants.

    1. Brenna says:

      Well said!!

    2. Karl Heitman says:

      Mrs. Morris, how is Thabiti’s continual rhetoric on race helping the Body of Christ heal racial wounds by constantly talking about black ‘this’ and ‘white’ that?

      1. Jody says:

        Kari, Thabiti needs to speak up because there is an honest problem and sin cannot be dealt with until it is brought into the light – which is a painful process. I think it is very easy to say there isn’t a problem or not see the problem when it isn’t hurting me – a white, college educated woman – and I think that is the case for much of the white evangelical church. I don’t think that most of the white church is ignoring this on purpose, but because it doesn’t cause us pain, we do ignore it. But that doesn’t mean the problem isn’t there and hurting our brothers and sisters in Christ who are not white. What really needs to be happening, is that white brothers and sisters in Christ need to be speaking up, instead of making Thabiti do it. I have been realizing over the last 2 years that I, and many of us white evangelicals, have no idea what it is like to not be white and enjoy the privilege that comes with that. My husband and I woke up yesterday concerned about what Trump might do to our domestic and foreign policy or the retirement funds for our parents. My African American friends woke up worried about the safety of their children in a nation that elected a man who not only does not condone (or is too slow to condone) racist speech, but speaks it himself. And, a large block of white evangelicals put him there without thinking about what this means for our non-white brothers and sisters in Christ. It didn’t even weigh into their decision. That is the problem. Thanks for reading. – Jody

        1. Heather says:

          “What really needs to be happening, is that white brothers and sisters in Christ need to be speaking up, instead of making Thabiti do it.” Thank you Jody.

    3. Rach says:

      Or maybe throughout this camp we’ve been told that only uneducated white racists would vote for Trump and a brother in Christ that I respect just basically echoed the sentiment. I don’t like Trump and I won’t condone his comments, but I cannot vote for someone who is pro-abortion. I cannot vote for someone who says she supports LGBT and women’s rights but takes millions of dollars from countries that treat women like sexual chattel and throws gay people from buildings. Maybe Evan McMillan was the “right” alternative but I heard ZIP about him until October and I still know so little of him that I couldn’t vote a shot in the dark. A long shot at that. I spent a lot of time in prayer agonizing about my vote and my conscience is clear before God, but I’m very disappointed to be denigrated for my white skin and my believe that the sanctity of life is more important than my personal feelings about Trump.

  16. Angie says:

    Has God lost some of His elect due to the votes cast by white Evangelicals? I think not. He is sovereign, and a Trump presidency is no shock to Him.

  17. Jeff Schultz says:

    Thabiti, thank for your (as usual) thoughtful, sobering, gospel-centered, and gracious words. You have articulated well the very concerns that I have felt for some months over white evangelical support for Mr. Trump. I am deeply troubled at the long-term consequences of there now being no functional difference between “evangelical” and “Republican.” As an ambassador of the gospel (and not the GOP), I do not want to have to wear that label. Maybe simply “follower of Jesus”?

  18. Tab Smith says:

    Thank you so much for the expansion on your tweet earlier. As one who was “offended”, many of us NeverTrump-ers fully expected a mass exodus (ok maybe not MASS, but larger than what we had) from Trump for the precise reasons you indicated. It was difficult to see the tweet knowing how this white evangelical responded in tears with every message of lament from black and hispanic brothers and sisters (most my asian friends voted Trump).

    Please keep pounding the hypocrisy aspect of this election. I watched as my deeply beloved former pastor and church (we moved to a different state a few months ago) repackaged Trumps character and integrity deficiencies as “personality flaws” and encouraged the congregation to vote for platform not person. No way would Clinton’s transgressions be characterized as personality flaws.

    Also, the mass amount of “accept Trump and pray for him” is equally as infuriating due to the large lack of corporate and individual prayer President Obama received during his 8 years. I heard a lot of sketchy opinions but not one offer to pray.

  19. Scott Sherman says:

    I voted for Donald Trump because he says he supports issues near and dear to my heart. We will see if he does. I am pro life and that is always at or near the top for me. I support candidates that favor and encourage religious liberty, that favor a strong national defense, that are sympathetic to our second amendment rights, who are pro-business (which I believe is a form of social justice i.e. people having jobs) and who envision a limited role of government. If Hillary had taken these positions and not Trump, then I would have voted for her. We elect a president, not a pastor. I have no illusions that Trump is an evangelical. One does the best one can.

    1. Scott Sherman says:

      The point of my post (implicit but which I want to make explicit) is that although there are many reasons why one may vote the way they do (including white evangelicals) it may be as simple as boiling down to a few key issues that has nothing to with race or hate or spite. The fact that a some may vote out of spite or racial intolerance (and there are some – maybe many) does not mean that every vote was inspired in that way. For me it is not complicated. Take a stand on the issues that I care about (listed above) and I will support that candidate. It is not a complicated analysis and speaking only for myself, my vote is not motivated by or has nothing to do with race or gender. To the extent it is perceived in that way by others, I only ask for charity and that you take me at my word unless proven otherwise. Finally, I reject, unequivocally, any racism or religious persecution. In trying to read the “tea leaves”, don’t read too much into the motivations of those who voted. You will see what you want to see (because it is there) but you will miss the forest for the trees.

      1. Scott Sherman says:

        One more thing and I probably should have lead with this. I don’t know or understand how you feel or how a Trump presidency is a threat (or potential threat) to you or others. But my heart is broken that you feel this way. Please don’t interpret my vote as hate. And, what positive steps do you recommend that a white evangelical voter can take that would help dissipate that feeling?

      2. Jody says:

        Scott – the fact that your vote didn’t consider race is part of the problem. So many of our brothers and sisters in Christ didn’t weigh Trumps lack of condoning racism or speaking racist words himself in their decisions. My husband and I are white – but we have many friends who are not. If they collectively say this is a problem and they are afraid for their children’s safety, then as a friend and/or fellow Christian, I need to listen to that. My non-white friends are not making this up for fun. The fact that we say race doesn’t matter is part of the problem. It shows that it isn’t hurting us. And just to be concerned with what is hurting us and not at least our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ is selfish and not seeking the good of The Body of Christ as a whole.

        1. Alasdair says:

          Blah…blah…blahhhhhh. Waaaaaaaawaaaaa. “We are white and on the Thabiti bandwagon. We are all racists!!” Waaaaa

        2. Todd W says:

          Jody, you’re making the assumption that people who voted for Trump didn’t consider race in their decision. That’s an unfair assumption, as well as placing an expectation of a single issue vote for race only. Additionally, I’ve heard many black people who believe Trump will do better things for race issues in this country than HIllary would. Why must we not listen to them as well?

      3. Heather says:

        “Take a stand on the issues that I care about (listed above) and I will support that candidate.” Scott, this comment is very revealing and it leaves me to wonder why you don’t care about the “racial” issue (or care “enough” to add it to your list). Perhaps you are one of those who do not have to be concerned.

  20. Robin M. says:

    I really cannot believe these type of “righteous indignation” articles are being written even AFTER the election!! I do not agree with your article, and agree with others, who have commented, that it is very divisive.

    You said <> These kind of comments push my buttons! They border on being Pharisaical! So those white evangelicals who voted for Trump don’t cherish the Gospel? They don’t value good character? That’s what it seems you are writing.

    You comment to a poster, “Umm… not that I owe you an explanation, ” Wow, pastor, where is the “character” in that tone? You wrote the article, you should be prepared for different opinions, and discuss them in a more grace-filled way. Just telling you how it looks. SDG

    1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

      Thanks Robin. I appreciate your commenting. I welcome your views as a token of Christian charity.
      Seems you intended to quote something but it got deleted. So I’m sorry I don’t know what pushed your buttons. And I can’t tell if your perception of that section was accurate.
      The Lord bless you and keep you,

    2. Robert Kilpatrick says:

      Robin, its not that white evangelicals who voted for Trump don’t cherish the gospel, its that large numbers of them don’t seem to know what the gospel is. They cherish slogans- clearly, they cherish violence, “othering” and ignorance- that too is pretty obvious but from this side of the world they don’t cherish the gospel of the kingdom of God, of kenosis at the heart of God, of acceptance, love and inclusion. You only have to read what they’ve said. Enough from me though, thankfully I don’t have to try and justify any of their heresies and hatred. And thankfully God loves them and you, and possibly even me.

  21. Sara Higgman says:

    Let me ask you this…no…let me TELL you this. When I’m in front of God and He asks me why I voted for Trump versus a write in of an unknown candidate, who while Christian would have no way of altering a country with a vote for him/her, I can with good faith say that I saved the children. I did not save myself, I did not save you, I did not save CNN or FOX news. I can say that I voted to give unborn children a chance. There is no way that a vote for any other candidate would have secured the vote in Congress, HOR or the SC. In fact, a vote for any other person would have lessened chances any child could have been saved. If you are as high and mighty as it seems you are, then surely you will know that God has not always used perfect men to convert to perfect leaders. I’m done. I hope you are too.

    1. Tab Smith says:

      Then you’d best press-in on the GOP. They’ll run the house, senate and presidency. If we don’t get some decidedly pro-life legislation out of the mass acceptance of his character flaws, the great evangelical compromise of 2016 will have been for naught.

    2. Robert Kilpatrick says:

      Did you really give unborn kids a chance? Perhaps you should read freakenomics and think again.

    3. Jennifer says:

      You will only be able to boast “saving children” if that actually happens. What about the other groups that feel marginalized by Trump’s rhetoric? Do their lives not matter, also?

  22. Paul says:

    I’m saddened by this comment section.

    I’m encouraged by your words Pastor Thabiti because it’s the same thoughts and concerns I have. Thank you for your courage.

    1. Flora says:

      This is the first time I have ever commented on any website, and do it with great trepidation having read the depressingly nasty responses to Pastor Tabiti above.

      When I saw this article, I was so encouraged that we were even hearing a black voice on TGC and mainly I just want to thank you Pastor Thabiti for your courage. In fact, perhaps more so for your grace and courage in responding to some of the nasty comments! I think I would crumble under them.

      I am a Brit living in America and so am on a massive learning curve on the racial history and division in the country and the church. Being married to a wonderful Black Christian man has helped me enormously in this journey, however, even in our fairly diverse and liberal setting, he often feels marginalized by the church here. Without the proximity of his voice, I would never have guessed at the way his life experience, both on the streets and in the pews, is so different from mine and how he is hurt and undermined in ways I never have, only being a woman has sometimes given me some insight.

      I would humbly like to suggest that we white people try to learn to be quiet and listen more to our black brothers and sisters in Christ. To ask real questions, to understand why issues that guided their vote may be different from yours. And please, can they be real questions not ‘why did you tell us to vote for a baby killer?’ type questions. We may not know how to process or understand them at first, but perhaps rather than being defensive at that stage we could again just be quiet, pray and ask for some discernment from the Holy Spirit, as we build relationships and bridge the divides that are really an illusion since we are all one in the body of Christ.

      The division in the church is real, whether you can see it or not, please let’s try to learnt to listen, learn and love each other so that our witness will not be compromised, but will become more powerful than ever before.

  23. Robert Kilpatrick says:

    Hi Thabiti
    I am from a country on the other side world from you guys and sometimes it seems like we’re on a different planet. In my neck of the woods you can be a committed evangelical, look to doing mission with integrity, realise that being anti abortion is not necessarily being pro life (especially if you like the death penalty), think that socialised medicine is a good idea, leave guns only n the hands of the sane and those who have passed a test in using them properly, be OK with LGBT rights and still think you are not only a follower of Jesus but wonder if your fellow white evangelicals in the USA have actually read the stuff that Jesus said. I agree entirely with your first point- their so called morality is in complete tatters. Its kind of like the emperor has no clothes and as Mr Trump leads the USA down that inevitable track to fascism perhaps we could link hands and become the confessing church- because that is where it will head for sure. I feel sorry for black evangelicals, you truly have been ignored and your concerns not just put aside but dismissed as worthless. The other thing that should be noted is that abortions under Obama have dropped quite dramatically and I suspect Clinton would have overseen a continued decline in numbers but, in a fact free world that large chunks of the USA seem to live in, that probably counts for nothing. Stay loving God and people brother, because God loves even the trolls on your feed!

    1. Rach says:

      Abortion has dropped dramatically because states have passed laws requiring informed consent, meaning that Planned Parenthood or another abortion provider must show the ultrasound (necessary to determine what type of abortion needs to be given) to the mom. When the moms actually see the heartbeat, brain stem,hands and feet of children as young as 6 weeks in the womb, most women choose life. That’s why PP has fought incessantly to overturn those laws, all the more reason it is crucial to appoint prolife judges and legislators.

    2. Russell Stedman says:

      Ditto, exactly, and thank you Thabti

    3. Danica says:

      I belong to a large evangelical church in Arizona. Even when our church had two black associate pastors, I never saw more than 10 black people attend our church. The two black who are my friends are married to white women. Nobody has ever explained to me the deep concerns of black evangelicals that you speak of so sadly in this post. I truly do not know what concerns you are referring to as they pertain to my pastors and black friends where I live. I may need to read it again, but please explain what the concerns are.

      In addition, my black friends from California tease me that they would never move to Arizona and endure the 115 degree heat. A question about the fact that I have few black friends: Is this partially a geographical issue that is out of my control? Does the fact that I only know two black evangelicals within my circle of friends mean that I’m still required to vote for the President based on the concerns of black evangelicals overall? They’ve never shared any concerns with me so how was I supposed to know?

  24. Jessica says:

    What a disappointing and shameful article, instead or urging people to come together and pray for the country like Russel Moore did, you are stirring up chaos.

    Oh and btw, God chose who becomes president, not evangelicals, and we can’t lose unbelievers, because God is the one who pursues them, they don’t pursue Him.

    Good luck to you, but you lost all credibility right now, perhaps people like you should have learned something from what happened to Mark Driscoll.

  25. Allan Ndambasha says:

    The election of Donald Trump has shattered the myth of the value voter! What kind of conscience allows you to vote for Donald Trump and still talk about values? Unless of course you engage in casuistry!

  26. Jay Wise says:

    I read this post with probably a different perspective than most who have commented. 1) I grew up in Deep South Alabama and still reside in Alabama. My town race demographics can be divided by where a railroad use to lay in town. I’ve seen racism first hand but my closest friend is African American. 2) I have had the privilege to break bread with this dear brother, Thabiti. I consider him a mentor from a distant and always find time to pick his brain. I’ve had a skype session with him on the topic of race because I understand as a white man I don’t know how nor can I know the lens in which my African American brothers view situations.

    I read these comments and I wonder how many know the vision of this man’s heart. I completely understand when he says why would a culture listen to a Gospel that preachs moral character change yet evangelicals have now solidified in stone a vote for a man who even admits he has not asked God for forgiveness. Politically, there are more problems with Trump but for this discussion the evangelical voter must look at this more clearly. The church in American needs to understand it is godly fellowship before patriotism. It is love for a brother who has fears I’ll never understand just from a local traffics stop over an empty seat on a wooden bench that you won’t find in the new creation. Salvation doesn’t come on Air Force 1 but the unreached and lost are coming to us. How dare we as a church fight for our religious freedom to pray in public or setup a nativity scene but block our neighbor from building his mosque. The Gospel is shared through relationships and show care, but we must understand a Trump/Pence shirt can end the chance at a Gospel conversation quicker than a beer grasped in your hand. We should take counsel from Kuyper and realize politics and religion are not a dichotomy but are one in what we call our Christian world view. Your vote and your faith are not separated but rather one will influence the other.

    Thabiti, I understand your points and I thank you for speaking. Fight the good fight for we are brothers locked arm in arm and not enemies fist clinched facing each other.

    1. Jody says:

      Thank you Jay. These are wise words.

  27. David says:

    Blah, blah, blah, many of us voted for anyone but the baby killer, the end.

    1. Jay Wise says:

      You say that but misss the rape and incest exceptions Trump stands for.

      1. Rach says:

        Lots of people (even in the church as a whole) accept (wrongfully) the idea that rape or incest gives a pass to abortion. We had 6 candidates in the GOP primary who said even in case of rape or incest it is wrong to kill the unborn and guess what none of them were chosen. THAT is a huge failure that we believers have to own up to, but that doesn’t change the fact that HRC doesn’t think a woman needs a reason to kill her baby even beyond viability.

      2. Eric Hoskins says:

        While I am saddened that this election cycle yielded us perhaps the two worst candidates in our nation’s history, I also read comments like this and find the ad hominem over the top. Can you point me to specific examples of Donald Trump taking a stand “for” rape or incest? Maybe my google is broken, but I cannot seem to find that.

        1. Eric Hoskins says:

          Annnnddddd, I’m an idiot. I completely missed the context of your comment, which became clear after reading another reply. Therefore, please accept my humble apology for questioning you when it was I who misunderstood.

  28. Darin Slater says:

    I think this election and the results of it is proof that the term “evangelical” is as useless as the 864 gender preferences on Facebook. It literally doesn’t have a definition anymore. I refuse to use that title anymore, as it lumps me in with the AmeriChristians Thabiti is talking about (aka, those who lump patriotism, conservatism, and Christianity together so tightly that to mess up one is to mess up both). I am glad Trump won instead of Hilary; I am hopeful that a Republican congress and House has a good chance of doing some good. They are set up with the chance to even repeal Roe Vs Wade. Trump would have to sign that. The question is, should the Republicans pull rank and do such an effort, would Trump sign such a bill into law? I don’t know, his character is so murky and unclear that I can’t predict what he’ll do. What I do know is this: our country needs prayer, and a sovereign God who rules over all kingdoms and kings. We have the latter; let’s begin the former.

    Thanks Thabiti for your work, I don’t agree with everything you said, but your wisdom is needed, and us white rural voters need to be pushed to see other perspectives.

    1. Darin Slater says:

      Also, check out Phil Johnson’s reply. Both should be weighed, understood, and given our attention.

  29. M.G. says:

    Thank you for your words, and sharing your experience as a Christian and an African-American. They were measured and sincere.

    Our country needs prayer and more men and women committed fully to the Gospel. You’ll be in my prayers tonight.

  30. David says:


    I with I would have known your thinking on switching to a 3rd party and not forcing a lessor choice of two evils on us before the election. I kept checking back for more clarification from you and your position seemed fixed on Clinton between your posts and also debate with Mr. Wilson.

    I also read Wayne Grudems various position, Collin Hansen and others. I decided that you and Wayne made the most sense, although yous came out on opposite sides of the political aisle than Wayne’s (until you clarified vote post election in your recent comments.)

    Did you have a similar post ready to publish how white/asian/hispanic/african american evangelicals who vote for Clinton compromized the gospel as well? It would seem that voting 3rd party, you would have had a moral high ground to do that and challenge both sides?

    I think the Gospel is stonger than any mistake we as individuals or a country make in politics, red, blue, or purple!

    Again, in four years if you decide to wade into these waters again, please keep us updated if you change your mind mid way through the election.

  31. Neil B says:

    “But with 80 percent of professing evangelicals selecting the GOP nominee, we can no longer act as if all the journalists misunderstand the movement.” One thing this statistic doesn’t take into account is the number of evangelicals (like my wife and I) who simply couldn’t stomach either choice and stayed home. I don’t think we were alone. So saying 80% of white evangelicals “who voted” is more accurate than 80% of white evangelicals overall. Just something to temper that number a bit.

    1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

      Agreed. That’s what I meant, but I appreciate you making it more explicit.

  32. Mark Pospisl says:


    I have always appreciated your writing and of the limited times I have heard you speak I have been encouraged by your Christ exalting preaching.

    I would say something you already know; words matter. They matter how we say them and when we say them. It seems that your tweet painted a pretty broad brush of “white evangelicals.” Now there are always outliers but what I have observed is not that “evangelicals” wanted Trump. Most find his character morally devoid. He was just a better choice for them than Hillary. I know you made the case of not voting or voting for a third party but I would say that the threat of a Hillary administration outweighed the other choices. It is not as if voting for Hillary would be morally supreme than voting for Trump.

    Anyways, keep on preaching Christ and reminding followers of Christ that their citizenship is in heaven from which we await a Savior.

  33. Chris says:

    I don’t think Christians will ever have a candidate we can say is morally acceptable. Does that mean we shouldn’t vote?

    1. David Randall says:

      To say that Christians will never have a morally acceptable choice is false. There were in fact a number of candidates available to both parties that would have been morally acceptable. We do not have to demand that a candidate be the Apostle Paul, but there must be some limit beyond which we will not go. The major party choices were both beyond that limit for me, so I voted for neither. That said, on the issues, particularly on a selecting right minded justices, Trump is more likely to be on right side of the issues, so I understand those who voted for him, and I am not shocked or despairing of the outcome. What disturbs me more is the Christians who publicly endorsed him, while saying the character issue is no big deal, and “hey, nobody’s perfect”. We need to somehow get across the message that we want a better choice next time.

  34. Robert says:

    This post is problematic because it does not deal with the primary reasons why evangelicals voted for Trump. White evangelicals, myself included, did not vote for Trump because of his fine moral character. We voted for Trump because of the issues. The rule of law, who will sit on the Supreme Court for the Next Generation, the economy, immigration, and let me say it again, the rule of law. Our choices were between Clinton and Trump. Choose one or choose the other, but not choosing is a choice in and of itself that has consequences. Evangelicals voted for Trump because we care about the issues, not because we’re looking for an associate pastor to sit in the White House.

    1. Dana says:

      It’s a shame that you delete comments that call out the ungracious speech of this article.

    2. Traci says:

      Well said.

  35. Mark J says:


    Thanks for your article. How do you keep this up without getting utterly discouraged with evangelicalism and the church? We can say this isn’t really the “church,” but what do you do with 80%? 80% of evangelicalism voted for Trump! Honestly, it’s hard not to feel despair and cynicism. Shouldn’t the bride of Christ know better? Sigh.

    Please keep speaking and fighting for the truth of a lived gospel, even when others of us (myself) feel at our wits end and can offer little more than frustration and bitterness.

    Grace and Peace,

    1. Mark J says:

      *80% of white evangelicalism

  36. Todd W says:


    All of these would hold true with the support of Clinton would they not? This is a double standard to what it means to vote. You loudly declared, you could not come to the conclusion of a ‘no vote’ in earlier posts, and then you were lead you to a Clinton vote.
    Now you try to claim others should have ‘no voted’? Your rhetoric and comments only further the separation and divide, just like Trump’s. It helps nothing to throw blame, ridicule and paint an entire group as one.

    Will you sing praises and encouragement if your predictions do not come true? If there proves to be a benefit to a Trump presidency? Yeah, I know you’ll say there’s no chance now, but if it happens will you exchange your hatred and condemnation for gratitude? If unborn babies are no longer slaughtered in the womb legally will you show gratitude? If Christians can practice their religion and uphold their values in the work place will you show gratitude? If people of all race, color, ethnicity, religion can come together without the fear of being ridiculed, talked down to or marginalized will you show gratitude? You’d do well to follow the words of your candidate, “When they go low, you go high.”.
    “the number of evangelicals who put gospel and character before politics and party are small.” – A Hilary vote is the EXACT same thing. No way around that.
    “But not enough of them sought out a new home, one of their own making based on more sure biblical grounds.” – Either did you, meaning you were quite comfortable in your home in the Hillary camp.
    “Why should the unrepentant listen to their gospel when it seems so evident they’ve not applied that gospel to their political choices? “Shouldn’t we view evangelicals as basically concerned with politics over all things?” they ask.” – Same is true for a Hillary vote. When, ever has a political candidate been representative of the Gospel?
    Don’t try to paint all voters in the opposite camp to you, as the problem. In this article, you are the one putting politics, race, and ethnicity above the Gospel. All of your arguments are erroneous and hold no logical value, as you yourself epitomized and violated each and every one.

    May God Bless you Thabiti. With love, gratitude and the utmost respect.


    1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

      Dear Todd,

      God bless you, too, brother. And thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

      First, I’m not aware of any place where I said people should have given a “no” vote. Perhaps I’m missing something you’re reacting to?

      Second, the piece simply reflects on the overwhelming number of professing white evangelicals who voted for Trump and the implications that has. Yes, there would be implications for that sized percentage no matter who the vote was for. But those imagined counterfactuals do little to help us reflect on what actually happened, reflection that’s always need, imo.

      Finally, it’s fine if you don’t find the arguments persuasive. If the election teaches us anything, it teaches us that people have disagreements, sometimes strongly.

      Again, thanks for joining the conversation. Grace, mercy and peace to you in Christ the Risen Lord,

      1. Todd W says:

        Dear Thabiti,

        Thank you for your reply and additional thoughts.

        Here is where I was referring to regarding the ‘no vote’ comment. “But not voting, voting third party, or writing in, as many said they would, were also options.

        Am I reading this wrong that you are saying this is what people should have done? I would argue each one of these are for all intents and purposes, a “no vote”.

        I don’t bring up those “imagined counterfactuals” to deter us from looking at what actually happened. The problem is you’re trying to deal with the macro issue, while calling out the micro, individual for their stance. Maybe you don’t mean it that way, but that is definitely how your post comes across – that you individuals who voted for Trump can take these implications to your bed and try to sleep at night. So, my point was – you should take each one of those implications to your bed at night as well, as that logic all would hold true following a Clinton vote. You simply can brush it off as unimportant “imagined counterfactuals” because there wasn’t as many of you. A group is made up of individuals. You can not separate the repercussions of the group from the actions of the individual.

        Your post is a opinion on the effects of the election will be. It is not simply a reflection on what has happened. That, imo, would be much more beneficial than calling out highly debatable estimates of the after math.



  37. Jordan says:

    Mr. Anyabwile,

    In 2011 I was a seminary student in Chicago who went to the national TGC conference. I was late signing up and didn’t get into the seminar I was planning on attending, so I signed up to attend “The Gospel for Muslims” being taught by a man whose name I couldn’t pronounce. :D

    I was blown away by your gospel-centered presentation there, and I have been blessed by your ministry ever since. Thank you for this post, and thank you for taking the time to engage with your readers in the comments as well.

    God’s continued blessings upon you and your ministry. Praying for you,

    (A white evangelical who knows that he has way too many blindspots, especially when it comes to race.)

  38. CJ says:

    Dear Brother, you don’t seem to really understand what was behind the “white evangelical” vote.

    Maybe this perspective would help you in your quest:

  39. Christy says:

    Thabiti, from afar I have always kinda seen you as a pastor “uncle” kinda figure. Your thoughts could not have been written more prophetic for the problems here. You are representing my voice as a #nevertrump and why I and many friends are struggling with associating ourselves with evangelicals. My theology is reformed evangelical through and through, but the 80% that associated my name and my Jesus with this man, brings me to tears of shame and horror at the compromise. I will not vote GOP again after this year and this horrific day for the church. I am a white sister who grieves for the Muslim friends I share Jesus with that experience hatred and profiling and for my Latino and African American brother and sisters that have fear for the rhetoric that came out of this man to mobilize followers to get to this presidency.

  40. Jodi says:

    Thank you for these observations. I am a white believer who chose to write in McMullin and am devastated over the divide this election clearly exacerbated.

  41. Bryan says:

    Dear Thabiti,

    Thank you for sharing your perspective. You are my brother in Christ. I am #NeverTrump but I am pretty frustrated with your article because you make some really, really good points but I don’t find them winsome or gracious enough. My frustration grows because I think in general you have very valuable perspectives to bring to evangelicals.

    This situation is terrible. Emotions are high. Because of this, any potential false inferences a reader might make need to be addressed. Referencing the arguments for evangelical Trump voters in quotes and saying things like white evangelicals “expressed solidarity (again) with some of the worst aspects of American history and culture” and are “abandoning brothers and sisters of like precious faith” are inflammatory words without more spelled out. Additionally, Republican voters have been frequently called racist as a slur by the left enough times that they are sensitive to false accusations (which by no means is to say they can’t be justly called racist for specific actions, choices or words). Couple this with the context of your past articles on voting for Clinton, the choice of words matter and they will be read in a certain context.

    I think a much better article would have argued something like as follows. (1) There are conscionable reasons for evangelicals to vote for Trump, particularly due to the genuine personal faults of Clinton and her anti-religious freedom and pro-abortion stances. (2) However, in this terrible situation, there will be consequences to an evangelical vote going to Trump. In particular, (a) outsiders will lose respect when evangelicals take the high ground, (b) minorities will view white evangelicals with suspicion given their reasonable fears of Trump, (c) etc. (3) However, a Trump vote doesn’t necessarily mean evangelicals have abandoned their morals or their minority brother and sisters BUT if they do not speak loudly and clearly in support of godly morals and the in support of minorities, they cede outsiders judgments (as in (2)) as justifiable and valid judgments. Hence, it is absolutely critical evangelicals act and speak out after this election.

    This gives the benefit of the doubt to white evangelical while making it imperative we address the points you bring up. It calls us to something to work on together without hints of blaming. Thank you if you have read my perspective.

    God bless you and the church in this friction filled time time,

  42. Wayne Wilson says:

    I tend to agree with Thaibiti’s concerns on this matter, especially regarding our witness and reputation in the broader culture, but I want to point out the the media includes all sorts of people as Evangelicals, including the most extreme Pentecostals. In those circles, many prophecies have been made about Donald being the “last Trump,” etc. etc., and that he will usher in the Messianic Age somehow. Google “Trump prophecy” and you’ll see what I mean. Many acquaintances sent me these prophecies to sway me to vote for Trump. My point is that the 80% number in the media includes all these people, who are bound by divine revelation to vote Trump.

    That said, I do know many Evangelicals (non-Pentecostals) who voted for Trump, some reluctantly, but some enthusiastically as well. Many, however, like myself, wrote in someone else. The sad thing was hearing people who know better consistently minimizing his sins, or promoting him as a baby Christian, or sharing stories of his benevolence that simply aren’t true. The hardest to bear are the claims he is like David. Sad.

  43. Jason says:

    I believe this view is incredibly blind-sided. I agree that being a cheerleader for Trump is a bad witness. BUT a vote for Trump is not the same as ADVOCATING for Trump. There are plenty of people that don’t like Trump but voted for him anyway. For me and many others a vote for Trump is in fact a vote AGAINST Hillary. The general public seeing Christians doing this is no shock or creating a stumbling block. The idea that voting for Trump equals abandoning morals, biblical principles, and gospel opportunities is misunderstands God’s will in all of this.

    I highly recommend the author consider the wise words of John MacAurthur as he attempts to make TRULY Biblical sense of this election. 15 minute video here:

  44. Dana says:

    I am disappointed in this article. I find it divisive & unhelpful. There are very godly people who hold different views than you do. I would hesitate to shame/judge another brother or sister in Christ who holds fast to the faith & to the teachings of God’s Word, but who might share a different opinion. There are people who voted for Trump because of their conscience & faith in the Lord. I know that’s probably unconscionable for you (or Christian voters who think like you do) to imagine. Could it be that 3rd party Christian voters voted out of fear of Donald Trump because they didn’t have enough faith that God could use a man like him? Do you see how that question is shaming & accusatory? That’s what your article in essence says to people who did not vote 3rd party/voted for trump. Do you see why your article is taken so offensively by others now? I think you might want to reconsider how to have this conversation.

  45. Mike says:

    Thank you, brother, for taking the time to write this post which was probably going to offend some people, but in my view, from the perspective of an Asian believer going to a primarily white gospel preaching church, I agree wholeheartedly. This has been the most difficult and racially devisive election in my memory within the church with an even split among most of my white friends and minority friends who love Jesus. God grant us reconciliation and healing within his body.

  46. Brian Hand says:

    I am saddened by many of these comments and many of you are completely out of line. I do not know Thabiti personally. Addressing some above statements: I can assure you he is surrounded by plenty of godly men who have the ability to speak into his life. I can also assure you that he has seriously considered the position God has given him to influence others and it is out of that consideration that he writes as he does.

    Sometimes Thabiti writes things that make me uncomfortable. While I have not read everything he has written and understand he is not perfect, my being made uncomfortable tends to be because he is picking at some presupposition I had that was less than consistent. You may not agree with his methods but they do not come near to being “sinful attacks”, “unworthy of his calling” or the race baiting some are accusing him of. As a brother in Christ, you at least owe him the assumption that he has the best intentions. Additionally, I think you owe him a thoughtful response in which you at least take a little time to pray and reflect before responding with such accusations. Ask a legitimate question- “Hey Thabiti, that struck a nerve brother. Why do you think that people who are one in Christ and have the same hope in the gospel divide so drastically, seemingly along racial lines, when it comes to politics?”

    I’m a white man, but I have similar concerns about an awful fate having been sealed. I also voted for McMullin. I understand those who were concerned with SCOTUS nominations and abortion and voted for Trump. But I can also understand how my minority brothers and sisters can look at the turn out for Trump and wonder how people can vote for him when so many have maligned them for voting for democrats that white evangelicals have considered to be immoral. White Christians are asking for a nuanced vote, that they weren’t voting for a pastor but doing the best they thought they could to secure a better future for their families and trusting in the power of the gospel to cover the weaknesses. This is what I believe many black Christians have been asking us to see, they weren’t voting for a pastor but doing the best they thought they could to secure a better future for their families that included their kids staying alive, out of jail, and access to educational opportunities while trusting in the power of the gospel to cover the weaknesses.

    Brother Thabiti, keep on picking at those presuppositional inconsistencies. I’m learning…slowly but surely. Thank you.

  47. Stephen says:

    Pastor Anyabwile,

    Thank you for writing this article and for being willing to take the heat that goes along with it. I will be praying for you because I believe you are saying what needs to be said. I just hope more people take it to heart.

    As a white evangelical who chose not to vote, I completely agree with all four of the points that you made. Unfortunately, I think people on both sides tend to think more about winning an election and what it can do for them than voting for a better moral or Christian option, or about how that looks for non-Christians. We tend to find a few “moral” positives that allow us the conscience to vote a specific way and then seem to find ways around the negative aspects of a particular candidate.

    Thank you for bringing up the African-American Democrat statistic in your third point. I hear it all the time by friends about how can African-American Christians vote Democrat, but those same people have their blinders on when the same exact thing happens for “their” side. I would very much be interested in your opinion on if and how we as Christians from all races can stop identifying first as Republicans/Democrats and more as Christians who are willing to suffer possibly for what we believe as an entire body if that makes any sense.

    It is incredibly sad that a huge chunk of the church feels belittled, forgotten, and abandoned due to the actions of their brothers and sisters in Christ. How do we remotely reconcile this?

    I think your final point is also incredibly horrific but absolutely true. That “evangelicalism” has so closely linked itself to someone with the character and reputation of President-Elect Trump greatly hinders our mission with seemingly half of the population. I was hoping when he was nominated that this might put some cracks in it but it has not been the case.

    Once again, thank you for the article. Please continue to keep shining a light for reconciliation and illuminating many blindspots that all of us have. You and your ministry are in my prayers tonight.


  48. Charles warfel says:

    What if Trump had done and said the exact same things he did but had a D instead of an R after his name and been an African American instead of white? Would white evangelical support been the same.? If not then the idols of partisanship and sin of racism have poisoned and neutered the church.

  49. Joel Conley says:

    I did not vote for Trump or Clinton. However, this article seems to have much judgement and little if any grace.

  50. Gramster says:

    In addition to platform issues that folks already addresses, I voted for the Republican candidate because he has surrounded himself with advisors I admire: Mike Huckabee, Dr Ben Carson, and others. I pray that he listens intently and learns from godly men and women. When he puts his head on the pillow at night, the last voice he hears is his wife’s.
    Sec. Clinton has surrounded herself with syncophants and utterly corrupt operatives . When Mrs. Clinton puts her head on her pillow at night, the last voice she hears is her husband’s. Enough said.

  51. Leah C. says:

    Dear Pastor Anyabwile,

    Thank you so much for this post, it’s one of the most thoughtful and balanced things I’ve read today. I want to say it’s encouraging, not because it is, but because I’m so thankful that I’m not alone in my concerns. God bless you, brother!

  52. Chris says:


    When did you come to the conclusion to vote 3rd party? Early in October on The Village podcast (20:40ish – 23:00ish mark) you stated you were voting for her because you have played defense against the Clintons for a long time. How was her morality any different than Trump’s at that moment? Did I miss the point where you told us why you were voting 3rd party? If so, I apologize and should have been more informed.

    We look towards leaders in the Church like you to help us to think rightly on decisions like this. I would have loved to hear your rationale behind why you switched from the “known” with Hillary to someone who had zero chance of winning. And if you did and I missed it, I apologize.

    My vote for Trump was not an endorsement of his behavior and I believe you mentioned that somewhere during your conversation with Matt.

    1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

      Hi Chris,

      Thank you for joining the conversation and asking the question.

      The turning point for me was after the podcast (around early November) amid the mounting email scandals and the scandals with the DNC leaking debate questions to Clinton during the primary. Though initially I leaned slightly toward Clinton for those pragmatic defensive reasons you cite, the “rigging” issues along with the other well-documented problems left me finally with Evan Mc. I was also encouraged by his principled positions and reasoning in a couple of interviews I saw with him. Shame he didn’t enter the race sooner and have greater opportunity to get his message out.

      And, you’re correct. I do not consider a vote for Trump (or any candidate) an active endorsement of their behavior at every point (or even at most points).

      Thanks again for joining the conversation.

  53. Jeremy Adkins says:

    Thabiti, thank you for sharing your initial thoughts. As part of the 20 percent you speak of, I too am concerned with how we move forward. What I would really like to thank you for is modeling graciousness in the comment thread :-)

  54. Jennifer says:

    2 Thessalonians says it best “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

    The evangelical “Christians” are nothing more than modern day Pharisees.

  55. Rochelle says:

    My husband shared this article with me, but I had a hard time not rereading nearly the whole thing back to him once I started exclaiming the excellent points of it. A brilliant assessment!

  56. Lee says:

    When did the TGC become a property of Breitbart? Or is it MSNBC? Reformed and political.

  57. Lee says:

    When did TGC become the property of Breitbart? Or is it MSNBC? Reformed and racial. God help us.

  58. Mel Middleton says:

    To insist on fundamental justice, especially the right to life of all Americans, including the unborn, and the right of innocent people to be free of corporate and profit drive wars, (which would favor a vote for Trump rather than his opponents) does not surrender moral high ground. Christ’s strongest words of condemnation were to the pharisees who “neglected justice”. Nor are Trump’s moral indiscretions anywhere near that of President Clinton, whose victims accuse him not only of unwanted sexual gropes, but downright assault and rape. And that’s the tip of the iceberg. Nor has Trump ever intentionally nixed the ability of the UN peacekeepers from preventing an all out holocaust, as Bill Clinton did in Rwanda, where his pressure on the UN SG prevented the mandate of the UN forces from being able to change their mandate to protect lives, even though they could easily have done so. And to vote for a third party candidate or to not vote at all, would simply have made Hillary’s victory more likely. Evangelicals who voted for Trump certainly did not surrender any moral high ground. Hillary and her husband have had a very sad history of making very bad decisions which have led to unfathomable injustice (Rwanda, Libya, Egypt, Iraq and Syria with her support to ISIS and radical Muslim groups and America’s most vulnerable and innocent unborn).

  59. Charles Casolare says:

    Dear Mr. Anyabwile,
    Thank you for this challenging article. As for your concern that “white evangelicalism” be dangerously close to a synonym of the GOP, I agree with your concern. As for Trump’s racism etc., I agree that it is scary. I hope that the very party he identifies with will display a great sense of responsibility to not only keep Trump in check, but work with him to pursue a respect between all races in America. The one thing I disagree with in your article is the general statement that all evangelicals who voted for Trump have forfeited the moral high ground. I think there are many who indeed voted for him “holding their noses”, who knew well that they were voting for someone for which they might beat themselves up for in the future. But as one of my friends said, what issue could be more important morally than stemming the tide of unborn babies being killed by the hundreds of thousands? I think evangelicals who voted for Trump while holding their noses did so to keep the moral high ground.

  60. sandy63 says:

    “Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
    And those who are staggering to slaughter, oh hold them back.”

    This election has been all about saving the unborn first and foremost, staying the evil homosexual agenda second, and preserving our freedoms third. No racism. No third party had a chance to win. I believe God’s hand was moved through much of Christian’s repentance and prayer. He has, for now, had mercy on us. Please do not make harsh judgments on those of us who voted for Trump and the platform. It was done with much prayer and I felt very right about it. God is good all the time and I do not think it helpful to over analyze about the “lack of moral high ground” you are accusing Christians of. Throughout history the American people have voted for candidates they felt would best help the country, not for some vague moral ethic. Many, many unborn babies have been saved through this vote. To God be the glory!

  61. Castle Kingside says:

    Thabiti, I love and respect you, and as an aside you helped me overcome my own issues of racism against other black people (i’m black but was rejected by black folk growing up and caused almost 2 decades of resentment). Nither here nor their but just wanted to thank you for helping me get past that!

    I believe it is too presumptuous to lay the charge that evangelicals surrendered moral high ground in electoral politics. This election did not strike me as one where ones candidate was the candidate of moral supremacy. There were moral issues on the line, as there always is, yet we were convinced early on that this election would be about crisis aversion and perhaps averting a fatal blow to a certain worldview as it is represented in the public. To be honest, I don’t know who in their right mind would even vote for trump based on the notion of moral supremacy. The charge that it aleviates any moral high ground we had seems almost non-sequitr.

    Secondarily, I think that simply stating that Evangelicals are abandoning public solidarity with minority groups in lieu of voting for trump, is just that. I have heard from *countless!* african-americans who voted for trump *in spite* of the racial implications. Many! I am one of them. And many evangelicals agonized over this. I would argue the agony was caused by precisely what you say, in many cases. There were no illusions about Trumps character. But I think you fail to appreciate the severity of a moral dilemma, and I think at core that is why you write the sentiments you do. We aren’t supposed to be faced with a decision to pick between these two unsavory characters. Yet this is the scenario we find ourselves in, and we must act before God according to our (hopefully) divinely aided conscience.

    To your third point, I think you raise some very valid considerations. Some of it seems retroactive, as in, perhaps we should already be at that point (of a new party?), however minimally this vote was not about walking lock step with the GOP, as many of us found it unconscionable, even deadly to live in a society with Hillary at the helm. Of course we could survive it, but it would be foolish to do nothing and simply bow down at the chopping block for fear of the connotations of voting for trump. I would not agree that it is a significant factor to consider your witness in light of voting for trump, when you consider the reasons some evangelicals voted for him. I feel no shame in expressing my hatred for abortion, and hope (though small) that some progress may be made on that front with Trump as president. I’m not naive enough to think it gaurenteed, but this kind of image management is a fools errand. It is not my sin that is (potentially) eroding my witness. This was a moral dilemma. If I am loathed for choosing what I saw as the best option, so be it. I have a mouth and a mind that I can use to at least try to communicate with someone who may be turned off by my decision.

    Although, I suppose my disgust for abortion would likely turn them even further away.

    Anyway, I completely disagree with you, but i’m happy to read what you write because I really respect you, am indebted to you, and it helps me love brothers (like you) who I don’t agree with. So I hope you see this as meaningful disagreement, and no more than that. :) <3

  62. Sheri King says:

    I am surprised to see this article on this website. What I smell in this article is pride and here is why I’ve become less hard on Mr. Trump after reading articles like these. He was not my choice for a Republican nominee and I had deep concerns about him once he was. I worry that his careless and reckless words could be dangerous. He has signs of being a “fool” who lacks wisdom. And of course he has a history of being a total womanizer. Ok, those things make him an easy target for anyone to dislike. That’s why people LOVE to hate him. But I believe his presence in this election has revealed something even more ugly: progressives and even some Christians have developed this attitude of pride when they show the stereotypes they hold about others, specifically the white, “uneducated”, evangelical blue-collar man. Progressives have made it clear this man is their ultimate enemy. They look down on him because he is “backwards”, unable to think things through deeply, “nationalistic” because he is patriotic and nostalgic, “racist” because he is concerned about terrorisism and unmanaged immigration without documentation and accountability. We saw this condescending attitude after terrorist attacks in the last couple of years. Our president was more harsh and critical of his own people – the NRA members – than he was of the terrorists. He should have recognized the pure motive of these NRA guys who simply want to be able to protect their families if need be. The president should have at least validated their good motives even if he disagreed with them. That desire to protect is a God-given instinct God put into the heart of men but instead of applauding these men for wanting to protect their families, they have been demonized and looked down upon and even mocked for this. That. Is. Wrong. God has a big heart for men too and not all are called to be “educated, city boys who like to sit and have deep, theological discussions about who Christians should vote for. Some are called to be fierce warriors and their gifts are to physically protect and serve. Others have a calling to do mission work and have a heart for those of other cultures. My own great grandfather was a missionary in India to lepers. I think it’s so arrogant to write an article and judge the action of another man when it comes to the very personal act of voting. Maybe these voters picked Trump because he doesn’t demonize them. Maybe they picked him because he doesn’t accuse them of being racists simply because they want to protect their families from terrorists sneaking into the country. Most of these men and their ancestors helped build this great country that so many benefit from today. As a mom of three sons, I’ve done a lot of soul searching into the issue of manhood in our society because I want desire to understand God’s heart for men. As far as the election results, one could speculate that maybe the phrase “pride comes before a fall” would be appropriate: as everyone smugly laughed at the “deplorables” and the man they chose to vote for, God was showing our nation that He cares for the white male too, warts and all. One more thought: this whole issue of voting reminds me of the debate between men who feel called to enlist and men who feel called to be “pacifists”. How can one God lead two men to such opposing positions? Is one wrong and one right? I would say that the only one who is not right in that case is the one not following his conscience. THAT is what God calls us to and the rest is between a man and his Lord.

    1. M.G. says:

      Paragraph breaks are your friend.

      1. RH says:

        Out of everything she said, your only reply it is to criticize her paragraph formation? I would imagine most would be able to see her heart without being critical of presentation.

    2. Ryan says:

      Sheri, to her credit, at least addresses the issue raised in this post. Her response is that Trump’s campaign was not really racist, just concerned about terrorism. Is that the consensus among white evangelical Trump voters? If the answer to “We’re worried about this guy” is, “He hasn’t given you anything to worry about”, then this is going to be a very tough gap to bridge.

    3. Seanna says:

      I didn’t even notice the lack of paragraph breaks. Your response to this article expresses my sentiments as well.
      Although I do not see Trump as a “godly” man, obviously God has put him in this position. Could it be, as in the case of Esther, “for such a time as this”?
      This article troubles me, not that I can judge TA’s motives or heart. But I sense condemnation for those who are, in their own conscience, doing what they feel is right. Is that not what we are supposed to do? A vote for Trump, if according to conscience and in faith, is a good thing.
      There is enough unrest being promulgated in your country right now. It’s disheartening to see it between brothers and sisters in Christ. Stand together for the gospel and for what is right and good. Accept and love one another, and extend freedom of conscience without judgment.

  63. Sam Akwaka says:

    The ‘evangelicals’ said Romney wasn’t a Christian and Obama won. They later said Obama had betrayed them when he revealed his true colours. Now they said Trump wasn’t a Christian and he won.
    My question is do ‘evangelicals’ see the hand of God in this and every election?
    It is a dangerous proposition that just because what we wanted didn’t happen then God is not at work.

  64. Lindsey says:

    Thank you for your thoughts – your tone seemed as if you were truly trying to call evangelicals back to the gospel. For that I am thankful. However – being a white evangelical, I offer why I voted for trump.

    I don’t like Trump. I don’t think his character is anything close to what the gospel requires of christians. I voted for him because of his platform. I believe Jesus and his church is the hope of the world. Therefore I voted the candidate who I thought seemed least likely to threaten religious freedom.

    My main thought is this though – first we each choose who we will worship. THEN we choose who to vote for. They are not the same. Our president is not our king nor our savior. We “give to Caeser what is Caesers” because we must…we must vote but that does NOT mean I think Trump somehow carries the banner of the gospel. From what I have seen there is no evidence of that whatsoever. (Same with Clinton).

    So the main question people are asking – how could I have voted for trump and claim to love minorities? Because I am not him and he is not my god. I think it’s terrible what he has said that has spread hate. But I don’t think Clinton is a saint in that area either – even if she presented a more polished view of herself. Again, I think the main conduit of hope, love and restoration is the church. That’s the basket I put my eggs in. Not the presidency. Not the government. I voted for the candidate that I thought would be most likely to let the church be the church for these next four years.

  65. Richard says:

    I think this just shows us James Davidson Hunter was right in To Change the World. American evangelicals are a basically functional political nietzcheans who will pursue power to achieve their ends at any cost. Stanley Hauerwas was also clearly right in suggesting that many American Christians view their identity as American as more important than their membership to the universal church, hence their willingness to vote for a political nativist. Evangelicals, and indeed most Christians outside of America view this as fairly bizarre despite being socially conservative. If liberal protestants committed suicide by making their doctrine and practice amenable to liberal modernity, evangelical protestants in America seem happy to swallow and equally dangerous poison in the form nietzchean, post modern politics of the political right. This is despite over thirty years of repeatedly trusting politicians and charlatans eager for votes only to be betrayed and dissapointed by them. As the dog to its vomit, so the fool to its folly.

    1. Robert Kilpatrick says:

      well said sir

  66. Danielle says:

    As a fellow McMullin voter, I think I share many of your concerns about the way white evangelicals relate to the Republican Party. However, as a white evangelical, I was hurt by the accusations you make in this article. I find them unfair and unjust.

    One thing you seem not to understand is that white evangelicals feel the hatred and contempt towards them coming from the Democratic Party`and they fear and resent it. Whether they embraced Trump or held their nose and voted for him, it is not hard to understand, even setting aside the political issues on which they agree with Trump, why they overwhelmingly voted Republican. Do you really think that they were going to vote for someone who called them “deplorable”?

  67. Daniel says:

    You didn’t owe us any answers on who you voted for, but it helps to know that you voted for McMullen.

    It helps, because I believe many of the frustrated responses above (and on Twitter) come from the fact that a vote for Clinton seems to be no more morally justifiable than a vote for Trump. Policy is a reflection of character. It’s no stamp of moral excellence when a candidate is generous to the poor, but actively promotes the destruction of the unborn. (I know that’s simplifying things, but hey, there’s a length limit on internet comments.) There were many in my church who were devastated by the various evangelicals who voted for President Obama in the past two elections, or for Secretary Clinton in this election. I listened to the bewildered cries of men and women who devote their free time to ministry in inner-cities, to pro-life pregnancy centers, to mercy ministry in Native American communities. They wanted to know how brothers and sisters in Christ could knowingly vote for a party or candidate so positively affirming of abortion or the legitimization of sexual immorality.

    And now, there are many who are legitimately distressed by their brothers and sisters who voted for a candidate who has affirmed evil, sexual immorality, racism, and religious intolerance, and who has spoken clearly against the gospel call for repentance.

    You are right–this election has undermined the efforts at reconciliation within the church and our efforts at ministry outside of the church. The last dozen elections did as well. We should weep and seek the Lord together. We should show charity and mercy and love to those who, by conscience, were led to vote differently from us.

    I’m really thankful for your faithful ministry, Thabiti. May the Lord give you continued blessing and fruitfulness!

  68. Dana says:

    I think that this article is divisive & unhelpful. It is accusatory & shaming of believers. I don’t think that it is exhorting in any way. What if I said the following: people with that kind of view voted for Evan McMullin out of fear of Donald Trump & because they don’t have enough faith to trust that God can use Donald Trump to accomplish His will on the issues that Trump supporters hold dear. Do you see how that is accusatory? And shaming? I think you should rethink how to present your material in such a way that doesn’t automatically turn off & offend so many people because they feel personally shamed & accused. Let your speech be covered with grace. I did not find this article gracious in any way.

  69. Keith Williams says:

    I think you’re confusing the few ‘white evangelicals’ who blog or have another public format with whoever else you define into that category. America has a 2-party system for all practical purposes. Historical reality (our gut) tells us not to throw away our vote on other parties. Even for the church, if you don’t work neither do you eat. Samuel said the king would take 10% of the fruits of your labor. Don’t we wish it were so. Jesus said “do as the conservatives (Pharisees) say but do not’. Republicans, like Trump, say they will tax us less. Thomas Sowell, a former socialist, turned conservative by working for the gov’t, not by taking economics from Milton Freidman (which he did). Sowell is nonreligious in his economic conclusions. He depends on historical statistics. Have you ever read him? He’s black. He doesn’t think 95% of blacks should vote Democrat. Why do they? Ben Kinchlow wrote a well researched book, Black Yellow Dogs (do you know what a yellow-dog democrat is?), that gives the history behind that statistical fact. The Republican Party says they will let you keep more of the fruits of your labor. The Democratic Party says they will give more of those same fruits to others who won’t work for it but who will learn to vote Democrat. Even if we too really do love Jesus, our gut tells us the fix is in. The Bible says the gov’t bears the sword as a terror to bad conduct (Rom. 13:3). Why do you want to use our vote to measure our morality. Teach your people to work. Teach your people what the last verse of the O T says brings God’s decree of utter destruction. Our vote is not for church use to make people of certain skin color ashamed of problems that stem primarily from God’s ban of utter destruction. I’m sorry my vote bothers you. I do profess to be an evangelical Christian. Changing my vote will not help your people.

  70. J.K. Turner says:


    Thanks for the article and thanks for expressing how you feel. Unfortunately, I have seen things like this from my black friends in the reformed community where I live. They feel let down or betrayed by us (white evangelicals) and they should. I was shocked to see that 81% voted for Trump. I’m even more disappointed to see he received a higher percentage of the vote than W. I really have no idea how to explain this. The number of public evangelicals, like Russell Moore, that came out against Trump made me believe, even hope, that possibly Trump would pull less than half. Unfortunately, he will forever be seen as the president of white evangelicals.
    I do not believe Trump gives a shit about abortion. However, he has proven that in politics, all anyone needs to do to appeal to evangelicals is to claim that he is ‘now’ pro-life. He can then avoid any scrutiny or attempts to be held to some sort of Biblical standard.
    I’m still shocked that he won, and will never understand how he got 81%.

  71. Emily Lightner says:

    Thanks for this! It makes me feel so much better about voting for McMullin!! Your points are valid, but painfully challenging. I’m sorry many are so hateful towards you. You have said a lot of challenging things over the years, so I guess you are used to it. Thank you for being obedient to the convictions the Holy Spirit has given you, even when it is difficult.

    1. Seanna says:


      I have only seen a couple of nonsensical comments here, by those who probably don’t even care about the issue. Other than that, I have seen people respectfully disagreeing.

  72. William Dwight McKissic, Sr says:

    Pastor T,

    Rarely do I read an article and find myself in 100% agreement with every syallable, single line, heartfelt sentiments & the humble, prophetic, credible, genuine spirit behind the article. Evangelicals of all colors & political persuasions need to read your article and engage in Selah. Thanks for dare having the courage and character to write such a needed post. Al Mohler & Russel Moore are two evangelicals that emerge from this with their credibility in tact and for that I”m grateful.

  73. Jaime says:

    For me, voting 3rd party or not voting were options that fell into the “voting for Hilary” bucket. So, those were not options. I didn’t vote for Trump wholeheartedly. I voted for him planning to love my neighbor well, serve my community still & seek Jesus first.

  74. J Banks says:

    Most of the fellow believers in my local church – a fairly rural church near some diverse cities – have not had the time to keep up with any of the arguments that evangelical leaders outside our congregation have spoken against Trump. I think Colin Hansen said in a similar article that he realized their writing did little to connect with many evangelicals. Perhaps there’s not so much to this Trump vote as bloggers think, at least for rural and suburban working class Christians. Perhaps there is. I am inclined to think it is simple in most cases: She is for things that are wrong; he is not who I preferred and does a lot wrong, but maybe we will get better policies out of him. That’s it.

  75. Dietrich Wichmann says:

    Did anyone here read Wayne Grudem on this subject?

  76. Shellie says:

    At the end of the day your post seems to be very hateful and bitter.A much tamped down version of what is going on in the streets currently and gives no acknowledgment of God’s sovereignty in the course of all things. We as a family stopped listening to you when you made race something that elevated above the gospel. The gospel with social justice added is merely a new gospel. Your lens has been muddled somewhere down the line, and you need to repent and refocus on what really matters. Do Christians that support Trump have any more of an issue that Christians that supported Obama? I don’t read TGC anymore, mostly because of the wrong theology being posted here, but a search this morning brought me here. I was disappointed but not surprised, sadly. Your words should be on CNN or MSNBC, not on a Christian site. But sadly TGC has lost its way. You encite sin, sir. Within the Church. When you wrote that race was above babies being murdered, not only your logic but your biblical worldview was brought into focus. Sadly you prize skin color above murder which is unfathomable. Sir, you are not looking through a biblical lens buy a worldly selfish lens. God is sovereign and He controls this.He gave us a choice of two wicked rulers and yes, one of them one. Stop being bitter and work to unite the Church instead of causing so much division,please

  77. Jon Oren says:


    Much respect to you brother. I thought this election would surely loose the chains that white evangelicals have hitched to the GOP. If not this, then what? In either reality or cynicism, my intuitions were true. This is yet another degree of mercy required to remain in a cultural church context that claims exclusivity for correctness about Jesus Christ and the Gospel. Evangelicals being so seemingly unaware of cultural situatedness, I’m feeling a greater and more profound wave of cognitive and spiritual dissonance than ever. Reading ‘Divided by Faith’ (Emerson) in 2001 was the first major watershed moment. This is wholly different for my family.

    You referenced a political affiliation homelessness. I feel on the outskirts of the evangelical camp (quite frankly always have), on probation, wandering in the desert of cultural and political isolation from my own people. The Gospel is the true oasis, so we will be kept. But I’m not sure how this is supposed to translate into future engagement?

    Trump and evangelicals seems to be the result of a much deeper cultural, historical, social, and racial bias that has never not existed in American culture. The evangelical church has effectively bowed the knee to Caesar (exceptions sure) in this regard. It’s so ingrained historically and culturally, that doing any different feels very uncomfortable and distraction from the “true” Gospel. I can think of many evangelical leaders who are the poster boys for white, conservative evangelicalism. They preach the Gospel with a major shroud around it, thinking it to be absolutely clear and cultural bias. Yet the onus of getting to the actual kernel of Gospel truth is on their shoulders. That this is true is sad. That this is true and unknown is grievous. That this is true and is resisted upon confrontation in humility is borderline evil.

    I’m struggling here, brother! You’ve walked this road your entire life. Jesus Christ is my hero and Savior, but my heart beating for the broken and lost in my community is feeling isolated from my family of faith.

    Much love and respect to you,

  78. Jan Han says:

    Thabiti – first, thank you for your post! I was a little hard on the TGC editorial board in another thread, regarding what I saw as a reluctance to name the false equivalence between the two candidates’ moral characters – and I would dispute that equivalency as presented in your article – but I am grateful that the council has you as a member.

    Given the near-unanimous scorn poured on Thabiti for even suggesting that an orthodox, pro-life Christian could vote for Hillary Clinton and preserve their conscience, I will defend his reasoning unqualifiedly. Yes, a person can be a pro-life evangelical Christian and vote for Hillary Clinton without moral reservations.

    As Thabiti argued, the choice between two candidates is also a choice between two configurations of power, amongst the executive, judicial, and legislative branches. One candidate, Hillary Clinton, has a pattern of behavior that suggests that the system could provide a check on her moral failings. (The Senate also plays a role in choosing a Supreme Court judge – not as major as the President, admittedly, but major enough to make a difference.) The other candidate, Donald Trump, offers no such hope, and offers an excellent chance of doing as much as possible to damage the very concept of checks and balances.

    Could it be a miscalculation to think that, upon electing Clinton, one would then fight to oppose her efforts on religious freedom and pro-life issues? Sure. Is it necessarily immoral and un-Christian to choose that strategy, in the name of ensuring that the unborn do not grow up in a dystopian wasteland? Not at all.

    Americans often do not think about their brothers and sisters to the north, in Canada, who do not have the luxury of choosing between a “pro-life” (putatively) and pro-choice candidate. In Canada, abortion has been decriminalized for decades and no party has any plans to do anything about it. Every election is a choice amongst pro-choice candidates. So I suppose the Christians up there are damned no matter what they do?

    The entire world is watching America, including our brothers and sisters around the globe. They see that American Christians have chosen to back a congenital liar and hothead who can be baited into nuclear war with a tweet, on the chance that he *might* keep his promises regarding abortion. They have chosen this over the route of electing a flawed-but-competent politician to preserve international stability, while using the legislative and judicial branches to fervently oppose policies that they do not agree with. This will go down in history as a monumentally selfish act.

    I think there is an obsessive-compulsive fixation with presidential voting in this country, particularly amongst the Evangelical crowd. By this, I mean that the act of voting has been invested with an all-or-nothing moral dualism that it does not need to possess. To vote for a candidate does not signify that one agrees 100% with everything that person stands for. I’m not sure what we believers are afraid of – that we will stand before Christ on Judgment Day and that He will hold us accountable for everything that the candidate we voted for said or did? Hopefully, I don’t need to explain that to the evangelicals who supposedly held their noses (not a major component of the electoral system, as far as I can tell) to vote for Trump.

    I know that many think that Trump’s policies are perfectly compatible with Christianity, “personal behavior” aside. Nonetheless, non-white Christians perceive that his racism is not simply a personal flaw. It is a key feature of his proposed policy – see his support for stop and frisk, an ineffective technique that disproportionately targets African-Americans; or his wall to keep out all those Mexican rapists, “sent” by the Mexican government, because all Mexicans are apparently plotting in a basement somewhere to destroy America. In the Muslim ban, you get a 2-for-1 combo of racism AND religious discrimination. (I guess he is a businessman and knows the art of the deal…) If you don’t see the sin in his proposed policy platform, please, please look harder.

    Regarding that “personal behavior” that the Dobsons and Falwells encouraged us to overlook, since we weren’t electing a “Pastor in Chief”: many, many women in the Evangelical fold will never forget that their brothers turned out in droves for a president who boasted about sexual assault. Thabiti has made this point eloquently, but I can only add that it seems convenient that those criticizing Thabiti’s post are mostly men.

    Please forgive me if this post sounds snarky. I do not mean to guilt or shame white Evangelicals…I don’t believe that the true Messiah works that way, even if the false Messiahs of this world gain power through guilting and shaming people into handing over power, which is precisely what has happened. If this is a blog truly as big as the Gospel, it can accommodate those believers who are elated by Trump’s win as well as those who are dismayed by it. It takes nothing away from the sovereignty of Christ to find oneself amongst the latter.

  79. Joel Parker says:

    I don’t expect this request to be honored. But I’ll make it anyway. Can we please cease with the character attacks on Thabiti? I have never had the pleasure of meeting him, but have benefited greatly from his ministry from afar. *Love* the stuff he and others put out on the Front Porch, love hearing him at T4G And based on everything I have read or watched, the character attacks are without basis. Similarly, just because one may disagree with points of Thaibit’s arguments (which is legitimate to do), I think it is without basis and wrong and destrucgtive to make the *huge* leap to questioning his fidelity to The Gospel, to the Lord, to the Bible, etc. What is amazing and encouraging to me is how gracoiusly Thabiti responds to these unwarranted attacks. But then, we are called to behave this way as Christians, and I’m thankful for his example.

    As for his post on TGC which is the topic of this thread: I’m still chewing on it. In short, some of it I agree with, some of it I don’t, but all of it I find helpful and though-provoking.

    I can’t speak for Thabiti or others on this, but here is potential problem: many Christians make “super apostles” out of influential evangelical leaders. I, like many people, read and listen to many pastors like Thabiti and others, so I understand wanting to “follow” these people, in a certain sense, from afar. But if you listen carefully to what they actually teach, they do not presume themselves to have some sort of official spiritual authority over anyone outside of their congregations. And praise God for that! It would be wrong if they did. They are simply providing resources should people want to avail themselves of them.

    I mention this, because one manifestation of wrongly putting people in a “super apostle” or “broad evangelical leader” position is when they say or write something we don’t agree with, it unsettles us so much that we (wrongly) feel the freedom to discredit them on everything, or write them off, or attack them. You combine that with social media access and it becomes a terrible free for all to vent emotions, etc.

    Like I said, I don’t agree with every point in Thabiti’s most recent post. So what?! Can’t we deal with that reality? It seems Thaibit can.

  80. Bruce says:

    First off, I voted for McMullin. Nevertheless, I want to express my opinion that many evangelicals voted reluctantly for Trump because they feared the federal government would turn continue to be antagonistic toward them and their values with Hillary. Hillary did say Christians should change their beliefs about abortion. The administration she worked for sued Christian businesses and even an order of nuns to try to force them to provide abortion pills. The same administration is forcing transgenders into the military and school bathrooms. They consider themselves under attack by Democrats.

  81. Tjw says:

    Correct me if I am wrong.. Did we not ask for Gods will not ours as we fasted and prayed? So you are choosing to second guess what He has done? His ways are not yours or mine,but He is soverign in ALL things. Stop spitting in His face.

  82. T.T. says:

    Thank you Thabiti for articulating what so many of us in the minority community are feeling. In fact, I am thankful TGC would even allow you to post such words Your thoughts offer the church a real opportunity to genuinely confront the reality that there is racial division in Evangelicalism and that division needs healing. As an immigrant who loves the church dearly, the Trump rhetoric has been downright demoralizing and hurtful. To read the many defensive replies found above has magnified those feelings even more. Racial reconciliation is needed. Thabiti, may your article serve as catalyst for this to begin.

  83. Ryan says:

    I understand what made this such a difficult choice for people, and I won’t make any judgments about evangelicals who voted for Trump. But there are consequences to that decision, and now that he’s won, those consequences cannot be deflected with “But Hillary…”. For a whole bunch of reasons, Donald Trump is a uniquely dangerous leader and we, as a group, elected him. We wear his presidency. We contributed to what David Duke called the most exciting night of his life. I know we didn’t do it for him, but that’s what happened anyway. If David Duke stays happy with this President, we’d better not, and we’d better say so.

  84. Charla T says:

    I did not support Trump, nor did I support Hillary in this election.

  85. Michael B. says:

    It is posts like this that have led me to never bother reading anything on TGC ever again.

  86. Elizabeth says:

    Mr. Anabywlle, I am so sorry for the unkindness reflected in some of the comments. I know you love the Lord and are serving Him in the best way that you feel called. I don’t really want to comment on the article, my thoughts, or the race, I just hope to encourage you, to let you know I pray for you, and that my hope is that you will be encouraged in Him. This commenting stuff is brutal, but He is better. Thank you for your ministry. Elizabeth

  87. Joey Phillips says:

    Thanks for this analysis. I completely agree with you on all four points, but I would just add that I believe all four points have been trending up over the course of President Obama’s presidency.

    Evangelicals began surrendering the moral high ground when they chose to value the denigration of President Obama over truth. I don’t know how many articles (from my conservative Christian friends) were shared from Breitbart, Gateway Pundit, InfoWars etc. that spread lies, rumors and conspiracy theories about the President. According to these sites he was secretly working with jihadists on the destruction of America, or buying up ammunition for an impending institution of martial law, or he wasn’t born in the US, or he wasn’t going to give up the Presidency if he lost, or he was going to take away all of our guns. A constant stream of lies, slander and rumor mongering, often racially charged, were being spread by folks calling themselves Christians (because, you know, you can’t trust the MSM.) When you value taking down the other team over truth, and become willing to believe any evil of someone simply because you disagree with them, you’ve already surrendered any moral high ground. When you don’t operate as though you value truth yourself, it isn’t surprising that you are fine voting for a candidate with no integrity.

    This type of uncritical us vs them mentality doesn’t lend itself to public solidarity with those you disagree with. I’ve seen numerous black and brown friends and disillusioned by the callous disregard demonstrated toward them (intentional or not) by folks who would respond to their hurt over the Trayvon Martin killing, for instance, with not only a lack of empathy, but also spreading articles that depicted Trayvon Martin as a ‘thug’, using pictures that weren’t even Trayvon Martin. Public solidarity is something that leaders such as Russell Moore and John Piper have done a great job modeling, but there evangelicals’ as a whole don’t seem to understand. And that trend has only increased with the rise of BLM, leading to where 80% can vote for a man like Trump and be blind to how that creates distance with those he disparages.

    Partisan bias within evangelicalism will only grow more extreme until folks get to the point where they realize how spiritually unhealthy it is to value winning over truth; that Breitbart, Sean Hannity, Drudge, Gateway Pundit and these types…and the bubble they create through social media…are actually contributing to an environment that actively devalue truth. The Gospel requires an environment where truth is valued, so evangelism is going to suffer in contexts that elevate winning over truth. People are very quick to spot hypocrisy. So when your message is about truth, but in the public sphere you don’t prioritize it, people will notice. Stan van Gundy (Pistons coach) is a good prominent example of how this is effecting people currently.

    “And then you read how he was embraced by conservative Christians. Evangelical Christians. I’m not a religious guy, but what the h*** Bible are they reading? I’m dead serious. What Bible are you reading? And you’re supposed to be — it’s different. There are a lot of different groups we can be upset at. But you’re Christians. You’re supposed to be — at least you pride yourself on being the moral compass of our society. And you said, ‘Yeah, the guy can talk about women like that. I’m fine with that.’ He can disparage every ethnic group, and I’m fine with that.

    “Look, I don’t get it. And I’m having a hard time taking it.”

  88. Kathy says:

    Great thoughts here and I appreciate the writer’s sincerity and love him for He is my brother in Christ! Can we take it easy here in the comment section? :) We need to love one we can agree to disagree on why we voted for Trump or McMullin or wrote in a candidate. God knows our motives, our hearts and His Grace abounds. Why can’t it be okay if this author would pick Hillary over Trump when that was the only choice? I do believe his motives were not that he supports abortion but for the other causes that do align with our bilbical worldview. I voted for Trump but that doesn’t mean I agree with any of his anti-biblical views.

    I used to be a snobby evangelical conservative-but not all are snobby! I wondered if liberal evangelicals were truly Christians..oh my!! :( I am now an evangelical who is conservative politically still and still see politics from a biblical worldview, but have changed my mind about Syrian immigration-and I go to a church whose leaders can’t stand Trump and whose desire is to lift up the poor-social justice, etc.. It is all bilbical-even my conservatism is too.. ;-) I can’t say no the Syrians who are running from oppression and getting their heads chopped off by Isis! So I disagree with Trump on that but I do also see the other side in taking the chance letting in terrorists which from what I have heard isn’t happening as much as we fear and I hope what I have heard is right.

    I wasn’t going to vote at first, but in the last month changed my mind. I decided not to vote for the person but for the unborn, and vote as if I were hiring someone to run my business so I voted for Trump. I think he would appoint good people around him to lead. I like Pence.

    I heard an interview in July with the leader of a very liberal hispanic group. They disagreed with Trump 100% but met with him and said he was kind, truly listened and welcomed them. They came away saying they disagree with him but were surprised at how he treated them and think that he truly considered their plight. I think we have bought the lie about him being racist. I don’t think he is but again..I am not sure if he really is or isn’t-I don’t know his heart.

    I struggled with the Syrian thing but also with abortion and I knew if I wrote in a candidate or voted for one that didn’t have a chance it would be wasted but I TRULY understand those who did and WILL NOT berate them for I almost did so I get it.

    I believe God knows our hearts and knows regardless of what candidate we voted for we didn’t vote to support abortion or saying no to letting desperate Syrians in. It was a HARD choice and so we need to extend Grace to one another and remember whose Kingdom we are really in-not that we don’t remember, but satan wants to divide us. I have read things on both sides that I think are misguided but who am I??? I guess I am glad others have shown me Grace in areas where I am misguided still and so I am glad.

  89. Chad Reynolds says:

    Thabiti – Thank you for you thoughtful post. I hope my comments will help as you continue to digest your thoughts about this issue.
    For context, I live in one of the most conservative, “evangelical” counties in Mississippi.

    From the beginning, I was #nevertrump for a variety of reasons and was one of the 20% of evangelicals who did not vote for Trump. However, I do know many that did (most reluctantly) and can divde them primarily into several groups.

    1. Those that truly supported Trump from the beginning. I acutally know very few who were active Trump supporters. Again, I live in one of the most convervative “religous” places in America and can count on my hands the number of Trump yard signs and bumper stickers. This was in stark contrast to presidental election since 2000. The “evengalicals” I did know who were active Trump supports are primarily people that I have serious concerns are “nominal cultural christians”. Only the Lord knows their hearts but the fruit is not there or is extremly limited.

    2. The second group were people who the concern over the Supreme Court nominees carried more weight than anything else. The concern over abortion and continued targeting of churches turned them into a single issue voter. In my mind, the abortion issue is what has driven most evengelicals into the lap of the Republican party. There was a time that one could be a pro-life Democrat but those days have passed and it has caused huge problems.

    3. The final set are those who truly believe the election was a binary choice and thus decided that Trump was the lesser of two evils. They sincerly believed that to vote third party was to throw their vote away and that they had a duty to vote for someone.

    I’ve said all along that it is simply mind blowing that in a country of over 300 million people this were the choices given by our two major parties. I’m going to be interested to talk to my parents over the next few weeks. My parents are members of a multi-ethnic church which has made great strides in deomnstrating racial reconciliation.

    Finally, I do want to close on a positive note. I have the privilege of teaching a college age class at my church. In the last year and half, we’ve gone through both Counter Culture and Onward. Regarding social issues, the top two issues they are concerned and passionate about are human dignity/racial reconciliation and sanctity of life (from the womb to the grave and everyting in between. The future is bright with our youth.

    Hope this helps. God bless.

  90. Paul says:


    I apologize if this has already been covered, but I had a question regarding your 3rd party vote for McMullin. Evan McMullin is a Mormon, a member of a religious cult which distorts the true Gospel and which denies the deity of Christ. It is a religion which actually is hostile to the Gospel and has led many astray. So my question is: How do you justify in your heart voting for someone like this, yet you would not vote for Trump or Clinton? I completely agree that there was not a candidate this election season who we could view as a Christian. They were all morally flawed, and in some cases outright criminals. But I am not seeing how a vote for Evan McMullin could possibly align with your Christian faith. If it was simply a matter of his political views, then how can you tell anyone else that they should not have voted for other candidates based simply on their political views, or whether or not their presidency would help or harm Christian freedoms in this country? The fact of the matter is that we were not able to look to any candidate to be a spiritual leader for our nation….and that’s OK because Christ is our King, and the poor choice of candidates is a result of the sinfulness of our nation. We should not have expected God to provide a good leader to a nation who has strayed away from Him so far. But many voted for Trump based on whether there was a possibility that his presidency might at least prevent SOME innocent babies from being slaughtered. We are called to protect the weak and innocent, and if people voted for someone that they would not normally vote for with the hope that they could save at least some innocent lives, I don’t see how you can say they were wrong for that. I’m just not seeing how aligning with a member of a false religion that undermines Christianity somehow is the morally correct decision for a Christian, especially when it essentially meant a vote for Hillary, who is so strong of an advocate for abortion.

    1. Ryan says:

      Paul, I can’t speak for Thabiti but I think the issue is not so much the personal morality of any of these candidates, but the fundamental immorality of their political agendas. Abortion is a perfectly fine reason to declare that Hillary was an unacceptable choice. The overt racism of Trump’s campaign is an equally valid reason to consider him unacceptable. The problem, for many of our brothers and sisters who are minorities, is that white evangelicals overwhelmingly saw this truth about Hillary, but not about Trump. These brothers and sisters (and, for that matter, unbelieving neighbours) need to know that we understand why they are worried about the incoming president, and that we will stand with them against what is surely coming.

      1. Paul says:

        “The problem, for many of our brothers and sisters who are minorities, is that white evangelicals overwhelmingly saw this truth about Hillary, but not about Trump. These brothers and sisters (and, for that matter, unbelieving neighbours) need to know that we understand why they are worried about the incoming president, and that we will stand with them against what is surely coming.”

        Ryan, I appreciate your response. We absolutely have to stand with the minorities and give them our support. However, I don’t believe we can truly believe what the media is telling them about “what is surely coming.” I don’t support many of the things that Trump has said and done, but I do believe that the media promoted this perception that Trump will be the next Hitler, and that he will go round up minorities and put them in camps. I don’t believe he ever claimed anything like this, but also anyone with a basic understanding of American government knows this is not possible anyways. There are checks and balances, and even though the Republicans will hold Congress, they will never let Trump become a dictator and do whatever he wants. Thankfully though, Republicans holding the White House and Congress does mean that the left will not be able to push their anti-Christian and pro-abortion agendas into law, and that Supreme Court justices will be put into office who will protect values and religious freedom.

        I think it’s important to understand that Hillary and the left align with Planned Parenthood. This is so important to realize because the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was an outspoken eugenicist and racist. She promoted abortion as a way to stunt the growth of races and minorities that she felt were polluting society. She actually advocated bringing on African-American pastors to trick African-Americans into believing her ideas. This thinking has continued on the left today. The numbers of African-American babies aborted every year is beyond comprehension. The left has lied to minorities and made them think they would make their lives better and protect them, yet they’ve done nothing for them. In fact, the left has helped stir up racial division in America because it benefits them to have unrest. The left simply wants to get with wealthy off of the government, and uses minorities to fill their pocketbooks. So supporting minorities cannot be done with a vote. Our support for them really has nothing to do with politics…it should be done with the spread of the Gospel.

        1. Pc says:

          Oh, what a pile of crap. Seriously, you can disagree with PP but claiming some of the stuff you did about PP and African Americans just sounds like pure racism to me. Same with all your grousing about “the left.”

          The problem with organizations like this one? You mistake religious freedom with Ayn Rand style politics. And it makes you look ridiculous to “the world.”

          You people sold your souls for thirty pieces of silver. I hope it was worth it.

          -a believer, who thanks to people like you, no longer identifies as evangelical.

  91. Guy Spillers says:

    (Disclosure: I voted for neither major presidential candidate.)

    “But as a Christian and leader of some sort, I’m most interested in what took place with evangelicals during this election. Exit polls tell us that white evangelicals voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Trump, coming in at 81 percent. ”

    Interesting how you begin to frame it as a concern for evangelicals, and then swiftly shift it to a critique of “white evangelicals.” No racist overtones here, amiright?

    Since we’re on the topic of demographics monolithically supporting immoral candidates, perhaps Mr. Anyabwile can guess which group of pledged to vote with even more unanimity for Hillary Clinton than “white evangelicals” did for Trump:

    Yes, let’s have a balanced discussion about which racial and religious groups vote along party lines. Which group looks like the biggest offender to you, Mr. Anyabwile?

    The most telling part of this data? “More than half of white evangelicals said they weren’t satisfied with their ballot options (55%)… And 45 percent of white evangelicals said they meant their vote as opposition to Hillary Clinton.” The “white evangelicals” Mr. Anyabwile is vilifiying knew he was a bad candidate, but thought he was the better of the two options. Contrast that with “Black protestants”: “Half of black Protestant voters said their vote was in support of Clinton (53%), while one-third said they were voting against Trump (34%).” A majority of “Black Protestants” voted for HRC largely thinking she was a good candidate! Unbelievable!

    If you’re going to start pointing fingers, it’s often best to look in the mirror first.

  92. Shannon says:

    Thabiti, Is there any chance you know what the exit polls said about the black Christian vote? I know that generally 88% of blacks voted for Hillary while 58% of whites voted for Trump.

    I can’t find any exit polling data that breaks out Black Christians like they do White Born-Again/Evangelicals. It kind of puts your white brothers and sisters on the “hot seat” (rightfully so in my opinion) but raise the question of whether you ought to compose and article to your black brothers and sisters.

  93. Kelly Madden says:

    Thanks for this article. It’s an important contribution. It would have had more credibility BEFORE the election, but….

    Many months ago, when the choice of presidential candidates was becoming tragically clear, I lamented to another pastor: “What are we going to do?!”

    He said, “Say more kyries!” (“Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.”)

    Yes, that’s it. I repeatedly prayed to God to save us from this situation. I could not see an acceptable candidate. I still don’t. In the end, I wrote in a candidate. (Not yours, whom I had never heard of a few weeks ago.)

    The voices I find most disturbing in all this are those who think Christ-followers had an easy choice. I find it hard to criticize anyone who prayed and thought and sought counsel. I have no time for those who think Christians had a clear choice, for people who think this was a no-brainer.

    Thanks for these thoughts. I’m not sure I agree, but it’s a clearly-presented case and worth considering.

  94. Clint says:

    The Scriptures say that there is no Greek, Jew, Scythian, or barbarian in Christ (and by extension, black or white). If our communication is continually highlighting these distinctions among brethren, are we in line with the Gospel?

  95. Dana says:

    I stand corrected. My previous post came through.

  96. Aaron Clark says:

    The point is ” who ever is without sin can cast the first stone”.

  97. Clint says:

    I didn’t vote. But, this blog and much of this comment section is a good example of why Trump was elected. When you shame and denigrate people for supporting certain ideas or persons instead of seeking to understand them, you simply push the sentiment underground–and it grows. Pretty soon, people have been so badgered for holding sensible opinions that they are willing to vote for even a deeply fallible person who stands up to the “badgerers.” The smugness of those not being able to understand why evangelicals would vote for Trump is breath-taking. But, if Trump had been a clean-cut, moral, upstanding proponent of a soul-killing anti-Gospel…we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    1. Traci says:

      You are right; the smugness is breath taking.

  98. Catherine says:

    One thing: it is inaccurate to say 8 out of 10 in your home groups etc voted for Trump because this does not take account of those who abstained from voting.

  99. Ryan says:

    I’m not seeing many defenders of a Trump vote on this thread even attempt to acknowledge the racial element of that choice, despite the fact that this is what this post is explicitly about. A pretty good indication that our heads are in the sand on that issue. And when someone wants to point it out to us, we tell him he’s not being very gracious.

  100. Traci says:

    I don’t read this blog at all really. But, I did see a guest post that encouraged pastors to encourage their congregants to vote for Hillary. I saw that as basically an endorsement from you for Hillary, although you said you voted for someone else. I do not see a post from you regarding problems associated with evangelicals voting for her. I am writing this because basically I am frustrated with some evangelicals acting as though voting for Hillary is somehow taking the moral high ground.

    Like many people, I saw this election as an election between two very flawed candidates; I didn’t see a vote for a third party as an option. I believe Hillary is far worse than Trump, so I felt if I voted for a third party, I was basically voting for Hillary. Trump is loud, obnoxious and off putting; Hillary is polished, politically correct and knows all the right words to say and the right tone in which to say them. However, I believe she is much more insidious than Trump. And, in spite of Trump’s flaws, I do agree with some of the things he says and his vision for the country.

    There are many people who believe that Obama is the most racially divisive president we’ve ever had, and he fomented racial tensions and disrespect for law and order rather than encourage coming together. Additionally, Democrats have been in charge of inner cities for years and things have not gotten any better there.

    I believe that sometimes people like Hillary and Obama really don’t WANT to make things better for certain groups of people because then they will be out of a job. They talk a good talk, but nothing seems to get better.

    While Michelle Obama bemoaned Trumps derogatory language and “locker talk” towards women, she continually invites people like Jay-Z into the White House, whose lyrics rival and often surpass anything that Trump has ever said. I believe Hillary is no different than the Obamas and in a recent rally or public appearance quoted Jay-Z as he sat beaming on the stage. I don’t see how you can condemn one’s language (Trump) as offensive while praising another who has equally or worse offensive language (Jay-Z)

    One of Hillary Clinton’s heroes is Margaret Sanger. Do you know who she is? She founded Planned Parenthood. She placed Planned Parenthood in low income neighborhoods to “weed out” “Negroes” and immigrants and “undesirable” people. Does that sound like a good hero to have? She was a racist and a eugenicist and wanted to make a more pure race. Sounds a lot like Hitler, huh? Yes, Hillary publicly stated one time that Margaret Sanger is her hero; one of her heroes is a racist.

    Additionally, Hillary supports partial birth abortion, a brutal and vicious procedure; she does not respect the life of the unborn in any stage of the process. I think, at the very least, a humane person would support some term limits.

    I sat down and wrote out my reasons for voting for Trump today. And, I believe many people in our country share my reasons – I don’t want open borders, I don’t support sanctuary cities. I believe both make our country more, not less safe. I believe that someone under FBI investigation should not be allowed to run – it was proven that she compromised national security, disregarded the law when Congress subpoenaed her emails, left four Americans to die in Benghazi and then lied about it to the whole country, including their families. She accepts donations to her so called “charity” from foreign governments who are horrible abusers of not only women’s rights but HUMAN rights in general.

    I want a president who can acknowledge reality – Islamic terrorism IS a problem in the world. Facts and statistics bear this out in spite of a president’s desire and attempt to reinvent reality.

    I believe that it is totally OK for Christians to question the out of control immigration policies of our country. Just because the Bible talks about refugees does not mean that we cease to use wisdom and sound judgment when allowing immigrants into our country, especially those who refuse to assimilate and cling to their ideology of hate and supremacism (look up what is happening to Europe and the unending flow of immigrants from Islamic countries; it is going down in flames).

    You said that you tweeted:

    “Congratulations white evangelicalism on your candidate’s win. I don’t understand you and I think you just sealed some awful fate.”

    Are you implying that if we all had voted for Hillary that you WOULD understand us and we wouldn’t have sealed some awful fate? I think our country would have NEVER recovered from the election of Hillary Clinton.

    I find your tweet very condescending, and, if that was what you are implying, then I don’t understand YOU. And thanks for trying to unload a heaping load of “stuff” on those of us who voted for Trump.

    One thing I’ve learned is to stop relying on Christian “experts” – pastors, theologians and authors for input on these kind of things. And speaking of Christian experts, I experienced spiritual abuse from Sovereign Grace Ministries back in the mid 2000’s, while The Gospel Coalition gave unwavering support to it and one of it’s founders, including CJ Mahaney. You all gave NO support to the hundreds, maybe thousands of victims from this controlling, spiritually abusive denomination and supported one of its founding members, CJ, unquestionably. So, I really don’t have much confidence in The Gospel Coalition and all of the expert advice you guys have to dispense anymore.

    1. Seanna says:

      “Are you implying that if we all had voted for Hillary that you WOULD understand us and we wouldn’t have sealed some awful fate? I think our country would have NEVER recovered from the election of Hillary Clinton.”

      Very well put -I was thinking the same thought. You raised very good points. I also don’t appreciate hearing exaggeration instead of fact. As per Sheri’s post above, Trump is labelled racist for wanting national security. This kind of manipulation of speech is part of the problem.

  101. Traci says:

    A correction to my above post – I believe that open borders and sanctuary cities make us LESS safe as Americans.

  102. Jo says:

    When many held their noses thinking Trump was better than Hillary – it is never said and should be – they did it to prevent you from starving to death, quite literally, because that’s the road they believe the Left is on. Would minority communities wish Christians to starve them while preserving their feelings? You may not believe this, and so it might not seem to be a relevant reason, but consider that many white evangelicals unhappily voted Trump, to save us all from hell on earth. I believe the Left is bent on mass destruction as well, and that this destruction is too near to allow the Democrats to win – but I didn’t vote Trump. I didn’t, because part of his personal immorality are what I believe to be all lies about what promises he made that I think are good. I don’t think he’ll slow down the fall of America. Anyhow, all people should be aware what kind of desperation and pure love drove many evangelicals. This, in addition to trying desperately to save the lives of the unborn, whose cruel deaths are already a daily reality. I mention this last not because it is second in importance but because so-called Christians on the Left have demonstrated they will not make their murder illegal, preferring theft as a partial solution if they view it as a problem at all – and so I know it will not aid any understanding to speak of it first. That theft and murder are against the commands of God, and that a test of salvation is to love and keep God’s commands (1 John) seem to indicate Christians on the Left need to be saved before they condemn the compromises of Christians on the Right. All of our compromises together are the reasons America is going down, and fast. Or, not as many as we think are written in the Book, and it’s just the sins of lost sinners coming under judgment.

  103. Karl Williams says:

    Thabhiti, I continued to be amazed at the sentiments expressed by those like yourself who cannot fathom how someone can truly love Jesus, seek to apply that to every area of their life including their civic duties, and still vote for Donald Trump, You explicitly claim that one cannot take their faith seriously and support Donald Trump. This is absurd and incredibly naive about politics and politicians. If I only voted for those candidates who share my view about morals and religion, I would have nearly no one to vote for.

    Let me be clear: you voted for a Mormon. in fact, I’m guessing your last two votes for President have gone to Mormons. Do you really believe that God is more offended by Donald Trump’s vulgarity than he is by Evan McMullen’s worship of a false god and missionary promotion of a false gospel? Seriously?

    As for the comments that Donald Trump is overtly racist; that is nonsense. I have not heard him say one racist thing. His opposition to illegals is not a racial issue, which is probably why as many latinos voted for trump as for Romney, and his opposition to Muslim immigration is not racial. His comment about the judge was not racist; it was his belief that someone of his nationality (NOT race) could not be impartial to him (which is wrong, but not racist!).

    I don’t believe for a moment that evangelicals supporting Trump cause any more challenge for the evangelistic mission of the church than evangelicals like yourself opposing him will; your position opposing him offends as many unbelieving Trump voters as my position supporting him might offend Hillary voters. It’s a wash. I don’t base my votes on what other people might think. I vote based on my conscience which tells me that a vote for anyone other than Trump was a vote to keep abortion legal for the next generation. And that’s why I find it unconscionable that any Evangelical, especially a pastor did NOT vote for Trump. You, sir, are the one I believe who has failed to vote in accordance with gospel values.

    1. Ryan says:

      Chalk up another one for “Trump never said anything racist”. This is why white evangelicals voted for him. They don’t think there’s a problem.

      1. Karl Williams says:

        It’s not that I don’t have problems with things he said. It’s just that none of them come close to allowing my conscience to vote in any way (ie by voting for a candidate who could never win, or not voting at all) for the candidate whose morality lets her defend the murder of unborn children.

        You people are so nearsighted that you must simply not understand this process. Trump is going to appoint pro life supreme court justices. If Ginsburg, Kennedy, or Breyer die or retire, we will have a pro-life majority. How can you not see that? I can only figure that you and the never trumpers simply don’t think abortion is really that big of a deal.

        1. Ryan says:

          I guess one of them had better die within 4 years, or this’ll all have been a terrible waste.

          1. karl williams says:

            Not actually — we will still preserve the scalia seat that will keep the conservative wing of the court young, with more chances to replace the older liberal court under our next president. It will only be a waste if Trump doesn’t intend to nominate someone from the list he submitted.

            But if Hillary had won, as you apparently prefer, there would be no chance for a generation to undo Roe.

      2. Karl Williams says:

        And I’m still waiting to hear what actually racist thing he has said, something that is reflective of hatred of a specific race.

  104. Jack Brooks says:

    I didn’t vote in the hope that “we” would hold the moral high ground. I pretty much gave up on that, and I couldn’t do much about it anyway. But I know I voted (partly) so that I could claim some consistency. If a non-Christian should accuse me, a Christian pastor, of being a Trump supporter, i can honestly tell them no, I did not vote for him. I like the platform, but he was unworthy of the office, so I voted for Evan McMullin. This doesn’t make me better than other believers, but it will give me something reasonable to say if or when I might be accused of selling out.

  105. Michael Keating says:

    Hello brother. Like you I wrote in McMullin but simply because I thought he was the best qualified person who wanted the job. I don’t think your logic in this article in any way represents your massive brainpower, and I did not see your tweet but was horrified by it when you cited it in the article. I think you radically oversimplified the Trump supporters and undermine the power of the gospel that can overcome any of the obstacles – real or imagined – you state here. I once heard you challenge us to believe that our gospel can save a terrorist, and if that is true it can prevail even if everything you allege here is accurate (which I don’t think it is).

  106. Stefan Stackhouse says:

    Say and believe whatever you will, the perception is now firmly established in the minds of everyone in the US and in much of the rest of the world as well that “Evangelical = Trump supporter.” It is totally predictable – and you will all see the truth of this soon enough – that Trump will be like a bull in a china shop when he assumes the presidency. There will be considerable human misery in the wake of all the breakage, much of it among the very populations that he has already treated with contempt rather than compassion. Why should we really expect him to change, and why shouldn’t they fear the worst?

    So, Evangelicals, you WILL be blamed for placing the bull in the china shop, and for all the breakage and misery that follows. You break it, you own it.

    So thus my question for, since I care far less about yesterday than I do about tomorrow: What are you going to do about all of that breakage and human misery for which YOU are responsible?

    What was it that Jesus told us? “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

    1. Jack Brooks says:

      It would have been a sin against neighbor to vote for Hillary, too.

  107. Jenn Discher says:


    Grace to you, brother! I was first introduced to you on the October episode of the Culture Matters podcast with Matt Chandler. In it, you shared your perspective on voting: a vote for a candidate does not equate to endorsement or affirmation of that candidate as person.

    In your words, “If we’re going to view votes as endorsements, then as Christians, we’re in all kinds of trouble. The only way to escape that is then to never vote. Because we do lots of things that wind up supporting other things that we would never…do….When you vote for a person, unless you’re really deluded, you should not be understanding that vote to be an endorsement of that entire person and everything they believe and everything they do. We can only do that with Jesus.”

    Given your stated preference for Clinton in that same podcast, I can imagine how this perspective on voting would have allowed you to vote for her in spite of her personal deficiencies.

    I did not vote for Clinton or Trump. But it is your perspective on voting that would have allowed me to in good conscience to vote for Trump. I would have had to, as I know many of my brothers and sisters did, focus on issues alone rather than on the character of the candidate.

    Matt Chandler is my former pastor (I no longer live in Texas). My esteem for him is high and thus I’m inclined to give respect to those whose opinions he values. Therefore I weighed your words carefully. There seemed to be wisdom in what you were saying.

    However, now, when many of your fellow Christians have taken this advice and voted for the candidate whose stand on key issues most aligned with their own, you vilify their choice. This is confusing and distressing.

    In your own words, a vote for someone is not “an endorsement of that entire person.” Surely Trump is not who many Christians would have chosen for President if they’d had other viable options. We are all painfully aware of his failings.

    But please believe the best about your white brothers and sisters. Perhaps they were just following your own advice.

    I wish you the best and pray you would promote peace amongst the brethren.

    I wish you the best and pray you would promote peace amongst the brethren.

  108. Dee says:

    Evangelicals are not defined by the way they vote despite what may have happened in this election. I remember clearly that the evangelical vote when split 50:50 in Bill Clinton’s first run for the Presidency. I remember a pastor on the radio pleading with people to vote their conscience and not their pocketbook. But it didn’t happen. The liberal press had convinced the dull of wit that we had a major recession going on, “It’s the economy, Stupid”. It was reported AFTER the election, that the recession lasted ONE quarter. But Bill was in, and the LGBTQ agenda took a large step forward, and his SCOTUS appointments meant millions more babies would die.

    That said, the real question is why did so many evangelicals held their noses and selected Trump. The answer was that the only real choice was Clinton or Trump. A write-in vote was a throwaway and actually favored Clinton. No, it was either Clinton or Trump — there was no other choice. Clinton represented a continuation of the LGBTQ agenda and abortion rights even up to 9 months. Trump at least is pro-life and will (as he promised) select conservative judges who will judge according to the Constitution rather than inventing rights that are not there. If this happens it will mean the over-turning of Roe v Wade. This is so because as Alan Dershowitz, former lawyer with ACLU and an abortion proponent has said, Roe v Wade was bad law.
    The real question, Mr. Anyabwile, is not why did so many white evangelicals support Trump, but rather why have so many black (and white) Christians supported the evil of the Democratic Party for decades — a party that is married to the LGBTQ agenda and Abortion? Yes, sir, instead of pointing your accusatory finger at white evangelicals, I suggest you take a deep look at our black brothers and sisters. The Democratic Party has done an outstanding job of filling them with fear and angst regarding those evil white Republicans, who just want to put them all back into slavery. They had no problem voting for Obama based on his race — a man it was clear would push the abortion and LGBTQ agendas further. I would say that those people have a lot of explaining to do.
    And while I’m at it, let me say that I would like to see my country return to the principle of equal opportunity, where a person gets the job/appointment based on ability, experience, and character and not based on filling some quota system. I have seen to many white males lose opportunities because a quota needed to be filled. I am one of them. My father was another, and my youngest brother yet another — all because we were too White. Hillary ran on that “Quota-Agenda”. I.e. “It’s time for a woman President”. And, thank God, she lost.

  109. Jeff says:

    The End of the World
    Skeeter Davis
    Why does the sun go on shining
    Why does the sea rush to shore
    Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
    ‘Cause you don’t love me any more
    Why do the birds go on singing
    Why do the stars glow above
    Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
    It ended when I lost your love
    I wake up in the morning and I wonder
    Why everything’s the same as it was
    I can’t understand, no, I can’t understand
    How life goes on the way it does
    Why does my heart go on beating
    Why do these eyes of mine cry
    Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
    It ended when you said goodbye
    Why does my heart go on beating
    Why do these eyes of mine cry
    Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
    It ended when you said goodbye
    Songwriters: SYLVIA DEE, ARTHUR KENT
    © EMI Music Publishing, Peermusic Publishing

    Hi Pasor Anabwhile

    I don’t know if you remember the song “End of the World” by Skeeter Davis.
    Something very very important to her went the other way, and she thought the world would end, but it didn’t. The birds were still singing, the ocean was still there, the stars were in the sky, she was still alive and she was healing.
    I think I know a little of what you are feeling. We go into an election, and it seems like the future of America is at sake, and our candidate looses. There is this shock it is deep and it is natural. I respect the tremendous wisdom and faith that is yours, because you recognized you are still dealing with this shock. Once it wears off you said you might be able to take a second look. I really don’t want to go deeply into these questions now. I think that it might be better to wait a few days and if this is still open with your kind permission I might revisit your questions. Some of the shock will have worn off my answers would be better thought out, organized, and presented. Still I hope it is ok to offer a couple of immediate observations. People react and serve differently and sometimes look at things differently and make decisions differently, and it doesn’t mean that they don’t believe in, love, or try to serve God, and we may not understand it, but we don’t condemn it and we try to understand their viewpoint. You are the one who teaching us this in your posts. You taught we should carefully look at things and try to make a sound, moral decision, and sometimes there might be different decisions and that is ok, because we all have the same roots in Jesus and in His Word and are all being transformed to be like Him and are all following the same Lord and being his light and his voice in the world.

    I noticed something very unusual about this election. More than any I can remember, there are constant calls to prayer. Prayer for the nation, prayer for revival, prayer for the candidates, prayer for the church that it can be united that it can be gracious, loving, and forgiving to the rest of the church and to the candidates themselves. Franklin Graham seems to have led this call in a letter to leaders and in an interview with Fox News where he called for people to pray to God for the country, the election, the candidates, their part in the election, and how they should vote.
    You know this probably better than anyone else, but where there is prayer, where there is unity, where there is introspection in the church, there of often revival.
    Donald Trump says he wants to rebuild much of what is America what he thinks has been decaying.
    In a parallel way do you think maybe God wants to do the same for the moral and spiritual side of America?
    Revival in America is and always has been our one true hope and our one chance of survival on a far greater level than who is elected president. And the church will be on the forefront of whatever God is doing in America. The church needs to be light. We will be in the trenches, and there will be third party, Trump, and Clinton supports with us, but we must be united and following the same general.
    Please continue to let us into your mind and heart and keep exposing you to this Godlly wisdom from the scripture and a life of service to God. Much like King David does in his pslams, you come across a man filled with strong feelings and commitments, but yet there is this overarching love for God and a firm believe that God is watching over you and taking care of whatever situation you is in. I particularly like Psalm 131. I agree with Dr. Carson that this was probably written later in his life, when facing enormous challenges and betrayals and everything he dreamed of going wrong, he found a peace in God.
    I think with this election I understand Philippians 4:6-7 a little better. You would think that it should be saying present your requests to God with thanksgiving and God will grant them. Instead it seems to be saying to present your requests to God and God will reassure you that he knows the situation, and is in total control of the situation and he is watching you and watching over you. See also Psalm 121
    Please go out and listen to the birds singing, the oceans roar, look at the heavens (Psalm 19). Somehow life goes on. Somehow America survives. We get through. The man we didn’t want to be elected wasn’t quite as bad as we thought he would be. Another election comes, this time we win, but the man wasn’t quite as good as we thought he would be. This isn’t the end of the world, it isn’t the end of America, but I think we might be seeing the beginning of something special that America needs more than human government and for that to happen we need men like you.
    With Utmost Appreciation and Respect and wishing you God’s peace, blessings, and love as you continue to reflect HIM and make HIM known and understood.

    Philippians 4:4-7Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Psalm 121 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?
    My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
    The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
    The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

    Psalm 131 My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty;
    I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.

  110. Eric Parks says:

    Perhaps Mr. Anyabwile should have “developed” his thoughts more before blasting them for the world to see (kind of like Mr. Trump does ironically). This article has quite the divisive and negative tone. For self-proclaimed evangelical himself (and a pastor at that) he failed to “preach Christ cruicified” (1 Cor 1:22-24) in this message. Not one mention of scripture, just an overflow of his heart (see Luke 6:45). He mentioned the word “gospel” 4 times (but only in 2 separate places), he mentioned “white” 5 times, and “Christ” a whopping 1 time. Speaking of “abandoning public solidarity”, I’m afraid the GC is doing just that with the continued publishing of divisive and admittdly “un-developed” rants like the one listed above. I’m afraid this article does little (if anything) to advance Christ’s gospel. It does a good job of showing the world (inside and outside the church) how a Black Pastor negatively views White parishioners whom he does not know. Last time I checked that was called racism.

  111. Jody says:

    Thank you for your courage in writing this, Thabiti. My husband and I appreciate it.

  112. Nathan says:

    Pastor Thaibiti, I went to your blog today just to see if you had responded to the elections and found I was not disappointed. As a fellow pastor, I have a couple of responses.

    1) I have a hard time asking my membership to be able to wrap their heads around this election and see it from every perspective, because there are simply too many perspectives to take into account and the situation continued to change right up until the end. You even had a change of mind relatively late in the game, and you are someone who has spent lots of time thinking through issues of race and governance. Reprimanding my flock for doing what they thought was best given the available options would neither be helpful nor fair to the ones who did prayerfully agonize over what to do.

    2) The anger and resentment that Trump tapped into in order to win the primaries has no place in Christianity and should be denounced from the pulpits of our churches. Those who fed into that anger, overlooking the sinfulness he displayed from the start, should repent. Those who defended his sin because it was was more palatable to them than Hillary’s sin should also repent. Political expediency does not trump truth (no pun intended.)

    3) I (personally) fight feeling emotionally and spiritually paralyzed when it comes to issues of race. I have a vague sense that people wiser than me think I’m doing something wrong, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what it is. Coming from an international background, I saw racism in the church and hated it. But the longer I live in America the more I am lumped in with those who are accused of being tone deaf to the problem of racism.

    4) A vote for Trump was not an endorsement of him. Yet. It will become an endorsement if and when a believer refuses to call out sin. I don’t think the election is a compromise for the reason that people had to make a decision to vote for SOMEONE. In the absence of a clear option (see point 1), many people chose the lesser of 2 evils when comparing policies.

    Grace and peace,


  113. J says:

    Pastor Anyabwile,

    I read your article yesterday and it has been on my mind ever since. Thank you for allowing me to humbly and sincerely share my thoughts.

    I have been a TGC reader for several years now and have been encouraged by many of the articles that appear here. I am a white “evangelical” (by “evangelical” I mean that I am a follower of Jesus, saved by grace alone and I affirm the whole Bible as the inspired word of God). Many of the articles regarding race on TGC and other forums have helped me to look inside myself and see how my actions and attitudes affect those with a different skin color in ways I had not realized before. The issue of racial unity and healing in the body of Christ has been heavy on my mind and heart as my husband and I are beginning the adoption process, and because we believe that God created all people in his image, we have no preference on the ethnicity of the baby we hope to adopt. (I only offer this information as a background to my thoughts below.)

    I am one of the “white evangelicals” who voted for Trump (although he was not my choice in the primary election and I had hoped he would not win the nomination). For me, the dilemma leading up to the election was whether to write in/vote 3rd party or vote for Trump, as I cannot with a clear conscience cast a vote for Hillary and her promise to fill the supreme court with activists whose goals are to further the LGBT agenda and the killing of the unborn, among other things. After sincere thought and research, I decided that I would vote based on stated platform/policies and the supreme court. I completely understand and respect those who felt convicted to vote 3rd party (and I considered this option), but I ultimately felt that no 3rd party candidate had a viable chance of winning, and that to vote for a 3rd party would make a Hillary presidency more likely. I know many other white evangelicals who sincerely felt the same way.

    My attention was directed to your article by a friend on social media; a friend who is African American and who glowingly endorsed this article. So, I clicked the link and read the article. As I read, I felt saddened and hurt. Your statements condemning and shaming white evangelicals for voting for Trump deeply saddens me. Maybe you are right that white evangelicals who voted for Trump (myself, my husband, and many who I believe to be sincere believers included) put politics and party before gospel and character. As an aside, I hope that you feel the same way about those who voted for Hillary and Barack Obama in the past. It seems that in 2008 you would have tweeted something like “Congratulations, Black Christians on your candidate’s win. I don’t understand you and I think you just sealed some awful fate.” Sadly, that tweet and this article exemplify what I feel from the black christian community around me. Yesterday, my Facebook news feed was full of angry and condemning posts written African Americans and directed at white Christians. Another person here mentioned that some white evangelicals feel bullied and that comment resonated with me…

    I grew up in and for the most part still live in a “conservative white evangelical middle class” environment. Through the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the honestly of black brothers and sisters, I do see some disguised racial sins there and I see the need for diversity in my friendships (and the possibility of having a child of another race has certainly shed light on this as well). Additionally, I see and I am aware of the need to guard against the blending of Republicanism/Conservatism and Christianity. I have wondered if my parents (who love the Lord deeply) need to be reminded that Jesus is not a republican. However, I do not feel that your words have helped to bring conviction and healing here; instead, I feel like they deepen the rift. The judgment, condemnation, and anger I have felt from the black community surrounding this election has left me hurt. And the fact that the response from black Christians has been largely the same, has made me question if there can really be racial unity in the body of Christ. I may be completely out of line to say this, but it seems like so many black Christians completely justify voting for Obama or Hillary, but vilify those of us who supported Trump in this election. I want to be sensitive and loving toward my black brothers and sisters, but sometimes it feels like everything is turned into a race issue and I am looked down upon by them. As I read your tweet and this article, I cried as I wondered if I have been naive to think that it would be healthy for an African American child to be raised by white evangelical parents; if we should re-think our approach to this adoption.

    Thank you for listening to my heart. I hope that nothing I have written here is interpreted as rude or disrespectful; that was not my intent. I am not a theologian and I may not have even presented my thoughts in a clear manner. I hope and pray that to the extent anything I have said is not helpful for the furtherance of the Kingdom, it would be ignored. Also, It is very possible that my reaction stems from my own sin, and if so, I pray that the Holy Spirit reveals that to me. I am looking forward to the new heaven and earth when all of this racial hurt will be healed.

    Your sister in Christ,


    1. Lorriane says:

      This was very well written. This article only pushes racial divide and is unfair since he does not address the VAST majority of black Christians who voted for Hillary. Thabiti, I hope that you take some time to look at how others are seeing you – as someone who pushes racial tension within the church and how this article is a stumbling block to SO many.

  114. HR says:


    Thank you for your courage. I appreciate your contribution to the body – please do not stop writing, and using your prophetic voice to exhort the Church. Take heart, brother. There are many of us who stand with you, and who want to listen and learn with a discerning eye and ear.

    I obviously cannot speak for Thabiti, but I agree wholeheartedly with his assessment of the state of modern American evangelicalism. We have lost our moral authority in the culture by supporting Trump so loudly. I want to be gracious here, and I understand that many evangelicals did indeed vote for Trump while holding their nose. However, many others loudly were NOT holding their nose. If voting for a pro-choice candidate is out of the question (and for me, it is), how is it NOT out of the question to vote for an open racist and misogynist who was endorsed by David Duke? I know it is difficult to convey tone in a forum such as this, but I am asking with sincerity, having voted third-party myself. I have yet to hear a convincing answer to this question (even after reading all of the comments on this thread ;). And to (hopefully) prevent unnecessary offense, I don’t think that every Trump supporter is a racist and misogynist, although some certainly are.

    As a political scientist as well as a follower of Christ, Trump concerned me for a number of reasons that I won’t go into here – others have already said it better than I would, and time will tell whether these concerns are warrented. I will say that now more than ever, moral leadership and courage is needed from Christ-followers to a lost and broken world. I work at a large, public research university in a blue county, and even here, there have been multiple reports of Muslim students (especially women) being harassed and threatened on campus since Tuesday. Although this is being kept fairly under the radar, faculty and staff are now escorting students to class and to their home. It sickens me that this is even necessary. Have mercy, Lord Jesus.

  115. Traci says:

    One of the comments on this post said that Trump supporters do not know the Gospel. I think that comment betrays an attitude of arrogance and judgment. It seems to me that some of the more vitriolic opponents of Trump supporters would have given us much more grace had we voted for a lying career criminal who can only get security clearance from the FBI because her last name is Clinton. It seems that she is given a pass on every repugnant thing she has ever done and continues to do because says all the right things, although her actions often reveal otherwise (case in point – says she is a champion of women’s rights but accepts millions of dollars from countries that HORRIBLY abuse women AND humans in general) To treat all Trump supporters as if we had malicious intent is just wrong. Most of us do not believe that a third party vote did any good. We had a hard choice to make, and to act as if a vote for Hillary somehow is “morally superior” is …I don’t know, I don’t even think I have the words. I am done with this blog.

  116. JDUB says:

    I think Thabiti Anyabwile could have made his 4 points to his blog without the title “white evangelical”. That was kind of irritating and I think very irresponsible for a pastor/shepherd who is supposed to emulate Christ to the church.
    If Thabiti can answer me this, I think it would add validity to his message. Did Pastor Thabiti vote for Obama? I think the answer to that question will tell us where you’re coming from.

  117. Dave Roberts says:

    I believe that the points made in the blog are insightful and instructive. Those of us who are white evangelicals often seem oblivious to the feelings and experiences of our Black brothers and sisters in Christ and so we cannot process the different point of view. Thabiti’s blog not only helps expose our blind spots, and in this election cycle they were massive, but we can actually sense the pain felt by our brothers damaged by our indifference to their concerns. Knowing Mr. Trumps racism, and surely no one wants to question that premise, those of us who voted for the republican ticket had to do so because we didn’t care about the racism, or we didn’t care enough to choose a different vote. Either way, this is surely unacceptable.

  118. Robert Kilpatrick says:

    Thabiti, Id often wondered how Hitler captured the church. Reading this blog I finally get it. Wow. Interesting. Yours from another part of this world and what seems like a different planet

    1. Seanna says:

      Can you please explain this post? I don’t understand you bringing Hitler into the equation. Are you comparing him with Trump?

  119. Rick Patrick says:

    This election was not a WHITE-LASH. It was an ISSUE-LASH: Supreme Court Nominees. National Defense. Right to Bear Arms. Repealing Socialized Health Care. Religious Liberty. Immigration Reform. Repealing Common Core. Pro-Life Issues. Veterans Benefits. War on Islamic Terrorism. And on and on it goes.

    These issues affect people of both genders and every shade of brown. (I’m a light beige myself.) This was not about being white or male. It was about the future of our country.

  120. Diane Morgan says:

    Where scripture doesn’t bind us we are free. Claiming that evangelicals have the moral high ground in anything seems to go against the gospel. And to shame a Christian for voting for Trump seems quite judgmental. Please may Christians on the left and the right stop claiming to know who is the morally superior candidate and who is the morally superior voter. I have friends who voted for Hillary, Trump, Evan and Gary. I love and respect each of them and see themicing out their faith in myriad ways every day. And I hope that if any of them hear me claiming the moral high ground in an election or

  121. Teresa says:

    I give up. It seems that there is no way I can be a christian according to this thread. I cannot possibly love my neighbor or possibly be a true christian if I voted for Trump or if I voted for anyone. To vote is suddenly unchristian.
    I have tried hard to understand the viewpoint of others especially minority “brothers and sisters” but I cannot get it right. Apparently, I’m told, i cannot possibly understand their viewpoint. because I am white. I am supposed to be ashamed of being white and having conservative views and am to somehow pay for my ancestors sins for having slaves (although no one has been able to tell me how to do that).
    I just give up. I feel beat up when I read this thread and even though I have prayed for God to change my heart and the way I think and to help me understand, I can tell I am beginning to lose faith in any form of reconciliation in the church and especially in the culture or my ability to contribute anything helpful.
    The Progressives hate white people, blacks/African-Americans/people of color hate whites and whites hate themselves. I am 56 years old and I only recall this much hate and division in the 1960’s.
    I’m tired of of all this hate and name calling. Just call me “deplorable” and pray God can help me.

  122. Jeanine says:

    I felt like this article did not dig deep into why 80% of Evangelicals voted for Trump. It was implied that they left behind biblical principles and put politics first. Actually, that wasn’t implied, but stated. I believe nothing could be further from the truth. The fact that so many voted for Trump was not strictly based on politics, but on deep concern for the moral compass of the country, including abortion, religious freedom (which was threatened), same sex marriage, and the issue of Muslim immigrants/sharia law, all of which are biblical issues. To not vote for Trump would be allowing those in positions of power to push their liberal agendas. There are many other issues that could be mentioned as well, but those are the top four in my mind. Trump was not the ideal candidate, and it does say something that he was elected in the primaries — I agree with you on that. But once he was the only viable candidate (voting for a 3rd party is a throw-away vote), there were only two options: vote for the conservative platform or vote for the liberal agenda. It seems that 80% of Evangelicals took the more biblical route in my mind. If the majority had not voted for Trump, instead voting for a third party or not voting at all, the future of our country would be in shambles with Hillary’s agenda. The fact that so many voted for Trump in comparison to Bush means that it took a villainous candidate like Hillary to make people rally.

    1. Dave says:

      It seems to me that a genuine concern for the moral compass of the country might cause one not to vote for Mr. Trump.

  123. Danny Wright says:

    I appreciated your perspective, and reading it brought a couple questions to my mind:

    1) How do they know how “evangelicals” voted? I don’t remember anything in registering or voting that would have indicated this. Are they using “polling data” like what they used before the election? If so, should we really believe their stats.
    2) However they’ve gotten it, do they have a break down of how all evangelicals (of all ethnicities) voted? Do they have similar breakdowns for minority cultures?
    3) I really hoped to see more 3rd party action. Love to see a breakdown there too. Were certain demographics more prone to reaching out (or even writing in) beyond the major parties?

  124. patrick says:

    Whew, lotsa comments on this one. I don’t know if you’ll read this Pastor Thabiti, but I did want to share some things. First, while I don’t agree with everything you wrote, you do have my respect and gratitude for being a faithful servant of the Lord. I’m also saddened, not by the logical points made in the comments on this post, but the disrespectful remarks and what appears to me to be ungodly anger on display. That part is sad because it doesn’t have any part with God or His heart behind persuasion and arguing with whom we disagree.

    From your impassioned and concerned, “blunt” article, what I gather you’d like to convince white believers of is that there’s a lot more damage and pain their Trump votes have caused than they are willing to consider. To my ears your post sounds like a bewildered victim of a gang jumping who dragged himself inside his friends’ house, only to find they were all partying and making merry because the gang that jumped you just gave them a free TV and beer. It appears to me that to you, nothing really explains away being once again a class of people held in derision like the fearful days of segregation our nation once practiced, and you can’t understand why white believers seem to care so little for this renewal of base and shocking abuse of what couldn’t be a more raw nerve in other ethnic communities. I think this is a fair summary of your heart, and if so, hopefully my response adequately addresses these concerns.

    Based on the circles I frequent in, many of my white friends did vote for Trump (I did not) knowing full well he holds grossly inappropriate views towards a variety of people groups. The simplest reason why is that they are afraid. Being a white believer myself, my greatest fear is that the freedom of worship in this country will be taken away, and that Christians will become a persecuted people here as they are in other parts of the world. That fear may seem pathetic in light of an opportunity to defend the dignity of people groups, yet that fear has an incredible hold on whites. Many of us grew up in strong nuclear families in the suburbs and are accustomed to being able to praise the Lord publicly with impunity and be who we are without threat of job loss and ostracization. Rightly or wrongly, white believers view the greatest threat to the freedom they hold so dear as the far left elected officials like Presidents Obama or Clinton. A transition from holding this precious freedom to our own faith being labelled as hate speech gives the majority of us a willingness to seek desperate measures. Our desperate measure this election cycle was Donald Trump. I do not think you will find many white evangelicals who actually support some of his more inflammatory rhetoric. Most of us I think are just too terrified about the direction we think the nation is headed in and what that means for us and our families.

  125. Dietrich Wichmann says:

    Dear Pastor Anyabwile,

    I am not an American, but I think I understand why evangelicals voted for Trump. I also think I understand why African Americans, Hispanics and millions of women voted for Trump.

    I have been sceptical about the mainstream media’s portrayal of this candidate. My gut feeling, from the outset, has been that CNN, in particular, has been distributing “talking points” to the public. After rigorously comparing CNN’s coverage of Mr Trump with “raw footage” of his speeches, I observed a pattern of deceit and distortion on the part of CNN. CNN’s coverage of Mr Trump was not accurate. (I cannot speak for the other networks.)

    Why did evangelicals vote for Mr. Trump? As a total outsider to this election, I think I can see at least six reasons:

    1. The next president will have the unusual power of appointing up to five members to the supreme court.
    2. Mr Trump did not receive any money from special interests. (This frees him up to serve the American people as opposed to serving the big banks and multinational corporations).
    3. Mr Trump has every intention to appoint conservative members to the supreme court. (The list of his potential picks has been open for public perusal for several months now.)
    4. Most evangelicals believe that Mr Trump is sincere about his change of mind over abortion and that he has every intention to reverse the current federal legislation. (With a conservative majority on the supreme court, America will at last have a president who has the power to do this!)
    5. Mr Trump wants to protect American lives and American jobs. By enforcing existing legislation on immigration, he protects American lives. By renegotiating trade deals, he protects American jobs. (America cannot continue with annual trade deficits of 500 billion with China.)
    6. Mr Trump wants to repeal the Johnson amendment of 1954. If he does this, Christian pastors will be able to publicly oppose politicians and presidents without fear of loosing their tax-exempt status.

    I give you a person reason why I, as an evangelical might have voted for him rather than Clinton. Trump mentioned a plan to end the persecution of Christians in North Korea.

    I do not believe that evangelicals voted for Trump because they saw a racist in him. I think they voted for him, because they saw in him a capable and compassionate man. Time will only tell if their judgement on his character was accurate.

    If I am correct in this assessment, then the massive evangelical support for Trump simply means that evangelicals care. They care about protecting the weak. They care about protecting their families. They care about protecting their country. This how I – a total outsider – would interpret the evangelical vote.

    With kindest greetings,
    D. Wichmann

    1. E.Underhill says:

      It was very hard to read past the first bullet in this article:

      “First, the movement has surrendered any claims to the moral high ground in electoral politics.” WHAT??? There was no moral high ground in this election. Everybody knew that.
      You can try to claim that the moral high ground was not voting or throwing your vote away on a third party candidate. But in my book, both of those choices are not real options as they are a shirking of one’s civic responsibility. They are the equivalent of the priest and the Levite on the Jericho road walking around the robbed and wounded man. You have kept yourself clean but to what end?

      Would like to respond more fully, but I have to actually get stuff done;

      When you accept that

  126. ndiva says:

    I see today that the Klu Klux Klan is planning a victory parade for Trump winning the presidency. Yet, many of you are blind to why so many minorities are fearful of Trump? The KKK sees Trump as a kindred spirit along with white evangelicals, now. Yes, you’ve lost the moral high ground and any effective witness.

    1. Dietrich Wichmann says:

      In my assesment, minorities will be protected under a Trump administration. The KKK has no reason to celebrate.

    2. Dietrich Wichmann says:

      The KKK should be terrified of Trump. They clearly do not know what he stands for.

  127. Rather Not Leave Name says:

    I am so tired of being called a racist, sexist and all the rest just because I voted for Trump. I have lots of friends of all races. I you think I’m lying I am fifty two years old and have a lifetime of meaningful relationships with people from all walks of life. I have worked with disadvantaged kids most of my life (many of other races). I have a son on a mixed race sports team. Back in the day i dated people of different races. Our country is in serious trouble. My family’s health care costs are going to be on a good year $25,000 and on a bad year $30,000. I don’t want to even think of a catastrophic year. This is with a $6,500 per person $13,000 per family deductible. We have two kids. This president has racked up more debt than all presidents before him combined. I am writing this at midnight the day after the election because I watch the news and see what is going on. I am not a blogger! This nation’s Christians need to realize that our religious liberties were almost down the toilet. One platform was way more in line with Christian values than the other. We aren’t haters if we chose biblical values as our own life standards. I have a transgender first cousin. Do i have to want that for my own life to love her? No. I can chose my own life. She knows that i have my values and i don’t need to believe what she believes in order for me to love her. In case you are wondering she used to be a he. I AM NOT A HATER! Our country has to quit believing that we need to agree on everything. WE can’t do that. it’s not realistic. We need to respect! Yes! But we don’t need to agree on everything. If you are a Christian reading this we can’t buy into the idea that there is sliding scale of biblical truth. This liberal narrative was ruining our country. I have watched both CNN and FOX with every major event the last two years. It has been amazing to watch the spin on CNN. I wasn’t even a FOX watcher before the primary elections. I used to be an independent voter. Now i am more of a republican (as a Christian). You get the idea – I’m objective. Anyway…before you are critical of the Trump voter, you should know the Trump voter. We don’t really like him but we are hopeful that he will bring change and we really didn’t like Hillary.

  128. Dietrich Wichmann says:

    I hope that Christian leaders will learn two things from this election. 1. Do not take main stream media reports at face value; 2. Do not perpetuate mainstream media talking points, rather expose the lies for what they are. – this will be a great testimony to the world.

  129. Dietrich Wichmann says:

    Dear Pastor Anyabwile, In my assessment, Trump will protect minorities. In fact, I suspect he will do more than any other president before him for the safety, security and prosperity of minorities.

  130. Yanica says:

    Pastor Anyabwile, the leading cause of death in African Americans is abortion. For every 3 African Americans born, 2 are killed. That’s about the most racist thing I can imagine. I thank God for giving us as a nation a chance to defund Planned Parenthood and save lives of every color. God bless you.

  131. Aaron says:

    I have great respect and love for Thabiti. He has been very helpful revealing my blind spots on racial issues. Unfortunately I feel this article reveals some of his own blind spots. His points in the article may have validity but in light of what he has previously written about the election… his thoughts post election seem shallow to me. Always have much love for you Thabiti…may we always strive to eliminate our blind spots and seek with grace the reconciliation we desperately need.

  132. Doug says:

    Thank you for your post on this Pastor Anyabwile. I have been saddened by the response from Trump supporters toward those that struggle with him. I thought both candidates were morally unfit for the office and voted for a third party. Just because people are saddened to have a man like him in office doesn’t mean we are sad Hillary didn’t win. God’s judgement was coming with either candidate. Maybe instead of attacking a fellow brother who is trying to make sense of this we can repent of our sins. Maybe we can reach out to those who feel alienated and unprotected.

  133. Robert Hausmann says:

    Thabiti – I apologize if this thought has already been posted. I confess I did not read all 243 current posts (but many of them I did).

    I thought you taught us well at a past T4G conference that we should not think in the categories of race, but rather think in terms of culture and ethnicity. You said, at the time, that thinking in terms of race can be harmful for it leads to abuse of people and abuse of the scripture. Is that a fair assessment of some of your main points?

    Yet, here you are fully invested in thinking in terms of race with the term “white evangelicals” and all your associated arguments. Just wondering if you view this as consistent with your T4G talk? Wondering if you have similar criticisms for “black evangelicals” who voted for our president-elect? Wondering if you are perpetuating what you argued against in the past?

    Thanks for your consideration.

  134. Janice says:

    Pastor Anyabwile. THANK YOU. I am ANGRY at the Christian response to this election. I think your post is spot on. I want to hear more from you. I will pray for you. Every one who has posted negatively – just be quiet and LISTEN. LISTEN. Stop trying to justify not listening based on reactivity. LISTEN. It is the ONUS of the ‘religious right’ to recognize their role in this. If the church is vilified further, it is because of the willingness to sell itself for political gain. It is because of the inability to LISTEN. To empathize.
    The right does NOT represent me. It has coopted the Gospel for political gain.
    But regardless of where anyone stands right now, if you are in a place of power, at all, you need to start with listening. You need to find a way to make this right.
    It is not the job of those who feel alienated or oppressed to reach out. It is the responsibility of the oppressors.

    Thank you. I hope that your voice is amplified.
    Your sister in Christ,

  135. Rachel Davies says:

    Excellent post. I’m white and I’m evangelical… but I think I’ll struggle to use the latter term after this. How can I associate myself with a choice that seems to turn its back on Jesus and his values? 81%… it’s such a terrible witness to people who aren’t Christians. It’s devastating.

  136. Steven Kopp says:

    Good word. I hope we evangelicals will have ears to hear and not retreat to a defensive position.

  137. Crystal says:

    I am a black, female, disciple and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. I suppose by definition I would be considered evangelical. I personally have never felt any allegiance to that label, but nor was I against being labelled that. Moving forward will actively disassociate and distance myself with whatever being evangelical is. I’ll describe myself as a disciple and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and people can take it how they want.

    For the record, I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton. I’m a registered independent. My first instinct was to vote for HRC because she’s a known quantity and would maintain a status quo that racially I’m comfortable with. But as 2016 moved forward, I prayed over this throughout the year and wrestled more and more with voting for her. I was uneasy and disquieted and knew that she wasn’t an option either. So you know what I did? I didn’t vote for her! I didn’t vote for president because NEITHER of these people were options. The only other third party candidates I knew about were Gary Johnson and Jill Stein and I just didn’t know enough about where they stood to vote for them either.

    I’m hurt and I’m struggling with this. I interpret the 80% white evangelical support Trump received as 80% of my white brothers and sisters in Christ place their status quo and political expediency. I’ve been praying the last couple of days that the Lord will root out the seeds of bitterness and resentment I’m beginning to feel towards white Christians. I know that my and our primary identity is in Jesus. I accept that being a black person and a black woman is the body God chose to put me in before the foundations of this universe were laid. I accept that being a black person in America is my cross to bear (if you want to believe it or not it is) and Jesus said that if I chose to follow him, I’m to pick up my cross and follow Him. He also has explained and told me how to bear my cross, knowing that my hope is not placed in kings (Presidents, Supreme Court Judges, politically conservative OR liberal platforms and agendas) or chariots (the American military, police, the respect America receives globally), but my eternal hope, joy, and salvation is in Him.

    The body I belong to that matters is the Bride of Christ, His Holy Church. But with 80% of my white brothers and sisters voting for Trump, they’ve said this to me: “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” and “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body.” Because someone has promised to put a conservative Supreme Court judge and currently pro-life he gets a pass on all the other morally repugnant verified statements, actions, beliefs, and behaviors he’s exhibited over his 30+ years in the public eye? Donald Trump has a lying spirit on him and will say whatever is expedient for him.

    White evangelicals told me they put their trust in kings and chariots. “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” I believe a clear, godly candidate would not have divided the House of the Lord like this. The church in America is divided against itself. White evangelicals, if your non-white brothers and sisters in CHRIST said something is horribly wrong with Donald Trump, why have you ignored them? Do they not have the Spirit to discern? Because your population and political clout is greater, you ignored the weaker members of the body. Just as the rich and noble in the Corinthian church did, you told your less numerous brothers and sisters to sit at your footstool.

    I believe God ordained for Donald Trump to be President, because he wouldn’t be if he weren’t. For what ends and purposes, that’s in God’s glorious and mysterious will. Maybe he did it as a test, and only He knows who passed. I’ll continue to pray, because I’m angry and disappointed in the white evangelical vote. I’ll continue to pray because for what it’s worth, he’s the president now and all leaders need our prayer. I would’ve prayed for HRC the same way as I hope you all of us would because she wasn’t suitable either. The only way the world and unbelievers know we’re different is that if we love one another. I’m not feeling love and I’m trying to love, but it’s hard right now.

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Thabiti Anyabwile

Thabiti Anyabwile is a pastor for Anacostia River Church in southeast Washington, DC and a council member of The Gospel Coalition.

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