In the wake of sagging poll numbers in Iowa, Donald Trump assures Iowa voters that he is a “great Christian.”
At a rally in Sioux City, he declared:
Will you get these numbers up? I promise you I will do such a good job. First of all, I am a great Christian. And I do well with the evangelicals, but the evangelicals let me down a little bit this month. I don’t know what I did.
NPR reports that Trump’s campaign has been handing out pictures of his 1959 confirmation ceremony in an attempt to establish his Christian bona fides.
I doubt that anyone is buying this. I’m not questioning the fact that he is Presbyterian or that he goes to Christian churches when he goes to church (which is very rare by his own admission). I am questioning the suggestion that what he means by Christian is what evangelicals mean by Christian.
Evangelicals define a Christian as one who has been born again, who trusts in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and who seeks to follow Christ through the power of the Spirit. I don’t think Trump is claiming to be a Christian in the evangelical sense, and I’m not even sure he would know the difference anyway.
What is clear is that he wants the votes of evangelicals in Iowa, and he thinks that this is the way to do it: “See, I’m just like you!” And that’s the part that evangelicals should be skeptical about. They should also be skeptical about the suggestion that a candidate has to be an evangelical in order to be qualified for President.
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