Dear Dr. Grudem,
I have read your very thorough defense of and exhortation to vote for Donald Trump. Can you please now reconcile that column with the quotes below?
“People are so shocked when they find … out I am Protestant. I am Presbyterian. And I go to church and I love God and I love my church,” [Trump] said.
“I am a Christian … I’m a total believer,” [Trump] said.
Donald Trump said Saturday that “I am not sure that I have” ever asked God for forgiveness, telling the 2015 Iowa Family Leadership Summit that “I just go on and try to do a better job from there.
“I don’t think so,” Trump, who is Presbyterian, said in response to the question from pollster and summit host Frank Luntz. Trump was among 10 Republican presidential candidates at the daylong event in Ames, Iowa.
“If I do something wrong, I think I just try to make it right,” Trump said. “I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.
“When we go into church — and when I drink my little wine, which is about the only wine I drink, and have my little cracker — I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness. I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed, OK?
“I like to do the right thing where I don’t actually have to ask for forgiveness. Does that make sense to you? You know, where you don’t make such bad things that you don’t have to ask for forgiveness. I mean, I’m trying to lead a life where I don’t have to ask God for forgiveness….Why do I have to repent? Why do I have to ask for forgiveness if you’re not making mistakes?”
Donald Trump to Anderson Cooper. (Source)
“If I told the real stories of my experiences with women, often seemingly very happily married and important women, this book would be a guaranteed best-seller (which it will be anyway!). I’d love to tell all, using names and places, but I just don’t think it’s right.” (Trump: The Art of the Comeback)
“I’ve never had any trouble in bed, but if I’d had affairs with half the starlets and female athletes the newspapers linked me with, I’d have no time to breathe.” (Trump: Surviving at the Top)
[A]ll sins that were explicitly disciplined in the New Testament were publicly known or outwardly evident sins, and many of them had continued over a period of time. The fact that the sins were publicly known meant that reproach was being brought on the church, Christ was being dishonored, and there was a real possibility that others would be encouraged to follow the wrongful patterns of life that were being publicly tolerated.
Grudem, Wayne (2009-05-18). Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (pp. 896-897). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
He is egotistical, bombastic, and brash. He often lacks nuance in his statements. Sometimes he blurts out mistaken ideas (such as bombing the families of terrorists) that he later must abandon. He insults people. He can be vindictive when people attack him. He has been slow to disown and rebuke the wrongful words and actions of some angry fringe supporters. He has been married three times and claims to have been unfaithful in his marriages.
[N]ow I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
1 Cor. 5:11-13
Please Dr. Grudem, I’m at a loss. Will you please reconcile these things for me, particularly Trump’s declarations that he is a Christian and has never asked for forgiveness with 1 Corinthians 5:12 and your statement about the undisciplined Christian possibly encouraging others “to follow the wrongful patterns of life.”
Your brother in Christ,