Foxnews.com reports that
Trump has agreed to meet privately with some of the nation’s most prominent Evangelical leaders – a meeting seen as critical to garnering support from social conservatives, Fox News has learned.
“Our goal is to be able to have a conversation that could lead to a better understanding of what Donald Trump has to offer to the country,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.
Perkins is one of the key conservative leaders spearheading the gathering – set for June 21 in New York City. Perkins, along with Bill Dallas of United in Purpose, worked with Dr. Ben Carson to arrange the meeting.
As many as 500 conservative leaders from around the nation are expected to attend the invitation-only event.
The meeting was convened by a who’s who among Evangelicals – including Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd, James Dobson, Ralph Reed, Penny Nance, Bob McEwen, Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association, Kelly Shackleford of First Liberty, and mega-church pastors Jack Graham and Ed Young.
“I want to be actively supportive of a candidate who can help turn this nation around,” Perkins told me. “With Trump – I’m not there yet. I hope to be there – but I’m not there right now.”
Perkins said Trump will not be delivering a speech. He will be there to answer questions. There will be no straw poll. There will be no endorsement from the conservative leaders.
“There is no preconceived outcome here,” he told me. “I’m hoping we can have a conversation that could lead to helping conservative leaders make a decision about what to do in this election.”
The meeting comes as a small, but vocal number of Christian leaders is urging people of faith to stay at home on Election Day.
And that’s why Tony Perkins is worried.
“Our goal is to be able to have a conversation that could lead to a better understanding of what Trump has to offer to the country,” he said. “If we don’t try, the outcome is not going to be good.”
Specifically, the leaders want to hear detailed plans on potential Supreme Court nominees and the vetting process. They also want to hear about Trump’s policies regarding religious liberty, pro-life issues and possible vice presidential candidates.
“A vice presidential pick is going to be very crucial,” Perkins said. “Mr. Trump doesn’t have a track record – so I am going to rely very heavily on who he is going to pick as a running mate.”
Floyd, the president of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, said he just wants to do the right thing.
“The vast majority of Southern Baptists are very much where I am today – we’re trying to figure this out,” he told me. “We’re trying to navigate through these waters that are very uncertain and very difficult.”
Floyd had strong words for Christian leaders who are suggesting voters should simply stay home.
“We cannot change what exists or even alter it or adjust it sitting on the sidelines and prognosticating about the situation,” he said. “We have a biblical responsibility, but we also have a responsibility as citizens of the United States to express the privileges afforded to us – that men and women have died on the battlefield to give us – and I’m not walking away from that.”
Floyd said the conversation with Trump is a way for Christians to share their hearts with him.
“None of us have endorsed Mr. Trump, nor have we condemned Mr. Trump,” he said. “This is about the possibility of being able to appoint the next four Supreme Court justices. This is about the dignity of human life from the womb to the tomb. This is about religious freedom. I’m not about to sit at home and not express something. I’m accountable to God and I believe I’m accountable to my fellow Americans.”
But at the same time, he acknowledged that many people of faith are struggling to come to terms with some of Mr. Trump’s past statements – statements that are contrary to biblical teachings.
“Could you vote for him? That’s the question at hand,” Floyd said.
Why, yes, Rev. Floyd, This Southern Baptist most certainly could. And, will.
During this Republican Primary Season, I have been called everything but “a Child of God”, simply because I have written factual posts about Donald J. Trump and have stated that, if and when he becomes the Republican Party’s Nominee, I will pencil in the bubble beside his name, as my choice to fill the Office of President of the United States of America.
According to some people, you are not truly a Christian, if you are willing to make that choice.
However, I beg to differ, and I stand with the Reverend Franklin Graham on this issue.
In a recent Facebook Post, Rev. Graham wrote:
Trump Madness—It’s “trumping” everything in the news, even March Madness. Do you believe protesters blocking the road to his rally to stop people from getting there today? There are those who passionately support him and others who are adamantly against him. He’s a political phenomenon like our country hasn’t seen before. I don’t think America has ever had a presidential candidate opposed by both establishments, Republican and Democratic, as well as the sitting president. I just hope that as a result of this unforgettable campaign season, politicians on all sides will get the message loud and clear that Americans are tired of the status quo and the corruption that has gripped Washington. Join me in praying for the 2016 elections and for the future of this nation.
That being said, Rev. Graham, in a previous interview, done with CBN, stated that “a left movement within the evangelical community that are telling people, ‘If so-and-so wins or this person wins don’t vote.’ ” Rev. Graham went on to add, “I’m just saying, I don’t care who wins and who’s out there, you have to vote.”
I do not believe that Jesus would be a part of the Social Justice Movement, which is so popular among Liberal Churches, today. His was and is a soul-saving movement. One that still brings hundreds of thousand of people to individual salvation on this terrestrial ball every day. A movement that, in fact, was embraced by the founders of this cherished land.
Now is not the time to be pressing Christian Americans to make a “collective” choice, to move as “a Body”, if you will.
That being said, allow me to also state that I believe that American Evangelicals must excise their Spiritual Gift of Discernment in choosing between Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton for the job of President.
When Mitt Romney was the Republican Candidate for President in 2012, a lot of Americans stayed home, rather than vote for Romney.
That may have helped those individuals feel better about themselves, but it also helped to bring them and their fellow citizens four more years of economic suffering under the Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama (mm mmm mmmm).
Just as a Christian’s Salvation is not manifested as a Collective Experience, but a Personal one, so is a Christian American’s Voting Rights a Personal Experience.
I had somebody tell me recently, that they would “pray for me” to make the “right” choice, in the upcoming Presidential Election.
While the prayers of others are always appreciated, that hit me as if it was “The Church Lady” saying,
Well, bless your heart.
That’s an old Southern insult, in case you didn’t know.
As Christians we are instructed to individually listen to that “Still Small Voice” inside us.
While Christians, in church and outside of it, represent the corporate Body of Christ, according to scripture, we each possess the gifts of Free Will and Discernment.
These gifts are used by each of us on a daily basis, including aiding in our decision to support a Presidential Candidate in the Election of 2016.
Unlike Liberals and Marxists (but, I may be repeating myself), we do not vote as a collective, nor should we.
There are no Saints running as candidates, on either side, during this Primary Season. Just men and a woman…a very mean woman.
But, I digress…
Each of us must decide for ourselves, whom we will vote for.
Since the “Shot Heard ‘Round The World” was fired on April 18, 1775, this country has been built by Christian Americans making individual choices.
Your Individual Salvation is not determined by your vote…but, by God’s Grace.
However, the much-needed Reclamation of America must certainly will be.
And, that is why this Christian American Conservative is voting for Donald J. Trump.
“A Charge to Keep I Have.”
Until He Comes,