Should Christians Support Donald Trump? “€“ With Steve Strang: Jesus reprimanded those who didn”€™t understand the times they were living in. Will we, as the Church, work toward the restoration of the Christian culture or accept her deconstruction? Tune in today to hear Steve Strang discuss what is at stake in these 2020 elections and why Trump must win!

Air Date: 02/19/2020

Guest: Steve Strang

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith and the Culture

This is the intersection of faith in the culture, it’s WallBuilders live. We appreciate you joining us today as we take on the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. We’re always looking at how those things affect our culture, how they affect our backyards, our homes, our families, all of those things and what we can do about it. You know, that’s the important thing. Is what our duty as citizens? What are we supposed to be doing to be salt and light? What are we supposed to be engaging in to apply a biblical worldview, not just have a biblical worldview, but actually apply it to all those different areas of our life? That’s what we talked about here at WallBuilders live with David Barton. He’s America’s premier historian, and our founder here at WallBuilders. Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. And I’m Rick Green, I”€™m a former Texas legislator and America’s constitution coach.

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Alright guys later in the program, we’re going to have Steve Strang with us. He’s the founder and CEO of Charisma magazine. And I don’t know if you all get this question when you’re out there on the road like I do? But a lot of our evangelical friends say to us, man, you all have really gotten on board with Trump. And of course, my response is always actually, is Trump’s results that were so on board with and the character of him following through on what he committed, but others are not so with us on that. There’s some voices in the evangelical Christian community that are saying no, we should not support this guy.

Trump’s Tweets

Tim:

Yeah. And you know, Rick, what we primarily see at least, what I primarily see and when we talk and feel like it’s kind of affirmed, is most people we talk to are totally on board with Trump’s policies that, you know, they don’t always like his tweets which we don’t either, they don’t always like you know sometimes the pettiness”€¦

David:

You say that, I don’t know that I’m in the “€˜we”€™ don’t either, I like his tweets”€¦

Tim:

But not all of them, not all of them.

David:

I like the fact they stir up controversy. I don’t always agree with the content, but I love the fact”€¦

Tim:

Well, but that’s the point right? So we love that distracts the media, there’s things we appreciate about him, about the fact that really having a bull in the china shop is really nice. It’s really nice in some regards, but certainly from a moral perspective, we recognize or even a wisdom, right sometimes like, oh, bro, you know, don’t get down in the weeds, you were winning that moment, right? Like you’re shooting yourself in the foot. I can see what other people see, even if I don’t always agree with them. I see where they’re coming from. But what I see is most people in our Christian community that we are engaged with tend to be on the side of, yes, Trump.

Pro-Faith

But then there are some that say, no, look, I’m prolife, right, I’m pro-religious liberty, I’m pro-Israel and I don’t care that Trump is all those things. He’s still a bad guy and we shouldn’t have them. And then that’s kind of where you have those conversations like this seems to be a little illogical, right. Like certainly, we could talk about the rough edges and things we don’t like. But when you have somebody who has accomplished more than any president, we’ve seen, constitutionally we’ve talked about, from a constitutional perspective, really, you have to go back to at least Calvin Coolidge to have a guy who is upholding constitutional perspective and issues as well as President Trump is. When it comes to religious liberty, when it comes to faith aspects, you have to go back just about the founding fathers to get this level of being pro-faith in some of these regards.

So from that standpoint, he’s done a lot of really good things and yet, there are still some people who just they seem to be in that “€˜never Trump”€™ community that they can’t see the goodies done because they’re so frustrated with who he is as a person.

David:

Well, the great example of that is what happened recently with Christianity Today. Christianity Today, a noted evangelical magazine came out and said, opposed Trump at all costs, essentially, that was their position as a Christian magazine. And so there’s another national Christian magazine that has a large distribution as well, Charisma Magazine also evangelical, Stephen Strang is the editor of that magazine and they took an opposite position, say, no, we support the president because what he did. So we got Stephen Strang on to kind of talk about this controversy back and forth, splitting Christians over the Trump issue. Should be an interesting interview.

A Moment From American History

Rick:

Stephen Strang when we return, you’re listening to Wallbuilders Live.

BREAK

This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. Over recent years, the elections and politics in general have become increasingly partisan. One party is pitted against the others, each advances his own stereotypes. President George Washington believed this was detrimental to the nation. He declared, “€œLet me warn you and the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party. It’s common and continual mixtures are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, it kindles the animosity of one part against another and governments purely elective, the spirit of party is a spirit not to be encouraged. Therefore in this year’s either elections do not allow political party to be a deciding factor. Vote for each candidate according to the principles and policies that he individually represents.”€

For more information on God’s hand in American history, contact the Wallbuilders at 1808REBUILD.

Welcome Stephen Strang

Rick:

Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us here on Wallbuilders Live. We are thrilled today to have Stephen Strang with us. He is the founder and CEO of Charisma Media, founder of Charisma Magazine and appreciate your time today, Stephen, thanks for coming on, sir.

Stephen:

Well, thanks for the opportunity.

Rick:

Fantastic article. “€˜Why “€˜Charisma”€™ Is Still 100% Behind Trump Despite All the Hoopla Over Mark Galli”€™s, Anti-Trump Op-Ed”€™. And Steve, can I just say right up front, the article is so outstanding and make so many great points about things we talked about on our program all the time regarding this president and we’re not going to have near the time to get to all of them. So we want people to go read the article as well. They can get it at charismamag.com and we’ll have a link today to get directly to this article. You were quiet for a while about the way that Christianity Today came out against Donald Trump and finally decided, hey, it’s time to speak out. Why did you decide to write the article?

God, Trump, and the 2020 Election

Stephen:

Well, it’s something that had to be addressed. And of course, I’ve written this new book called “€˜God, Trump, and the 2020 Election”€™, which is it makes the case that we have got as Christians. We’ve got to get Donald Trump reelected. I’ve known Christianity Today was never Trumpers. They avoided saying it until this op-ed came out, but they’ve gotten very, very liberal over the years. And for 40 years, they’ve been the main competitor, so to speak to Charisma magazine. A lot of people don’t know that Charisma magazine is actually bigger than Christianity Today. There’s no reason for us to publicize that. And we go for two different segments of the Christian community and we’ve always kind of, you know, coexisted peacefully.

I was shocked that Mark Galli did that, even though I knew he felt like that. In fact, in one of my previous books, I interviewed him to try to explain to me so I can explain to the reader why people would be against Trump. I can’t, I mean, so you don’t like his orange hair or his tweets? I actually come to where I enjoy his tweets. I think most of them are kind of funny and they keep the media, off balance and I make this point in my book.

Rick:

Absolutely.

Should Christians Ignore the Good?

Mark:

You know, they’re hyperventilating every single day about his latest tweet and they’re ignoring the fact that he’s cut deregulation and we’re energy efficient and all this stuff, otherwise, they would be yelling and screaming that they were ruining the environment or whatever it is they say. But they are not even paying attention to that and he’s been able to make these great strides, which is a point he made, you know, and he said in the Union address, which I thought was just fantastic.

Rick:

Yeah. Or is Christians for us to still complain about things he did before he was president and completely ignore all the great things he’s done for the issues we care so much about, whether it’s life or religious liberty.

Stephen:

Oh, absolutely. They talked about how he doesn’t have character. Well, he does have character. He keeps his promises. That’s a huge character trait. And you’re right. He did things in the 80s and 90s that as Christians we don’t approve of. He made a lot of his money on gambling, I’m 100% against gambling. I think, you know, I just am. That’s how I was raised. That”€™s what I believe. However, in the Christian community, we don’t hardly even talk about it, but I had to kind of get over that. I was for Ted Cruz. He was strong Christian. He was also strong, I knew we needed a strong leader. Of course, Trump is has proven to be a lot stronger than Ted Cruz. But you know”€¦

Religious Persecution

Rick:

But who would have thought, right. I mean, we would have never thought that. We were behind Cruz all the way.

Stephen:

Who would have thought? You”€™re absolutely right. That”€™s part of my enthusiasm for Trump as he has exceeded expectations.

Rick:

That’s right.

Stephen:

The first president to speak in person at the “€˜March for Life”€™.

Rick:

That’s right.

Stephen:

Look how he’s defended religious persecution, namely of Christians in other parts of the world. A lot of the other presidents didn’t do that. There wasn’t even really an issue. He surrounds himself with Christian people. And you know, like Franklin Graham, a lot of other people, they pray for him, he seeks counsel. I think that’s good. Why is Mark Galli against that? But, you know, the thing is there had been a group of evangelicals or at least they call themselves evangelicals that have been left off center, some of them kind of far, like Mark Wallace.

When I was just starting as a journalist in the 70s and 80s, I remember Jim Wallace and soldiers, you know, were pretty well known and we’re influencing a lot of people and there’s a segment they’ve influenced. They vote democratic every time it rolls around, you know and they’ve just decided they don’t like Trump and there’s nothing he can do that’s going to make them like it. So I just felt, you know, the media, the secular media and I used to work in secular media, I was trained that way at the university Florida. But the media loved having an evangelicals who would bash Trump and Mark Galli did it. And I wanted to say, hey, they’re not the only evangelical magazine out there or media company, because it’s a lot bigger than just print nowadays.

Charisma‘s Endorsement

But Charisma is 100% behind him, we endorsed him. And in our magazine, we put him on the cover, this was in 2016. And now I’ve written three books about Trump. And he’s not perfect and I don’t defend he”€™s perfect. But I did point out, I did this on CNN one time. I said, look, the stuff he did was 10 or 15 years ago, I believe he’s changed. And she said, how he changed? And I said, I believe he’s accepted Christ.

And then I thought, I can’t believe I just said that on live TV and he has not told me that personally. But I’ve interviewed people and I could name some of them. Paula White-Cain is one that most people know her name, who have actually prayed with him. James Robinson has prayed with him to accept Christ. So he’s not a perfect Christian, none of us are perfect Christians. And in my book, “€˜God, Trump, and the 2020 Election, I have a whole chapter on how God has always used imperfect people. We can look at the Bible and see it through history. Different people have been pivotal, like Winston Churchill in the Second World War. The Christians of his day didn’t like him at all because he smoked cigars and drank brandy, yet he saved Western civilization and he felt that God had allowed him to be born in order to save Western civilization. He was actually raised as a Christian.

And I’m proud of Donald Trump. I was so proud of that speech the other night, it was very, very presidential. He didn’t even mention Mueller or Ukraine or impeachment. He just focused on the changes that he’s making for all Americans, not just Christians, but all Americans. He really is truly making America great again and the people who oppose him don’t seem to care.

Mark Galli

Now, with Mark Galli, Mark Galli is a good man. He’s a Christian, he’s against abortion. But my question to him is who is better? Is Bernie Sanders? Is”€¦

Rick:

That”€™s just it. Who would they want? So if you’re going to find something”€¦

Stephen:

I get feeling that they vote for a third party candidate and they feel very smug about how self-righteous they are. Well, the Bible calls that a Pharisees spirit. And, you know, I want to be careful, you know, not to throw stones at them. But I mean, let’s be real. A lot of these people are kind of self-righteous, we’re good Christians. Our whole culture is becoming more and more liberal, and finally, a lot of people are just saying, enough is enough and we needed an outsider. And I believe that God raised up Donald Trump. And I make this point in all of my books, especially “€˜God, Trump, and the 2020 Election”€™ that somehow God has raised up this person, there’s like a divine protection. How else could he survive all these attacks?

This Present Darkness

And also I believe that is spiritual warfare. And I was just interviewed earlier today by a French newspaper, who didn’t even understand what spiritual warfare was and I was trying to explain to her. But you know, the Bible says, we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. They’re terrible principalities and powers, they’re evil, they’re wicked, that are trying to pull down all people, not just Americans and in all ages, not just our generation. But they manifest itself with all this weirdness is going on.

I was on Fox and Friends a couple of weeks ago. And I said, the only way you can explain the hatred, the absolute hatred of Donald Trump, it”€™s spiritually and Christians call that spiritual warfare.

Rick:

Yeah, and you can tell in the hatred that that’s exactly what it is. And don’t we as Christians help the other side, help the enemy and hurt our ability to win that spiritual warfare when we take that self-righteous attitude you talked about that says, in fact, you quote Richard Land our friend in your article saying, you know, is that Pontius Pilate syndrome where you just want to wash your hands of it. And as he said, you know, you can’t do that, because if your choices are bad choice or worst choice and I don’t think that’s the choice now with Trump, that’s what I thought in 16, but in 16, if it’s a bad choice and a worst choice, if you choose not to choose, you’re culpable, you’re helping the worst choice when? Well, that was 16. Now in 2020, we’ve seen fruit from this man that is very different from what we thought it would be. And how can we not support the prolife, pro-religious liberty, pro-free market policies and results that we’ve gotten out of this man?

He’s Concerned About People

Stephen:

And you know, he’s concerned about people, just look at the people. He brought to the State of the Union. He feels genuinely concerned about them. He was glad that their lives were improved. He was glad to use them as examples for many Americans whose lives have improved. And there’s just people that are trying to pull them down. I think, like I said, Christianity Today is a good magazine. They do a lot of good, but they’ve kind of gotten liberal and I would encourage them to come back more towards the center. Why Mark Galli did that? I’ve not had a chance to talk to him. I’ve known him for 15 years. He’s a good man. But he just has this mindset and I want to just speak up and say, hey, you know, he’s speaking for himself and for a fairly narrow group of evangelicals. I mean, only 19% of evangelicals voted against Donald Trump. And I don’t see him winning very many people over if anything, I’m seeing some of the “€˜never Trumpers”€™, you know, acknowledge what you just said that all these good things are happening”€¦

Rick:

Meet me, Mark Galli is not winning anybody over. Just to make sure our listeners understood, you didn’t mean Trump wasn”€™t”€¦

The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways…

Stephen:

And other people like him. He’s not alone. There’s Russell Moore. There’s Beth Moore. You know, I know some of these people personally, I’m very, very disappointed. But I’m like Richard Land, who was very much against Trump. I did not support him initially, partly because I didn’t know who he was and partly because I wasn’t really paying attention. But there were some people from the charismatic community that very, very early, were saying God was raising them up. And I was going like, I was scratching my head, are you sure?

Rick:

I was the same way. I was exactly the same way. I said, how could you say this guy?

Stephen:

But you know what, is there “€˜never-Trumper”€™, but I was an ABC voter, that means “€˜Anybody But Clinton”€™.

Rick:

Right. Right.

Stephen:

And, of course, as you said, Donald Trump has done great, he’s our champion. God bless him and we need to put him in office for four more years.

Now We Know

Rick:

Well, as you pointed out, 81% of evangelicals voted for him in 2016, not knowing what we would get, but knowing it was better than Clinton. Now that we’ve seen what we got, surely that number goes up. You know, I would think if you’re an evangelical voter, you’ve seen some, you got to be really stubborn at this point to say, a Bernie Sanders would give you better Christian policies than what Donald Trump has proven he would do.

Stephen:

Oh, listen to Bernie Sanders”€¦ that is scary. I mean, Barack Obama was bad enough, but at least you as a capitalist and there’s just no”€¦ It’s like the whole culture and somebody said that politics is downstream from culture and culture is downstream from the church. And I have a chapter in my book, “€˜God, Trump, and the 2020 Election”€™ that says a lot of this is the fault of the church. There’s been compromised in the church. We’ve been passive over the years. There are a lot of people in my community, the charismatic and Pentecostal community are just passive people. You know, they want to preach salvation which I believe in entirely, you know, and have their revival crusades and they want to have their worship services and politics is kind of dirty and they don’t feel they can make any difference anyway.

Chinese Communists

And frankly, even in the political circles is kind of a hierarchy and they’re usually not allowed to participate. You know, I’m saying, hey, those days are over. We’re about to lose a lot of our freedoms. We cannot be passive. We cannot stay home. And we have to recognize that the other side is very, very dishonest. They may try to steal the election. You know, if there’s a war that starts that hasn’t started yet or if there’s a depression that happens, which doesn’t look like it’s going to happen, but I mean, there are things that I cite in the book where it could go the other way. And also you know, the democrats talk about Russia, but really is China. I have research in there that showed that the Chinese Communist fund certain things to try to flip states from red to blue and they were successful in Virginia. There were certain left wing groups that if you follow the money, it goes back to funding from the communist. And I tried to make the case it really is the Chinese we need to have our eye on and we need to realize that they are trying to go and flip States.

I live in the State of Florida, is one they’re trying to flip. And listen, there was a socialist that ran for governor against Ron DeSantis and almost won. I mean, it”€™s scary what happened.

Rick:

Yeah, it was. No doubt about it. Well, listen, we want to also mention and not only the book, “€˜God, Trump, and the 2020 Election”€™, you’re doing a podcast now and I assume throughout this year on this very subject and that they can get at Charisma Podcast Network, right?

Stephen:

That’s right. And I just got the numbers today, is like a quarter million since the first of the year. I can’t believe it. But apparently, there’s a lot of interest in this. And I’m just trying to get the word out. I’m doing, but the Lord has given me a platform and I’m just trying to be faithful and get the word out and I really appreciate you letting me talk about it.

You Won’t Find it in Christianity Today

And I hope that, in fact, I talked to a Baptist pastor last night, who was very for Trump, but he said my book helped him understand some things, there was kind of gaps in his understanding and I appreciate that because that’s why I wrote it. Because you don’t get this into secular media and you don’t get it in Christianity Today. That’s for sure.

Rick:

That’s so true. godtrump2020.com is the website where you can get the book today. Stephen, we sure appreciate your time, man, we hope to have you back soon.

Stephen:

And it’s also available everywhere Christian books are sold. It”€™s not just on the internet.

Rick:

Yes. Yes. Excellent. Alright. Well, Stephen, we appreciate you, man. Thanks for coming on.

Stephen:

Thank you for all you do.

This Precarious Moment

Rick:

Stay with us, folks. We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

BREAK

Hi, this is David Barton. I want to let you know about a brand new book we have, I call, “€˜This Precarious Moment”€™. Six urgent steps that will save you, your family and our country. James Garlow and I have co-authored this book and we take six issues that are hot in the culture right now, issues that we’re dealing with, issues such as immigration and race relations and our relationship with Israel and the rising generation of Millennials and the absence of the church and the culture wars and where American heritage is, our godly heritage. We look at all six of those issues right now that are under attack and we give you both biblical and historical perspective on those issues that provide solutions on what each of us can do right now to make a difference. These are all problems that are solvable if we’ll get involved.

So you can grab them book “€˜This Precarious Moment”€™ and find out what you can do to make a difference. “€˜This Precarious Moment”€™ is available at wallbuilders.com.

He’s Kept His Word

Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live, thanks to Stephen Strang for joining us today. Back with David and Tim Barton. And guys, man, I didn’t realize he had put out so much material, really analyzing the victories and certainly for the evangelical community victories. We’ve talked about that a lot on the program here, but Stephen is got books out on this as well and what a positive report. I hadn’t thought about the character trait thing being, you know, right up front, the fact this guy is you know, he’s kept his word. So, you know, if you want to point to some of the stuff beforehand, you guys have pointed out on the program, hey, he’s done more than he said he was going to do than any president of our lifetimes.

David:

Yeah, that is character, that is psalms 15 verses 1 through 4, where it says, Ah Lord, what are you looking for? And it says he that keeps his word even if it hurts him; he that won’t break his oath. And so the fact that he keeps his word is certainly one of the character traits that God points out as being a very strong character trait, something he’s looking for. That’s really good.

Evangelicals Who Hate Trump

I thought to what Stephen said was very insightful. He said, you know, the media loves having an evangelical who hates Trump. And that’s why all the fervor around this Christianity Today article now point out in the last election, we don’t know what it’s going to be this time. But in the last election, there was no single constituency who voted at a higher percentage for Trump than evangelicals. 81% of evangelicals supported President Trump. There was no other group with a higher percentage. So that’s a very strong base for him.

And so what the media is going to do is they’re going to pick that 19% from last time like Christianity Today and they’re going to push it out there rather than taking something like Charisma, which has even a greater circulation than Christianity Today and they’ll be silent about that. I mean, they’re looking for that kind of controversy and that’s a problem.

Who’s Better?

But I thought Stephen also hit something when he said that my question is, who’s better? And that’s right. On the issues important to Christian, who is better? What is the choice for Christianity Today? Well, I mean, if they’re going to choose Buddha Judge or they’re going to choose, you know, whoever it’s going to be, Bernie Sanders? You know, on things that are important to Christians, who’s better? And that’s really where you’re limited. I’m really satisfied with this policies from where Trump is.

Tim:

And yeah, guys to that point. If you look at the other side, they’re not pro-life, they’re not pro-faith religious liberty, they’re not pro-Israel. And I think because of some of Trumps positions, I think he actually has a good chance to get even more of the evangelical vote percentage-wise this time then he did last time, which even as seen when you look at the energy at his rallies.

There’s a lot of energy behind Trump. And even though there’s a lot of people that don’t like him, I think it’s possible Trump gains in much greater both the popular vote number, but also even the number of States and number of evangelicals that support him in this next election.

Rick:

Alright friends, we”€™re out of time for today here on WallBuilders Live. But be sure to visit the website, wallbuilderslive.com, you can get archives the program over the last few weeks and enjoy those as well. We appreciate you listening, we appreciate you visiting our website and we very much appreciate you donating right there at wallbuilderslive.com.

Should Christians Support Donald Trump? “€“ With Steve Strang

No hesitation at all in asking you to do that. Because like the founders, each of us as citizens need to give our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor. Yeah, that means giving of our time, investing in freedom, helping good candidates, helping to teach young people about freedom, teaching constitution classes, all those things we can do with our time. But then yes, of course, our fortunes, donating to good candidates giving and investing in freedom, whether it’s sponsoring young people to go to programs like Patriot Academy or to our leadership training program at WallBuilders or other programs like that. Or maybe it’s that direct contribution that you can do today at wallbuilderslive.com to make this programming possible. So we can do interviews just like today, so that we can have our Foundations of Freedom Thursday programs, our Good News Friday programs, our leadership training program for young people, our pastors pre-visiting Washington, D.C., our legislators training, all of those things we do, it’s made possible by you. So thanks for coming alongside us and being a part of the solution, helping us to restore America’s constitutional republic and pass it intact to the next generation.

We appreciate your listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.