Did These Evangelical Leaders Exalt Donald Trump Over Jesus?

Many Christians now feel 'homeless' says Shane ClaibornePixabay

Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo have spoken out against Christian leaders in the United States who they claim chose to exalt Donald Trump over Jesus.

In a blog for Red Letter Christians, Claiborne denounces contemporary evangelicalism.

He says that many Christians in post-election America are now spiritually "homeless". He calls for these Christians in the United States to abandon the term "evangelical" and reclaim their identity as "followers of Jesus".

Shane ClaibornePhoto: Christian Today

Claiborne wrote the article with his friend Tony Campolo, who served as spiritual adviser to former US President Bill Clinton.

Describing the election as "catastrophic", he says: "As a result, many evangelical Christians will need a new home."

He writes: "Many today see evangelicals as anti-women, anti-gay, anti-environment, anti-immigrant, and champions of guns and war.

"Most of what has come to characterise evangelicalism is in direct conflict with the core values and teachings of Christ."

He laments the support of so many white evangelicals for a presidential candidate who rejects "many of the core values of evangelicalism" such as fidelity and faithful stewardship.

Claiborne writes: "Many of us grieve that our brothers and sisters once known for their zeal for Jesus have been more passionate about exalting Donald Trump this year than Jesus."

In particular he criticises Jerry Falwell, James Dobson and Franklin Graham who he claims "overlooked" Trump's "anti-Christian" values.

And he says there is a new generation of post-evangelical Christians rooted in the "values of Jesus" who care about the earth, the poor, refugees and immigrants. 

The term "evangelical" has been hijacked and made toxic, he argues, saying: "Many are now done with the word 'evangelicalism', which has come to represent white self-interest. But the very same people are still attracted to the true 'evangel', the gospel, the good news."

It is time for Christians to reclaim their identity as followers of Jesus, he continues. "We've made idols out of wealth, fame, power, and whiteness – and the phenomenon of Donald Trump is a natural outgrowth of that idolatry."

He says there can be a new home for homeless Christians. "Today there is a growing movement of Red Letter Christians who want a Christianity that looks like Jesus again."