But this was on my heart and as I prayed about it I felt a blessing to pursue it. I don’t expect it to do anymore. I’m not going to head up any campaign. I’m not going to serve as Mr. Trump’s faith advisory team and I don’t have any desire for that as well. I feel like I’ve been obedient.
What has your strategy been for engaging politics in previous years? What is your thinking going forward after this?
This is a question that pastors wrestle with. Our strategy as a church is to remind people of the power of prayer. Prayer moves God, and God moves nations. Our first and foremost responsibility is to pray. Then we always remind our church of the importance of voting. We have voter registration opportunities on all of our church campuses. This weekend we’ll be urging people to vote—the primaries in Texas are next week. We are very deliberate about not letting any candidates speak from our pulpits. We will let somebody speak who is an elected official if there is a reason for it.
We urge people to pray. We urge people to vote. We protect the pulpit unless there’s a particular reason otherwise.
Does your Trump post change that at all?
This is a blog on my personal webpage. That’s pretty important. I didn’t put this out over my church webpage. It only goes out to people who voluntarily go to my personal webpage and it is a break with precedent with me. I’ve never done anything like this. It’s an unprecedented act on my part. I do not want to continue this. I have no desire to police presidential candidates.
But when Bill Clinton was in office in the late ’90s, I spoke out against it. I talked about what Jesus would say to Bill Clinton and what Jesus would say to Monica Lewinsky. I remember those sermons because those topics were just so much on people’s minds. So I spoke out against it.
This time I felt the same nudging to do so. So it’s just three times I’ve spoken out—in about 30 years. To be honest, there’s been people who have been frustrated that I haven’t gotten more involved. I understand that. Some of them are politicians who wanted an endorsement.
Have you considered endorsing someone?
I’ve considered and always resisted it. I really look up to Mike Huckabee. I look up to Ted Cruz. I’ve never met Marco Rubio but he seems like a phenomenal guy. I’ve had a luncheon with Ben Carson.
Here are examples of candidates who have been able to run a campaign without belittling people. They run for office without pushing other people down. If we don’t say anything and there’s no consequence, even if my voice is a small one, then it turns into a Jerry Springer free-for-all.
You described Trump’s tone and words as “indecent.” Would you describe any of Trump’s policies as “indecent”?
I’ve tried to stay away from that. My concern is not so much with his policies as with his tone. My disagreement with his policies is what would cause me to cast my vote for someone else, but it’s my concern for the fact that he calls himself a Christian and has a certain tone, that would cause me to write the blog.