Donald Trump is now the president-elect, the winner of at least 279 votes from the electoral college and 81 percent of the white evangelical vote, according to exit polls.
Many people—including white evangelical leaders—did not see Trump’s victory coming.
“I’m surprised,” said Ed Stetzer, who holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair for Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College. “This is an overwhelming statement. It’s a repudiation of a lot of the system and President Obama.”
The election revealed a split between “rank-and-file” evangelicals and leaders. Prior to the election, more than 60 percent of pastors told LifeWay Research they were not voting for Trump or were undecided. About 1 in 5 “evangelical insiders” toldWorld magazine at the end of the summer that they backed Trump.
“Most evangelical leaders I know are not enthusiastically supporting Donald Trump,” said Stetzer, who formerly headed LifeWay Research.
Despite this split, the group still represents people with the same spiritual beliefs, said Stetzer, who recently worked with the National Association of Evangelicals to create a new definition of “evangelical.” And the goal of leaders isn’t necessarily to represent those beliefs of the masses.
“It’s to be prophetic,” said Stetzer.
Stetzer joined Morgan and Mark to discuss the limits of the evangelical umbrella, how white evangelicals’ voting affects evangelicals of color, and why Christians aren’t listening to their leaders.