President Trump’s spiritual journey
By Kevin Payne
Donald Trump may be a lot of things, a talented performer, brilliant businessman, and president of the United States of America, but when it comes to talking about his faith, President Trump is often uncharacteristically unspirited.
“I believe in God. I am a Christian. I think the Bible is certainly, it is the book. It is the thing,” President Trump told CBN in 2011. “I’m a Protestant or a Presbyterian, and I’ve had a good relationship with the church over the years.”
President Trump has gradually sharpened his message to the religious right, a group that the GOP has relied upon since the days of Ronald Regan. Like many Americans, Trump has a variety of ties to organized religion, but it doesn’t define him, and he’s not well versed in Christian beliefs and practices.
“Going to church was an important part of our family life,” Trump said. “I still have very vivid memories of a vibrant congregation and a lot of activities.”
Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The Family Leader, a social conservative organization, has worked with the President personally. He says that he supports him when he’s right and tries to hold him accountable when he’s wrong. He also believes that the president is on a “faith journey.”
“I see an evolution in the man,” he said. “I believe that Trump is a strong leader who is developing into a statesman. “exodus 18:21 says that a leader must be capable, fear God, be trustworthy, and hate dishonest gain.”
Vander Plaats says that he encouraged President Trump not to only make Jesus his Savior, bur also his Lord and master.
Vander Plaats says something else significant: “We can’t put our faith in the White House or in any human. Our faith must be in God.” He goes on to say that there are competing worldviews today where some people believe God while other people don’t. If you don’t believe God, anything goes in terms of behavior.
This is why he believes we need a cultural transformation. It also explains why there are so many vicious attacks against the president, he says.
President Trumps religious journey, with its Sunday School lessons and intermittent attendance, should sound familiar to many Americans. It stands out against the past Republican presidents, but not against American spirituality in general.
Photo: President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, June 20, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)