Commentary

From Coronavirus to Christianity, Trump Is a Leader for Such a Time as This

By Stephen E. Strang | April 2, 2020 | 10:56am EDT
President Donald Trump faces a crucial test in his presidency. (Photo credit: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
President Donald Trump faces a crucial test in his presidency. (Photo credit: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Most Evangelicals believe our nation was founded on a love for God and reverence for His Word, and because of that we have experienced the undeserved favor of God upon our country. Even in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, God comforts, protects, and brings the truth to light, giving us hope and peace during periods of uncertainty, fear, and upset.

I’ve written extensively that I believe God raised up Donald Trump to help turn things around in America, and I believe he has in many ways. I make the case that much of this is because Trump is such a strong leader and because God seems to have His hand on this billionaire from Queens who won the presidency against all odds.

Now I believe Donald Trump is in the right place at the right time to lead the country through this unprecedented pandemic. Even though my new book, “God, Trump, and the 2020 Election,” was finished months before we learned of the coronavirus, I believe the case I make for Donald Trump is still valid, as the nation reels from the effects of this virus both on the health of individuals, but also on the health of the economy and indeed our very nation.

My book documents how Donald Trump has stood up to the radical left, supported traditional values like life for the unborn and, in many ways, exposed the evil by the entrenched bureaucracy that we now call the Deep State that has opposed him at every turn, including a two-year Mueller investigation that showed no wrongdoing, as well as impeachment efforts. Meanwhile, the economy was booming and the president was making America great again by actually keeping his promises to strengthen the economy, cut onerous regulations that stifle business, and look out for the little guy. Now, due to a virtual shutdown of the country, everything has changed.

But one thing that hasn’t changed is that Donald Trump is a leader, and at this point in American history, we need a real leader who can get private enterprise and government and even the Democrats to work together to get us through this crisis and to find a cure for this deadly virus. Remember how feckless Jimmy Carter was with the Iranian hostage situation, or even how George W. Bush didn’t seem to know how to crush Al Qaeda after 9/11?

Instead, Trump quickly closed travel from China and later from Europe, long before most countries were closing their borders, even though he was accused of overreacting and being xenophobic. Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden publicly said at the time they would have left the borders open. And even the Southern border was finally closed when it was realized the hordes of illegal immigrants could be carrying the dreaded coronavirus.

During this time of national crisis, it is more important than ever to understand what God is saying. Few people outside the four walls of a church pay much attention to what God is doing in the world. To them, acts of God are tornadoes and hurricanes.

But is it possible God has a plan for this nation? Is it possible He has a plan for His people? I’ve tried to make the case that President Trump won the Evangelical vote by the largest margin in history, because—as I quoted Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, in my book—Evangelical Christians understood that he alone had the leadership skills and the unwavering persistence to reverse the death spiral of our nation.

Our entire nation is focused on COVID-19, and I don’t want to appear tone-deaf by raising issues that will not go away just because many of us have had to “shelter in place.” We will eventually work through this pandemic, as will all the nations of the world. But what will America look like on the other side of this? What challenges will America face, especially as we approach the 2020 elections?

In these unprecedented and challenging times, America’s pastors perhaps know this better than most. On the weekend of the first Independence Day celebration of Donald Trump’s presidency, when he introduced the president before he spoke, Jeffress talked about the past, present, and future of America—good and bad, highs and lows.

Addressing a packed house at the Kennedy Center and millions around the world via TV, Jeffress said that, while it’s true the founders gave us a nation built on Christian principles, “it is also an indisputable fact that in recent years there have been those who have tried to separate our nation from its spiritual foundation. And that reality has caused many of us, many Christians, to despair and to wonder, ‘Is God finished with America? Are our best days over? Has God removed His hands of blessing from us?’ But in the midst of that despair,” Jeffress said, “came November the 8th, 2016. It was on that day, November the 8th, that God declared that the people, not the pollsters, were gonna choose the next president of the United States. And they chose Donald Trump.”

My aim in writing about Donald Trump was my attempt to look at perhaps the most extraordinary candidate in our nation’s history, not through the lens of what happened politically, but through the lens of what happened spiritually. I know there are those who will disagree with my premise, but there are many people who are more than a little curious about how this whole episode happened.

When the president took the podium, he affirmed what Jeffress said.

“My administration will always support and defend your religious liberty. We don’t want to see God forced out of the public square, driven out of our schools or pushed out of our civic life. We want to see prayers before football games, if they want to give prayers.” Before he even finished the sentence, the audience was on its feet with loud and resounding applause. They had seen too many examples of secular schools stamping on the beliefs of religious students. Then Trump added, “We want all children to have the opportunity to know the blessings of God.…As long as I am president, no one is going to stop you from practicing your faith or from preaching what is in your heart.”

As I listened to those words, I wondered if people were asking themselves why Donald Trump was saying such things. For most of his life, as I’ve pointed out, he has not been very religious. He was more interested in making money—lots of money—than defending religious liberty. But just as millions of Christians were praying for someone to stand up and help turn things around, here came Donald Trump, seemingly out of left field. At first, most Christians didn’t think much of him. Perhaps they didn’t believe him. But now they’re happy to know he has their back.

If you aren’t a Christian, you see the world through a different lens. You may not even believe God exists. And if that’s the case, you feel there’s no reason to be concerned with such things. When it comes to old-fashioned morality, the mantra of the secular culture these days is simply, anything goes. But most Americans recognized the problems; they didn’t have to be religious to perceive that something is wrong with the way this country has been going.

These are the issues that continue to face America. Freedom-loving Americans must be the first to help our country work through these health issues. But we must also be the first to get back to working to see things turn around in America by supporting Donald Trump in November, and not let our support wane just because of the pandemic. We need a leader like Donald Trump now more than ever. He was raised up for such a time as this.

Stephen E. Strang is an award-winning journalist, Charisma founder and author of the new book, “God, Trump, and the 2020 Election.

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