News of the Trump finding Jesus comes to us comes to from an impeccable source: James C Dobson, one of America’s leading evangelicals, who claims that the wannabe US President had recently come ‘to accept a relationship with Christ’ and is now ‘a baby Christian’.
According to this report, Dobson, the founder of a virulently anti-gay outfit called Focus on the Family, had a meeting with Donald Trump in New York on Tuesday, along with hundreds of Christian conservatives.
In an interview recorded at the event by a Pennsylvania pastor, the Rev. Michael Anthony, Dobson said he knew the person who had led Trump to Christ, though he did not name him.
I don’t know when it was, but it has not been long. I believe he really made a commitment … he’s a baby Christian.
Anthony posted the interview to his blog on Friday. Dobson could not be reached on Saturday, and Hope Hicks, the Trump campaign spokeswoman, did not respond Saturday to a request for details.
Trump stumbled at times last year when speaking about faith. At one point he said that he had never asked for God’s forgiveness. And after repeating on the campaign trail that the Bible was his favourite book, ahead of his own Art of the Deal, Trump declined to name a favorite verse.
The Bible means a lot to me, but I don’t want to get into specifics.
Trump, a Presbyterian, questioned the faith of Hillary Clinton, a Methodist, at a meeting with a smaller group of evangelical leaders on Tuesday, saying:
We don’t know anything about Hillary in terms of religion.
It is a possibility certain to cause chortles in some corners, but it could also open doors in others for the thrice-married presumptive Republican nominee for President.
For evangelicals, “accepting Christ” is at the heart of becoming a genuine Christian, and refers to acknowledging sin and declaring the need for Jesus Christ as savior.
Said Kedron Bardwell, a political science professor at Simpson College in Iowa, who is the son of an evangelical pastor:
The expectation evangelicals have is of a radical change, a 180-degree turn from the life of sin to following Christ.
With new believers, this is often done in prayer with another Christian, which may have been what Dr Dobson was referring to when he said that he knew the person who had “led him to Christ”.
Trump won a majority of evangelical voters in the Republican primaries, though some prominent conservative Christian leaders kept their distance. Dobson, in fact, endorsed Senator Ted Cruz.
In his interview, Dobson conceded that Trump did not exactly fit the typical mold of an evangelical.
He used the word ‘hell’ four or five times. He doesn’t know our language.
And there was silly me thinking that “hell” was central to evangelical discourse.
He added that Trump:
Refers a lot to religion and not much to faith and belief.
Dobson joked that Christians should take it easy on Trump for what some might perceive as slip-ups.
You got to cut him some slack. He didn’t grow up like we did.
Anthony referred to the Damascus-road conversion of Saul, a zealous Pharisee, who later became the Apostle Paul:
He didn’t know the language either.
I think there’s hope for him. And I think there’s hope for us.
But not so much for gays, women, Mexicans and a whole raft of others the blond blowhard disapproves of.