Best-selling Christian author with 32 books and preacher at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, Max Lucado believes people don't attend church to hear ministers' views on presidential contenders so he's never endorsed or opposed candidates. However, with the current U.S. political situation, Lucado uncharacteristically decided to speak out against what he calls Donald Trump's "antics," insisting that, "such insensitivities wouldn't even be acceptable even for a middle school student body election."
In a recent blog post, Lucado addressed how decency matters related to life and the presidency, and how Trump changed his attitude toward pastoral involvement in politics.
"The leading candidate to be the next leader of the free world would not pass my decency interview. I'd send him away. I'd tell my daughter to stay home. I wouldn't entrust her to his care," blogged Lucado.
It's not so much a question about particular policies or strategies about government or even particular opinions. It's a case of public derision of people. It's belittling people publicly," Lucado told Christianity Today. "It would be none of my business, I would have absolutely no right to speak up, except that he repeatedly brandishes the Bible and calls himself a Christian."
Lucado, 61, said he even emailed a letter to the Trump team, but they never responded. "But I tried because I felt that that would be more appropriate to do."
"It's a high stakes thing from my perspective, because people make decisions about Christ on the basis of Christians and how we behave. If he's [Trump] going to call himself a Christian one day and call someone a bimbo the next, or make fun of somebody's menstrual cycle, it's just beyond reason to me," said Lucado.
As Lucado also points out, "Trump ridiculed a war hero. He made fun of a disabled reporter. He referred to the former first lady, Barbara Bush as 'mommy,' and belittled Jeb Bush for bringing her on the campaign trail. He routinely calls people 'stupid,' 'loser,' and 'dummy.' These were not off-line, backstage, overheard, not-to-be-repeated comments. They were publicly and intentionally tweeted, recorded, and presented."
Such insensitivities wouldn't even be acceptable even for a middle school student body election, suggests Lucado. "But for the Oval Office? And to do so while boasting of his Christian faith? I'm bewildered, both by his behavior and the public's support of it."
Lucado also told Christianity Today he couldn't imagine how Trump could claim to be a Christian when asked in Iowa, but then turn around and say he had "never asked God for forgiveness."
"I'm just shaking my head going, 'How does that work?' Does a swimmer say, 'I've never gotten wet?' Does a musician say, 'I've never sang a song?' How does a person claim to be a Christian and never need to ask for forgiveness?" posed Lucado.
The stock explanation for Trump's success is that he has tapped into the anger of the American people, blogged Lucado.
"As one man said, 'We are voting with our middle finger.' Sounds more like a comment for a gang-fight than a presidential election. Anger-fueled reactions have caused trouble ever since Cain was angry at Abel," points out Lucado.
Lucado said he's hoping and praying for a return to decency. "Perhaps Mr. Trump will better manage his antics. (Worthy of a prayer, for sure.) Or, perhaps the American public will remember the key role of the president is to be the face of America. When he/she speaks, he/she speaks for us. Whether we agree or disagree with the policies of the president, do we not hope that they behave in a way that is consistent with the status of the office?"