- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 20, 2016

When Donald Trump’s vulgar hot-mic audiotape went public, evangelical Christian theologian Wayne Grudem backpedaled from his earlier endorsement of Donald Trump for president, urging the New York businessman to step aside and let his running mate pick up the GOP mantle.

But Mr. Grudem has reconsidered and re-endorsed Mr. Trump, explaining his rationale in an op-ed published Wednesday at conservative website Townhall.com.

“Voting for Clinton and her ultraliberal policies is not an option for me as an evangelical Christian,” explained Mr. Grudem. “Therefore I am left with two options: (1) vote for Trump, or (2) vote for a third-party candidate whose hopes of winning belong to fantasy, not reality.”

“And if these are my only two options, then voting for a third-party candidate has the clear effect of helping to elect Clinton, because it is taking my vote away from Trump,” he continued. “That is why the liberal media loved it when I said I was finding it hard to decide.”

Examining the candidates on the issues, the Phoenix Seminary professor wrote that it wasn’t “even close” in terms of which of the two he mostly agreed with.

“I overwhelmingly support Trump’s policies and believe that Clinton’s policies will seriously damage the nation, perhaps forever,” he explained, before rattling off a laundry list of issues. ” Again and again, Trump supports the policies I advocated in my 2010 book Politics According to the Bible.”

Early in the 2008 presidential cycle, Mr. Grudem was an early backer of former Republican governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney, a Mormon. The Baptist preacher explained in an Oct. 18, 2007 column his case to fellow evangelicals about why they should feel comfortable electing a Mormon to the Oval Office.

“For evangelicals to support a Mormon candidate would be similar to supporting a conservative Jewish candidate — someone we don’t consider a Christian but who comes from a religious tradition that believes in absolute moral values very similar to those that Christians learn from the Bible,” Mr. Grudem explained.

Of course, even then, Mr. Grudem hinted that he could be comfortable supporting less-than-moral candidates who happened to have the right policy bona fides, citing famous pagan rulers in the Bible.

“God used Pharaoh, King of Egypt, to raise Joseph to a position of authority over the whole country, so he could save his people from famine (Genesis 41:37-57). God used Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, to protect and raise up Daniel and his Jewish friends to positions of high authority over Babylon (Daniel 2:46-49). God used Cyrus, King of Persia, to restore the Jewish exiles to their homeland (Isaiah 45:16; Ezra 1:1-4), and used Darius, King of Persia, to protect the Jewish people as they rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 6:1-12). God used Ahashuerus, King of Persia, to raise up Esther as Queen and to give Mordecai high authority and honor in his kingdom (Esther 6:10-11; 8:1-2, 7-15). In the New Testament age, God used the peace enforced by the secular Roman Empire, the Pax Romana to enable the early Christians to travel freely and spread the Gospel throughout the Mediterranean world.”

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