- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 21, 2016

In an appearance Tuesday before evangelical leaders in New York City, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appeared to dismiss a biblical command for Christians to pray for leaders in government — regardless of their ideology — as political correctness, according to the Christian Post website.

“We can’t be politically correct and say we pray for all of our leaders because all of your leaders are selling Christianity down the tubes, selling the evangelicals down the tubes and it is a very bad thing that is happening,” Mr. Trump told his audience, as shown in a video tweeted by Virginia pastor and former GOP nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia E.W. Jackson.

“1 Timothy 2 instructs Christians to pray for all ‘Kings and those in authority,’” the Christian Post noted. As such, Mr. Trump’s advice to his evangelical audience was to “disobey the biblical command to pray for all political leaders,” the “pan-denominational” evangelical-news site added.

A moment earlier, Mr. Trump said he could “agree with” praying for political leaders but that “[w]hat you really have to do is pray to get everyone out to vote for one specific person.”

It is unclear if Mr. Trump is aware of how his comments may be construed as an affront to biblical teaching on prayer and the Christian citizen.

Mr. Trump has previously raised eyebrows from skeptical evangelical leaders over his muddled explanation of his Christian faith — including his insistence that he doesn’t ask God for forgiveness of sins.

At least one prominent evangelical leader, the Rev. Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, has gone so far as to publicly declare he doesn’t believe Mr. Trump is a genuine Christian.

“My primary prayer for Donald Trump is that he would first of all repent of sin and come to faith in Jesus Christ,” Mr. Moore told the Christian Broadcasting Network in early June. “That’s my prayer for any lost person.”

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