The Paroikos Bible Blog exists as a resource to those interested in Biblical studies and Koine Greek. It is hoped that this blog will simultaneously provide food-for-thought to the reader while pointing him or her in the direction of valuable resources, both in print and on the internet, that will further help his or her studies in the Word.

Nov 12, 2016

Religious liberty for all (including Muslims); or, "How voting for Trump as a defender of religious liberty may come back to haunt Evangelicals"

As with many Christians, I have mixed feelings about this year's election. On the one hand, I do view Hillary Clinton as the enemy of religious freedom, somebody who would gladly make it illegal to hold the views I do (see this article for further details and a link to a video of Hillary Clinton herself). Also, I am grateful for election results in Wisconsin that would seem to protect freedom of conscience somewhat.

Having said that, I did not vote for Donald Trump, and I believe those that see him as a defender of religious liberty may have forgotten that Trump himself has already laid the groundwork for persecution of Christians.

Many Christian Americans, of course, see freedom of religion as one of the key defining characteristics of a great nation, and I would agree (though I would stop short of declaring America a Christian nation on this basis). Yet Donald Trump himself is on record as saying that he would ban Muslims from entering the country. I wish to stress here, the reason for such exclusion is irrelevant! The very fact that one who holds to a particular religion can be excluded from participating in American society, judged only on the basis of holding to that particular religion, means that whatever reasons are behind such a decision can also be used to justify excluding evangelical Christians from American society.

Consider the following: one may argue that Islam promotes violence, and thus should be excluded from American society. If this is argued successfully, and results in Islam being banned, then we have established the basic scenario where a religion can be banned in America. If that's the case, then all one has to do is make a case that evangelical Christianity, also, promotes violence, and presto, one may no longer be an evangelical Christian (already evangelical Christianity is being accused of hate speech, so it is hardly that large a leap from one to the other).

The point is not which religions actually promote violence and which do not. The point is that the minute anything becomes the basis for excluding a religion from American society, we have also provided a logical basis for evangelical Christianity itself to become punishable in America.

Consequently, to any Christians reading this blog: by turning a blind eye to Trump's statements regarding Muslims and American society, we are also sowing the seeds for our own persecution. In addition, as Christians we are supposed to be witnessing to Muslims. Given the difficulty of entering many strongly Islamic country like Iran, the best opportunity for many Christians to fulfill this part of the Great Commission is to befriend and dialogue with them here in America. How can this happen if our President refuses to allow them into American society?

I close with a happy thought in the midst of this dismal election, where the so-called "lesser two evils" (who actually matches much of the description of 2Timothy 3:1-4 pretty well) won. Despite all that has happened, God is still King!

Oh, one more thing: no matter what you may think of your elected officials, pray for them! (1Timothy 2:1-4)


  1. I have been telling people these things for months, but no one would listen. I voted for Evan McMullin, as he is against abortion, but I was horrified by so-called Christians and how blind they were...a friend of your fathers and mine for many years back told me "all men talk locker room talk like that. You're just naive." I told him my brother would never ever disrespect women in that way, even around only other men, and that my father and grandfather would never talk so crudely, and that most of the Christian men I knew would never talk like that...and this is a man I respected who was a retired missionary.....regardless of how anyone feels about Islam, it is remarkably short-sighted of Christians not to realize the implications...and the hatred, racism, and bigotry that I have heard and seen spilling out of my fellow Christians has left me feeling betrayed, angry, and sad....I know I should only keep my eyes on Christ and not men, but its a feeling of being betrayed by "family"...like other Christians are so blinded and far from God that they don't see what they have done...Americans sometimes forget that Jesus was a dark-skinned illegal immigrant who was a refugee...."The bright day is done, and we are for the dark"

  2. Good thoughts, and I agree with you. Religious liberty continues to be an important freedom within our nation and we should be welcoming to all religions, even when we disagree with their doctrines. My only question on the issue is how do we uphold freedom of religion when the religion espouses illegal behavior (i.e. says that non followers should be executed)? How do we ban certain practices within a religion without setting dangerous precedents for banning practices in other religions?