Who is Supporting Trump, and Should We Be Concerned?

12 June 2024

4.3 MINS

In an opinion piece in The Sydney Morning Herald, Tim Costello, former CEO of World Vision and chief advocate for the Alliance for Gambling Reform, claims to have reached a personal crisis.

The piece was entitled: “I am a Christian but my tribe supports Trump. I feel like I no longer belong.”

As humans, we have a need to belong and to be accepted. We gravitate towards those who share our values and our worldview.

We feel safer with those who confirm our beliefs. We are encouraged by those who ‘side’ with us as we share our experiences and interpret them through our shared ‘lens’ of how the world operates. Tim Costello calls this our ‘tribe’.

He describes a sense of personal crisis as he finds the tribe to which he thought he belonged is seeing the world through a different lens. The tribe he identifies with is ‘Christian’, but Christians, both in America and Australia, who are supporting Donald Trump, have left him bereft.

He identifies the great divide in American politics, between the right and the left, as crystalising the separation he feels:

“For those on the right, Donald Trump being found guilty of criminal offences simply provided proof that the Democrats had weaponised the justice system through a Democratic prosecutor and a Democratic judge, and furthered their sense that the whole system is broken. For the left, the overwhelming feeling was that, finally 12 ordinary jurors had held Trump accountable after he had escaped such censure his whole career.”

Human Progress

His lack of confidence in his tribe arises from the undermining of his core beliefs:

“I have believed all my life that whatever the ebb and flow of history, we are moving slowly towards greater justice and more democracy.”

Are humans evolving to be better?

Mr Costello implies humans are evolving to ‘a better being’. He claims somehow, our good works are making the world a better place. For those who have benefited from his work in poverty alleviation, this is certainly true. He claims:

“A million fewer children under the age of five will die in our world from preventable poverty than in 2016. Extreme poverty has plummeted to 8 percent of the global population.”

This is wonderful news. He claims this is a reason to celebrate and it reinforces his belief that the advances in healthcare, literacy and education for the world’s poor are an indicator of ‘progress’.

“Surely, this march to greater justice, accountability and democracy is irreversible.”

Who can deny, or not be grateful for, advances in technology, medicine and agriculture that are benefiting so many?

The Jesus Tribe

A fundamental flaw in Mr Costello’s argument is his hope in ‘inevitable progress’. He claims:

“It underpinned a gospel I preached grounded in the belief that God is at work in energising greater justice, moderated with a realism that though we will not reach utopia this side of heaven, we are making headway.”

Sorry, Mr Costello, there is only one way to heaven, and that is through Jesus Christ. Yes, surely God is ‘energising’ people all over the world to love their neighbours. They do a wonderful job through many different organisations to improve the lives of those less fortunate. Their work is admirable, as was yours in World Vision and Gambling Reform.

But in the end, the only way to change the world is through the message of love, grace, forgiveness and mercy of Jesus Christ. The only tribe we can genuinely belong to is the Jesus tribe. It is only through forgiveness and transformation, being born again, that we can truly belong.

Fallen World

Surely we learn from history that evil exists in the same way it always has. We see the manifestation of greed for power, injustice, selfish ambition, exploitation, deception and idolatry all over the world, and closer to home in our own neighbourhoods, families and workplaces.

What has changed since the sacrifice of children to the god Molech, and the sacrifice of millions of babies by abortion today?

What has changed since the desire for world domination of Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Turks, Germans, Russians or current-day Iran? Evil manifests all over the world and in the lives of individuals, particularly those in power.

What is happening in Iran, Nigeria, and Sudan is hardly mentioned in the news, while the evil perpetrated by the terrorist group Hamas is celebrated, even as Israel, attempting to defend itself against this existential threat, is vilified. Nothing has changed.

So we should not be surprised many Christians are being deceived, as Scripture says:

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron. (1 Timothy 4:1-2)

What does it mean to have a ‘seared conscience’? It means you can no longer tell the difference between good and evil, between lies and deception, between what is right and what is wrong. You have made up your mind to believe whatever it is you want to believe.

So, should Christians support Trump?

I say to Mr Costello, fix your eyes upon Jesus. Rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you. Christianity is not a ‘movement’ – it is a relationship with the living God. True security will only be found in Him.

Find your tribe in those who believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and Jesus Christ is the manifestation of God – Emmanuel, God with Us. Jesus died to set us free from anxiety and lostness. He is in control. He is a trustworthy and faithful God.

Significantly, the Bible tells us in Romans 13:1:

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

Do not put your trust in men who claim to be able to save the world. There is only one who can save us, Jesus Christ.

If Donald Trump becomes President of the United States, the Bible tells us, God has established it. Is he perfect, absolutely not; none of us are. Will he be a ‘good’ President? Only time will tell. But for him, like all of us, unless he submits to the Lordship of Jesus, he will go down the slippery slope of deception. So pray for whoever becomes President to seek wisdom and guidance from the only true source of security, the Lord God Almighty.

Nothing could be more evident: we only see the underside of the tapestry God is weaving. We see the tatty bits, the knots and imperfections. But God sees the whole picture He is weaving, to give all of us the opportunity to be saved and come to a knowledge of Who He is.


Image courtesy of Adobe.

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  1. Kathy 12 June 2024 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Great article, thanks Teri

  2. Countess Antonia Maria Violetta Scrivanich 12 June 2024 at 10:28 am - Reply

    Many NGos have been funded by the Rockefeller Foundation which, also, supports Abortion and Eugenics. Soros who funds ‘ Medecins Sans Frontieres ” has corrupted universities with Woke Idedology which preaches promiscuity and undermines the Family, etc. I think Tim Costello is very confused. In the opinion of Tim Costello ‘s “tribe “and mine, Trump can’t do a worse job than that corrupt, senile Jo Biden and his convicted criminal son, Hunter Biden. I suggest Mr Costello takes his blinkers off and faces reality about the flawed “Good “which many NGOs have have done and are continuing to do throughout the World by, eg flooding European countries with illegals when there is heaps of room in resources -rich Africa .

    • Vaughn 12 June 2024 at 1:59 pm - Reply

      As well as Hunter Biden, Trump is also a convicted criminal.

      Is it proven that Joe Biden is corrupt, or is this simply projection from Trump, the convicted felon?

      The illegals you refer to did not enter Europe illegally. Sound like xenophobia to me.

  3. Kim Beazley 12 June 2024 at 11:41 am - Reply

    “…we only see the underside of the tapestry God is weaving. We see the tatty bits, the knots and imperfections. But God sees the whole picture He is weaving, to give all of us the opportunity to be saved and come to a knowledge of Who He is.”

    Such wisdom in that paragraph! And though you highlight the “underside”, you have done so from God’s perspective.

    And when you mention that Costello’s “lack of confidence in his tribe arises from the undermining of his core beliefs”, and those are based on the responses of both the Right and the Left to the Trump verdict, it’s clear that he sides with the opinion of the Left, that “finally 12 ordinary jurors had held Trump accountable after he had escaped such censure his whole career”.

    This is rather farcical when you consider the fact that he was not on trial for escaping censure previously. He was, in fact, on trial for what many legal and constitutional experts from across the political spectrum stated was both a mockery of the law and unconstitutional.

    So in fact Costello has let his own politics overshadow the way that he should be examining this issue as a Christian.

  4. Vaughn 12 June 2024 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    Teri, you write “A fundamental flaw in Mr Costello’s argument is his hope in ‘inevitable progress’. ”

    Why would hope be seen as a flaw? Surely hope in progress is a virtue rather than a flaw.

    • Teri Kempe 14 June 2024 at 10:18 am - Reply

      Sadly for Tim Costello his ‘hope’ caused him to have a ‘personal crisis’. Misplaced hope ends in hopelessness – our only hope is Jesus.

  5. Vaughn 12 June 2024 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    Cult Trump rhetoric

  6. Warwick Marsh 15 June 2024 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    Brilliant article Teri!!!!

  7. Vaughn 17 June 2024 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Perhaps Jesus is acting through Tim Costello to save us from Donald Trump?

  8. Jim Twelves 18 June 2024 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    Teri, you have ignited a debate! I like debates, as traditionally the participants are open to persuasion from the other side. I for one, was persuaded by your piece, I thought your points were very well made.
    Let me add another thought, what about Robert F Kennedy Jn? Would Tim feel he could side with him?

  9. Teri Kempe 19 June 2024 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    Thanks Jim. Yes I like a debate too. My main concern was that Tim’s disagreement with those with a contrary view caused him to have a ‘personal crisis’. He is a Baptist minister and an influential Christian and I was sad that his faith didn’t provide him with a firm foundation so he could explore different political scenarios without feeling he had ‘lost his tribe’. I’m not sure Tim would feel part of Robert Kennedy Jnr tribe – he seems to be changing his tune for votes, so he has no integrity either.

  10. Val Othenin -Girard 21 June 2024 at 7:52 am - Reply

    Jesus warned that society will become increasingly godless amidst wars and rumours of wars, deception will reign and even family members will turn against each other but that these will be the signs of his impending return (Matthew 24). Furthermore, Jesus did not engage in politics while on earth even though Israel was under the oppressive rule of the Roman Empire. He said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” (Mark 12:17).

    Jesus focussed on giving hope to the poor, healing the sick and demon-possessed and pressing on to accomplish what he was sent to do – save mankind from God’s wrath by substitution. All the sin of humanity was imputed on him on the cross and God unleashed his holy wrath on his own Son. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). Jesus’ sacrificial death was acceptable to the Father because in his humanity, Jesus was tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin (Hebrews 4:15).

    Jesus commissioned his disciples to spread the good news of salvation to the whole world … not to campaign against the inevitable deception and injustices of society or to save the earth from its wear and tear because everything is going to be destroyed by fire anyway in order to make way for a new heaven and earth. “The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:10, 13). Followers of Christ are to love people into the Kingdom. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

  11. Kath 11 July 2024 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    I support President Trump and I pray for him every day. God Bless President Trump!

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