Christians' role post-Trump verdict? Be appalled – but remain righteous

Christians' role post-Trump verdict? Be appalled – but remain righteous

Christians' role post-Trump verdict? Be appalled – but remain righteous

The president of a Southern Baptist seminary acknowledges that Christians need to engage when laws are improperly applied – but not further endanger the republic by seeking political revenge when in power.

While laws in civil society run parallel to the Ten Commandments, Christians have an "absolute interest" in seeing that they're upheld and properly applied, a leading theologian says. That's why Christians, he argues, should be appalled at the conviction of former President Donald Trump on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

"This is a constitutional crisis for the United States, and we as Christians need to think through these issues and understand we have an absolute interest in a commitment to the rule of law. That means we call it out when it fails," Dr. Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said on Washington Watch Monday.

Christians should also be the ones to protect the rule of law, Mohler added. And while politically there's a temptation to claim Old Testament theology of "an eye for an eye," Mohler told show host Tony Perkins that Christians should lead in rebuking that theory.

Mohler, Dr. R. Albert Mohler (SBTS) Mohler

"I can't think of many things that are more dangerous for our republic. The one thing that would add danger would be conservatives gaining control and trying to do the same thing. This is the destruction of the rule of law. We have to be the people who uphold the rule of law. Our job is to do what is right and uphold what is righteous and just," Mohler emphasized.

This response is necessary for the republic despite what Mohler describes as a case against Trump with multiple flaws such as timing, a weak charge, bias by the district attorney and a novel theory or prosecution.

"We're talking about events that in terms of the court's interests were dated back to 2016. We're talking about a case that was described by the previous district attorney as a zombie case; and we're talking about a current district attorney [Alvin Bragg] who ran for office vowing to do whatever he could do to bring action against Donald Trump," Mohler said.

The prosecution's entire approach to the case was created with Donald Trump in mind, he added.

"We have this case that was brought, and even on the Left they admit this was a novel legal theory. In other words, no one's ever been prosecuted on these grounds before," he summarized.

Here's what could happen to Trump

Trump is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11, four days before the start of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee where he will be the presumed nominee.

Judge Juan Merchan, a known contributor to Democratic causes, has a wide range of options available to punish the former president. They range from imprisonment to probation with community service, a fine, home detention, electronic monitoring, restitution and/or a suspended sentence in between.

"You have the media talking about this case as a 'hush money' case – and frankly there are huge moral issues, but that's not what the case is about when it comes to the law. When it comes to the law, I don't think the average American can explain what it is this court has now convicted Donald Trump of doing," Mohler explained.

And continued practice of the "lawfare" experienced by Trump would only further erode the republic, Mohler said, pointing out that when people lose confidence in the equal application of justice, businesses begin to struggle, and the economy goes with them.

"We're living in a strange political time; we need to admit that. Quite honestly, we're dealing right now on both sides of the political divide with unprecedented developments. The last thing we need right now is to give ourselves to a pattern of revenge by lawfare," Mohler advised.

So, what should believers do? Given the times, the seminary president said the last thing Christians can afford to do – no matter how frustrated they may be on either side of the aisle – is to disengage politically.

"If we leave this to the people who want to create mayhem and want to morally transform this nation, then quite frankly the cause is lost. There will not be an American republic in the next generation. We desperately need Christians to be informed," he warned.

"There's no excuse to just withdraw from the political process. It's a mess. The answer to that is not to withdraw, but to help clean it up."

A message to pastors

Mohler didn't stop there. Pastors likewise, he said, need to engage and embrace their responsibility to "equip" their congregations. But sadly, he continued, too many of them are ignoring responsibilities and leading in "ministerial malpractice."

"Many church members don't have a clue as to how to think about the challenge of the transgender revolution, the assault on parental rights and the subversion of the family," said Mohler. "There are many pastors who are silent on these issues. It's the pastor's job to preach the Word and equip the people of God."

Mohler is convinced many pastors will be judged in eternity by how uninformed their church members are during these unique times.