Christianity,  Politics

Donald Trump announces new religious advisory board

RNS reports that Donald Trump has named a new religious advisory board. The full list of board members is as follows:

• Michele Bachmann — Former Congresswoman

• A.R. Bernard — Senior Pastor and CEO, Christian Cultural Center

• Mark Burns — Pastor, Harvest Praise and Worship Center

• Tim Clinton — President, American Association of Christian Counselors

• Kenneth and Gloria Copeland — Founders, Kenneth Copeland Ministries

• James Dobson — Author, Psychologist and Host, “My Family Talk”

• Jerry Falwell Jr. — President, Liberty University

• Ronnie Floyd — Senior Pastor, Cross Church

• Jentezen Franklin — Senior Pastor, Free Chapel

• Jack Graham — Senior Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church

• Harry Jackson — Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church

• Robert Jeffress — Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Dallas

• David Jeremiah — Senior Pastor, Shadow Mountain Community Church

• Richard Land — President, Southern Evangelical Seminary

• James MacDonald — Founder and Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel

• Johnnie Moore — Author, President of The KAIROS Company

• Robert Morris — Senior Pastor, Gateway Church

• Tom Mullins — Senior Pastor, Christ Fellowship

• Ralph Reed — Founder, Faith and Freedom Coalition

• James Robison — Founder, Life OUTREACH International

• Tony Suarez — Executive Vice President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

• Jay Strack — President, Student Leadership University

• Paula White — Senior Pastor, New Destiny Christian Center

• Tom Winters — Attorney, Winters and King, Inc.

• Sealy Yates — Attorney, Yates and Yates


  • Ike Lentz

    This was the nail in the coffin for me. Rachel Held Evans, save me a spot in that Episcopal pew.

    Denny, thank you for being a consistent man of character in the midst of this. You and Dr. Moore should be commended for standing against the tide, and being voices of reason during a year when many seemed eager to trade their integrity for power. We may not always agree on everything, but you’re a good guy and a true man of God.

  • Ezra Thomas

    I am utterly unsurprised to see Richard Land, Ralph Reed, and Falwell Jr. on that list. True examples of the decrepit and compromised religious right.

  • brian darby

    It is sort of a calculated risk but all business moves are. If Mr. Trump wins then these folks will be in the catbird seat for at least four years when it comes to having some perceived power or bragging rights. In my experience in the evangelical religion are extremely important and can be leveraged if used correctly. A down side is that if Mr. Trump does not win he could cause some damage to name branding but that cant last long and they can spin it in their favor. So this has no real down side for them on the list.

    • Ian Shaw

      This is a joke.

      I’m a bit shocked by some of the names here, as I would never find myself listening to them for good reason.

      The other half may be solid, but in my opinion, pastor’s shouldn’t have anything to do with political candidates.

    • brian darby

      Not at all Mr. Cochran and I am sorry if it came out that way. It has been my personal experience in the Christian religion as lived out through the evangelical communions I have been involved in that pragmatism plays a critical role in such decisions. I should have qualified my statement to include I am speaking from my personal experience. Power plays for control of say a church or seminary, though my experience in the seminary side is based on a small seminary and my observations online with people personally involved larger seminary shifts. For example a church who brings in a new pastor who has a theological point of view that is different from the congregation and hides that theological pov until they can unite and control the power structure of that particular church and force out those who will not conform.

      Such events often lead to church splits or firings / forced resignations and many people asked to leave or excommunicated. To accomplish these power plays it is often needed to play up to the big donors central congregational leaders and key elders to get say new bylaws passed etc in order to gain and hold power. I cant judge these individuals but I am sure most of them looked at the up and downside of getting involved with Mr. Trump and did a cost benefit analysis of said involvement. It is a calculated risk but it has been my experience that most evangelicals do not have long memories concerning such alliances.

      My personal opinion, I cant stand much of what Prof Burk says or teaches and I am not a Christian from a traditional sense of the faith but on this issue I agree with him. Mr Trump has show himself to not old to the teachings of the historic Christian faith and these folks aliening themselves with him can cause great confusion to the people who reside in many faith communions. I like some of Mr Trumps political views and it is sort of enticing to have the rebel outside the box ride in on a white horse mentality not an insider mentality that seems to garner Mr. Trump for political office. My opinion from what I have observed in his interactions is that he lacks the temperament to hold that much political power where words can become policy quickly and one needs humility to admit they are wrong and to change. Mr. Trump seems to lack that quality and that can be dangerous.

      I admire Prof. Burk’s and others stance on this and I got a bit hopeful when the idea of Mr. French entering the race because he has those qualities of humility, service, and a stable personality tested in trying times. I dont agree with much of Mr. French’s politics but I do see qualities of leadership in him I do not see in the other two front runners. I am sorry for the length of this post but I thought this would explain my POV I do hope you have a nice day.


      ps Prof Burk if this to far off topic or to long please feel free to moderate it I totally understand.

  • Andrew Orlovsky

    Seems mostly an army of has-beens and in Falwell’s case, guys riding their fathers coattails.

    Most leaders who are popular with Conservative Evangelicals under 50 are still solidly anti-Trump.

  • Kent McDonald

    I wonder how one rationalizes how your influence on this man and his future decisions will be weighed in the balance once the final word is written. This can go one of three ways: 1. He wins, but his administration is a disaster, tainting everyone associated. 2. He wins and ignores the pleas and advice given him by the ‘religious advisory board’, tainting everyone associated. 3. He loses and you are on record supporting this con artist. I don’t see a positive outcome for anyone on this list, including seeing your name in the company of known heretics.

  • Cheryl Henderson

    He has “named” them but does that mean they agreed to or even know they’ve been added to his list??

  • Gus Nelson

    I don’t understand the revulsion expressed by so many here. I get not everyone on this list is truly an evangelical, but there are many. If Trump doesn’t have any evangelicals “in his ear” as it were, then how is he to ever come to understand why so many of us find him repulsive? How is he to ever change? What about Romans 10:14? If Trump is to hear the gospel message, perhaps there is someone in this group who might impress upon him his need for salvation. I have Mark 10:27 posted on my wall in my office at home for this reason: I want to be reminded all the time that God is sovereign and can work things out in ways that might seem utterly unexpected to us because with God all things are possible – even Donald Trump’s conversion. Baby steps are better than no steps in the right direction. Seems to me this is a step in the right direction, even if it’s a faltering one.

    • buddyglass

      “I don’t understand the revulsion expressed by so many here. I get not everyone on this list is truly an evangelical, but there are many.”

      That someone self-identifies as “evangelical” doesn’t exclude them as a source of revulsion.

      In fact, the more “real” evangelicals are on the list the more revolting it becomes.

  • Wanda Hayes

    They did not have to endorse Trump in order to sit on the board. I think Gary Bauer is the one who said that yesterday.

  • Lisa Nunley

    I’m so utterly disappointed to see several of the names on this list. Including a local Southern Baptist pastor. To me, it’s like they’ve been bought by Trump… sold their soul to the devil.

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