A top evangelical leader rebuked Donald Trump as the Republican frontrunner wooed conservative Christians with a speech Monday at Liberty University.
Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, posted a series of withering tweets as Trump spoke to what he described as a "record" crowd at a mandatory convocation at the Virginia university founded by Jerry Falwell.
Absolutely unbelievable. https://t.co/fDTD5LBWNt— Russell Moore (@Russell Moore) 1453134820.0
Trump assured the crowd that he would "protect Christianity" from "very bad things (that) are happening," although he didn't specify what he meant.
Winning at politics while losing the gospel is not a win.— Russell Moore (@Russell Moore) 1453133943.0
Trump drew laughter by referring to "Two Corinthians, 3:17," rather than correctly saying "Second Corinthians," but the students cheered as he read a passage he described as "the whole ballgame": "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
Politics driving the gospel rather than the other way around is the third temptation of Christ. He overcame it. Will we?— Russell Moore (@Russell Moore) 1453134555.0
But some students were unhappy that Trump used mild profanity, which is forbidden at Liberty, when he vowed to "knock the hell out of ISIS" and determine "what the hell we're doing."
This would be hilarious if it weren't so counter to the mission of the gospel of Jesus Christ. #TrumpatLiberty— Russell Moore (@Russell Moore) 1453135638.0
Russell harshly criticized Trump for bragging about his accomplishments and questioned his commitment to Christian values.
Being faithful to the wife of one's youth is succeeding in real life.— Russell Moore (@Russell Moore) 1453133805.0
He compared the real estate tycoon and reality TV star to the biblical "golden calf," which Moses found his brother, Aaron, had made for the Israelites to worship while he was away receiving the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai.
Evangelicals can love a golden calf, as long as Aaron promises to make Mexico pay for it.— Russell Moore (@Russell Moore) 1453135913.0
Watch Trump's speech at Liberty University posted online by Live Broadcasting 2016: