Evangelicals still can't get enough of Trump — and it's killing their credibility: report
President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks at the Liberty University commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 13, 2017 in Lynchburg, VA (Official White House Photo By Shealah Craighead).

It has been a year since President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, but his power over the evangelical movement persists, and it's eliminating their credibility, reported Christianity Today.

The report cited a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults that showed around half of Americans believe the evangelical support for Trump has hurt the church.

In the youthful, mobile, and tech-savvy church, members who "leaned more toward the far left and the far right tended to have the most difficult time in this last season," noted Pastor Adam Sinnett of Downtown Cornerstone Church in Seattle. "And they also were the ones that gravitated away from the church."

The survey revealed that one in four believes the evangelical support for Trump made them not want to participate in religion. Among evangelicals, however, one-third said that their church's support of Trump made personal witnessing more difficult. Witnessing is when evangelicals share their personal experience with Jesus Christ and discuss their faith. Many who supported Trump faced conflict with those listing how Trump's policies, beliefs, and personal life are antithetical to the teachings of Christ.

The political conflict in churches "shows the world that Jesus doesn't really unite people like we say he does," Sinnett explained. "It's somewhat of an indictment of the church that we are far more comfortable in our ideological circles than we are with people that have totally different political perspectives but worship the same Jesus."

Many pastors faced massive conflicts in their congregations during and after the 2020 election because of the political polarization caused by Trump and his followers. At the same time, such churches became super spreaders because members believed a slate of conspiracy theories about the coronavirus. Pastors were even forced to take to the pulpit to address things like truth and lies.

"Amid the tensions, some congregations clashed with their leaders, some pastors left their churches, some members went searching for a new church home, and some have taken a break from church life altogether," said the report.

"There are risks of dividing over things that are in the news," said theologian Jonathan Leeman. "Now we're not talking about a presidential election," and the division is waning. "Everybody is talking about vaccines and mask mandates, so that's where you're going to feel the fissures."

Christianity Today explained that it can be difficult for church members to have civil disagreements over politics when they view their politics as stemming from their faith. Trump has worked with Evangelical leaders to convince Christians that they are victims under attack by Democrats and like Christ must be willing to become martyrs for their cause.

Read the full report at Christianity Today.