'How were we so easily fooled?' Top evangelical leader calls for reckoning in the wake of Trump
Donald Trump posing with a Bible in front of St. John's church (screengrab)

A top evangelical leader is calling on his fellow Christians to question how they came under the authoritarian sway of President Donald Trump.

Ed Stetzer, head of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, tells NPR that he was very disturbed to see so many self-professed evangelicals taking part in the deadly riots last week at the Capitol building that were designed to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

"Part of this reckoning is: How did we get here?" he said. "How were we so easily fooled by conspiracy theories? We need to make clear who we are. And our allegiance is to King Jesus, not to what boasting political leader might come next."

He also said that he's been disturbed at seeing how many evangelicals have made Trump a part of their religious faith, which is essentially idolatry.

"If you asked today 'what's an evangelical?' to most people, I would want them to say: someone who believes Jesus died on the cross for our sin and in our place and we're supposed to tell everyone about it," he said. "But for most people they'd say, 'Oh, those are those people who are really super supportive of the president no matter what he does.' And I don't think that's what we want to be known for."