On Support for Donald Trump: An Open Letter to Albert Mohler

Earlier today, Louisville Baptist pastor Joel Bowman posted this open Facebook letter to likely incoming Southern Baptist Convention president Al Mohler regarding his support for Donald Trump in 2020.

Open Letter to R. Albert Mohler, President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Dear Dr. Mohler,

I am writing to you in this medium, because the likelihood of you meeting with me face-to-face is quite low. Moreover, your public remarks require my public response.

Sir, you said during the 2016 election cycle, to support then candidate, Donald J. Trump, would cause evangelicals to lose moral credibility. You also said if you were to support him, you would owe President Bill Clinton an apology, given your judgement of his character. Now, you are endeavoring to be president of the SBC, and suddenly, you announced not only your support for Trump, in 2020, but that you would vote Republican for the foreseeable future. Given your position, as well as the position you endeavor to hold, you did not have to voice support for any candidate or party, in 2020. Further, I think it would have been wise for you not to do this.

1. You owe Clinton an apology. Not to give him one speaks of lack of integrity on your part.

2. Given your influence among Southern Baptists and white evangelicals, as a whole, you have inextricably tied the evangelical movement to the Republican Party, for better or for worse, and,

3. Your book, “Conviction to Lead” no longer has a place in my library. It wreaks of hypocrisy and ecclesiastical opportunism.

It grieves me to say you have, in my estimation, lost all moral credibility. You no longer have a prophetic voice. Now, you simply blend in with popular, politicized evangelical thought. Rather than being an apologist for the Gospel, you have become an apologist for political conservatism. Your assertion that a vote for Trump or a Republican candidate is THE expression of a Biblical world view is myopic and tribalistic.

You once had my high respect, though we disagreed on some secondary and tertiary issues. As a Louisville pastor for 21 years with affiliation within the Louisville Regional Baptist Association, Kentucky Baptist Convention, and some involvement in the SBC, I am deeply disappointed. I feel like ripping your chapter out of the book, “Removing the Stain of Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention”. It is all meaningless chatter, empty rhetoric to me, now.

There was a time I was working toward stronger involvement within the SBC, through the Cooperative Program. Due, in part, to your recent remarks, I am placing this on hold. As an African-American of evangelical theology, I lack confidence in your leadership in the area of Biblical justice.

I pray the Holy Spirit convict you in this area. I say all of this with every ounce of love and respect I can muster, as your brother in Christ.


Rev. Joel A. Bowman, Sr.
Founder & Senior Pastor
Temple of Faith Baptist Church
Louisville, Kentucky

I feel pretty sure that white evangelicals on average do not comprehend how differently their black brothers and sisters on average see the endorsement of Donald Trump. This is a key sentence:

I feel like ripping your chapter out of the book, “Removing the Stain of Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention”. It is all meaningless chatter, empty rhetoric to me, now.

Here is the most recent illustration of the vast gulf between Donald Trump,  his supporters and the minority perspective.  Donald Trump tweeted this about the angry, armed, white men who stormed the Michigan Capitol Building in a re-open Michigan protest.

I cannot believe the results and reaction would have been the same if those protesters would have been angry black men carrying weapons into the Capitol. What a perfect example of white privilege that they were not arrested and got a commendation from the president.

Some of the rallies feature Confederate flags and Nazi slogans and Trump does and says nothing to discourage it. The protesters like him and that’s what matters. You simply have no credibility with most African-Americans if you tolerate white supremacy. There is nothing pro-life about that.

112 thoughts on “On Support for Donald Trump: An Open Letter to Albert Mohler”

  1. Being a white man, how do you tolerate your own thoughts about race, much less offer them to other people? Why don’t you start by listening as JD Greear advises. Wait! He’s a white man too! Don’t listen to him. Thomas Sowell and Shelby Steele, both of whom are black, and grew up under Jim Crow say you are wrong. Is that enough to shut your mouth and open your ears and get you to assume the posture of a learner? Didn’t think so. You’re just a virtue signaling liberal. That’s all. Are Sowell and Steele and John McWhorter Uncle Toms? Yes or no? No answer? Ah. The mouth is shut. Finally. Save your virtue signaling for Dems and Libs. Is Candace Owens an Aunt Tammy? Got some race-relations tutoring for her white man? Didn’t think so.

  2. Seriously, American Christians should just stop with all the politics. Just vote who you feel led to vote for and go out to share the Gospel. It really isn’t that hard but we here in America can politicize a pickle. Most Chrisitans don’t know the role of the church and the role of the government. They are not the same. I don’t need a Christian leader to tell me how to vote so I really wish they would stop telling everyone in the church their preference. If churches want to register voters and hand out the voting records of politicans so they are informed voters so be it but we are so consumed with politics in our churches. Even viruses are politicized on both sides. I think people are sick and tired of it. I am. If you are happy with who you voted for then so be it. I am happy for you. Just stop telling me who you want me to vote for and then shaming me because there are only two choices. I didn’t put just two people up there so why are you bothering me with your shame? Give me more choices and I will check them out but until then I don’t want to hear politics from pulpits. No one will want to go to church with this rubbish and I don’t blame them!

  3. I don’t know why religious leaders feel they need to endorse any political candidate. I don’t find this to be helpful at all. I think it weakens their message. I found Al Mohler to have had some thoughtful posts in the past that caused me to think more deeply on some things. I don’t find this a helpful post by Al Mohler and it has caused me to think more deeply on why religious leaders feel they need to support any political party or political person. The Church of Jesus Christ of which Al Mohler is a part, is not Democrat or Republican, nor Independent, nor…. It is to rise above the political fray.

    1. This is my view on this. When religious leaders are conflicted or they see problems as Mohler says he does (he doesn’t like Trump’s manners, some of his ways, etc.), he should just stay out of it. There are obvious reasons why conservative Christians might want to avoid support for either major party candidate. I get that. So just don’t do it. Speak truth to all power. Mohler now is muzzled when it comes to reprobate GOP.

      1. Bowman speaks against Trump, so by your standard he should just remain silent also.

        1. This comment just demonstrates you don’t understand what Warren’s standard is.

          1. Anyone that reads Dr. T’s blogs pretty much knows what he is about. I bet most are OK with it too even if they don’t agree. I think the time has come for Christian leaders to stop telling the rest of us their political views and telling us how to vote. I really don’t care how my Pastor or any president of the SB votes. I do my own research and vote according to the choices that I have before me. Shaming people because we only have one D or one R to choose from is ridiculous. Give us more choices and we will gladly take them into consideration.

      2. Muzzled how? His NeverTrumpism didn’t muzzle him. His new Trumpism does not muzzle him. He can say whatever. He obviously has very little influence on evangelical voters no matter what he says. But muzzled? No.

  4. “Given your position, as well as the position you endeavor to hold, you did not have to voice support for any candidate or party, in 2020. Further, I think it would have been wise for you not to do this.”

    Pretty hypocritical ^^^ considering he says negative things about Trump all the time.

    1. when has Bowman said anything in support of Trump? Can you cite any evidence Bowman has done a complete 180 in his position on Trump? (or where he has supported Clinton’s infidelities while calling out Trump’s)?


    2. Given your influence among
    Southern Baptists and white evangelicals, as a whole, you have
    inextricably tied the evangelical movement to the Republican Party, for
    better or for worse.

    And for the past four years, the Republican Party has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trump, Inc.

    Trump has done what Caesar Nero or Caesar Domitian never could.
    Even the Nazarenes bend the knee, burn the pinch of incense on his altar, and take his mark.

    1. Rubbish. The evangelical movement is full of different voices, some are libertarians. We are a diverse group of people and I am happy to see it. Obviously Rev Bowman and Mohler don’t talk to the average folks in church. They just roll around in their echo chambers. There are a whole lot of folks that really don’t care what evangelical leaders think about politics. We are polite and respectful but have turned a deaf ear. Problem is that many folks in the pew are too lazy to research what policies and backgrounds of the politicains on their own so they just swallow what their pastor says or their party. That is our fault.

    2. Where’s evidence that Mohler or the other SB NeverTrumpers have influence on the voting of evangelicals? They probably thought they had influence. 2016 disabused them of that fantasy. Now Mohler is pathetically trying what he has a history of–running toward where he thinks folks are headed and attempting to look like their leader.

  6. Pro-life is about abortion, using it otherwiise is to only divide evangelicals and trick them from voting consrvative, it’s a very powerful yet satanic scheme. It’s used by useful idiots to push progressive policies and the sheep follow. sigh. Evangelicals are catching on to this including many from the black community.

    1. I don’t think Al Mohler’s ideology has changed he probably just realizes what I wrote above and wants to get ahead of it…

  7. How would angry black men have been treated? Just think back (not that many years for some of us) and you may recall a group of armed angry black men (although standing, not shoving or shouting) in a group as a protest at a State Capitol Building. It was immediately after that, that the NRA and the GOP with the support of the Republican Governor of California, backed stronger gun control. They were not quietly ignored or tolerated by LO, either.

  8. Jerry Falwell Sr. started the Moral Majority to protest the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and went on from there to co-opt the pro-birth, anti- LGBTQ, and xenophobia of the rest of the disgruntled Dixiecrats who left the Democratic Party in droves and migrated to the increasingly racist anti-humanist, Ayn Rand influenced GOP.
    The SBC would be expected to follow along this path- unless spiritual enlightenment would occur. From time to time, it would appear that the SBC is moving away from their antebellum nostalgic but toxic attachments. The advent of Trump and the abject genuflection to him by most fundamentalist evangelicals has cancelled spiritual progress in favor of Ayn Rand’s “virtue of selfishness”.

    1. And Jerry Falwell Jr is busy brown-nosing Trump.
      Another Tabaqui the Jackal, sucking up to Shere Khan in the hope of a scrap from the tiger’s kill.

      As well as proving why “Rags to Riches to Rags in three generations” is a folk proverb in both English and Chinese.

  9. “Some of the rallies feature Confederate flags and Nazi slogans and Trump does and says nothing to discourage it.”

    No, the tRumpian GOP knows that even “Confederate flags and Nazi slogans” are too much for suburbia.

    1. The thing with Trump is that he is an extremely selfish man and the kind of jerk boss who’s a sucker for flattery and attention. Like the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville years ago, all he probably could see was “THEY PRAISE ME! THEY ADORE ME! MEEEE!”

  10. One thing is very clear about modern politics – it is broken and can’t cope with the changes in technology and rumour or propaganda. Christians need to be part of the solution in changing the system. This doesn’t mean just voting for party A or party B, but changing electoral systems to have more proportional representation. This would include preferential voting for candidates in legislative and executive positions. It would include a removal of the electoral college system. One solution is to have multiple people being part of an executive committee that runs the government instead of a single person acting as president – this is what Switzerland does. An even better solution would be to remove elections altogether and instead select members of congress/parliament via sortition – random selection of people from the population. This latter solution is something I am trying to advocate (I have started a local ngo) – randomly selecting people to become part of the legislature to make laws.

    1. A political system needs to change when it no produces an acceptable leader. In February 1984, Konstantin Chernenko was shuffled into the top job in the USSR; he was totally unfit to lead a local council meeting, never mind a superpower. In January 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as US President … (need I go on?)

      I’m not myself sure what the solution is, but, as you suggest, it should be one that promotes greater ‘ownership’ by the people (in contrast to a situation where ‘little people’ defer to a ‘strong man’ who functions as their ‘psychological tit’), as well as robust checks and balances promoting proper safeguards on the right of peaceful and truthful dissent. (I’m clearer what must be avoided: religious autocracy [which is notorious when it comes to squashing truthful debate]; suppression of honest debate …)

      1. One of the problems of elections is that it requires ordinary people to make a decision about which person best represents them in the legislature (congress/parliament). This ends up being controlled by parties, and these parties then use mass media marketing and propaganda techniques to convince voters to vote for them and not the other party. With a huge amount of contradicting messages out there, most people fail to make a voting choice based upon actual, real information.

        What sortition does is replace elections. Instead of voting for someone to work in the legislature, people are randomly selected from the population and offered a chance to be a lawmaker. They can say no to this offer, of course, and that’s fine – someone else is then randomly selected instead. Without the pressure of a political party and their backers, the people entering the legislature will then be asked to make decisions based solely upon what they think is right. A whole bunch of experts will be available for them to consult, but the ultimate decision is theirs. There would be no political price to pay for someone to simply make what they think is the best decision.

        Of course getting rid of elections would be problematic, especially for people who link democracy with voting. But what is being done here is transferring a person’s right to vote with an equal chance of being a representative in congress as anyone else has.

        1. One way might be to have ‘tiers’ of elections for the House, so that each electorate has at least a realistic chance of meeting in person the candidates, combined with a randomly selected Senate?

    2. Christians need to be part of the solution in changing the system.

      Christians ARE part of the problem, hell-bent on making the situation worse.

  11. Dear Reverend Bowman: Hear! Hear! When did voting Republican become next to Godliness? Considering the current Republican support for all things Trump, and considering what “all things Trump” encompasses, I am at an utter loss.

    1. When did voting Republican become next to Godliness?

      There are so many Litmus Tests of Salvation these days, someone really needs to start a “take a number” system.

    1. “Stupid is as Stupid does.”
      — Forrest Gump’s mom

      And these days Stupid comes wrapped in a Gadsen flag and waving a Bible.

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