I am the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest evangelical denomination in the U.S., and I have agreed to meet with Donald Trump.
While I have no intention of endorsing Donald Trump — or any other candidate for that matter — I believe it is incumbent upon me to learn all I can about each candidate and their platform. Therefore, it is a privilege to be given the opportunity to meet with Mr. Trump.
Of course, as with many conservative evangelicals I have struggled with where we see matters today. Some of Mr. Trump’s comments about women, minorities and immigrants are concerning.
At the same time, what do we do? Stay at home?
Absolutely not! We cannot change what exists, alter it or adjust it by sitting on the sidelines and complaining about what we don’t like.
Christians have a biblical responsibility to govern our personal, moral lives, but we also have a responsibility as citizens of the United States to express the civic privilege afforded to us—that men and women have died on the battlefield to give us—and I’m not walking away from that privilege of voting.
There is too much at stake before us.
This election is about who will appoint as many as four Supreme Court justices. This election is about the dignity of human life from the womb to the tomb. This election is about the most significant religious freedom concerns in American history.
I’m not about to sit at home on Election Day because I’m accountable to God and, I believe, I am accountable to my fellow Americans to vote.
This is why I am meeting with Donald Trump, and why I would be willing to also meet with Hillary Clinton.
While we are founded upon Judeo-Christian principles, America was never meant to be a theocracy in the first place and we are not electing a Pastor-in-Chief.
The meeting in New York City on June 21 is a conversation with Donald Trump.
We will not be there to listen to a speech. We will be there to get to know one another – to talk.