Wisconsin pastor worries some congregation members worship Trump more than Jesus

Catherine Garcia

President Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 by a margin of only .77 percent, and ahead of the November election, Democrats and Republicans are keeping a close eye on the 19 counties that backed former President Barack Obama in 2012 and switched to Trump four years later.

In rural Forest County, Pastor Franz Gerber of the Praise Chapel Community Church said he voted for Trump four years ago, as abortion is his biggest issue. Now, he told The Guardian, if he "had the opportunity again, I may vote differently. I would perhaps vote for someone who's not part of the major two parties. I would feel that my conscience would feel maybe a little bit cleaner had I gone that route."

Most of his congregation members are Republicans, and he is worried that a good portion of them appear to revere Trump more than they worship Jesus. "It seems like there are many evangelical Christians that are willing to die on the hill of supporting the Republican president, supporting Donald J. Trump," Gerber told The Guardian. "And to me, that hill is not worth dying on. No matter who the candidate is, no matter who the individual is. To put all your hope into that individual is a dangerous road. Scripture would warn us against that."

Trump's dalliances don't bother most "churchgoing people," Terri Burl, chair of the Howard County GOP, told The Guardian. "People always say, look at how he treats people, his affairs, how he cheated on his wife. People like me say, I'm not voting for him to be my pastor, my father, my role model. I'm voting for him to get some things done in Washington, D.C., that have never been done before. We forgive him because of other things."

Gerber said he is using his sermons to remind his congregation the importance of listening to each other and acceptance. "Ultimately, our allegiance is to God, not to a political party, not to a figure within that political party," he added. Read more at The Guardian.

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