I’m going to be as blunt as possible: Language like Metaxas’s, like the Texas GOP’s, and like some of the statements you’ll read below embody a form of fanaticism that can lead to deadly violence. There isn’t a theological defense for it. Indeed, its fury and slander directly contradict biblical commands. When core biblical values are contingent, but support for Donald Trump is not, then idolatry is the result.

We’re way, way past concerns for the church’s “public witness.” We’re way past concerns over whether the “reputation” of the church will survive this wave of insanity. There is no other way to say this. A significant movement of American Christians—encouraged by the president himself—is now directly threatening the rule of law, the Constitution, and the peace and unity of the American republic.

It’s clear now that when many of those people declared Trump to be “God’s anointed” they did not mean that his presidency was “instituted by God” in the same manner as other governing authorities, as described in Romans 13. (By conventional Christian reasoning, Joe Biden’s upcoming presidency is also instituted by God.)

No, they believe that Trump had a special purpose and a special calling, and that this election defeat is nothing less than a manifestation of a Satanic effort to disrupt God’s plan for this nation. They were not “holding their nose” to support him. They were deeply, spiritually, and personally invested in his political success.