Any group or movement loses credibility when its most basic claims and assumptions prove false or unreliable. Psychics, for example, are ridiculed when they purport to discern the future for paying clients but cannot predict winning lottery numbers or positive stock market trends for themselves. Similarly, faith healers are derided when they exercise their “gift” only in glitzy auditoriums–where they collect large offerings from gullible followers–and never in pediatric cancer hospitals.
Fake prophets, fake healers, and other proponents and purveyors of any commodity or service based either on intentional lies or misperceptions of the truth eventually relegate themselves to the periphery of society where they are regarded by the majority with derision, disgust, or pity.
Conservative Christians have built their reputation and their empire on one foundational pillar: their claim to discern and dispense ultimate “truth” which they derive from the Bible. At the same time, however, they endorse a political figure well-known for his lack of integrity and ethics in business and his personal dishonesty and blatant disregard for the truth.
When evangelicals identify so strongly with a man whose life contradicts everything they stand for, observers conclude–and rightly so–that their capacity to perceive truth is no more genuine than a psychic’s ability to predict the future or a faith healer’s power to magically excise a malignant tumor. When your stock-in-trade makes you a laughingstock, your influence in the culture swiftly declines.
When those who profess to know and love the truth embrace a liar as their standard-bearer in any sense, especially for reasons of political expediency, they sully their reputation, cheapen their cause, and ensure their rapid and inevitable demise as a major influence within and upon the culture.