Texas pastor and bestselling author Max Lucado said he believes a Donald Trump presidency would be harmful for Christianity, and could cause those from other faiths to see Christianity negatively.
Lucado spoke out about his concerns about Trump's controversial political campaign, and the way he expresses his stances, particularly about women and people with disabilities, according to Christian Today. Lucado said Trump's rhetoric about social issues could put non-believers off of Christianity.
"My concern is that somebody would make a decision against Christianity because of Mr. Trump's behavior," Lucado told NPR. "And that's my high concern here. And to that person I would say, the way he speaks about people is not the way our master, our savior has taught us to speak, it's not the way our scriptures urge us to speak."
Lucado added that Trump presenting himself as a Christian to voters could lead to a false view of Christianity to outsiders. Lucado said he values the faith's reputation and would hold anyone else who claimed to be Christian to the same standards.
"Now this is a huge deal in scripture, and so I would encourage that person, and the reason I've gone so verbal and vocal with this is because I'm protective of the reputation of Christ and the church," said Lucado. "And I would ask that person not to interpret the Christian faith through the words of Mr. Trump."
The comments come after Pope Francis made a reference that may have been about Trump in February, saying that "a person who thinks only about building walls ... and not of building bridges, is not Christian." The pope made the comments at the end of a trip to Mexico, according to BBC News. Trump responded with characteristic bluster, calling the pope's comments "disgraceful" and assuring voters that he is a "proud Christian."
Other Christian leaders have supported Trump's campaign, such as Robert Jaffress, a pastor from Dallas, who spoke out in support of Trump's abortion comments. Trump had said that women who get abortions should face some sort of punishment, before later walking back his statements.
"Conservatives' outrage over @realDonaldTrump abortion comments hypocritical. Maybe they don't really believe abortion is murder," tweeted Jaffress.
Lucado told NPR the Bible's teachings are one of his reasons for speaking out against Trump's campaign.
"The Bible urges us to be respectful to all people, especially people with whom we have disagreements, to never libel people, to never label people," he said.