Dear Mrs. Hillary Clinton and Mr. Donald Trump:
As a pastor, I want to communicate my thoughts concerning your pursuit of the most powerful position on earth, the Presidency of the United States. I share this letter with the utmost respect as I seek to share truth with love and grace.
I want to begin this open letter by sharing a Scripture from the Book of Psalms.
Psalms 127:1 "Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city. The watchman keeps awake in vain."
This Psalm is attributed to King Solomon, who was known as the wisest man on earth. I read in one of my commentaries this statement concerning Psalm 127:1: “There is a saying ‘little is much if God is in it,’ but the reverse is also true, “Much is nothing if God is not in it”. Solomon is speaking of the wisdom of depending upon God and not just looking to our own wisdom, whether building a house or building a nation. He is teaching the incredible wisdom and blessing of following God’s plan.
I especially believe the second part of Psalm 127:1 is applicable to where we are as a nation and concerns our number one issue, and that is our security as a country. Solomon is showing us the futility of attempting security without including God. Yes, do everything humanly possible to secure our country through our military and law enforcement. We must spare no expense in securing our nation, beginning at the borders. But to attempt this and not include God, invite God, acknowledge God, and depend upon God is futile. We absolutely must have God’s hedge of protection around our country. Without it, we are destined for the normalcy of terrorist strikes. What will it take for our country to seek God again? What will it take to acknowledge that radical Islam is at the source of nearly all terrorism? What will it take to change policies to protect our nation? Obviously September 11, 2001 was not enough to shake us permanently from our addiction to political correctness.
Whichever of you becomes president, I am asking you at the outset of your presidency to announce our utter dependence upon God, the God of the Bible. I ask you, is it more important to you to please God or please your political parties? When a nation continues to remove God, and even be embarrassed about Him, there comes a time when He lifts that hedge of protection and allows the people to have what they think they want.
I realize that politically, on virtually every issue, you are coming from two diametrically opposite positions. Even if you personally believe what the Bible teaches about an issue, as a Christian leader, I must consider the platform of your respective parties and align my position with the party most supporting Biblical principles. So, issues of life, marriage, security, immigration, fiscal responsibility, health issues, the Second Amendment, protecting Israel, and taking care of the elderly and those who cannot help themselves are important to people of faith. For both of you, I pray that you will live-out the Christian faith you profess to possess.
Only God can judge the heart and the seriousness of one’s faith; however, one’s actions, words and attitudes constitute the fruit that characterizes the seriousness of that faith. The most obvious way faith is demonstrated is by the consistent way a person responds to what God has said in His Word. If the Bible is just another book, like the Koran, then one can make his or her own judgments about oral and spiritual issues, which contradict the clear teachings of the Bible. I would want to know if you believe the Bible is God’s Word, or is it just another religious book, a “Good Book.” The answer to that question sheds light on many other issues that greatly concern me as a Christian leader. Whichever of you becomes president, on the day of your inauguration, when you place your hand on the Bible, does that mean anything more to you than an exercise in formality or protocol?
There are two documents that have set apart our nation from all others. The first document is heavenly; it is authoritative for all people of all times; and it supersedes any other document written in the past or future. The second document, although man made, was based on the first and reflects the kind of life the heavenly book presents. Of course, the two documents I am speaking of are the Bible and the Constitution of the United States.
Mrs. Clinton, I believe you care about the Bible and that you were raised to respect what it is says. There can be no doubt that your Methodist upbringing has impacted your life. However, it appears that when the Bible contradicts your core political beliefs, you choose your party and political beliefs over Biblical beliefs. Christianity does not give us the luxury of compartmentalizing the sacred and the secular. The Bible could not be clearer on the issues of marriage and life: two issues that are at the core of our Christian faith.
You are coming from a tradition that is certainly more progressive on issues, but I cannot wrap my mind around how a person can say, “I am a Christian and believe the Bible,” yet divorce the Bible from politics until it becomes convenient. When there is a clash between what the Bible says and what the Democrat Party says, you choose the party line. As a Christian leader, I pray that you look first to what your Bible says to guide what you accept about your political party.
I make no apologies for my disdain when it comes to your party’s platform on life and marriage. In the end, you are judged, not by a political platform but by what is taught in God’s Word.
Mr. Trump, I have had the privilege of watching you personally interact with evangelicals, and I am heartened by your friendliness toward the things that are of greatest concern to us. I pray that your interest in the things of God, most notably demonstrated when you began running for president, is sincere. I truly believe it is, but only you and God know for sure. I have heard you say that many people have given you Bibles (I have given you two to them).
It is not so much that people think you need those Bibles so badly (although we all do); it’s that leaders have greater responsibilities and the Bible is the authoritative guide for life, health, hope, happiness and success. My advice is that you read one of those Bibles every day, and let the words permeate your attitudes, words and actions. Be willing to admit that you have sinned and need God. Ronald Regan once said, “God doesn’t need us; we need God.” Mr. Trump, Mrs. Clinton, God doesn’t need you or anyone else. We need God!
Mr. Trump, I would also exhort you to please be guarded in your use of language that is not fit for our children to hear. You are simply better than that. Although that may get a crowd excited, it hurts those of us who are trying to raise children and grandchildren in the ways of God. Those who are telling you to act more presidential are doing so for your own good and for the good of America.
As a Christian leader, I appeal to you to not denigrate and demonize those who oppose you. Yes, disagree and defend and boldly show where your critics are wrong; but don’t get down in the pig pen with them to prove that you are not what they say. Your critics are trying to prove their point, and it’s up to you to help them by not making it.
I am sincerely hopeful that what you are saying about the Christian faith, you truly believe. If you are elected president, you will find that Christians will be your most ardent supporters when you are following through on Biblical mandates; but if not, they will be your fiercest critics.
In this open letter, I wish to address the most important issue to evangelicals (those who hold to the Bible as the authority for faith and practice), and that is religious freedom: the freedom to worship as we please and to practice our faith openly without fear of retribution from the government.
Our religious liberty, although guaranteed under the Constitution, doesn’t come from the Constitution; it comes directly from God. Religious freedom is a God-given right, and no one, not the ACLU, not the Freedom from Religion Foundation, and not Mikey Weinstein with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has the right to take that away.
These organizations are attempting to eradicate anything related to God, Jesus and the Bible from our country, our schools, our government, the marketplace and even the military. Mr. Obama seems to have great confidence in Mr. Weinstein to do a job, and he has been effective in kicking as much of God out of the military and among chaplains as possible. This must stop!
As of late, there has been a distinction made, both with President Obama and you Mrs. Clinton, between religious freedom or liberty, and freedom of worship. The two are not one in the same. Here is the difference:
“Freedom of Religion” means…that we have the freedom to exercise our religion, not only within the walls of churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship, but also in the marketplace, the public square. “Freedom to Worship” confines that expression to within the walls. Real faith, although energized within the walls of our faith institutions, is designed to be practiced outside those walls. Religious freedom guarantees that; freedom to worship does not.
Mrs. Clinton, I can hope and pray that you are open to changing some of your views such as on life and marriage; but honestly, I am not optimistic. Your positions on both seem to be embedded in your DNA. Your views on gun issues give me great concern. Also, your judgment concerning your email server gives me cause for alarm, especially when you will be entrusted with life and death issues daily, as they relate to Americans here and all over the world should you become president. Leadership is about judgment, and that was poor judgment.
Mr. Trump, I am encouraged, at least by what I hear you say about protecting religious freedom and appointing Supreme Court justices who would share a similar conviction. I am encouraged by what you say about the Second Amendment. I pray, if elected president, that you will appoint the type of justices you have promised to appoint. Mrs. Clinton, I challenge you to put forth a list of the kind of Supreme Court justices you would appoint as Mr. Trump has.
Before our country are issues that will determine not only the direction of our country, but the future of our country as well. It is my personal belief that asking God to bless America is at present, a slap in His holy face. A country cannot attack the clear teachings of God and actually flaunt those issues that God calls “sin,” and then at the same time, expect that God would bless us just because we tack it on to the end of a speech. Consider Israel in the times of the Old Testament. They too wanted it both ways—their idol worship and God’s blessings; their freedom to do anything they wanted, yet with no consequences; turning their noses up to God, yet expecting God to protect them from our enemies. There was a time when God did let go. He lifted His hand of blessing and protection; He gave Israel what Israel wanted. He lifted the hedge.
For 400 years, God let Israel have what she wanted. It wasn’t until the birth of Jesus Christ that God begin to speak again. Israel is God’s chosen people. Does America believe she is better or more favorable to God than Israel? At times it seems so, when considering our actions and attitudes…
*To remove God’s name from as many places as possible.
*To make using the name Jesus (other than a swear word) as almost the unpardonable sin when speaking in public.
*To flaunt our definition of marriage and tell God, “We know Your definition, and we don’t like it. We now have our own, and You will have to live with it.”
*To kill 58,586,256 babies through Abortion since Roe V. Wade in 1973
*To kick God out of public schools, military and anything government and Christians sitting back and just allowing it in the name of separation of church and state; and then invoke “God Bless America,” is absolutely a travesty.
Let me speak about the term “separation of church and state” for a moment and how those anti-God forces use this as a means to threaten Christians and stop them dead in their tracks. The bullies of Christianity are just that—bullies—and they are using this tactic as an end-all of discussion about all things God in government and the public square.
However, it has been the fault of people of faith for blindly accepting a statement meant to protect religion from government as a law to keep God out of government. We have assumed we can’t pray in public places or bring our Bible and open it anywhere in America. People of faith have often drunk the Kool Aid of “Keep your faith to yourself,” something absolutely foreign to the Great Commission as we share the love of God in all ways.
I have often wondered why it is that evangelicals (Bible believing Christians) are often the ones most affected by the fear of loss of religious freedom? It is because evangelicals are the ones most likely to take that Great Commission seriously and experience the obligation of sharing the gospel? Our enemy, Satan, is well aware of that fact, thus the full-on attack.
It is important that you know, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump, Our Religion is Personal, but it is Not Private!
So, what do I, as a Christian leader, say instead of “God Bless America?” I say “God Have Mercy on America.” If Israel wasn’t the exception, America won’t be either.
God responds to Biblical correctness, not political correctness.
As a Christian leader, I believe we must have strong and secure borders. We must have a process in place to discover who is coming into our country. Are we willing to have another 9/11 just so we can say, “We didn’t want to discriminate”? It seems that both Democrats and Republicans have played word games with border issues, and neither has done anything of consequence.
At least we need to push pause on people coming from certain areas of the world where we know, by their own admission, there is great hate for America.
Your first job as president will be to keep America safe, not try to make other countries like us. That has miserably failed under Barak Obama. We must stop playing with the security of our country in the name of political correctness. We send people to Washington, D.C. to fix problems, not make permanent jobs out of them!
If there are leaders in mosques preaching hate to America and plotting our demise, then it’s time to at least address it. I would feel the same if it were a church or synagogue.
In Scripture, God’s blessings always follow obedience to Him. God is not a deity Who sits around allowing us to denigrate what He has said, and then be ready to answer our 911 call for help when we get in trouble.
I recently listened to a message by the late, great preacher Adrian Rogers. He said, “One day America will call on God (dial 911 prayer speak), and no one will answer.”
Listen to I Samuel 8:18 … “Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”
Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump, I believe America is exceptional, the greatest nation on the face of the Earth. I further believe it is vital that we revisit why that is true. America is great because of our faith in God and our obedience to Him and the stewardship of addressing egregious wrongs in the world, which is clearly exemplified in World War II and in the aid and help we are always ready to offer to those in peril.
“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” (Alexis de Tocqueville)
At present I believe there is an area where America is not exceptional, and that is when it comes to acknowledging and obeying God.
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap
If we continue to dictate to God our disdain for His plan instead of allowing God to dictate to us our beliefs and behavior, we will not continue to be the most exceptional nation on Earth. God set in motion His plan, His rules; and our God does not change with the culture.
Malachi 3:6 “For I, the Lord, do not change…”
In a Lifeway Christian Research Poll, 63% of those polled said they believe Christians are experiencing accelerating intolerance toward their religious beliefs, up from 50% in 2013, an increase of 9 percent in just two years’ time. 76% of Americans of all faiths, who attend worship services at least weekly, see increased intolerance of America’s Christians.
Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump, we need to know that you will not back away from labeling the terror we are presently seeing “Islamic radicalism.” Our president has simply chosen not to even call it what it is, and indeed even lectured us on the merits of Islam and the problems with Christianity. Mr. Trump, you seem to understand this very well. Mrs. Clinton, I can only pray that you will, but given the fact that during Benghazi, you vehemently held onto a narrative that a video made by an American was the reason four Americans died in the 2012 Benghazi attack. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith, and two CIA operatives, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, (both former Navy SEALs) unnecessarily lost their lives. It was in fact, a brutal attack from Islamic terrorists that killed them, not an American-made video.
You seemed more concerned with placating Muslims than in giving our people in Benghazi the help they were begging for. You hung onto the video story even when you knew that was not the cause. I remember when you ran against Barak Obama in 2008, and you had a commercial with the picture of a phone and the watcher was asked, “Who would you rather have answer the phone at 3:00 A.M. if there was a world emergency/attack.” Well that call came. It wasn’t at 3:00 A.M.; instead it was on September 11, 2012 at 3:45 P.M. (Eastern). The call came for help in Benghazi, and that phone kept ringing; and we have a dead ambassador and three other brave Americans dead because of it; because no one was willing to answer!
No matter what is said, that is a fact. Mrs. Clinton, you asked “What difference does it make?” The difference it makes is: If you are president, how will you handle things differently? In my opinion, you and Mr. Obama let down these brave Americans and let down our country. In my opinion, this was one of our darker moments as a nation. It seems this administration, with which you were a part, is fixated on protecting Islam. Why? You wouldn’t do that for a Baptist or an Episcopalian.
Concerning another issue, today we are hearing much about the issue of homosexuality. Please allow me to share some personal insights.
Please keep in mind that although there have been some Christians who have said and done things to the gay community that do not reflect the love and grace that must be shown while sharing truth. It is the Christian faith that is required to love all people and demonstrate to all people the love of Jesus.
It is radical Islam and Sharia Law that calls for violence and hatred toward homosexuals. Will you be critical of that, or will you overlook it? Will you ever call out Muslims who hate gays the way you would call out Christians who hate gays? I am calling on Muslim people to love homosexuals like I do, while still holding to the truth of God’s Word and understanding that God’s definition of marriage has not changed with the times. Your understanding may have evolved, but God’s has not, nor ever will.
Christians need to know that you will defend our religious freedom and will appoint judges and leaders who will passionately do the same. Mr. Trump, I am pleased to hear with my own ears that you would encourage businesses to say “Merry Christmas” again, but I would be more encouraged if you appointed judges and those on your inner team who believe that religious freedom is a God given right and that you will protect that at all costs. Religious freedom is the “root issue.” Banning the words “Merry Christmas” is a “fruit issue”—It is the result of not upholding religious freedom.
I want the two of you to hear from Cardinal Francis George of Chicago. This was on October 24, 2012.
The problems created by secular materialism in the US will not be solved by the November elections, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago has warned.
Secularism is a “much larger issue” than any single campaign question, the cardinal said. The secularized world, he added, is “on the wrong side of the only history that finally matters.”
Cardinal George observed that strong anti-religious sentiments have emerged clearly during this year’s political campaigns, and said that he had been quoted accurately in predicting that “that I expected to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.”
The cardinal said that he had made that dramatic reference to the prospect of martyrdom in an effort to underline the urgency of the problems created by aggressive anti-religious secularism. He added that he was confident that in the long run the Church would “pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history.”
In this Open Letter, I would like to challenge both of you to the following:
Would you assure people of faith that you will do everything possible to protect religious freedom? Will you allow the bullies of Christianity to continue to delegate people of faith to exercise that faith only within the walls of their churches, synagogues, mosques or other places of worship?
Mrs. Clinton, my great concern is that your election means a third term of the most hostile president in history to Christianity. Please give us some assurances that you will not be hostile toward the faith you (as does he) profess to possess. A Christian who is hostile to Christianity is a paradox and one that has not only broken our hearts, it has given cause for righteous indignation.
Christianity has never been a culturally correct religion. Jesus told us that very clearly.
John 15:18; 16:33 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. “…In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
Our faith will never be in sync with the world, with culture and with political correctness. You cannot make us what we are not, but you can uphold religious freedom. You can uphold the Constitution. You can admit that nearly all of our Founding Fathers were strong, Christian men who loved the Bible, God’s Word, and who loved the Christian faith. Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump, please remember the words of:
Jedidiah Morse (Historian of the American Revolution; Educator; “Father of American Geography”; Appointed By Secretary of State to Document Condition of Indian Affairs)
To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. All efforts made to destroy the foundations of our Holy Religion ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation… in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom… Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government – and all the blessings which flow from them – must fall with them. (Sermon, April 25, 1799).
Daniel Webster said: Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens . - Noah Webster (Revolutionary Soldier; Judge; Legislator; Educator; “Schoolmaster to America”)
[T]he Christian religion… is the basis, or rather the source, of all genuine freedom in government… I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of Christianity have not a controlling influence.
Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump, I cannot ask of you what the people of faith themselves are not practicing. In fact, I want to confess that many Christians have looked toward Washington, D.C. for answers that only our God can supply. God has told us to cry out to Him and seek Him with all our hearts. God has told His people to humble themselves and admit that we have issues we cannot solve; we have problems we cannot address; and we have challenges we cannot meet unless Almighty God intervenes. As Christians and churches, we have our sins that we must confess: sins of pride, sins of neglecting to do what God has commanded, sins of silence. The Bible tells us that judgment must first begin with Christians.
I Peter 4:17 "17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?"
The time has evidently arrived for God’s judgment to begin, and it is beginning at his own House (J.B. Phillips New Testament).
In conclusion, I would like for whichever of you becomes president, and it will be President Clinton or President Trump, to consider the following actions:
1. Acknowledge the importance of your Christian faith and your dependence upon God to strengthen you and give you wisdom.
2. Seek the prayers of the people. Ask them specifically to pray for you each day. Remind them often.
3. Remind people of all faiths that they have freedom of religion, freedom to exercise and even promote their faith in the public square and in the marketplace and not just within the walls of their churches, synagogues and mosques.
4. Passionately commit to protect religious freedom at all costs. Without those freedoms, all other freedoms will erode.
5. Remind us that the government will not only simply tolerate religion, but will encourage faith, while also reminding us that even those who choose not to believe have equal rights in America.
6. On the day of your inauguration, call the people to prayer seeking God’s forgiveness where we have failed Him, His wisdom, His mercy and His protection.
7. Stop this anti-God, anti-Bible, anti-Jesus crusade against the military.
8. Please stop reminding us that Islam is a peaceful religion. Let Islam show us that. No more scolding on the merits of Islam and the faults of Christianity.
9. In your speeches and policies, remember that the same country that gives homosexuals the right to practice their beliefs is the same country that gives those of us who believe God’s definition of marriage the right to say it without being labeled as intolerant .
Be willing to ask those who do not believe God has changed His definition of marriage to participate in prayer events and public events without bowing to the pressure of the gay community that refuses to tolerate anyone who believes any other than theirs.
10. Call on the people of faith in America to help with these pressing problems that plague our country such as poverty, joblessness, hunger, illiteracy, and fatherlessness.
11. Refuse to be bullied by those whose mission is to eradicate Christianity from our history and from our culture.
Stand up to them and quit cowering to these bullies.
12. Pray about your decisions. Turn to God. Seek His wisdom.
13. Call the nation to a time of repentance for attempting to eradicate Him.
14. Have a justice department that takes seriously any discrimination against religion (and not just Islam).
15. Appoint Justices who at least believe in God.
Mrs. Clinton, your husband’s appointment of Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a slap in the face of 89% of Americans who believe in God. She not only doesn’t believe in God, she is a bully to those who do.
16. Please affirm and support law enforcement, and come down harshly on those who would do violence toward our policemen.
17. Build up our military no matter what the cost.
Cut costs somewhere else, but not there. You have much to build after 8 years of President Obama.
18. Use the National Day of Prayer as a genuine call to prayer.
Open up the White House once again for this event that Mr. Obama eradicated at the White House.
19. Use the National Prayer Breakfast to inspire us to greatness through faith, not as a whipping board to lecture us on the evils of Christianity and the attributes of Islam, like Mr. Obama never seemed to miss an opportunity to do.
20. Will you please just tell our country the truth?
We can handle the truth. Just try us. What we can’t handle are further scandals. Be honest with us. Tell us like it is. Don’t play with our security out of deference to political correctness.
21. Take care of our Veterans.
One of the headlines (Christian Post) from June 30, 2016 was:
“Pentagon Lifts Ban on Transgender Military Service, Could Pay for Gender Reassignment Surgeries"
We have wounded warriors in need of urgent care and veterans who are dying for lack of care. Do we really need to be dealing with transgender reassignment surgeries when our VA can’t take care of our veterans now? Have we gone mad? Further, at a time when we need to be strategizing about destroying ISIS, we do not need to be focusing on transgender issues in the military.
22. Support Israel again! The present hostility toward our greatest ally is appalling.
I understand that elections have consequences and know that whichever of you is elected, you will bring either a Biblical correctness or a political correctness. Mrs. Clinton, you worry me on this front. Mr. Trump, I haven’t seen enough actual demonstration on your part yet, but some of the things you say encourage me.
In conclusion, I must confess that unless you, Mrs. Clinton change some of your fundamental stands on issues important to evangelicals, I cannot and will not vote for you. If you are elected president, I will pray daily for you. Mr. Trump, if you are elected, I will also pray daily for you and will be a fierce critic both privately and publicly if you do not carry out what you have promised to evangelicals and serious people of faith.
As I end this letter, I can only hope that you will at the least read it, and that you would seriously consider the great weight that is being placed upon your shoulders. Your choice is clear, but not easy. Will you believe what God said, and will you do it? Will you see the Bible as God’s Word? Will you seriously uphold the Constitution as written or attempt to rewrite it as Mr. Obama has done? The future of our great country depends upon how the one of you who will be president answers that question.
With Deepest Sincerity,
Pastor Jay Dennis