An Open Letter to President Trump
Dear Mr. President:
To begin with, I want to congratulate you. Congratulations on your successful campaign and recent inauguration. As the new President of the United States of America, you bear an immense amount of responsibility. I want you to know that I respect you.
While I did not vote for you, I hold the office of President in the highest respect. I will respect you in this office, just as I respected Barack Obama. This does not mean that I supported everything that he did, and this does not mean that I will necessarily support everything that you do. However, I will respect you nonetheless.
Not only will I respect you, but I will also pray for you as you make important decisions for our nation. I do these things because I am a Christian – and as a Christian, it is my God-given duty to honor you (Romans 13:7) and pray for you (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
Throughout your campaign you often said, “Make America Great Again!” I appreciate this sentiment. When I hear it, I am reminded of a quotation that is normally attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville, two hundred years ago: “America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”
I appreciate your campaign slogan, because it acknowledges that America is not currently ‘great.’ This does not mean that there is nothing good or great about America. She still stands out as a beacon of hope for many people throughout the world. She still upholds many God-given liberties and freedoms. She still stands against much evil.
Still, in the final analysis, America has lost her goodness. More innocent people were murdered in America than in any of the most murderous regimes of the 20th or 21st centuries, such as Stalin’s Russia or Hitler’s Germany. America actively promotes a godless, secular culture throughout much of the world. Hollywood, a symbol of gross immorality and excess, is also a symbol of America. We actively celebrate things that the Bible calls ‘dishonorable’ (Romans 1:26-27).
For these reasons, and many others, I cannot call my country fundamentally ‘good,’ and therefore I cannot call my country fundamentally ‘great.’ I hope that your administration will not simply focus on making America more prosperous, or more powerful. I hope that your administration will also work to make America better, and thereby greater.
My prayer for you is not simply that you will have wisdom in the decisions that you face every day. I also pray that you will fulfill your role as the servant of God. I call you the ‘servant of God’ because God himself calls you that. In your inauguration speech, you acknowledged that you are in office for the good of the people. This is exactly why you are the servant of God: for the good of the people (Romans 13:4).
As the servant of God, your responsibility to God and your country is this: to approve of those who do good, and to carry out justice against wrong-doers (Romans 13:3-4). You can make America better by doing this. The federal government does not need to encourage its citizens how to think. It simply needs to approve good and punish evil. I understand that our nation has inflated the role of government to include many other roles. However, this is the summary of your duty as God’s servant for the good of our nation.
As I said earlier, I may not support everything that you do. If I feel the need, I may even be forced to publicly disagree, since my first allegiance is always to God. Nonetheless, I will respect you, pray for you, and I wish you the best as you ‘make America great again!’