Dear Readers: I have received the following letter disagreeing with some of the statements I made in my January 2017 editorial entitled “President Trump.” I cast about regarding the best way to reply, and decided to keep my response short and to the point, while at the same time addressing the content. I have decided to intersperse my comments in italics throughout the letter. As usual, the editor has the last word.
Dear Mark Hoeksema:
My name is Christopher Morris and I am currently a member of Hope PRC of Walker, as well as the former Michigan Field Director for Donald Trump’s winning presidential campaign. I voted for Donald Trump in the presidential primary, was a delegate to the Republican National Convention, and was a volunteer for months before taking a senior level position with the campaign. I have met Donald Trump on multiple occasions, and I oversaw thousands of volunteers and interns to knock on doors, make phone calls, and staff offices. As you can see, I am uniquely qualified to speak on this topic.
Mr. Morris: Thank you for identifying yourself clearly. Your resume is impressive. I would note that based on your self-description, you are hardly an objective political observer, but are heavily biased in favor of Donald Trump. There is certainly nothing wrong with supporting a political candidate of any stripe. But such choice definitely colors your opinion.
After reading your editorial entitled “President Trump” I felt it warranted a response.
Thank you for reading Beacon Lights and taking the time and effort to do the thinking that inspired your reply. We appreciate your thoughtfulness and support, as well as your dissent.
You wrote in your 6th paragraph that “In this election we had a choice between two wicked people.” What is your point? Exactly what I wrote. All men are sinful, fallen creatures, both the elect and reprobate. Very true.
Are you judging Donald Trump’s salvation, or Hillary Clinton’s, for that matter? I do not remember doing so, nor would I ever do so, since this is not my prerogative.
I am curious how you would have described the choice between myself and another candidate running for president. This is hypothetical. I prefer to deal with reality. I would argue that it would be “a choice between two wicked people.” I certainly hope that you do not regard yourself as wicked. I would not. An imperfect and sinful Christian—absolutely. But wicked? No. Besides this, God has made it abundantly clear in scripture that he uses sinful men to carry out his will. David had hundreds of wives. To use your terminology, he was a “serial adulterer.” Paul killed Christians before becoming an apostle and serving as an important figure of the early church. Paul himself said, “Of sinners I am chief.” The point being…?
Let’s make one thing clear: I am in no way defending Donald Trump’s sin, just like I don’t defend my own sin. He will have to answer to God for what he has done, just like you and I will have to, and if he is a child of God, is fully covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. Precisely therein lies the difference between you and Trump.
You also mention later on in the editorial that you “held [your] nose and voted for Trump as the lesser of two evils, and I suspect that most Beacon Lights readers did the same.” Once again, the fact that we live in a sinful world requires that we choose between the lesser of two evils. When it concerns voting between two undesirable candidates, I agree. But how does this translate into heavy involvement on behalf of some of them? Would you be saying the same thing if Ted Cruz (a proven supporter of Dominionism) was running against Hillary Clinton? Besides this, I know for a fact that numerous Beacon Lights readers were genuine supporters of Donald Trump, voting for him because he was the best candidate, not just because he was the “lesser of two evils.” Is there an essential difference?
Arguably the most important criteria when it comes to voting for a political candidate (at any level) is his or her policies and views. There is another very important factor that you have omitted: character, or more precisely, a value system or a set of principles. Character influences and often determines actions and policies. You admitted yourself that Hillary Clinton supported the murder of abortion, as this is well documented at all levels. Donald Trump explicitly opposes this, and went so far as to say that Planned Parenthood should be federally defunded. Hillary Clinton also opposed the second amendment (“the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”) as well as religious freedom. Donald Trump clearly supports religious freedom, and his election directly benefited the Christian churches and schools around this nation. Most importantly, Donald Trump exposed the establishment, the system, the liberal media, and massive amounts of corruption. This is something that no other candidate could have done, as the vast majority of them were insiders. It is readily apparent that God used the sinful man of Donald Trump to expose all of the aforementioned evil. All true, but this does not alter the validity of my thesis in the least.
As a Christian who actually was involved in politics, I can attest that the level of corruption that you mentioned is ridiculous. I battled people daily who were supposed to be on my side politically, but instead they were working against me in an attempt to preserve their self-centered careers. In a way that I could never do, thank you for strengthening my assertion that politics is a dirty business, based on your extensive personal observation and experience. Although this kind of environment is clearly corrupt, writing that “it is very difficult for a Christian to become involved in politics” seems to be calling out people like myself who have dedicated parts of their life to fighting the corrupt political establishment. You quoted me accurately. Please note that I did not say that it is impossible to be involved in the current corrupt political. But I did say that it is difficult, and I stand by that statement. It baffles me to try to understand how a Christian can do what you have done, but never would I call you out. This is, after all, a matter of personal choice and an issue of Christian liberty.
We must be extremely careful when it comes to judging others. I agree. There are numerous problems in this denomination with people being looked down upon because they struggle with certain sins or are outsiders. I am sure you have spoken to many of these people during your ministry, seeing first hand their pain and suffering. This is a completely different subject that has nothing to do with politics. As the editor of a widely read magazine in this denomination, it is important that you set a good example for both your readers and contributors. Writing an article with such judgmental undertones sets a dangerous precedent for others to follow, and something that should be clearly avoided. I am well aware of the position I occupy, together with the accompanying responsibility. I believe that it is exactly my obligation to make proper and biblically based judgments (which is different from being judgmental) in seeking to guide our young people in the way of living the Christian life in an increasingly corrupt world, and I intend to continue doing so as long as I remain editor of Beacon Lights. In summary, my editorial stands as written.