An open letter to Dr. Ben Carson, Pastor Mark Burns, Jerry Falwell Jr, Franklin Graham, The Robertsons, and other Evangelical leaders

Dear Evangelical leaders,

I am grieved. I know you are too. Some of our grief overlaps, but, sadly, a lot of it does not. My grief hit a crescendo this morning as I discovered that Dr. Carson compared Hilary Clinton, the presumed Democratic Nominee for President, to Lucifer, the enemy of all our souls. A direct comparison. I want to make it clear: I do not fully support nor endorse Mrs. Clinton. As a follower of the cross of Jesus Christ, I find some of her beliefs and certain behavior antithetical to the Gospel. I also agree with her on several points and can appreciate the good she has done in our world, but that does not lead to full support.

Dr. Carson's points were that as Mrs. Clinton endorses pro-choice and marriage equality she is akin to a baby murderer and destroyer of traditional family values and therefore akin to Lucifer. Not only is this public shaming but it is something Dr. Carson should be called to repentance, as well as the other Evangelical leaders who have publicly bashed Mrs. Clinton. It is perfectly fine to disagree. While I do not associate with the Evangelical right's method's of the pro-life movement, I am, generally speaking, pro-life. I believe that aligns with Scripture, although in our contemporary world there are a lot of gray areas for sure and difficult situations. I also am aware that male privilege is at play with my views and that more listening needs to be done from males such as myself. Still, that's a story for another day. What I am saying here is that neither party's pure views, especially those which Donald Trump has largely brandished, are in line with Christian teaching. Neither political party is fully in line with Scripture and as national leaders you need to stop pretending that they are.

Pastor Mark Burns proclaimed that the democrats as their enemy. Personally, I believe the Apostle Paul when he wrote "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."--Ephesians 6:12.

I don't fear Mrs. Clinton. I fear people who manipulate the Gospel of Jesus Christ to fit their political agenda, which is what I see you all doing and it greatly saddens me. Any Christian can certainly lean left or lean right politically. It is up to your individual preferences which I suggest praying about.

Mr. Trump has made his views about immigration abundantly clear. His idea of building a wall has been one of his campaign's biggest selling points. And yet one of the biggest themes throughout all of Scripture is to welcome the stranger. As a follower of the cross, you cannot hold your anti-immigration status when there are refugees across our world dying daily. Our Samaritan brother and sisters are dying, and if we ignore their cry, we are ignoring Jesus. Let us also not forget that Mr. Trump has used derogatory language against Muslims, racial minorities and women. These are just inexcusable. For all of Mrs. Clinton's faults, she has never publicly called out specific groups of people.

Let's also talk about "traditional family values." Could you cite that in Scripture for me, please? Is it when Ruth and Naomi stuck together? Or perhaps when Paul lauded celibacy in singleness? What about, you know, our savior Himself Jesus who by all accounts was single his whole life. When we talk about traditional family values, we are referring to 1950s America, a time many people feel more comfortable (if you are white, at least). I can understand how same-gender couples and families are new to you and that it makes you uncomfortable. I can also understand your convictions from Scripture, even though I have come to a different conclusion. But to believe that someone who supports same-gender couple and LGBTQIA rights is a Lucifer impersonator, well, that is like saying you can't eat a pot of chili because one of the beans on the bottom of the pot may be burned. Maybe you're right about your views on sexuality. In that case since you have a high view of Scripture, you can also not deny the importance of welcoming the stranger and loving your enemies.

So, what's it going to be? Are we going to follow political ideologies or a God who died for us while we were His enemies. He died for the people who were yelling to crucify Him. The candidate you are supporting and claiming as "God's man" isn't even willing to ask for forgiveness for anything.

 

In grace,

Brian Steele