Many Bethel people wanted to see the letter I preached about last Sunday. It was written before election day and was addressed to whoever won the election. We now know who won the election. The letter still stands. I have only added a postscript that reflects the current state of events. Everything else in the letter was written before election day so as not to be accused of being a partisan hack.
This election cycle has shown the extent of the division within our country. It is also clear that neither you nor your opponents reached a threshold of victory of 50%. To say it in a different way- only a portion of the country voted for you and there is no so called mandate.
We haven’t seen rifts in our country like this since 1964 shortly after the passage of the Civil Rights Act that caused southern Democrats to leave their party.
I hope that now that the election is over that you will spend this time repairing the damage that polarization causes. The time for accusations and personal attacks is over. It is time to recover the term “We the people” and bridge the chasm of “us versus them.”
This is important because governments like churches are fragile. These institutions are based on trust. When there is a lack of faith in our governing documents and leadership —churches close and governments fall. Our nation was birthed out of a lack of faith in government. The Civil War began over a lack of faith in our federal government.
It is often said that the weight of the office of President changes a person. I pray that transformation happens for you.
Whether you care to admit it or not, transparency has been an ongoing issue for both major party candidates to one degree or another. Transparency is connected to integrity. Of course each party has said the other candidate is worse than the other. That is irrelevant now, you will be taking the oath of office in January and as our next president we expect transparency and not hiding things from us. Integrity matters.
Many in this country believe that the separation between church and state means that faith is not welcome in the halls of power. However, we know that this means there will be no state sanctioned religion. It is time for you to embrace your relationship with God more than ever.
Since you and your opponent have stated that you are both people of faith specifically the Christian faith, let me remind you that God is not bound by our constitution. Neither was God impressed with Nebuchadnezzar’s personal power. God used Daniel to remind Nebuchadnezzar that caring for the least of his constituency is vitally important.* And Jesus warned the politically astute Pharisees that caring for others above appearances matters to God.
As King Nebuchadnezzar found out, the Most High God is sovereign over the kingdoms of this world and gives them to anyone he wishes. Your leadership, like all leadership is a stewardship. It is temporary and even you are accountable. We hope and pray that you already know this and that you will ask yourself daily, what is God’s will in every decision you make.
While it is true you are accountable to us, the citizens of the U.S.A. we are not your source of greatest accountability. And while it is also true you must communicate with the United States congress, someday you will report to someone with far more power.
While you will talk and consult with other world leaders during your presidency, we hope you will not forget to consult with the Creator of the Universe and the Creator of this nation.
We wish you the best because our future will be impacted by your decisions.
May God bless you,
*P.S. “The least of these” in our nation are very scared right now because of the things you said on the campaign trail. Do they have a reason to be scared?