President Elect William Clinton
The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington DC 20050
When you on January 20 assume the nation’s highest governing office, our prayers and those of many other Christians will accompany you for wisdom to face its burdensome responsibilities (1 Tim. 2:1,2).
This letter is prompted by your unusual invitation to citizens to express their diverging convictions about how the country’s problems should be met.
The campaign and the electorate have both given top priority to addressing our economic problems. It is usually overlooked (and sometimes ridiculed) that these urgent economic matters are really moral problems. When either the individual or the country will not pay its bills, preferring to borrow until broke, this is breaking two of God’s ten commandments: “You shall not steal” and “You shall not covet”! As missionaries we saw the growing chaos around us in interior China in 1947–48 when the exchange rate for US dollars which a few years earlier had been 3 to 1, inflated to 12,000,000 to 1, and the nationalist government lost control. A few years later a university course on the French Revolution documented the same kind of fiasco when the governing classes, insisting on borrowing instead of paying, lost control to a “reign of terror” that made everyone welcome Napoleon. In the long run “God is not mocked” (Gal. 6:7), even in economics.
Urgent as our economic problems are, in the Bible’s teaching, others appear even more threatening. The first two thirds of the Bible traces God’s treatment of a small nation, privileged and prospered beyond others (in some ways a little like the US in our short history). Their privileges and prosperity tempted them to ignore God’s moral laws (not unlike our society today). After centuries of warning, the unbelievable happened. Delinquent Israel was ruthlessly swept away like trash in its captivity. If one asks what, among their many moral lapses, finally triggered the divine judgment,the Bible’s record in 2 Kings 24:3,4 singles out the policy of one king as the ultimate reason (“the last straw”). Evidently more than all his predecessors, he had “filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon.” If that is God’s perspective (as your churches, like ours, still recognize), can we expect Him to prosper this country if we remove all restraints on, and even pay for the abortion of more than the 28 million children killed since the supreme Court arbitrarily called that a “right”?
From the same Bible’s perspective (Lev. 18:22–30; Romans 1:27), we see God condemning homosexual relations and practices as “detestable” perversions of His having created us for proper sexual relationships in marriage, and threatening violators with “the due penalty for their perversion.” Abraham, assigned a unique role in the Bible as “father of believers” and “father of many nations,” must see God’s spectacular destruction of the neighboringSodom because of its intolerable vices, as a never-to-be forgotten warning about the limits of divine patience (Gen. 18: 17ff.). Even the term “sodomy” has continued through the Bible and later history to echo that warning. The destruction of the Canaanites, the fall of Rome and the collapse of many other societies through the centuries have illustrated God’s penalties on peoples who thought they could get away with anything because of His past kindnesses to them. I saw as a navy chaplain, the penalties of sexual immorality in the 1/3 of our hospital wards trying to treat venereal infections. A frustrated doctor complained of the many who were reinfected before completing treatment, with infections resisting 5 times the prescribed dosage of drugs. He saw that they needed more. They needed to get back to God and His saving Word which, thankGod, we saw some doing. Years later, when medicine was thought to have eliminated such problems, making old morals unnecessary, God gave us an AIDS epidemic that especially resists treatment because promiscuous living destroys the body’s immunities. While trying to help the sick and treat their plagues, we must do more. We must certainly not give special “rights” and privileges which promote perverse sexual practices. Such a policy will accelerate the problems which, as God’s judgments, are destroying our society.
Missionary friends are telling us how God’s Ten Commandments are being posted in schools and other public places through large areas of New Guinea to build moral foundations of a society newly emerging from savagery. We ask and pray that you, as a professing Christian, will not support the outlawing of all such Christian moral testimony from our schools and public life. Our society desperately needs that remedy as we see it rapidly reverting to savagery. We pray that your administration and our country may seek a better future than that.
Rev. Peter De Jong