By Doug Wilson
I am writing you as one who has appreciated your work, and as one who has been most grateful for your presence and influence in the new administration. Your impact has not gone unnoticed, and we thank God for you. I am extraordinarily mindful of what you did in appearing to speak at the pro-life march. I have thanked God for you. We have prayed for you.
At the same time, there has also been obvious influence in the other direction, and so I wanted to take this opportunity address you in my capacity as a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ. I know that you are a believer, and that you respect the authority of the holy Scriptures. I am appealing to those Scriptures, and come to you as a fellow servant of those Scriptures. I know, in fact, that we agree on this common ground.
I saw that you recently defended the president’s approach to LGBTQ issues, in his extension of President Obama’s executive order on LGBT rights. In the past you have said that you are a Christian first, a conservative second and a Republican third, in that order. In the past you have recognized that “societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family.” But just recently, in this interview with George Stephanopoulos, you said that you applauded the president’s continued inclusion of the “LGBT community” in this way. You further said that there is no room in a patriot’s heart for prejudice. This is problematic in many ways, which I would like to take a moment to explain.
In the first place, as you well know, no responsible Christian leader advocates queer-bashing. But as you also know, the activists on the left have labored industriously to equate every form of principled biblical opposition to sexual perversion with such hatred, bigotry, and prejudice. You cannot echo this language, acting as though this were a battle with prejudice, without complicity in perpetuating the impression that the Christians who oppose sexual perversion on biblical principle are doing so because of discrimination and prejudice. But it is not prejudiced to read Leviticus, I Kings, and Romans with a submissive heart.
You are not the first person that God has been extraordinarily kind to with regard to high office, promoting you well beyond what many were expecting. You have been promoted far beyond what most in the world were expecting just a few months ago. Not only has this happened many times in history, but it has also happened many times within the pages of Scripture. Because we have accounts of this sort of thing in Scripture, we know exactly what God thinks of it.
You are a believer in an unbelieving system of power. Men have been right where you are— Joseph and Daniel come to mind—and they have stood true. Others, unfortunately more than just two, have been given glorious opportunities and have decided to rely on the pragmatic wisdom of flattering courtiers instead, rather than relying on the unvarnished, unpolished, unadorned Word of God.
As the examples of Joseph and Daniel show, there is no compromise in the mere fact of your presence in the halls of unbelieving power. We rejoice in that fact. There is no compromise through being in the presence of compromise. But nevertheless the challenges are great there. More men have stumbled there than stood. Let me give you some examples.
“Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel, and rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee: and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes; but hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back: Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam” (1 Kings 14:7-10)
“And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the Lord commanded. Wherefore the Lord said unto Solomon . . .” (1 Kings 11:9-11)
These two examples show, as do others, that when God promotes a man to high office, requiring certain things from him there, and then that man does not do what God asks of him, God knows and recalls the fact of the promotion. God remembers how this happened. God says, in effect, you were nobody in your own eyes, and in the eyes of all Israel, but I took you and placed you to be a leader of this people. Why, when I have done all this for you, have you so quickly abandoned the wisdom that I set before you?
Here is another example, with the word of the Lord coming to Jehu:
“Forasmuch as I exalted thee out of the dust, and made thee prince over my people Israel; and thou hast walked in the way of Jeroboam, and hast made my people Israel to sin . . .” (1 Kings 16:2).
This is not merely an intellectual issue. One of the men who compromised in just this way was the wisest man who ever lived. This is a moral issue, and since courage is the testing point of every virtue, as C.S. Lewis once said, it is a courage issue.
As you consider these things, as I trust you will, there are three factors you must keep in mind.
The first is the state of your own soul. I know that you believe you have been brought to this place to accomplish great things, and I also believe that you have in fact been positioned by God to do wonderful things. But there are always two directions to go wherever you are, and that would be the obedient direction and the disobedient one.
However grand the project, however likely it may seem that if you just trim at these edges here or there you will gain the world, remember what our Lord Jesus taught us. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul (Matt. 16:26)? That is the ultimate bad bargain. Remember also that the Lord himself was once taken to a high mountain and was there shown all the kingdoms of this world, and their glory—and this would include the kingdom that you are now privileged to help lead—and He refused the offer. Think about this. What you are being offered, Jesus was once offered. And He refused it because the offer came on the devil’s terms.