(I’ve read many “Open Letters to the President,” written by Christians. These usually involve rebuking the President on a policy or legislative issue, or informing him of the Christian stance on “hot button” moral issues. Many of these are warranted; the President, if he is wise, will remain informed of the impact of his actions on the Christian community, as well as Americans in general.
However, I have never seen an “open letter” like the one below; this is what an “open letter” should like when it’s not reactive (concerning a specific issue), but active (reflecting our daily posture to the President as head of our government). Just once, I thought I’d like to see a letter written by Christians to the President—which is why I decided to write it. Please note that this letter could be written to any president, not just our incumbent president.)
Dear Mr. President,
This letter is to inform you of the intention, not only of myself but of Christians throughout this great nation, to live as citizens of America with a spirit of submission to you and to the laws of our land. As individuals, we may disagree with tax hikes, or foreign policy decisions, or a host of other issues. However, our personal preferences have been, and will continue to be, trumped by the commands of our Scriptures:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (Romans 13:1-2 ESV)
Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:13-17 ESV)
Remind (the Christians that you pastor) to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work (Titus 3:1 ESV)
As far as we are able, and as long as it does not require us to disobey God, we will (to the best of our ability, and with the help of the Holy Spirit) submit to this current administration. Yes, in matters which aren’t clearly outlined in Scripture, we may as individuals use our freedom of speech to voice our objections to proposed policies or legislation. We may speak on these issues in an attempt to sway you or Congress from what we feel to be any unwise policy decisions. Such freedom of speech is one reason we love this great nation. And when we do disagree with your actions or policies, we want to commit to communicating our thoughts in a way that honors and is respectful of your position (1 Peter 2:17). But once a policy is enacted, we will prove to be a most easy people to govern.
Again, the only restriction is if the policy requires us to disobey God—in this case, we are bound by conscience to obey God rather than you. Acts 5:29 says,“We must obey God rather than men.” This is not a symbol of disloyalty to you. Rather, it’s a great protection for you; since your authority has been given to you from God, it would not be well for you to govern in a way that crosses His purposes.
There is something else I would like to communicate to you: We are committed to pray for you regularly, fervently, and with gratitude. This again is in obedience to our Scriptures:
I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (1 Timothy 2:1-2 ESV)
We apologize and repent of any complaining, lobbying, or criticizing of you or your policies where we have not first prayed for you. As obedient believers in Jesus, we want to assure you of our prayers.
Finally, I want to urge you in a matter very close to the heart of each real Christian in this country. God alone knows your heart; he knows whether your have really trusted in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ alone as the substitute for your sins. He paid the penalty all our sins deserved, and it is our prayer that you will be among those of us who love this life-giving message more than any other message in this fallen world. We urge you to consider your own soul in this.
Thank you for taking on such a difficult role as that of being our President. The pain and constant stress you must feel is beyond what most of us will ever be able to fathom. Your service is appreciated by us, and will further fuel the urgency with which we promise to pray for you.
Respectfully, and with many prayers for you and your family,