The following letter was “snail mailed” to Senator Sanders on Saturday, June 17, A.D. 2017. The United States Senate’s website provides this page for those interested in contacting the senator: http://www.sanders.senate.gov/contact/
The Honorable Bernard Sanders
332 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510
Greetings Senator Sanders,
Grieved and disappointed, I am writing with regard to your participation as a member senator in the Senate Budget Committee’s June 7 examination of the president’s nominee for Deputy Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Mr. Russell Vought.
As per the Committee’s records available at http://www.budget.senate.gov/nomination-hearing-for-deputy-director_of-white-house-budget-office and as reported elsewhere, you vigorously interrogated Mr. Vought at some length regarding his religious beliefs. Based on an article which Mr. Vought had previously written for the publication Resurgent, you put this question to him:
“You think your statement that you put into that publication, they do not know God because they rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned, do you think that’s respectful of other religions?”
Following Mr. Vought’s response to that question, you said:
“I would simply say, Mr. Chairman, that this nominee is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about.”
Senator Sanders, I am confident that you are not ignorant of the dominant role that the Christian faith played in the founding of our country. It is manifestly untrue that historic, Bible believing Christianity is “…not what America is about.” Our religiously passionate Declaration of Independence, the ideological matrix of our noble and abiding Constitution, is one place where this is manifest.
But I am not writing primarily to expound on Christianity’s role in the formation of ours, the greatest country on earth. Nor is it necessary, I hope, to remind a sitting United States senator that religious tests for public officials are unconstitutional.
I do hope to persuade you that the Christian (Biblical) teaching held by Mr. Vought should not be regarded with the disdain you showed for it during his examination before your committee. Perhaps I can do so by way of a little homespun analogy.
Suppose there were a criminal who had been tried, found guilty, condemned and sentenced to death. But before the execution could be carried out, that criminal was granted clemency by the governor of his state.
Now imagine that criminal refusing to accept the clemency! That, Senator Sanders, is comparable to the behavior of those who refuse the gracious clemency offered by the Moral Governor of the universe, God Almighty, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ His Son.
According to the Old Testament, religiously recognized not only by Christians but of course by Jews, by Muslims, by others and according to the Christian New Testament, the entire human race already stands condemned! The Bible teaches that we human beings are by nature sinners…rebels against our Creator. I refer you to the words of Jesus recorded at the Gospel of John 3:18 – “the rest of the story” following the very well known verse John 3:16.
From that fallen, sinful nature with which every one of us enters the world comes all the deceit, greed, violence, hatred and other kinds of wickedness which has never been absent from human history, and which we see throughout the world today.
Surely, persons of every ideology and religion recognize our fallen condition. Sages have wrestled with this fundamental human problem from the beginning of history, seeking answers. The account of why we are in that condition is provided by the Bible, which also asserts that our condition is irremediable without the divine prescription, so to speak, which the Bible also reveals.
The Biblical teaching which Christians hold dear is that the Gospel of the Son of God is the only way God has provided for anyone to escape the condemnation under which we are already. Every consistent Christian affirms that he or she was utterly condemned before coming to saving faith in Christ. And, motivated by the Christian commitment to “love your neighbor as you love yourself,” every consistent Christian wants his or her fellow human beings to obtain that same redemption.
Of course the guilty criminal of my analogy who perversely would refuse to receive clemency would remain condemned. Of course those who hear but reject the Gospel of Jesus will remain under condemnation.
The Bible teaches, and Christians therefore believe, that a day is coming when that heavenly Court which is truly supreme will convene for its final session. A perfectly just and eternal verdict will be rendered for every human being who has lived, now is living, or will live.
The Bible teaches, and Christians therefore believe, that the Gospel of the Son of God is the only hope for any and every member of the one human race.
Thank you, Senator, for your attention.
In the service of the King of kings and Lord of lords,