Dear Mr. Trump,
Like millions of Americans, I am intrigued with your meteoric rise to the top of the polls. You have truly captured the imagination of this nation.
Because I would love to see you succeed, I've got some unsolicited advice for you. And you're going to love this. It's free!
If you'll allow me to introduce myself, I'm a Jewish follower of Jesus (just like Peter and Paul and John and the rest of the apostles), an author, professor, minister and national talk radio host. My wife, Nancy, and I have been married for almost 40 years, and we have two wonderful daughters (and sons-in law) and four amazing grandkids. And for the record, I'm not registered Republican or Democrat, but I'm a strong conservative.
Now, as to your campaign, it's very obvious that you have a tremendous amount going for you.
For one, you speak your mind and let the chips fall where they may. Americans like a straight shooter.
And you can't be bought with money because of your massive wealth. That means that no special interest group can own you. Wonderful!
You've also taken on the political establishment without fear. We've been waiting for someone to do that.
We also believe you're a man of action, and if you say you're going to build a wall, you're going to build it.
A lot of people also think that a businessman like you could help turn our economy around, and since you don't seem to be afraid of people, you'd be a great one to stare down the likes of Russia's Putin or Iran's Khamanei. I bet you'd get our hostages back too.
But there are some big problems, and most of them are self-inflicted. Why do you keep shooting yourself in the foot?
Although I'm not a political candidate, I've spoken before some large crowds (as many as 300,000), as well as been in the hot seat with the media and engaged in public debates at universities, and so I was really surprised to see you act so defensively during the first presidential debate, almost right out of the gate.
There you were, the frontrunner in the polls, standing in the central, No. 1 position on the stage, and you acted like the victim. Could it be that underneath the bravado there's some insecurity? Could it be that a real, living, vibrant relationship with God would give you that deeper sense of security?
When you were asked recently about your Christian faith, you referenced the sermons of Norman Vincent Peale, whose church you used to attend. But Rev. Peale died in 1993, and he was more of an upbeat, motivational speaker than an expositor of the Scriptures. Perhaps hearing some fresh, new sermons from some fine contemporary pastors would do your soul good?
I would hate to have to point back to food more than two decades old when asked about the last healthy meal I ate.
That being said, I was glad to hear that your favorite book is not one that you wrote (The Art of the Deal) but the Bible. Good choice!
But here's what concerns me. You don't seem to know what the Bible says, let alone live by it.
For example, in the same interview where you referenced Peale, you said you had never really asked God for forgiveness, apparently not wanting to be a burden to Him but rather wanting to take responsibility for your actions.
With all respect, sir, while it's important to take responsibility for your actions, you're a rotten sinner like the rest of us, and the central message of the Scriptures is that Jesus died for our sins because all of us need forgiveness. How could you miss that?
Of course, you're an incredible businessman and a major presidential candidate rather than a theologian, but certainly, you must know that the Bible teaches ethics and not just theology, and this is a big area where, sad to say, you're turning lots of people off.
I ask again, Why shoot yourself in the foot when you have a legitimate chance of becoming the president of the United States?
Proverbs 15:1 says, "A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger."
I'm not a defender of Fox News or Megyn Kelly (or some others whom you have attacked), but if you spoke the truth with civility, stating your viewpoint plainly and without equivocation but without the gutter-level attacks, you'd make fewer enemies.
Really now, do you think that the Bible, your favorite book by far (you said it!) really supports your unkind assaults against others? Do you really think you become bigger when you belittle others? And shouldn't a presidential candidate be more of a statesman than a mudslinger?
Again, I'm thrilled to see someone throw caution to the wind and speak his mind. I simply wish you would do with it with civility and respect.
And here's one more verse from the Bible (this is another biggie): "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Prov. 16:18).
There's often a fine line between confidence and arrogance, between self-assurance and pride (often, the line is anything but fine), and, to many of us following you with interest, you seem to have crossed that line. Pride really does kill!
So, my heartfelt suggestion to you, sir, is that you humble yourself before your Creator, that you recognize your sins and shortcomings, asking Him for forgiveness through the cross, and that you ask Him to help you to be the kind of man that America (and the nations) need at this critical time in world history.
It's a painful process, but it's a glorious process, and if you take my friendly advice, you'll never look back with regret.
So, what will it be? Donald Trump, the self-made billionaire who fell short of his goal, or the new Donald Trump, ready to change the nation?
Michael Brown is the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show "The Line of Fire" and is the president of FIRE School of Ministry. His newest book is Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Where Homosexual Activism Is Really Going and How to Turn the Tide. Connect with him on Facebook at AskDrBrown or on Twitter @drmichaellbrown
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