I was in Haiti last week when I heard that derogatory comments were made about the country and thus the people there. I love Haiti and the people and our church has had a relationship with folks there for the last almost 35 years, working mostly on the island of LaGonave.

The President of our country once told the Haitian people that he would stand up for the Haitian people here and those on the Island of Haiti. And now I hear that he allegedly said some mean spirited things and so did some congress people afterward.

That’s all very hurtful to the Haitian people and the thousands upon thousands of people who have given much of themselves to help the Haitian people find better lives. These loving and faithful brothers and sisters of ours do not deserve such treatment from our government.

I recall when a popular evangelical preacher blamed the earthquake in 2010 on the voodoo practices of the Haitian people. Such comments from supposedly Christian people are deplorable.

And as far as immigration is concerned, take a look:

Leviticus 19  “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

This and many other passages in the Bible tell us about love, concern, and welcome. Not about denigrating and ousting the people who need to be here as much as my great grandparents and my wife’s great grandparents.

I read this letter from Calvin College: (from MLK Jr. Birthday)

Calvin College

January 13 at 10:20am ·

“As members of the Calvin community, it is our Christian duty and responsibility to separate ourselves from racist and hateful remarks and sentiments. The world cannot be confused about what we believe.”

We feel it important to share their complete message here:

Dear Calvin Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We wish you all a Happy New Year this January and pray daily for our students, faculty, and staff who are travelling and learning around the world and here in Grand Rapids. Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, higher education institutions founded by immigrants, are composed of students, faculty, and staff from more than 60 nations. While 600 of us may claim citizenship in another country, we are all prime citizens of the Kingdom of God and share in a brotherhood and sisterhood that transcends all borders. It is for this reason, this love for our brothers and sisters that we are deeply troubled and offended by the disparaging comments attributed to the President of the United States in recent days about people who come from Africa, Haiti, and Latin America. These comments sow fear and hatred in our country, and they are wrong. More than 150 members of our community come from these countries, and they are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

This response is in no way political. It is in every way biblical. As members of the Calvin community, it is our Christian duty and responsibility to separate ourselves from racist and hateful remarks and sentiments. The world cannot be confused about what we believe. As Christians, we are called to support and promote the well-being of every member of our community and our society regardless of race, ethnicity, or national origin. We protect and defend the inviolable dignity of all people. It is our joy to ensure that every person who lives, learns, or works at Calvin knows that they are full participants in our respective missions. When we live according to these responsibilities and duties with “gentleness born of wisdom from above,” (James 3:13) we bear witness to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

On Monday, we celebrate the life of a follower of Jesus who lived out this call to confront racism and injustice with the strength to love. The vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., articulated in James 3:18, was a “harvest of righteousness sown in peace for those who make peace.” As we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King, we remember the contributions of a citizen of the United States who understood his prime citizenship in the Kingdom of God. Dr. King stood against evil and racism because he was a follower of Jesus.

We have the privilege of doing the same.

Following Jesus together,

Michael Le Roy Jul Medenblik
President President
Calvin College Calvin Theological Seminary


I suppose that I can’t say the comments about what Trump said are true. But sure as I am writing this I believe the reports because it’s what kind of President we have.

I told the Haitian people at two public meetings that the President of the United States does not speak for me nor for so many Christians I know.

And if anyone thinks what he allegedly said is true then step up to the plate as a Christian and make a difference. Because as we have done it for the ‘least of these our brothers and sisters’ we have done it for Jesus. He said that and I suspect he meant it.

Please read more about the history of Haiti and the causes of impoverishment there. Please pray for Haiti. Please find a reputable church or organization that is doing a good work there and support them. Please don’t make denigrating remarks. Please gently correct those who look down on our Haitian neighbors. This country of ours, the USA has been involved a long time in Haiti and not often in the best way. Let’s change that.

For the sake of Jesus who died for them and for the Glory of God who loves them and calls us all together to change the world. Amen




First of all. The church massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas has left good folks dead, families and friends in unspeakable grief and a nation once again in mourning. Flags are again at half-staff. Many churches are on lock down and people are scratching their heads again, wondering ‘why?’

May the Christ who innocently suffered and died and who understands so completely such grief come to the side of the mourners and bring those who died into his eternal bosom of peace. This is first and foremost on our hearts.

But there is a concurrent and redundant issue. Mr. Trump proclaims this a mental health problem and the man as deranged. This, according to his expert knowledge. Who can question him? I can. Any person on the one hand who slaughters innocent men and women and children in church is in some sense ‘deranged’. On the other hand the man’s mental status did not prevent him from knowing how to secure and use a powerful semi automatic weapon to take these precious lives.

I’ll tell you what I think is deranged in the sense of being disturbed and irrational. Deranged is a country and lawmakers that believe the semi automatic guns somehow fall under the second amendment rights. That’s absurd and unfathomable. Making such weapons available to deranged persons or anyone else who could at any given moment become deranged is beyond my comprehension for a civilized nation that wants her people to be safe.

The President says this isn’t a gun situation. Bull…. This man could not have done the unspeakable horror he did with a pistol. The availability of semi automatic weapons poses a grave danger to our way of life and if congress won’t do something about it, maybe a national referendum would give the people of this country a hand in the decision making.

I am a pastor and as such I would want to know that my parishioners didn’t die in vain if their deaths address and change a serious problem in this country. That little Baptist church in Sutherlands and all those congregants have a special place not only in our hearts but also in the future of this country.

Why are these kinds of weapons available? To create a militia that can take on an evil nation? I guess RPGs should be available to the general public. Sorry, I digress.

How long will this go on and how may people will died before we as a nation realize that the availability of these assault rifles, used in most of the mass killings, needs to be abolished?

May God grant wisdom and grace to our nation because He may just hold us all accountable for these little ones whose lives have been so cruelly taken from those who love them so much.





After the events of the past few days I feel the need to speak out, not as one associated with any political party, but as a Christian.

I am convinced that the President has given tacit approval to hate groups within our country. Groups like the KKK, the neo-Nazis, White supremacists and others sense the Presidents’ sanction for their behavior. I believe this behavior stems from ‘EVIL’, pure and simple. They wish to take back their country. From whom? We have already taken this country, by extermination, from Native Americans and America has built this country through enslavement of African Americans. And now under the guise of ‘freedom of speech’ these white nationalists are threatening Jews and other minorities against whom they will fight with force if necessary.

We do not have a moral leader at the helm of our nation. We have a power hungry egotist. He is doing virtually nothing to protect the rights of those who have been so downtrodden in our history. And now he is equating the protests of ‘the left’ with the EVIL of the neo-Nazis and others like them.

I cannot speak to the heart of the President but a tree is known by its fruit. Jesus said that. I know for myself that my own words and actions speak at times of a heart and will that needs transformation. I believe that for all Christians and if a leader calls him or herself by the name of a follower of Jesus then let the words hold true for them as well. Words that are spoken reflect a certain character no matter how well those words are then reinterpreted by the speaker or spokespersons.

Christians, I believe, must stand, in the strongest way, against any Nazi expression. While it may be ‘free speech’ it is EVIL and what happened at that Rally and especially to the young woman who was murdered was EVIL. The people ‘on the left’ may have their ‘issues’ but the EVIL perpetrated by hate speech must be fought by the expression and prayers of Christian believers, among others. Behind the EVIL of the neo-Nazis is the Satan who desires to defeat faith and the faithful.

The Christians of today who are as complacent as the Christians were in Nazi Germany are guilty for non-action (myself included) against the EVIL we witnessed. Consider the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor who spoke out against the Nazis in Germany. These words in his radio address were censored.

“If the leader tries to become the idol the led are looking for–something the led always hope from their leader–then the image of the leader shifts to one of a mis-leader, then the leader is acting improperly toward the led as well as toward himself. The true leader must always be able to disappoint. This, especially, is part of the leader’s responsibility and objectivity. “ (The day after Hitler came to power.)

 If anything needs to be taken back in America it is the courage of the conviction of Christians to follow God and not Caesar.

Read these words from a French sociologist and political theorist:

“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers – and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce – and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution – and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (1835)





Ok, so I have reached my limit of endurance listening to Mr. Trump and to others who agree with him about immigration and about Muslims. I need to say it loud:


Let’s remember back to 1933 when another demagogue rose to the position of leadership in another part of the world. We called that evil.

We have only one Lord and he is not a politician. And I think Jesus would say to Donald Trump what he said to his disciple Peter when Peter wanted to stop Jesus from doing the hard thing of love and risk laying down his life for another.

Jesus bids us to carry a cross, and with such a call it is clear why he wasn’t popular among the power structures.

We must regard our neighbors with love and acceptance. Certainly we use common sense to let the state manage the sword. But bigotry, hatred, exclusion have no place in our world of Christian values.

Perhaps there are lots of nominal Christians as there were in 1933 that can gravitate to Mr. Trump’s evil ideals. I for one am not one of them. I am going to pray seriously that this is the end for Mr. Trump’s candidacy run. May God bless him in other endeavors.