Saturday, July 4, 2009

An Open Letter to the Governor of SC

Dear Governor Sanford,

Our prayers are with you and your family. We deeply regret for you and your family and the state of South Carolina the storm that is swirling. I am compelled to write you at this time to express for me and, I hope, for others what I am thinking and feeling at this time, to speak the truth in love, and to encourage you to move forward in a redemptive way.

First, I know that you’re a sinner. As a Christian pastor, and a human being, I know that we are all sinners. I knew this when President Clinton had an indiscretion. So, we believe that when we confess, we are candidates for forgiveness. I believe that you, in your mind, have confessed, but I’m not convinced that you’re repented (actually turned).

Second, we are all responsible for what we do or don’t do. Or else, what else is there. In part, this is why many hate Christians right now. We talk publicly about our moral superiority and then we act and live just like everybody else. I know we’re all guilty of this to some extent. I certainly preach more than I do. You have to take responsibility for your actions and the hurt you’ve caused, particularly to your family, your boys.

Third, please stop acting like a hormone-soaked teenager. Soul mate? Please. Fall in love with your wife again? Please. You were in power and you took advantage of the situation. A grown man of your age ought to know that our hearts are deceptive. Martin Luther says the heart is a factory of idols. And, the chief idol is the self. So, any talk of falling in love, soul mate, etc., is nothing more than giving in to the world’s definition of love. Love is not just feeling. It’s a commitment in marriage to be together “for better, for worse.” You get the picture.

Fourth, please stop talking about it in public. You need to take the conversation to your wife and family. No excuses. You did wrong. You hurt others. Now, admit it. Let go the talk of your teen years, and get on with the hard work of forgiveness and redemption.

Several years ago, I heard a young man say, after his girl friend tested positive for pregnancy: “It just happened.” Things like sex and adultery don’t just happen. They happen after careful fantasizing and planning and scheming and hiding and deception and temptation. They happen when we do them. We are responsible. Or else, what is there?

David E. Nichols


  1. I share with you completely your message to our Governor. Thank you for doing so.

    Bill Chidester

  2. Bill,
    the door is always open whenever you are led to come back to us. Thanks for your commend and for your work.



Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.

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About Me

A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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