I know it’s election season but on October 17th, 2012 I was going to write an article here on Veritas Domain addressing popular political conservative and Christian apologist Dinesh D’Souza’s views and argument against the Biblical doctrine of election (not the political one, but the doctrine concerning man’s salvation). I decided to google the author’s name to see if there’s anything new in the news about him and found that through God’s providence, Fox News posted D’Souza’s response to a World Magazine article that brought up the fact that he was having an affair and engaged to a woman that’s 29 year old while he was still legally married. His response can be accessed by clicking here. While not agreeing with his theology, I was nevertheless very sad especially when it comes to seeing another Evangelical leader (these days the term is becoming too broad) having their moral failure exposed. It reminds me the importance of sanctification and holiness in the life of the apologist. It is also a lesson of how sanctification and apologetics are inseparable–with sin even making the brightest apologists irrational when they are not right with Him.
For the rest of this post I will interact only with D’Souza’s own response, from his own words. I think it’s more sad to read what he has to say more than what others say. I think it reveals some concern I have of his spiritual and moral life.
In the first sentence he writes,
A recent article in World magazine gives the false impression that I, a married man, had an affair with a woman Denise Joseph at a Christian conference in Spartanburg, S.C.
And a little further later,
I met Denise three months ago. We are not and have not been having an affair.
Its strange that D’Souza would state that World Magazine gave “the false impression” that he was having “an affair with a woman Denise Joseph,” and even goes on to deny that he was having an affair when he also admitted the following:
I sought out advice about whether it is legal to be engaged prior to being divorced and I was informed that it is. Denise and I were trying to do the right thing. I had no idea that it is considered wrong in Christian circles to be engaged prior to being divorced, even though in a state of separation and in divorce proceedings. Obviously I would not have introduced Denise as my fiancé at a Christian apologetics conference if I had thought or known I was doing something wrong. But as a result of all this, and to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, Denise and I have decided to suspend our engagement.
How can one be still be married to another woman the whole time while some time during this period D’Souza was in a relationship with another woman even to the point of being “engaged” and publicly calling her a fiance and D’Souza could still say he was not having an affair? Though he might have been separated from his estranged wife for two years, he is still married in the sight of God and the state, and to pursue another woman while being married is an affair.
I don’t know how a public spokesman for Christianity would be able to say something like, “I had no idea that it is considered wrong in Christian circles to be engaged prior to being divorced, even though in a state of separation and in divorce proceedings.” How he does not know when he has been an advocate for traditional marriage is beyond my comprehension.
All that has been said here is enough to show my concern for why Christians must be careful in setting up those who might be into apologetics as public spokesman and leaders of the Christian faith if it turns out that they are not one who is an Elder material (see 1 Timothy 3). It is important for those engaging in the public defense of the faith to be called to a holy life; how real would it be to the world if someone representing the Christian faith was a hypocrite? Or didn’t know what to believe and live Biblically?
The fact that he has been appointed the president of the Kings College (which I have made monetary contribution in the past years ago through Campus Crusade) and speaking at Christian apologetics conference shows even more problem not with D’Souza but Evangelical Christian circles today despite the man being separated from his wife the last two years! What is the state and standards of Evangelical American landscape today?
His response took the saddest turn owhen he went after the messenger that exposed him: he accused both the writer and the editor of World of acting out a vendetta against him. I won’t be disputing this (since I would not know their hearts), but even if it was true their intent, there is still the serious problem D’Souza has to come to terms with: his affair. To suddenly point out the possible sinful motive of the editor and the writer seems to me to be like pointing out that someone has pink eye while one has the more serious problem of nearly being blind: That is, one has a more serious problem to deal with than the one pointing it out, even if their motive was paved with bad intentions.
His last paragraph continued with his focus on the writer and editor of World, raising the issue of how Christians are supposed to behave towards one another while the secular world is watching. Ironically I thought the first half of the last paragraph could have been easily turned on him concerning his affair and his behavior towards his wife:
Ultimately this is not just about Olasky or even World magazine. It is also about how we Christians are supposed to behave with one another. And the secular world is watching. Is this how we love and treat fellow believers? If my conduct was improper, wouldn’t it be the decent and charitable thing to approach me about it? Instead, here is a clear attempt to destroy my career and my ministry. This is viciousness masquerading as righteousness. And this is the behavior that is truly worthy of Christian condemnation.
D’Souza asked, “If my conduct was improper, wouldn’t it be the decent and charitable thing to approach me about it?” and yet earlier he also acknowledge that he was approached by the news reporter, as this statement presupposes:
While World notes that my divorce filing was registered with the court on October 4—giving the impression that I moved quickly on the day their reporter spoke to me—in reality I had been working with a San Diego law firm on this for the previous two weeks.
Now I anticipate that some people who found this article will no doubt at this point think that I am unloving in pointing out all these problems with D’Souza’s response. I don’t want this to just be a personal hit piece. As I said before, I originally had no intention of writing this–but felt I must after noting the problems I raised above from his own writing.
So I’m praying for him, not because it’s a presidential election year but because I’m worry about his spiritual life and that God will orchestrate all things to move D’Souza to make his election and calling sure in his life (2 Peter 2:10). Lord God, be merciful to us all, and sanctify us!