This is a guest post by Lee Enochs.
Dr. Thomas White
President of Cedarville University
April 30, 2020
“The kisses of an enemy are deceitful, but faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:6).
Dear Dr. White,
It is with great pain in my heart that I write to you this open letter. It also greatly pains me today that I have to write to you to consider resigning from your position as President of Cedarville University. Twelve years have passed since I wrote a full-page op-ed in Fort Worth Star-Telegram in your defense. I have always greatly admired and appreciated your commitment to conservative, Evangelical Christian theology and the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Your preaching and leadership in Southern Baptist and Evangelical circles has been a tremendous blessing to me and countless others across the United States. Things have come full circle now and I believe you have no other recourse but to resign.
As you know, there is a petition going around on Change.org that is calling for your termination. Out of love and respect for you, I have decided not to sign it. Instead, I write this open letter to you as your sincere friend and brother in Christ.
I had initially wanted you to remain at Cedarville University after the events of last week that ultimately led to the firing of our brother Anthony Moore, but recent developments in the last couple of days have led me to believe that you have greatly erred in your leadership at Cedarville University and that your decision to hire Anthony Moore and invite him to be part of the Cedarville community has, in my opinion, endangered the lives of the students you committed yourself to protect.
Because I love you greatly, I came to you last year and warned you that the hiring of Anthony Moore was unwise and brought up several issues that led me to this conclusion. My primary concern was the safety of the students of Cedarville University and I communicated this to you very diligently. I believe I also conveyed to you then that the hiring of Anthony Moore would one day lead to a campus uproar and your ultimate downfall. Sadly, my dire prognostications have come true.
As you know, I have a great love for the state of California. After I graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary, I returned home to my beloved Golden State from which I write this letter to you now. You probably do not know this interesting tidbit from my life, but I used to live and attend church for many years in Yorba Linda, California, which is the birthplace of former U.S. President Richard Nixon.
At the risk of digressing, I believe there are some similarities between you and President Nixon now. Both you and President Nixon were men endowed by Almighty God with enormous gifts and unlimited potential. Yet, both you and President Nixon are leaders that could not escape from the need to resign from high office. In August 1974, near the end of Richard Nixon’s Presidency, certain Republican congressional leaders informed him that he would most certainly be impeached if he did not resign due to his involvement in the Watergate scandal. I believe those who love would serve you best by proposing that you resign the office of the Presidency of Cedarville University.
In recent days, I have spoken to many of your old friends from your tenure as Vice-President at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and many of them have expressed to me that they believe you also should resign because they believe you misled the faculty and entire community at Cedarville University in the hiring of Anthony Moore. It appears to many of us that you did in fact know the essential details of Anthony Moore’s termination at the Village Church.
Many of our mutual friends have told me that they believe you have “thrown Anthony under the bus” and set him up for public humiliation when such an unfortunate series of events was not necessary. It appears to many of us that Anthony Moore largely fulfilled the obligations of his restoration pact and that you fired him as soon as the members of the media began to investigate this issue. What greatly pains most of us is that Anthony’s name and past actions have been broadcast to the entire world and this has caused irreparable harm. While Anthony should have never been hired at Cedarville University, you ultimately bear the responsibility of hiring him and bringing him into the Cedarville community.
Besides the possible misleading of the faculty and community of Cedarville University and the public humiliation of Anthony Moore, your actions seem to have endangered the student population of Cedarville.
I write this to you as a friend with no authority or say in this matter, but it appears to me and to many others that your continued leadership at Cedarville University is no longer tenable. This is most unfortunate Dr. White because I believe you possess all the skills and gifts to be a great collegiate leader and administrator.
This matter is now in the hands of the Cedarville University trustees, faculty and student community and ultimately in the hands of our gracious God. We both know that our sovereign God is full of grace and mercy and sent His only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2). Our God is faithful and will be with you in the most trying of times and in our darkest hour.
My love for you has led me to write to you in the hope that you would resign from the Presidency of Cedarville University for the integrity of the Evangelical Christian witness.
Sincerely in Jesus Christ,
Lee Edward “Ed” Enochs
Lee Enochs is a 2014 graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a 2018 graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary. Lee is also the leader of Conservatives for California, a non-profit educational organization, dedicated to the revitalization of conservatism throughout the Golden State of California. Additionally, Lee is the author of A Biblical Defense of Capitalism.