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Is Mike Pence too political for church?

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There have been a lot of talk lately about Mike Pence speaking at the SBC. Many complained claiming it was divisive and political. Jonathan Leeman wrote an article for The Gospel Coalition criticizing the very idea of Mike Pence speaking. I will address this article in greater detail on the points that I agree and disagree with. But first, let me answer the very question I posed: Pence isn’t too political to address a congregation, but his speech was.

In short, Mike Pence’s address offered zero substantive theological content. It was merely about his privilege as serving as Vice President. While acknowledging this privilege merited a short section in the beginning, it needed no more continuation. Instead, Mike Pence droned on and on about his experiences and the administration’s accomplishments.

I think there’s only one way you can sum up this administration: It’s been 500 days of action, 500 days of accomplishment. It’s been 500 days of promises made and promises kept. 

Pence’s address followed a pattern of praising Trump with loosely intertwined references to God and praising his hosts as guest speakers often do. The intertwined religious language while praising the accomplishments, not of God, but of the President is the briefest summation of Pence’s speech to the SBC that can be offered. The only biblical passage cited was Psalm 126 in reference to a story that served as praise to the Trump administration. God wasn’t working though Trump in Pence’s speech. Instead, Trump was working. At the end of his speech, Pence did offer a superficial message about praying for America with a quoting scripture.

Mike Pence had an opportunity to address the leaders of many churches. He blew it. But would all politicians do the same?

Politicians Should Be in the Pew, Not the Pulpit?

Jonathan Leeman’s article for The Gospel Coalition draws this conclusion. He has five reasons for not allowing politicians to address a church event.

  1. No reason to give attention to a politician’s words over a plumber’s or an accountant’s, at least not in our assemblies or associations.
  2. Having a political leader address our churches or associations of churches tempts us to misconstrue our mission.
  3. Undermines our evangelistic and prophetic witness.
  4. Hurts the unity of Christ’s body

Reason one is most certainly true. However, I believe we ought to separate the person from the profession. On the basis of spiritual maturity and calling should a politician or any notable guest address an assembly. This first reason is the one I believe to have the most merit in regards to the situation at hand. Inviting a politician to address a Congregation is wrong if the only reason is that they are a politician. However, if the politician is a member of the church, what is wrong with having a fellow member speak?

Reasons two and three are certainly tied together in there logic. I believe these reasons hold merit for Pence’s sacrelidgious speech but are not inherently true of all politicians who accept such similar offers. Reasons two and three open a multitude of separate issues both independent and dependent on the circumstances. Meaning, yes this could happen, but the degree in which we can mitigate the temptation are limited for Satan is the tempter. In the case of Pence, reason three was definitely true. Many would see that the SBC tied itself to Trump. But that is not the fault of the SBC per se. But that is Pence’s fault for giving a campaign rally speech instead of a message. If Pence gave a theologically sound speech there should be little temptation to misconstrue the mission. The third reason is inevitable. Since the beginning, Christians witness has been undermined by the lies of Satan. The original Christians were thought to be cannibal and even atheists. We can’t always prevent these lies, but it would be good not to validate them which Pence did.

Now hurting the unity of the body of Christ is a weak point. Leeman’s fourth point is basically saying that Pence is too polarizing, because Trump is… Trump, on a National level to address a church. Pence is polarizing, but he was polarizing before Trump. The polarizing premise is true but, assuming Pence is indeed a follower off Christ, this would be the result of living a Christian life. Here’s another polarizing figure: Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop. Would polarity disqualify him from speaking? If we are to apply national likability to our church speakers, we’re going to end up with a lot of TV personalities who don’t comprehend dyophysitism.

Like Jack Philips, Pence has taken a lot of flak for being a devout Christian. Isn’t this the kind of person who may have a good message to the assembly? Seemingly so. Again Pence under-delivered. To be fair, Leeman clearly states he doesn’t blanket outlaw politicians from speaking.

I can envision a few circumstances where there is some measure of mission overlap that could justify it. Maybe a group of Christian college presidents asks the secretary of education to address them. Or a Christian conference on work asks a Christian congressman to talk about working as a Christian on the Hill, so that attendees can apply the principles to their own settings.

But while it’s not an outlaw, such an unwritten policy places constraints on the church that are not inherently necessary. Leeman supposes some similar justification was used when The Gospel Coalition had Ben Sasse speak. In 2017, Ben Sasse addressed The Gospel Coalition and gave a theological speech. He was noted for sounding more like a pastor than a politician.

To me only two things matter:

  1. Theological substance
  2. Correct theological substance

On these two requirements I think the body of Christ would remain unified with a clear picture of its mission.

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Conservatism

A renewed call for prayers for our nation

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A renewed call for prayers for our nation

Prayer is a powerful thing. Whenever we give praise to our Father in Heaven and beseech Him for blessings, He hears us. He may not always grant us our wishes; he’s not a fictional genie. Our wishes are not His command. But He does hear us, and when the chorus of prayers for a particular event are strong, it is a benefit to the cause. Today, America needs prayers. Society is slipping into a state of decadence that only He can reverse.

We often rely on ourselves to get things done. Hard work and perseverance go a long way. We also often rely too heavily on our elected officials to do the right thing, but as solid as our constitutional republic is in form, it is beset by turmoil and and a rising anti-Biblical worldview that is pervading the collective consciousness of many Americans who aren’t even aware that it’s happening.

Sex and violence have been normalized as “entertainment.” More attention is often paid to our mobile devices than our children, who themselves are given mobile devices to keep them busy so we can spend more time on ours. Churches are becoming more progressive to keep up with changes in society. Meanwhile, other religions such as Islam, atheism, and transhumanism are growing dramatically.

On the political front, many Americans are becoming increasingly dependent on government and are embracing politicians who want to bring us all into a forced state of dependence. Washington DC in general has denied the wise tenets of federalism and gone for full-blown federal supremacy across the board. We have good people fighting for us in DC, but they are outnumbered and oftentimes overpowered by their cohorts, bureaucrats, and an activist judiciary that holds its own delusions of grandeur.

I find myself seeking solutions to America’s problems most hours of the day. It’s my job to analyze what’s happening in the news and decipher what it means to the American people. Then, I try to either side with the most righteous solutions or offer new ones of my own. In this daily cycle, I often lose sight of the true nature of this world. There is Divinity holding everything together, but there are also principalities and powers stacked against us.

Unfortunately, part of our weakness as humans means the allure of the anti-Biblical worldviews and the progressive mentality on governance ring wonderfully in our ears. We hear the call of evil forces and all-too-often it sounds appealing to us. It’s like candy to a child. They’ve been told eating their broccoli is better for them but they love the candy so much more.

America needs a few revivals. We need a revival both of the church and within the church. More people need to be attending as well as actively participating more than one day a week. Meanwhile, the churches themselves need to abandon the politically correct version of Bible teaching and focus on the truths of the text itself.

We need a revival of conservatism. Populism may be alive and well, and for now it’s an acceptable alternative to the evils of radical progressivism, but we must strive for a stronger adherence to the philosophies that are necessary to keep American exceptionalism alive and widespread throughout our nation. There are simply too many “RINOs” out there not realizing their pushes for political expediency are betrayals to America itself.

Above all else, the United States needs more citizens to pray for our nation. Pray for wisdom for our leaders. Pray for discernment among the people. Pray that more people will open their eyes to the truth of the Gospel and our hearts to the gift of Jesus Christ. We must keep fighting the good fight, but doing so mustn’t get in the way of praising and beseeching our Creator.

Perhaps Daniel did it best in his prayers to our Lord.

Through all of the existential threats brewing in and out of the worlds of politics and religion, there is one action that is undeniably positive: Prayer. If we start praying for our nation and have others pray for her as well, perhaps there really is hope.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Culture and Religion

Moving left into the province of propagandists, the AP avoids the pesky issue of due process

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Moving left into the province of propagandists the AP avoids the pesky issue of due process

More akin to being authoritarian propaganda, a media source ignores an important civil liberty while casting opinion as fact.

Trying to come up to speed on what is going on in the world each morning is quite often akin to the “kawoosh” seen in the Star Gate genre, with a sudden onrush of stories and opinion pieces cast as ‘fact checks’. It’s also important to stay out of any type of echo chamber on either side, thus we check what AllSides would consider to be ‘Centrist’:

A Center media bias rating does not always mean neutral, unbiased or reasonable, just as “far Left” and “far Right” do not always mean “extreme” or “unreasonable.” A Center bias rating simply means the source or writer rated does not predictably show opinions favoring either end of the political spectrum.

Please note that as they state in their FAQ, a centrist bias rating doesn’t mean neutral or unbiased, just that it supposedly doesn’t favor either side. The problem is the Associated Press has been moving inexorably left exemplified by two stories from this weekend.

Due process, what’s that?

In our first example, the esteemed Associated Press that labels itself as ‘independent’ produced a long piece on Gun Confiscation SWATing also known as ‘Red Flag’ Gun Confiscation. With an almost tangential reference to the infringement on Constitutional rights several paragraphs in on the piece, and only casting it as the contention of other law enforcement leaders while ignoring the fact that laws for Involuntary Civil Commitment already exist:

Involuntary civil commitment

Involuntary civil commitment is the admission of individuals against their will into a mental health unit. Generally speaking, there are three reasons why an individual would be subject to involuntary civil commitment under modern statutes: mental illness, developmental disability, and substance addiction. In the case of mental illness, dangerousness to self or others defines the typical commitment standard, with almost all states construing the inability to provide for one’s basic needs as dangerousness to self. In terms of process, every state provides for a hearing, the right to counsel, and periodic judicial review, while most states have statutory quality standards for treatment and hospitalization environment.

Source: Ralph Reisner, Christopher Slobogin, and Arti Rai, Law and the Mental Health System: Civil and Criminal Aspects (2009), pp. 704-705.

[Emphasis added]

They avoid any real discussions on critical Constitutional principles such as due process [5th amendment], searches and seizure [4th amendment], private property rights and of course the 2nd amendment. They spend an inordinate amount of time in what could be characterized as a one-sided infomercial for the destruction of due process and gun confiscation.

The headline for the piece was a masterful casting as the destruction of civil Liberties as a ‘tool’, while hedging their bets on this ‘tools’ effectiveness: ‘Red flag laws’ offer tool for preventing some gun violence.

Note the use of the phrase ‘some gun violence’ as a subtle hint that other measures against the cause of liberty will be needed. Authoritarianism never sleeps in keeping people safe and enslaved.

Opinion as a ‘fact check’

Our second example of authoritarian media bias also does a masterful job subtly casting opinion as fact in one of the national socialist media’s interminable ‘fact check’ diatribes. Once again we turn to the ‘independent’ Associated Press with a piece entitled: AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s swerves on economy, guns and migrants .

We’ll leave some of their use of ‘Newspeak’ on the subject of illegal Invaders and other issues to emphasize this excerpt on the subject of ‘gun’ violence:

TRUMP: “I don’t want people to forget that this is a mental health problem. … Just remember this: Big mental problem, and we do have a lot of background checks right now.” — remarks Sunday to reporters in Morristown, New Jersey.

THE FACTS: He’s oversimplifying the role of mental illness in public mass shootings and playing down the ease with which Americans can get firearms.

Most people with mental illness are not violent and they are far more likely to be victims of violent crime than perpetrators, according to mental health experts. They say that access to firearms actually is a big part of the problem.

[Emphasis added]

How are the terms ‘oversimplifying’ and ‘playing down’ even close to being statements of fact? What numerical values translate to ‘big part’? Does the staff at the ‘independent’ Associated Press know the difference between fact and opinion? For example, it is a fact of history that the National Socialist German Workers’ Party or ‘Nazi’ Party was in fact the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

Whereas the descriptions layered on by the AP could hardly be considered factual in nature. As is usually the case, they couldn’t help themselves in also including a plug for the destruction of due process, touting something they would resist when it comes to their common sense civil liberties.

Their ‘FACT CHECK’ also included a push for Gun Confiscation SWATing, emphasizing the words of an executive of the American Psychological Association while forgetting the fact that media sources such as the ‘independent’ Associated Press contribute to the problem of Media Contagion.

The Bottom-Line: The equivalent to the media of ‘red flag’ gun confiscation

Since it’s been established that there is a direct connection between the mass murder tragedies and media coverage, would esteemed ‘independent’ sources such as the Associated Press agree to the ‘red flag’ gun confiscation equivalent for them: Prior Restraint?

They would most certainly object to the destruction of their civil liberties while they cheer for the same in the case of Gun Confiscation SWATing. Perhaps they need to understand that double standards are the grease that makes the slippery slope so dangerous. The whole point of the ‘first they came for..’ sentiment is that we who stand for freedom have to defend all aspects of liberty, Including the common sense civil right of self-defense.

Only defending one basic human right means that all the others will be soon swept away, with only one remaining on the chopping block.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Culture and Religion

Dean Cain’s label of San Francisco’s new incarceration language is spot on

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Dean Cains label of San Franciscos new incarceration language is spot on

Actor Dean Cain is one of the few outspoken conservatives in Hollywood. The star of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman has taken plenty of heat for voicing support for President Trump and for calling out his progressive peers as they rant unhinged.

One of his latest critiques of leftism was in response to San Francisco’s plan to change official words that pertain to convicted felons and juvenile delinquents. In pure Bay Area-style, the city is planning on sanitizing certain phrases so as to not “further victimize” criminals.

Once we catch our breath after laughing at the way these progressives see criminals, reality sets in about how asinine – and potentially dangerous – it is to cater to the criminal aspects of society at the expense of law abiding citizens.

Here are some of the details of the proposal:

San Francisco to do away with terms like ‘convict’, will instead call them ‘formerly incarcerated person’

They recently passed a resolution containing “person first” language guidelines that all agencies and departments are urged to used.

For example, an offender will now be called a “formerly incarcerated person”, “justice-involved person”, or “returning resident.”

A juvenile delinquent will go by “young person with justice system involvement” or a “young person impacted by the juvenile justice system.”

How did San Francisco leaders find time to address this non-issue when homelessness has reached crisis-levels and their city is literally covered in human feces? Have voters become so engulfed in tribal allegiance that they can’t see the absurdity in front of their faces?

Cain’s reaction was short and perfect.

In George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, the nation of Oceania had adopted the official language of Newspeak, “a controlled language of restricted grammar and limited vocabulary, meant to limit the freedom of thought.” It’s both a partial precursor to and a necessity of socialism because freedom of thought allows deviations from authoritarian control. Whether the leaders of San Francisco know it or not, they’re building a version of Oceania right now.

As long as Americans stand by and elect leaders who are more interested in not offending criminals than solving the massive problems faced by law abiding American citizens, this lunacy will continue. San Francisco is dying.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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