Vice President’s words don’t match his actions
By Larry Bryson • Guest Columnist | Vice President Mike Pence has stated, “I am a Christian, conservative, and Republican, in that order.” He might want to add politician to his list. I’ll leave it to you to decide its place in the hierarchy.
Jesus, however, reminds us, “By their fruits you shall know them.” When Pence engages in misleading, partisan rhetoric, it is difficult to see Christian principles at work. Generalizations such as, “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” “President Trump is a truth-teller,” and “President Trump marshalled the full resources of the federal government from the outset of this pandemic,” lack the honesty Pence’s faith calls for.
Further, the Vice President’s lack of environmental sensitivity, his allegiance to the NRA and guns, and his promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, seem perplexing positions when measured against biblical standards.
The challenge for all of us as Christians is to avoid corrupting our witness by un-Christian behavior. A high-profile office like Vice President makes that challenge even more important.
Pence’s alliance with Donald Trump is especially problematic, given that many of the President’s behaviors represent the antithesis of Christian virtues. For example, compulsive lying, demeaning people, the complete absence of humility, bragging about assaulting women, showing no emotional connection to the plight of immigrants, and giving tacit approval to white supremacists at Charlottesville. I have written to the Vice President to ask whether he ever witnesses to the President but have yet to receive a response.
Ironically, for all of his silence, Vice President Pence was loud and clear when he told Liberty University graduates in 2019, “You will be asked not just to tolerate things that violate your faith, but to endorse them.”
In Second Corinthians Paul tells us, “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” I do not know Trump’s heart, only his actions, but Paul’s main point was the inadvisability of locking yourself into relationships that cause you to compromise your faith.
As an apologist for the president, Mike Pence has willingly assumed a dubious role for a Christian and one which illustrates and fosters the notion of this as the “Post-Christian Age.”
Writer Philip Yancey has said, “There are three kinds of Christians that outsiders to the faith respect: artists, pilgrims, and activists. The uncommitted will listen to them far sooner than they will to an evangelist or an apologist.”
Those of us, including Vice President Pence, who profess our faith, should carefully consider St. Francis when he says, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”