I have watched zero percent of the RNC or DNC. I have better things to do than watch the pomp. But, I have watched some replays of some speeches from both sides, and read transcripts of a bit more. I do not post on [national] politics. I do post when politicians step into religion (like Obama making quasi messianic claims or Trump posing with a Bible).
I was pretty quick to defend Pence’s policy of not meeting alone with women when others piled on him. But I cannot defend his speech at the RNC. I was shocked to read this in Mike Pence’s RNC speech (in a section celebration America’s heroes, like those who fought in Fort McHenry, 1814) :
“On this night, in the company of heroes…So let’s run the race marked out for us. Let’s fix our eyes on Old Glory and all she represents. Let’s fix our eyes on this land of heroes and let their courage inspire. And let’s fix our eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith and our freedom and never forget that where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. That means freedom always wins.”
This, in case you don’t recognized it, is a quote from Hebrews 12:1-2 (with a bit of 2 Cor 3:17 thrown in for spice),
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
This is idolatry. This is heresy. This isn’t politics. This is religion.
The great company of witnesses, saints who’ve died in the faith, is replaced by a “company of heroes.” Heroes of our nation should be celebrated, but that is not what Hebrews is about. Pence has replaced heroes of the faith with heroes of the nation.
Worse, he replaces Jesus with Old Glory. Let’s fix our eyes, our hope, our faith on Jesus. That’s what Hebrews is calling us to. But Pence would have us fix our eyes, our hopes, our faith on Old Glory, the symbol of our nation. And fix our eyes on our military heroes and their courage. Not Jesus.
Hebrews makes it clear that the perfecter of our faith is Jesus. Pence doesn’t; he omits Jesus’ name. So, in the context of national heroes, faith in Old Glory, ‘freedom’, who are we to conclude the perfecter of our our faith is? Trump.
Then, he pulls in 2 Cor 3:7, “where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Paul is speaking about freedom from the old covenant and law. Pence is speaking of freedom of speech, freedom to own guns, etc. – American freedoms. I support all these American freedoms, but that is not what Paul is speaking about. American freedoms pale in comparison to the freedom of Christ and the new covenant. Confusing the two is heresy.
Giving to someone or something that belongs to God is idolatry. From a professed Christian it is heresy. Replacing faith in Christ with faith in a nation or its heroes or symbols is crossing the DMZ and entering into the territory of nationalistic idolatry. It is inching us ever closer, dangerously closer to the cult of Caesar. Caesar may have great policies, built beautiful roads, maintain a mighty military. Caesar is not LORD.
Mike Pence. Brother. Your know better.