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Vice President Mike Pence spoke at this year’s annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the responses were mixed. While there was plenty of applause during the speech, a few prominent leaders spoke out against the decision to include the Vice President on the schedule. Some criticized the SBC for hosting a politician at all, others focused their attention on the specific role that Pence plays in the Trump administration, and many felt that the decision to allow him to speak only solidified an unhealthy relationship between Southern Baptists and the GOP.
Regardless of the wisdom of accepting Pence’s offer to address the convention, the message he chose to deliver should give Christians of any denominational affiliation pause. The ending of his speech well encapsulates its primary focus: “I know that with your support and prayers, with the strong support of leaders at every level of government, with President Donald Trump in the White House, and with God’s help, we will make America safe again. We will make America prosperous again. And to borrow a phrase, we will make America great again.”
Pence - Speech - Donald - Trump - Signature
Pence’s speech was, unsurprisingly, focused on Donald Trump’s signature MAGA slogan. He listed the many accomplishments that President Trump had achieved thus far, he pledged the administration’s support to causes like abortion and religious freedom, and he encouraged the SBC messengers and leaders to join in their plan to make America safe, prosperous, and great. There’s nothing inherently wrong with (most of) his goals, but they represent a mindset that far too many evangelicals have succumbed to: America first. We have allowed our loyalties and loves to be shaped by something other than our faith.
Politicians, parties, and nations—none are content to form us in merely superficial ways. We may consent to some education or participation, thinking that it will...
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"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift