A Ray of Hope…

Ah, the American Election.  Watching from Canada, it’s been a bit of entertainment that may bode trouble for Canada, though it’s far too early to tell. I’m not too apathetic toward American politics, though I definitely don’t make a habit of following them.  My wife is from the US, and I have many close friends south of the 49th, so it’s not of no consequence to me.

Still, the election is over now and the aftermath is already being forgotten.  Apparently now that Trump has become the president-elect, mobs of previously-restrained racists and homophobes are free to run around and beat people in the streets…except all of the claimed “Trump instigated violence” stories that I’ve seen in the media are fabricated.  Sadly, lying is how the political (and theological) left has always rolled.  Reason and truth are secondary to the desired agenda.

trump-protest-missouri

Those signs should say “I obviously shouldn’t be here,” “I don’t understand how naturalization works” and “This protest shouldn’t be effective”…

That’s all nothing new…but also not terribly encouraging.

So what’s with the title of the blog post?

Well, there is a ray of hope in this all, at least for Christians.

Since everyone was paying so much attention to antics and wikileaks/media exposure of Hillary and Trump, I don’t think too many were really concentrating much focus on the running mates.  Hillary was running alongside Tim Kaine, but he’s irrelevant now.  Trump, on the other hand, was running alongside Mike Pence.  This is where things get interesting.

I didn’t have a clue who Mike Pence was before, so I looked into him.  I was expecting to find someone that was like Donald Trump (i.e. a moral cesspool) but was beyond surprised at what I found.

clouseau

For a few small limited examples:

  1. Mike Pence has been waging a war against Planned Parenthood since at least 2011; not just to curb their abortions, but to cut all federal funding to them.
  2. Mike Pence has been opposed to needle exchange programs for many years, but has also shown a willingness to allow for them when they appeared to be an immediate necessity.
  3. Mike Pence has defended marriage from culturally-driven re-definition and has also defended religious rights.

He seems to be the antithesis of Trump; a man of upstanding moral character who operates on consistent principle.  That’s somewhat understandable when one hears that he’s a committed Christian, though that could mean absolutely anything these days.  That’s doubly true when one recognizes that the media is reporting stories of his religious leanings and  one remembers how utterly confused 99.9% of the media is when it comes to even the most basic facts of Christianity…but that’s not really that surprising in a day where 1 in 8 Americans think that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife.

upside_down_bible

So I looked into Mike Pence’s church.  Where he goes tells me what he’s hearing and what sort of theology and practice he’s exposed to (as it did in the last election.  Anyone remember Obama’s pastor?).   I found this article at the Daily Beast where Yashar Ali went to “mass” at Pence’s Evangelical church (College Park Church in Indianapolis), spoke with several “parishioners,” and heard veiled political commentary in the pastor mentioning  “the absolute sovereignty of Jesus Christ” (read my previous comment about media confusion regarding basic facts about Christianity. Us Protestants haven’t celebrated a “mass” in a few centuries…).  Still, that article got me to the church website.

When looking through the mission and history, it appears to be a typical evangelical seeker-friendly, Acts 29-styled “Let’s just focus on Jesus” sort of church.  Nothing bad, but I’ve long since learned that mission, vision and history don’t really tell you what a church is really about. Their resource library, however, is incredibly telling.  They have excellent introductory resources on Creation, Sin, Salvation, and Eschatology.  They use the Desiring God Children’s curriculum.  Their bookstore has stuff from Stuart Scott, Martha Peace, John Piper, IX Marks, Robert Somerville, Ed Welch, Elyse Fitzpatrick, Ken Sande, Ted Tripp, Lou Priolo, John MacArthur, Wayne Mack, Jerry Bridges, James MacDonald, Don Whitney, Tim Keller, Heath Lambert, etc.  They have a decent doctrinal statement. They do Biblical Counseling.

What?  How can this be?

shock-and-awe

Then, I looked at their pastors.  The lead/preaching pastor is Mark Vroegop.  He’s a grad of Cedarville and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary who has written for the Gospel Coalition and speaks alongside people like Al Mohler and Bruce Ware at Desiring God conferences.  Don Bartemus  is the pastor of compassion ministries and is a Cedarville and Grace Seminary grad (DMin) and also speaks at Desiring God conferences.  Joe Bartemus does adult education and has an MDiv from Grace Seminary, and brings in people like D.A. Carson to help with teaching.   Andrew Rogers is the pastor of soul care.  He has an MA in Biblical Counseling from Masters College, an MDiv from Master’s Seminary and is getting a PhD in Biblical Counseling from Southern Seminary.  Rogers speaks at ACBC conferences, on ACBC podcasts, and even teaches Biblical Counseling at the college level.

I now understand why the media hasn’t gone after Mike Pence with a flamethrower: they don’t even have a clue what category to put these sort of guys in.  They’re not ignorant and bigoted fundamentalists that the media can easily (and comfortably) pigeonhole.  They’re not spineless liberals.  They’re not the Charisma Magazine type of fruitcakes that Trump tends to have anointing him with oil.

trump-paula-white-mtg

The guys that pastor at College Park are smart, articulate and biblically savvy guys; the kind who most HuffPo or Politico writers have never really met, let alone understand in any way whatsoever.  Mike Pence goes to a church run by a bunch of theological unicorns.  If the media understood even a tiny bit about Mike Pence, they would have ignored Trump and waged an all out war on Mike Pence…but their ignorance was orchestrated by a sovereign and divine hand.

Governor Mike Pence, soon to be Vice President Pence, has been involved with those theological unicorns for several years.  He’s being taught by good and godly men, and he’s actually being taught a Biblical view of the world.  Properly understood biblical principles are the underlying principles that drive him and make him a consistent politician who stands up against popular opinion to do what’s morally admirable.  He’s the kind of man authentic evangelicals (not the Religious Right or the Charismaniacs) have wanted in the White House for decades.  He’s not looking to take over one of the seven mountains.  He’s a Bible-believing Christian, with some nuance and balance and wisdom, that could influence some authentic and incredibly positive change…but a guy like that would have never got within a thousand miles of the White House if not for the biblical-proportioned distraction of Donald Trump…and speaking of the Bible, God has a good record of having great and godly men do amazing things when they’re second in command of wicked nations.

“The Lord kills and brings to life;
    he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
    he brings low and he exalts.
He raises up the poor from the dust;

    he lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes
    and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord‘s,
    and on them he has set the world.” – 1 Samuel 2:6-8

That is most certainly a ray of hope.

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “1 Timothy 2:1-4” Unger

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20 thoughts on “A Ray of Hope…

  1. Thank you, Lyndon, for this ray of hope. Great observation about how Pence would have never had this opportunity without the distraction of Trump. However, as you may have seen the riots are not lessening and the death threats against Trump, and even Pence, are growing. I fear given the level of hatred we are seeing, this could become a reality. Please remember us in your prayers.

  2. Dear Lyndon, brother in Christ: Did you as well check the possibility that Pence could be the “beast from the earth”, because of Jewish genealogy? Your hint to Pence here has led me to find out more here: http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/78562/bin-exclusive-meet-mike-pences-orthodox-jewish-israeli-cousins/#AEprcGRoxgRphMdI.97

    I personally do not trust ANY ” bible-believing Christians” with degrees or MDs and PhDs whatsoever in these days of decline. They can primp with famous teachers names if they want to, I will not believe it until I see them really LIVE in commitment to Christ. The point is: Who will be the false prophet (and he has to be Jewish) who gives power to the world leader beast? Trumps family ties are as well so Jewish like Merkels and many other NWO-politicians. But could there be not a ray of hope but a tiny doubt on Pence here?

    Looking forward to seeing you dig a lot more deeper into this, kind regards! Be blessed!

    • Maranatha, in gentleness, your post is outright wrong.

      Dispensationalism and Rapture seeking are a sign of the weak doctrine that has been plaguing the church for decades. Mike Pence is certainly not the “beast from the earth” because he has some Jewish ancestry.

      Christians with PhD’s and MD’s are great blessings to the church. Education is not a bad thing as long as one keeps in mind a Biblical worldview.

      I urge you to really abandon the dispensational framework and look into the historical thought and doctrine of the church.

      Blessings

      PI

      • Dear PI, your nick name got the “inquisition” right inside? OK. 😉 If you please, take a closer look at what I had written (to Lyndon, not to you) in just giving him a hint back to sth he might have overlooked in his euphoria about such a “bibletrue politician” (which is even a paradox in itself). I wrote “could be” and not “certainly is” (like you quoted) if you read it again. Be blessed, too and what is more: Be prepared in Christ Jesus looking forward daily to HIS return for the true church (1 Thess 4,17), not to the antichrist whosoever he may be! Jesus Christ alone is the ONLY, FULL and CERTAIN HOPE for me, not a man which brings the world or to the US potentially a “Ray of…” 😉 This means nothing to me, seriously. The same with important bible scholars, they are all fallible and mortal MEN.

      • For some reason, I never expected the PRESBYTERIAN INQUISITION!

        But “rapture seeking”? What?

        Uh, is it hiding under a bushel somewhere?

        Who goes seeking the rapture?

        How would you eve do that?

        • Haha! No one expects us!

          When I reference rapture seeking I mean the frantic looking for who the AntiChrist might be, when the tribulation might start, when the rapture might occur (i.e. Late Great Planet Earth stuff). Not any slight against Premillenialist eschatologists.

          PI

        • Ha!

          Okay. I gotcha then.

          Being in Canada and in a culture where people/pastors are either apathetic or just assuming the eschatology of their favorite American megachurch pastor, I don’t run into many folks like that.

          Up here they’re almost always senior citizens that are preyed upon but guys like Jonathan Cahn, David Hocking and Jim Bakker…but I don’t have too many discussions with those folks that get beyond me asking a half dozen questions and then being dismissed because I disagree with some “great man of God” and being called a young link.

          The whole concept of being exegetically driven and level headed is seen as being either arrogant or liberal.

          I’m hated on all sides!

    • No. I haven’t looked into the possibility of Mike Pence being any of the characters from the book of Revelation. I’m a pretribulationalist who understands the Bible to teach that when the stuff in Revelation (specifically after chapter 4 until somewhere near the end) occurs I won’t be on earth to speculate about it, so speculating about it now seems like a rather fruitless endeavour. The fact that someone has Jewish roots or ancestry doesn’t really set me off. I’m sure I have Jewish ancestors in the line somewhere.

      I hope I’m not the beast, or the false prophet, or whatever…

      I don’t trust MD’s to interpret the bible either, but that’s because a medical doctorate is irrelevant to the interpretation of Scripture. Beside that, I only care about the opinions of PhD’s with training that’s relevant to biblical interpretation. Like it of not, probably 99% of your theology has been influenced by good and godly men who have been well educated in the scriptures and the science and art of biblical interpretation. You might think that you’ve come to your positions yourself, or through your own personal study, but none of us is truly original when it comes to theology. I don’t necessarily remember who informed my theology and exegesis, but I know that I didn’t come up with everything myself…and I’m pretty outspoken about deriving one’s theology and even hermeneutics from the text of Scripture.

      God bless.

      • Dear Lyndon, I still do treat you as a brother of mine because you are and I know that. I am very sorry that my thoughts would produce so much of your aggression and bitterness towards me. I know that in these days there will not be any more brotherly love in the church because Jesus Christ told us so, but nevertheless I feel much pity about that. I never said or thought that my thoughts would come out of myself though. Be careful, vigilant and as well blessed with all yours, too, and thank you anyway for responding, seeing you soon above (but not here anymore, I’m afraid). To Jesus Christ our gracious Saviour alone is all the glory in eternity!

        • Wait what?

          How was I aggressive towards you?

          I’m also not bitter.

          I wasn’t trying to mind read, or downplay your own study of Scripture. I was only trying to suggest that we have all gleaned far more than we think of our own theology from many of individuals, and a good number of them are educated.

          I think you’ve misread the tone of what I wrote…?!?

        • OK Lyndon, thank you for answering once again. No offense, right? 😉 – I just wanna give you some other aspect of “true Christianity” and how you can prove for yourself according to scriptures how trustworthy s/ones self-declaration of faith is. You really should know this as a pastor and preacher. Pls have a look at this vid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6zz8bauBh8 and then afterwards look at this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pCsVKt9gqY and then simply read 2nd Corinthians 6,14-16 (and please do not argue to yourself with 2 Kings 5,18 b/c Pence is NOT just a “newborn baby Christian” like Naaman was then but claims to walk with the LORD since his conversion in adolescence age and he should KNOW therefore whom he is laying hands on like in the photography you used in your article above). I also recommend to you brother Wayne’s recent video (although he seems to be a mid-tribulationist, but forget about that at the moment when watching): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ4p_G_5YPQ So, i conclude: YOU are my brother, WAYNE is my brother, but PENCE is NOT my brother. Otherwise he would not share the same yoke permanently in life and business with Trump, who definitely serves Apollo and Moloch/Mammon in reality. This is something one can very easily verify out from scripture itself. Selah.

  3. Great article, and I appreciate all the legwork you did in researching it. A lot of stuff I didn’t know, and it’s good to have this resource in my back pocket. Unfortunately for Pence though, He’s more interested in regulating abortion rather than abolishing it, which is a shame. As a result his replacement has no appetite at all for doing either.

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  6. It always puts me to shame when Canadians such as yourself seem to know more about what is going on in the US than I know about Canadian politics/government.

    We recently started an online Mennonite blog directory (https://themennonitegame.com) which is intentionally simple –just a list to help bloggers and readers connect. Would you be interested in adding your blog to the list? If so, you can fill out this form (http://goo.gl/forms/UnTbNnVaKaUKd4VN2) which asks for an affirmation of the ’63 Mennonite Confession of Faith, a square photo, and a blog description (50 words or less).

    You might also be interested in the facebook group (www.facebook.com/groups/mennogame) where anyone can share their blog posts.

    Thanks for considering it! Tabitha

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