Today the sermon at my church was based on 1 John 2:18-29. In this passage, John warned believers against antichrists, anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ. In the new church, there were many false teachers trying to lead Jesus’s followers astray. John said, I’m not writing to you because you don’t know the truth. You do know the truth. See to it that the gospel message you heard from the beginning remains in you.
As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.
What is the core message of the gospel that remains in me?
- We all sin
- God still loves us
- Jesus intercedes for us
- We are to love one another, as he loved us
Of course, there is much more to the message I have heard than this. But at its core, the message of Jesus Christ is the redeeming power of God’s love.
via Daily Prompt: Core
I have been praying for some time that the president will be removed from office but I admit that I don’t know whether the VP would be any better. I can’t imagine that he could be any worse than 45 but people who know Mike Pence say to be careful what you wish for. That thought was expressed this week in a scathing article by George F. Will, who wrote: Trump in no longer the worst person in government.
George Will is a smart man with an immense vocabulary. I heard that the day his article was published in the Washington Post, the frequency of Google searches for the word “oleaginous” soared. I was not familiar with the word myself but now know that it means “exaggeratedly and distastefully complimentary; obsequious,” or more simply, oily or greasy. Like oleo.
Will’s article would be a great source of words for a Reader’s Digest Word Power quiz:
- Toady – an obsequious flatterer; sycophant
- Obsequious – servilely compliant or deferential
- Lickspittle – a contemptible, fawning person; a servile flatterer or toady
- Groveling – humbling oneself or acting in an abject manner, as in utter servility
- Unctuous – characterized by excessive piousness or moralistic fervor, especially in an affected manner; excessively smooth, suave, or smug
- Pandering – gratifying or indulging (an immoral or distasteful desire, need, or habit or a person with such a desire, etc.)
- Mobocratic – pertaining to political control by a mob
These words do not paint a flattering portrait of the first in line to Trump’s throne. He says he is a Christian. He proudly points out that the Cabinet gathers for prayer and Bible studies. Yet he shamelessly praises a man who is the antithesis of Jesus Christ. His over-the-top praise of a person as vile and corrupt as Trump makes me want to vomit.
One of the reasons Pence is considered worse than Trump is his hypocrisy. Why did Jesus speak so harshly about hypocrites?
- They do not practice what they preach
- They do all their deeds to be seen by others
- They shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces
- They corrupt the people that they convert to their religion
- They give money to the church but ignore the more important matters of justice, mercy and faithfulness
- They focus on outside appearance but are full of greed and self-indulgence
Trump simply has no shame. He has no moral compass. He is amoral. Pence, with his study of the Bible, should know better. He knows that Christ said we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Still, he praises people who are cruel and inhumane to other human beings – immigrants, refugees, gays, etc.
Pence is considered dangerous by many people because he knows better. He knows the difference between right and wrong. He passes himself off as a pious, moral person. And yet when it suits his political agenda, he is willing to lie. He is willing to compromise his integrity and his dignity. He chooses to flatter a narcissist to stay in favor with him and his supporters.
I agree with George Will that Mike Pence is a horrifying sycophant. Yet I am still not convinced that Pence would be any worse than Trump.