Yesterday Mike Pence appeared before a group of court evangelicals and Christian nationalists and exhorted them to “share the good news of Jesus Christ.” Here is a taste of a Christian Broadcasting Network piece on Pence’s appearance at the Watchman on the Wall Conference:
In a last second surprise appearance before a pastors conference in Washington DC, Vice President Mike Pence outlined how the Trump administration has championed causes important to the evangelical community and implored them to continue to, “share the good news of Jesus Christ.”
“Other than the service of those who wear the uniform of the United States especially our cherished fallen, the ministries that you lead and the prayers that you pray are the greatest consequence in the life of the nation,” the vice-president told those attending the 2018 Watchman on the Wall conference sponsored by the Family Research Council.
“Keep preaching the good news. Keep preaching in season and out of season as the Bible says. Always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have,” he continued.
So just what did Pence mean by “the good news of Jesus Christ?” Here are some possible options:
- Go ye into all the world and proclaim Donald Trump as God’s anointed messenger sent to restore America to its Christian roots.
- Go ye into all the world and proclaim that America was founded as a Christian nation.
- Go ye into all the world and continue to teach people to live in fear rather than hope.
- Go ye into all the world and proclaim and peddle nostalgia for some of the darkest moments in American life.
- Go ye into all the world and proclaim the right not to bake cakes for people you don’t like.
- Go ye into all the world and proclaim the need to fight for your rights.
- Go ye into all the world and proclaim the need to elect the right candidates in the next election.
- Go ye into all the world and proclaim the need for victory in the culture wars.
- Go ye into all the world and proclaim that the man in the oval office is a serial liar.
- Go ye into all the world and proclaim the need to call immigrants rapists and murderers.
- Go ye into all the world and proclaim and defend that guy who said that there were “good people” on both sides in Charlottesville.
- Go ye into all the world and proclaim support for a politician who has committed adultery with a porn star and Playboy playmate.
Unfortunately, the real message of the Gospel–the “good news”–has been corrupted in the minds of so many Americans because of Mike Pence, Donald Trump, and the kind of people who gathered at the “Watchman on the Wall” event. These men and women have exchanged the Gospel for political power and at the very least have funneled the “good news” through the lens of partisan politics. Their gospel is Christian nationalism and it is best preached with a healthy dose of fear, power, and nostalgia.
And as long as we are at it, let’s name some of the names of the people who spoke at this event:
Bishop Harry Jackson