Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the commencement ceremony of Taylor University – a Christian liberal arts college in Indiana a week ago. Twenty-four faculty and students protested his presence and walked out as he got up to speak. Now I am not being partisan here – this has nothing to do with one’s political views. It has everything to do with being respectful. How grievous that those who walked out did so. As Christians we must at times agree to disagree – and do so with respect.
Years ago at another church we invited elected officials for a Sunday to honor them. Senator Stabenow’s office called saying she would attend. I instructed our church family to be polite – this wasn’t the time to air disagreements. When Barak Obama was president, I heard Christians say terrible things about him, and I heard Christians say disrespectful things about President Bush too. Uncalled for. I am not saying we can’t disagree with our elected officials – and say that they are wrong on an issue. We live in a nation established on free speech. What I am saying is – we can be Christian in how we disagree, no name-calling, or unkind words, but courteous and respectful speech.
We’ve heard folks say, “Well, I can respect the office but not the individual.” The Bible totally disagrees with that. Peter said honor the emperor – not the emperor’s office. The emperor was Nero.
On this Memorial Day when we honor the fallen who fought and died for our liberties, let us not violate those freedoms by hate nor contradict the gospel we profess.