Welcome to the Torch Leadership Foundation’s Cross in Culture Podcast where we consider different perspectives on what is happening in our culture and apply a biblical worldview. I am your host, Daniel Whyte III. This is episode #19.
This episode is titled, Trump and Pence: A Modern-day Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel?
As the Republican National Convention wraps up this week, two buzzwords that we keep hearing in the media are “unity” and “balance.” In seeking a running mate, conventional thinking was that Donald Trump needed someone who would help shore up his support among the traditional, conservative wing of the party. He found that man in Indiana Governor Mike Pence who has the religious and moral bona fides that evangelical Christian voters look for in a candidate.
Whether or not the Trump/Pence ticket is a winner remains to be seen in the weeks ahead, but one could not help but notice the differences between the running mates in recent days. As described by the Brookings Institution: “On Wednesday night the Republican Convention heard from the polar opposite of Donald Trump when their vice presidential nominee accepted the nomination. He gave new meaning to the term ‘balancing the ticket.’ As Indiana Governor Mike Pence spoke it became clear that he is the un-Trump. He is a modest mid-westerner. Trump is a flamboyant New Yorker. Pence’s speech was charmingly self-deprecating, a real change after months of listening to Trump’s boastful speeches. He has been married 31 years and his wife has the poise and beauty of the average middle-aged woman in America. Trump’s wife is his third and looks like we all wish we could look but don’t. Pence began his speech with a brilliantly straightforward and elegant statement— ‘I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican in that order.’ Trump’s bona fides on each of those have been called into question.”
One comparison that came to mind is Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar was the wealthy, proud, heathen king of Babylon. Daniel was a prayerful, humble man who strived to live righteously before God. Even though these two men were vastly different, it was Nebuchadnezzar who saw God’s wisdom in Daniel and raised him up accordingly. Daniel 2:8 says, “the king made Daniel a great man, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors, and put him over all the wise men of Babylon.”
Even though Nebuchadnezzar had raised Daniel up to a position of secular prominence — he answered only to the king himself — Daniel never forgot the God whom he truly served. Throughout his time in Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom, Daniel faithfully gave the king God’s interpretation of his dreams — one of which predicted that the king would be reduced to a groveling beast because of the pride in his heart. At the end of the interpretation of his dream, Daniel said, “O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.”
Nebuchadnezzar didn’t listen, and twelve months later, what God had showed him and what Daniel had warned him of came to pass. After many days (the Bible doesn’t say how long), Nebuchadnezzar returned to his senses and said these words: “I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation… Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.”
Jesus Christ commands His people to be salt and light in the world no matter where they are. Perhaps, God has allowed Mike Pence to be in a position where he can influence Donald Trump for good, and, if he is elected, encourage him to keep his promises, especially those regarding protecting religious freedom, addressing Christian persecution, and appointing conservative judges to the Supreme Court.
And if Pence would wisely keep his head down, be truly humble, and not wince behind Trump’s back when he says something bombastic and just pray for him and not let his family members and conservative friends cause him to bow up against him, God can use Pence to have a huge influence on Trump personally and policy-wise. This is certainly a great opportunity for Pence to be quiet, trust God and do what Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
In closing, let me leave you with a Scripture and a quote.
Matthew 5:13-16 says, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
J. Gresham Machen said, “For Christians to influence the world with the truth of God’s Word requires the recovery of the great Reformation doctrine of vocation. Christians are called to God’s service not only in church professions but also in every secular calling. The task of restoring truth to the culture depends largely on our laypeople.”
In light of what we have discussed today, I want to remind you that in our ever-changing world, there is one Person who never changes. That person is Jesus Christ. The Bible says that He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He is not subject to the whims of society or popular opinion. He has an unchanging, eternal love for you. If you do not know Him as your Savior, I encourage you to get to know Him today. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Thank you for listening to this Torch Leadership Cross in Culture Podcast.
Visit us online at www.torchleadershipfoundation.com
Until we meet again, remember to keep Christ first in our ever-changing culture.