Intolerance strikes again. It happened recently at the April 12, 2018, confirmation hearing for Mike Pompeo. The nominee for Secretary of State was grilled by Senator Cory Booker (NJ) on his beliefs about marriage.
Senator Booker referred to a quotation Pompeo had used in a speech at a church in 2015. Pompeo was then a US Representative from Kansas. He quoted a pastor who said, “America had worshiped other gods and called it multiculturalism. We’d endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.”
In the hearing, Booker then questioned, “Is being gay a perversion?” Pompeo replied, “Senator, when I was a politician, I had a very clear view on whether it was appropriate for two same-sex persons to marry. I stand by that.” Booker would not take that for an answer.
Mike Pompeo is a professing Christian. He has served as Sunday School teacher and deacon in his home church in Kansas. He was simply affirming what Bible-believing Christians know to be Biblical.
As a matter of fact, Pompeo’s church had to make a tough decision on this issue. Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Wichita left the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2011 after it allowed people in same-sex relationships to serve in leadership. It joined a smaller, more conservative Presbyterian denomination. This is a church that took the Bible seriously.
Jesus spoke clearly when He taught on marriage. He said, “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” (Matthew 19:4-5)
What matters ultimately is not what Mike Pompeo thinks, but what God thinks. In this case, it seems they are in agreement.
The First Amendment still affords us the right to express what God thinks. The Constitution still prohibits a religious test for those serving in public office. But as exemplified in the Pompeo interview, there is growing hostility toward Bible-believing Christians in spite of these provisions.
His confirmation hearing is just another instance of intolerance. Some people cannot stand those disagree with them on these issues. But Christians have a different attitude. Pompeo spoke of his commitment to treat all individuals with respect regardless of his disagreement with their lifestyle.
This reflects what Jesus taught in Matthew 5:44. He said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
Christian love does not ignore sin, but neither does it hate and mistreat another person. “Charity…rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6).
Experience will teach Christians more and more what it means to love those that hate us. Stand firm in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It alone can save from sin’s penalty and break sin’s power.
Pastor Stephen Howard is from Morrow Bible Church.