Poor Mike Pence — or anyone else connected with trump — has to be very creative in finding ways to minimize the daily damage reports about their candidate. Now he is at Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell and now led by Jerry Falwell Jr. The younger Falwell is a pistol packing college president who has long supported trump.
Pence has called on the students to exercise Christian forgiveness. I have two problems with his plea.
First, a presidential candidate who needs daily forgiveness, often for being truly gross and mean, ought never to be elected. Anyone who tries to help him be elected is guilty of sinfully aiding and abetting a moral criminal. Those who naively believe the apologies and promises of an addict are guilty of enabling the addict to remain unrepentant.
Second, flowing from the first, forgiveness for major sin requires repentance. If I’m asking to rent a room in your house and tell you I have a history of murdering landlords, wouldn’t you want some sign of repentance, some solid reason for believing I’ll never do it again? What if I assure you I’m not like that anymore? Would that help? Of course not. Serious sin requires not just regret, not just the words of an apology, and certainly not just an apology accompanied by saying someone else once did worse (e.g. Bill Clinton) and by a dismissal that the sin really didn’t mean much anyway (e.g., such as “It was just locker room talk”).
trump has told us he has never apologized for anything and has never seen the need to ask God to forgive him. What in the world would cause anyone to believe his totally inadequate “apologies” over the weekend?
Jesus said we are to be wise as serpents, innocent as doves. Pence wants us to be foolish innocents who blindly scatter God’s grace like flower petals from a big basket. That’s not wisdom.