Under Fire Again!

The headline in an article in the magazine “The Week” on April 14th 2017, caught my eye.   It said: “Pence: When Does Christian Virtue Become Sexism?”

What was the problem?  Mr Pence is the Vice-President of the USA and is devout to his Christian beliefs.   He refuses to eat alone with a woman who is not his wife, or work late with a female aide, or attend any party where alcohol is being served unless Karen Pence, his wife of 31 years, is at his side.

Other newspapers and outlets took up the story.   One commentator wrote: “How sexist! screamed half of the internet. This is akin to Salafism, argued others.  Conservative Christians who attempted to stand up for Pence were quickly shouted down.”

Hmmm….some of these writers have never taken the time to look at biblical principles.   Perhaps they are not interested – or just plain ignorant? – or probably both!

It was written that “the vice president’s rule is a variation of what is known in evangelical circles as the ‘Billy Graham Rule.’ Billy Graham famously refused to meet, travel, or dine with a woman alone. The presumed reasoning behind this rule was that Graham did not want to create the conditions that might lead to any extramarital dalliances or, given Graham’s ministry, the mere appearance of any impropriety that would harm his ability to win souls to Christ. Many, many evangelical pastors and laymen still follow some version of this rule.

“Those outside the Church should know the Billy Graham Rule has come under a lot of criticism within the Church. It’s increasingly recognized that the Billy Graham Rule is sexist in practice if not in theory.”

To quote from all of the many articles written on this subject would cover many pages of this Editorial, but I would like to just quote a few to show exactly what Christians are up against.   We are under fire again!

The NewYorker.com opined that “President Trump and his straight laced VP have something in common.   They share a stated inability to resist women.”   The Washington Post wrote that “we’ve learned that Pence, too, is evidently helpless in the face of female temptation.”   The lack of understanding by the writer is breathtaking and their logic seriously flawed.   They add up two and two and come up with five but so many will just believe what they read!

The Cosmopolitan.com stated that Pence’s view of women as sirens and his fear of his own sinful nature put the women who work beneath and around him at a huge, albeit very familiar, disadvantage.

TheAtlantic.com took the view that “treating people in workplaces differently based on their gender inevitably hurts women’s careers.”

The UK Guardian newspaper had an article which said: “And while Pence trended on Twitter for his old-school sexism, what went largely unremarked on was that the vice-president cast the tie-breaking vote to push forward legislation that allows states to discriminate against Planned Parenthood and other healthcare providers that provide abortion when giving out federal Title X funds.  Pence is a misogynist. We know it from his voting record, we know it from the things that he’s said about women’s rights and now we know it because of his odd personal rule not to dine with women alone. But let’s not let one man’s sexism distract us from his whole party’s sexist agenda.”

It is easy to see how a person’s character can be blackened just because his beliefs and actions don’t conform to the liberal agenda which has been foisted on a gullible public for some years now.   They would have you believe that Mr Pence is helpless in the face of temptation, his actions hurt women’s careers and put them at a disadvantage and that he is a misogynist and sexist because he voted against the murder of the unborn (abortion).    What twisting of correct behaviour of an individual by those who seem to have a death wish for all reasonable and sensible conduct!

The Church of God for decades has taken a very similar stance to that of Mr Pence when addressing the issue of private meetings between an unmarried couple. We have to remember that Satan is more cunning and powerful than any human being, and he will do everything in his power to throw a true Christian off the path to eternal life.   Temptations can come in many forms and we read in 1 Corinthians 6:18: “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.”   Also in 2 Timothy 2:22: “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

If we don’t put ourselves in potentially compromising situations, we will avoid the pitfalls that have plagued so many by the temptations that may confront them.   We have our own tendencies to sin but this can be reduced considerably by staying close to God.   Ephesians 5:11 is instructive in this regard: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them,” as the apostle Paul instructs us to walk in the light.

In addition, we read in 1 Thessalonians 5:22: “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (Authorized Version) and in Romans 13:14: “… put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”

These are simple enough admonitions that can have the liberals apoplectic with rage but such biblical instructions simply have pre-eminence over any and all of the utterings of man.

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