Republican vice presidential nominee Indiana Gov. Mike Pence spoke Wednesday at Liberty University Convocation, urging them to "come off the sidelines" at this critical time in our nation's history.
"Men and women of faith cannot stand idly by in this great national debate," he said, then turning to words written by his friend and mentor, the late Chuck Coulson. "As believers, we are commanded to be active participants in the governance of our nation ... Christians must not adopt the 'simply passing through' mindset when it comes to politics.
"So, how do we do that? Well, thankfully, the Good Book has a lot to say about how we balance the pulpit with politics. First and foremost, we are called to pray for our nation's leaders—even those we disagree with—and we encourage you to do that, each and every day, particularly in the next four weeks.
"As Christians, we are also called to respect the governing authorities that are placed over us, and we should do that—respect the institutions of our governance. But nowhere does it teach in the Bible that we are to sit on the sidelines of history, and this is no time for the people of faith to sit on the sidelines."
Pence then quoted from Ronald Reagan's "Evil Empire" speech and said it was "as relevant today as it was then, even more so." Pointing to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's speech calling millions of Americans part of a "basket of deplorables," he called on his running mate's opponent to denounce the "Catholic Emails" communications by her staff members.
He then turned his attention back to the Liberty University students, telling them "this is a time for faith, a time for action." He then called them to put their faith in action.
"When the annals of this time of American history are written, the question will be, 'Where were you?'" he said. "'Where were we in the great battle for life and liberty and freedom in America? What did you do?' Not, 'What did you think?' What did we do—not what did we think—that got us on the right side of history?
"Men and women of faith, this is a time for action, not essays, and we must roll up our sleeves and be prepared to fight every day for what we believe in. Shortcomings are no excuse for inaction, if we were perfect, we wouldn't need Jesus. But we are far from perfect. We do need Him. But God's love eclipses our failings and, as always, renewed the strength of so many in this nation."
Pence then addressed the many important issues at stake in the 2016 election. He said the only way to solve them is for people of faith to be engaged, and then he challenged the students to "take ownership" of their future.
"Take ownership of this moment and understand that there is no place for believers on the sidelines in a time like this," he said. "We are at a testing point. We are at a time in the life of our nation when those who cherish faith, those who cherish freedom, those who cherish the sanctity of life, and all of the liberties enshrined in our Constitution, must be wary of being sidelined now.
"Those with a different agenda would hope that apathy would reign supreme on Election Day."
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