Pence & propriety …
I could not agree more with Meredith Stone’s “Voices: Pence, propriety and devaluing half the population.”
Trusting, respectful relationships that include appropriate personal time with peers and mentors of both genders have been essential to my growth in ministry. I am blessed with a spouse who trusts me and supports my relationships with others in ministry.
I also think Vice President Pence would benefit from some conversation with women whose perspective might be different from his wife’s. It seems his statements indicate an inability to be trusted and faithful, which don’t bode well for a leader of anything, much less a country!
I have been in the ministry since 1979. In all these years, I never wrote a letter to the editor until a couple of months ago. Now, I find myself once again needing to address the article by Meredith Stone concerning Vice President Pence and his wife having agreed upon rules to guard the integrity of their marriage and to guard against false accusations.
Dr. Stone wrote a statement in her disagreement of the Pences’ rules about neither one of them being alone with the opposite sex but rather always making sure they are accompanied by one another. In her article, she made this statement, “when a man and a woman are alone, temptation is just too great.” She made this statement tongue and cheek, suggesting the Pences are saying any time a man and woman are alone it leads to temptation.
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Her statement is not what the Pences are guarding against, but instead they are making sure they are not in situations where an accusation might be made. Sadly, we live in a culture that views someone guilty simply by an accusation.
Then she said the Pences’ rules “devalue women.” Clearly Dr. Stone needs a few more years of real experience in the real world. Several of my college and seminary professors warned us about protecting our character by never allowing ourselves to be in a compromising situation by being alone with someone of the opposite sex.
Remember the rule Billy Graham always followed. He would never ride an elevator with just himself and a woman, other than Mrs. Graham. Paul told the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 5:22, “abstain from every appearance of evil”.
Dr. Meredith Stone is consistently exceptional in her ability to approach an idea with which she disagrees with the sole purpose of creating unity. Although it is so easy for one to stray into blaming and shaming one’s opponent in an argument or disagreement, she possesses the ability to acknowledge the positive intentions of those with whom she disagrees, while bringing her considerations to bear on their words and actions in a compelling manner. It’s an honor to study under her.
Background: I was able to take a Ministry Formations Class under her at Hardin-Simmons University.
Regarding “Voices: Pence, propriety and devaluing half the American population,” 1 Peter 5:8 says “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
If Vice President Pence wants to flee temptation in situations with women and be accountable to his wife, we should encourage this.
As Christians, we are not to cause another to stumble. Romans 14:13 says, “Therefore let us not pass judgement on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.” It’s the same principal that if someone is trying to stay sober, we shouldn’t drink alcohol in front of them.
I want to comment that Billy Graham always upheld the policy of not being alone with a woman. While I agree that adults must be responsible for their choices, choosing to avoid temptation completely is a choice that one could reasonably make.
Women with real business and professional interests could certainly invite a male associate or friend to come with them to such meetings.
I am amazed how anyone can take exception with Pence and his decision to protect this marriage again any hint of impropriety. I can understand the pagan community not understanding this. It saddens me when Christians do not understand.
This was not a law he proposed. He did not even say everyone should do this. He was speaking from his and his wife’s personal convictions.
Pence is in good company. He followed the example of Billy Graham.
There are some things that are just common sense. Pence not only is protecting the woman, he also is protecting his himself from false charges. He is raising the relationship with is wife to the highest level.
There has been so much said about Trump in this regard and for good reason. So instead of praising Pence, he is ridiculed.
We live in a highly sexualize culture. We need rules to help us individually navigate a world that raises up a former president, Bill Clinton, as an icon of women’s rights. How ironic. I understand this article is opinion. I dare say that the majority of Baptist would disagree with the writer.
In response to Meredith Stone’s column about men and women being able to have professional relationships with the opposite sex, I must say I am in total agreement.
However, I think Mike Pence is wise not to eat alone with a woman other than his wife, especially in Washington. He is a man of high profile, with photographers and the press watching his every move. You and I cannot conceive of the life he and his wife live in the public eye.
From what I have read about him, he is truly a man of God. I’m very proud he is our vice president.
A great pastor
Regarding “Jacob West: Called to be ‘God’s redemptive instrument,’” I was a member of First Baptist Church in Stamford for the first three years of Dr. West’s eight and a half years.
He is a great pastor and has a heart for God. God used him these years to lead out in the church and the community.
I still consider him a great friend and spiritual leader. I love his family and expect God to continue to bless Dr. West in his future obedience to God through making Jesus Christ known to all who will hear!