Vice President of the United States Mike Pence gave the commencement address in May of 2018 at Hillsdale College. Like many of such speeches his words were filled with optimism about the graduates and their futures. But, unlike most commencement speakers who address college students in this modern era, Pence did not shy away from sharing biblical truths, impressing the importance of preserving personal character and strengthening the moral foundations that have not just built this great nation but have allowed it to thrive and prosper amidst great obstacles and hardships.
Two things stood out to me from his words that I will share with you here. First, he referenced our “greatest inheritance.” Vice President Pence stated that it seems “that we live in an age when too many disregard the wisdom of the past … But you’ve been grounded in the teachings and traditions that are our greatest inheritance as Americans — the same teachings and traditions that are the surest foundation of a boundless American future.”
In these statements I found deep conviction, knowing that not only as a nation are we often too quick to value and look toward what seems like the progression of the future that we neglect to give proper place to the wisdom of our past, but certainly we have made this grave error in the church as well. Truly, our greatest inheritance as Apostolics is the teaching of our Oneness doctrine. Our commitment to passing this sound doctrine, complete with dedication to holiness and separation from the world, to the next generation is the surest guarantee of a great foundation for revival. We will not survive in the same form if our devotions are not preserved. We will of course exist – but we will be something changed, something completely different from the legacy our leaders and founders foresaw for us.
“And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination” (Jeremiah 2:7).
The second thing that connected with me from Vice President Pence’s remarks was a quote he shared from our nation’s first Vice President John Adams: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Similarly, our beautiful Apostolic church was created to serve and reach a lost world. It is a church governed by the Word of God and fulfilled by people who hold that Word of God sacred, who love truth and righteousness. It is wholly inadequate for those who would dilute it or pollute it. May God help us to hold fast to the wisdom of our elders, to love and preserve this great Gospel.
You can find the entire address by searching “Hillsdale College 166th Commencement”