Mike Pompeo Visits Liberty
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took to the Convocation stage Friday, Nov. 12 with a tribute to veterans, an encouragement to keep the faith and a call to action for future Christian leaders.
“I know a lot of politicians come in front of you to talk to you,” Pompeo said. “They often talk to you about their future. I can tell you now, I’m not here to talk about my future. I want to talk to you about your future. I want to do that as a God-blessed American who knows that the Lord has given me so much.”
Pompeo headlined Liberty University’s Military Appreciation Convocation, a part of the university’s celebration of Military Appreciation Month. Throughout November, Liberty is highlighting veterans and active military and their families, including the over 30,000 Liberty students currently serving.
In 1986, Pompeo graduated first in his class from the United States Military Academy at West Point and served active duty in the U.S. Army for five years.
“It’s an honor and a lot of fun for me to be here with you today,” Pompeo said. “As a former soldier myself, to honor those in the military as you have done today is something you should be very proud of.”
Pompeo’s political career began in 2010 when he was elected to represent Kansas’ 4th district in Congress. Former President Donald Trump nominated Pompeo as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency in 2016 and as the nation’s 70th secretary of state in 2018.
“The truth of the matter is, I miss it dearly,” Pompeo said. “I was your secretary of state for 1000 days. I wish only that I had had 1000 days more.”
During his address, Pompeo shared how his evangelical faith has played a strong role in his life since he joined a Bible study during his freshman year at West Point. He recalled a speech he made in Cairo, Egypt where he proclaimed his Christian faith.
“Standing in this place, this Muslim nation, I wanted those leaders to know who I was, how I thought about the work, the values that inspired the way I thought about the way we made sure we put America first,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo then laid out four virtues to inspire future Christian leaders: vision, hope, gratitude and forgiveness.
According to Pompeo, vision is the ability to see past modern narratives and instead see Christian truths.
“Rather than seek the truth, those who seek power demand subservience to stories propagated by disingenuous elites, and they’re speared by unscrupulous politicians who want to hoist upon you things that you know to be false,” Pompeo said.
Hope and joy, Pompeo said, must be characteristics we carry with us and in our churches.
“If you aren’t finding joy in the places you are walking – if you don’t have hope for the institution you are working on behalf of – it’s time for you to either change that institution or move to a place where you can find that joy,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo painted the picture of a continental soldier who died at Yorktown, a mother of two who was born into slavery and created a route on the underground railroad and a Choctaw warrior who served in France during World War I as reasons to be grateful for America today.
“We owe it to all Americans who lived and died under the yoke of oppression to celebrate what it is that we have,” Pompeo said. “For in doing so, we honor their memory and their sacrifices for a nation is not forged in perfection but evolves – but evolves according to its people and its principles.”
Forgiveness, Pompeo said, must be given to oneself and others in speech that embodies graciousness, as Colossians 4 describes.
“It will take Christian leaders who rise up and who do the hard work to study, to learn, to prepare, to be faithful, who read the Bible and know the truth,” Pompeo said. “It will take Christian leaders to be the salt and the light to this great nation.”
In closing, the former secretary of state charged students to take on these virtues with great joy and humility.
“I am counting on you,” Pompeo said. “When you lead, God can truly heal our land. It means adhering to the principles that you all know and are learning. Don’t put your finger in the wind to think about what to say, put your finger on a page in the Bible and know that this is where your course of truth is derived.”
Later that day, Pompeo spoke with students in the Helms School of Government and the Liberty University School of Law. He also delivered an address at the Standing for Freedom Center’s Freedom Uncensored event Friday, Nov. 12.
Hale is the editor-in-chief. Follow her on Twitter.