Mike Pence, a born-again Christian, is also the Vice President of the United States. Recently the former governor of Indiana was labelled mentally ill on a TV program called The View simply because Pence believes Jesus speaks to him.
It all started when The View played a brief clip from another TV program called “Celebrity Big Brother” where Omarosa Newman made a comment about Pence. Prior to her role on reality TV, Newman worked at the White House under President Trump.
“As bad as you think Trump is, you would be worried about Pence…. everyone that is wishing for impeachment might want to reconsider their life. I am a Christian, I love Jesus but he [Pence] thinks Jesus tells him to say things.”
This began a brief discussion on The View about the US Vice President.
Host Sunny Hostin zeroed in on the fact that Jesus was speaking to Pence adding that despite being elected governor of Indiana, Pence was hated in that state. Hostin based that opinion on the fact she attended law school in Indiana.
Hostin claimed she was a Christian but did not want anyone serving as vice president who spoke in tongues.
However, it was fellow host Joy Behar who went the next step. She said “it’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you.”
Behar then mockingly added, “That’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct. Hearing voices.”
Not all agreed with Behar’s diagnosis of Pence, Sherri Shepard added that Christians believe that they can speak to Jesus and Jesus will speak to them, but did question it if Christians did it too much.
We shouldn’t be surprised by this accusation of mental illness against believers. Early in Christ’s ministry, Jesus’s family also thought Christ was crazy. Because of the Lord’s healing and deliverance ministry, opposition was starting to mount against Jesus.
In an effort to discredit Christ, the pharisees said that Jesus was demon possessed and was casing out demons through the authority of a more powerful demon called Beelzebul (Mark 3:22).
But it didn’t stop there, perhaps under pressure from religious authorities or out of embarrassment over the wave of opposition building against Christ, Mark records:
21 When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He has lost His senses.” (Mark 3:21 NASV)
The phrase “His own people” means kinsmen or family. Though Mark does not list who these people were, ten verses later Mark says this group included Jesus’s mother Mary and Christ’s half brothers (Mark 3:31).
The Greek word “lost his senses” (Greek ‘exeste’) literally means to “stand outside of oneself,’ a description of a person who had lost his mind. The same word is used in Acts 26:24, when the Roman procurator Festus accused the Apostle Paul of going mad, before shipping him off to a Roman prison.
And the word “kratesal’ translated “take custody” is used to describe Herod’s arrest of John the Baptist (Mark 6:17). It seems the family was intent on forcibly taking control of Christ and probably taking Him back to Nazareth. Apparently they were unable to do so because of the large number of supporters sitting around Jesus (Mark 3:31-33).
However, as Christ’s ministry continued to unfold, the attitude that Mary and Christ’s half-brother James (Galatians 1:19) originally had of Jesus significantly changed.